Category Archives: death

What is a cough and what is a cold?


The definition of a cough : Middle English: of imitative origin; related to Dutch kuchen ‘to cough’ and German keuchen ‘to pant’, Expel air from the lungs with a sudden sharp sound, kuchen : cough, hack, kuch: fit of coughing,.

A cough is a sound we make that has a deeper cause, like a post-nasal drip, a pneumonia or a bronchitis (blockage in the passageways), a problem with the nerve supplying the lining of the lung, asthma, smoking, a lung tumour, gastric reflux etc. So in my humble opinion cough syrup as such is a little bit like using an antibiotic to treat a viral infection. One needs to treat the cause of the cough. Once one gets to the root of the problem and treats that the kuchen will go away.

🙂

What is a cold? A cold usually implies a viral infection of milder intensity that the “flu”. So many people say I have the flu please give me an antibiotic. Well! Antibiotics DO NOT touch viruses for starters and “the flu” is not the common cold or a bacterial infection like a sinusitis or a bronchitis.

Cold viruses :

  • human parainfluenza virus.
  • Human metapneumovirus.
  • coronaviruses adenovirus.
  • human respiratory syncytial virus.
  • enteroviruses.

A virus is a tiny little living thing of genetic material that infects you. It is vastly different to a bacteria.

(yes do not confuse your google search with 27 years of study…)

Cold viruses generally do not kill you.

However the flu viruses of which there are also many amongst them swine flu and the influenza virus CAN kill you. So that is why we have a flu vaccine. It is so that you don’t get one of the virulent viruses that can kill you. Yes you may still get a cold virus or a bacteria (that is not part of the flu vaccine) …but it will NOT KILL you. Get it???

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Diabetes death rate a shocker


Following on from yesterday, there is so much we can do.

One of those things is : better insulins.

Arriving on the scene shortly in SA and already there all you first world folk, is degludec. Why is this an extraordinary insulin.

Well long have we hoped for these properties : less hypos, more even delivery, longer acting (thus forgiving if a dose is skipped), safe in the context of double dosing !!!

Yes yes and yes.

So why the tardiness in terms of medical aid re-imbursement?

Good question as I tell my 4 year old when she asks a good question.

Degludec in SA marketed as Tresiba – a wonderful new arrival on our market, folk I need the groundswell to convince the funders that this will SAVE them money and YOU your life and quality thereof. I can not do it by mine self 😉

 

Diabetes and governments


Why is this not a more pressing issue? The diabesity epidemic threatens to ruin the whole world and yet so much of silence?

The log curve that shows no even inkling of abating rises like a tsunami and we are all “thula-msindo” – zulu for not saying a word.

Urgent action is required, yes I said action. Urgent.

Alternatively we can go with the tsunami of medical costs that are unsustainable, ill populations, knock effect to the economy due to loss of income, knock on due to high costs (medical) etc etc. It is a disaster and yet we look on.

Wake-up oh sleeper!

Now is the time to do something, its fast becoming too late.

 

Death Oh who art thou?


To lose a loved one is one of the hardest things for me. I am so unsettled by it, especially if it is someone my age or younger. Because I am young. And Death is so definite.

At someone’s memorial or funeral one expects to gain closure and to get some kind of “feeling” that the world is upright again. But alas it is not always so.

My “friendus” Mark Reynolds was a larger than life person who was always going to defeat death until he didn’t. I met Mark on the “kleuterskool” play ground in a small town called Tzaneen where english speakers were in the minority. There were 3 of us : Mark, Vivienne and myself.

We played on the “baantjie” and said ” get away, get away” a lot. We forged a friendship right there and then that lasted an eternity (I hope). Death confuses me and many of the things I hope for (faith) elude my desire for confirmation thereof.

Throughout junior and high school we played, we learned, we experimented. Mark was the first to offer me a cigarette -menthol nogal. I tried it, hated it and it convinced me lifelong that I would not smoke. We hiked in the gorgeous agatha forest, slid down the rocks. We laughed so much mostly our sides split.

We rode horses in Sabie – galloping into eternity together.

More recently Mark attended my sister and my wedding. I will never forget Mark giving my bemused husband-to-be a flower as was his custom.

Mark’s laugh was one of those that triggered others to laugh and not stop. His smile captivated. His heart was one the most beautiful I have ever seen. He sacrificed so much for others – his important others.

In love I believe he was let down so badly it still hurts me. He painted out of that and gave up on romantic love – which is so so desperately sad but I believe he was trying to self preserve. For me this is so tragic as he was a gorgeous soul and the love between 2 people – true romantic love as it were is something that can take one to heights that nothing else can- and it did – only it dropped him too (as it does many).

He had so much to give – in life and love.

Taken way way too soon, I just don’t understand and I guess never will.

What I know is that we must live here now, and make each minute count. We must cherish each other in the moment. Be present in the moment and live each as if the last.

 

To Mark – my “friendus” ignite heaven as I know you will with your soul. Devastate them with the joy that radiates out of it. The deeper the sorrow carves into your being the more joy it can contain. I love you and I always will.

Celebrate and live each minute


Our time on earth is limited by a number none of us know. The quality that we experience depends almost entirely on us – each one, in our own capacity.

Life is very short for some and interminably long for others. The enigma is that there is no way of knowing.

Where does that leave us each, individually?

Life is a strange bag of tricks and boils down to little more that about 40-60 years on average of a daily slog : waking, working, paying for things, sleeping. And yet it can be so much more. It can be.

It depends entirely on your own self. The quality of each minute. The minutes add up and create memories. But essentially if you are not present in the present and enjoying that very minute wholeheartedly it may be a wasted minute, hour, life.

I wish we knew in a way. The hours we each had and the moments that we should make count.

But we don’t.

Perhaps only when you lose a loved one do you re-evalute life on a minute to minute basis.

Today actually counts for more than you think and if you understand that in the realm of time and space we are each such a small inconsequent speck that may or may not live another day, surely it’s worth making this very minute worth it.

Sorrow and sadness fill my being for the loss of a life so huge at some moments and so full of the very essence of life. He lived indeed and took the time to make it special. I so hope that one day I will understand the reason we have a this life and a “death” or after life. I certainly don’t today.

Coxsackie,yuppie flu, post viral fatigue


Anybody who has not witnessed firsthand or experienced this evil is willy-nilly able to say that this vile vulgar viral disease is “all in your head”. I can tell you that there is no-one on this green earth who voluntarily goes through the ordeal that comes with this virus. It literally flattens you in more ways than one.

I have seen countless patients afflicted with it and whilst “science” on many levels questions this disease (instead of getting on with more accurate diagnosis) it is a disease that no-one wants and is more than happy to get rid of the day it leaves their bodies.

I have to ask though why the medical profession at large is sceptical and ridiculously pathetic when it comes to diagnosis as well as treatment (of which there is little). And once again in my mind it goes back to something similar to semelweiss. The washing of hands idea disdained by so many pompous egotistical physicians turned out to be one of the most important discoveries of science and prevention of transmission of disease. Why are we so arrogant? Who gave us this “god” complex?

When we don’t fully understand something or don’t know we simply say it must not/can not exist and therefore the patient themselves must be “mad” ????????????

Surely surely we have gone past this aged way of thinking ?

No, alas it seems we have not. We will not admit we don’t know. Rather make it the patients added problem.

I think it is sad and poor.

I only hope that none of these arrogant physicians ever actually come down with it as they may lose their egos in the process.viruss

Google the semelweiss history – it’s interesting and very very sad. Sad because why can we not drop ego and rather try to understand what the very truth of the matter indeed may be.

Surgery as a patient


The hardest 2 things I have ever had to do is deliver 2 babies. Yes I did do it naturally and perhaps at the age of 37 and 39 I should have listened to the wise advice of so many colleagues and had 2 planned caesars. I wanted the very best for the two angels that I had waited so many years for and I believed going through the birth canal was that. What I did not realise is what it would take out of and from me.

Delivering a child naturally comes with a lot of waiting (patience has never been my forte). It then involves an “older” body “co-operating” with the birth process. If that had all happened “naturally” I guess it may have been different. My body needed help and in the second birth it needed an ocean of a medication called oxytocin (syntocinon). This very large dose into my system helped my 39 year old uterus contract in order to deliver one 3.5 kg baby.

I will keep you in a bit of suspense, like a bit of a thriller novel.

I have just (last friday) had surgery – 4 years after my precious second child’s birth. It was an operation to effectively remove my uterus. This organ that has caused a fair amount of poor quality of life. The surgeon was extremely happy with his operation (they usually are) and presented me with a photo of the wretched organ and great news that it had gone swimmingly.

Wind back 4 years. I had just delivered a baby at around 3 am in the morning. The team were tired. God knows they had had me in chunks. No nursing staff are ever delighted to “nurse” a lady doctor – goes against many grains. I was lying in a lot of blood and had already started to bleed. I was in a fair amount of pain considering I had already delivered a child. The pain escalated, the nausea escalated, the bleeding escalated. I called for help so to speak and was told to shut up and sleep (in my own blood) they had really had enough of me for one night. I tried again. I phoned a friend – no one was up at 4 am. I tried my husband – his phone was off – he was trying to sleep after a hell of a night. I phoned the neighbour and asked him to wake my husband and come to the hospital.

AT one point I left my body and watched mayhem from above.

I woke up – well “arrived” back in my body about 2 days later having been taken to theatre, resuscitated, transfused etc. They never did figure out what was causing my pain 4 years ago. I started on a long journey of recovery mentally, physically and emotionally.

The surgeon showed me (this last saturday)

what happened – my uterus had ruptured and well lets just say the human body is an amazing thing.

I do certainly wish that it had been discovered 4 years ago for a few reasons. The very first and most important being my marriage which suffered greatly for the rupture. The second being the suffering that could so easily have been avoided. I can actually deal with a fair amount (though I do believe my pain threshold is useless), but my wish would be for another women to not have to go through the journey I have travelled. The third being the faith I have lost in my own “kind”. Never did I think it possible to be treated the way I was that night or on 3 occasions where all I really wanted was an apology from the midwife and all staff closed rank and called me something close to a lunatic and just bloody well get over this and move on.

Well I can now. Move on.

I can also say that a hysterectomy is a relative walk in the park. Almost a non-event. Yes I had pain post-op and yes I required the strong stuff. But 2 days later I was not on anything for pain and today I feel like I could run a marathon (I won’t for all those urging me to rest).

Life is an interesting journey and some of the suffering actually helps create focus and for that I am grateful. The most awesome part is just beginning – a journey with Dave and my two girls.