December

11.12. 2018
Today we were busy all day with our scientists and film crew.
They are here to promote Protea Banks and the amazing amount of hammerheads we have here. We have a program over the next week to count and estimate the Hammerhead sightings. All very exctiting.
Carrie and Martin dives today on Protea Banks. First dive Northern Pinnacle. Vis was around 20m and the divers saw a large school of hammerheads , estimated to be around 120..Not many Raggies left apparently. This is most peculiar if we think that yesterday we had uncountable amounts of Raggies.
Second dive was on the Southern Pinnacle of Protea Banks. The current changed to reverse, which is not really what we expected.
Nevertheless we saw one Great Hammerhead, 3 x scalloped Hammerheads and - believe it or not - 3 x Tigersharks. And each tiger shark was a different one !!!
What a day !!!
9.12. 2018
So, i have survived the ordeal of having the gall bladder removed.
When i came back from the Durban hospital i had to get back to work pretty quickly. In the beginning i was a bit weak, but soon i picked up strength and managed to do my job as usual.
Good thing, as for some reason, i am the only dive master in my company who can dive Protea Banks properly. I hate to say this, and i hate that this is a fact at the moment, but it is a major cause for stress and concern.
I needed to jump in between hospital times. Quite hectic.
But we managed, like we always do when we have a crisis.
The diving was good but unusual. We had so many raggies and so few hammerheads. On one dive we counted over 60 raggies. It was amazing.
On the other hand, we had baited shark dives without a single shark sighting !!! That was bloody terrible !!!
In the meantime the conditions are improving. Carrie had a tiger shark a few days ago, lots of hammerheads, i had a zambezi, some black tips are returning to the reef, great hammerheads and large schools of scalloped hammerheads.
On tuesday i got a call from the surgeon. If i have time today, he could take my gall bladder out.
Oofff. This was a shock to the system. I was scheduled for Thursday and very busy on Wednesday. But if i could save myself 2 days of anxiety and fear, i would jump at it.
I tried everything to find a replacement for Wednesday. Nobody, nobody, nobody can or wants to help me out. Great !!! some of my closest friends give really weak reasons.
Hey, i am asking because i have to go for an operation !!!! Nope. Nobody goes out of his way to make this possible for me.
It would have really helped as the surgeon had lots of time on Tuesday which is always good for any patient. I would have had 2 days extra to recover before i have to be back at work again next week and if something like this gets jumped on you, the least time to think about it is the least time to worry...
Not possible. I phoned him back defeated and we left my appointment for Thursday.
Thursday came and i had to be at the hospital at 6h30.
By 9am i was taken to my bed where they clothed me in the most embarrassing garments !!!
My lovely Beulah stayed by my bedside every minute of the day. Only at 15h00 they pushed me towards the theatre.
I pictured this all differently. I thought they would put me out straight away before they take me to the theatre. I actually hoped, i would never see the goings on at the theatre.
Wasn't like that.
I got into a waiting loop and saw doctors and nurses running around and doing things. I heard a patient screaming his head off. Jeez, it was so nerve wrenching, i thought maybe he couldn't afford the anaesthetic ...??? I died many deaths in there.
Eventually they wheeled me into the slaughter room. They tried to match the height of my bed with the table when i eventually lost my patience.
I got off my bed, pushed it out of the way and jumped onto the operation table.
Come on guys, let's get this done !!!!!
I got a painful injection and when the gas mask came towards me i must have lost consciousness...
I woke up in my bed in my room with my Beulah by my side.
What a pleasure.
The old gall bladder was gone but they left me 33 gall stones as a souvenir. !!! 33 !!
Friday morning i was discharged and Beulah took me home to recover in the best place on earth.
By Tuesday next week i will surely be back in the water doing what i love most
1.12. 2018
I am back. Had do disappear for a while. Out of action.
Here you think you get bashed around on a boat every day, get jumped by 5 crazy dogs when you get home ,end up with blue marks you can't even remember when and where it happened.
Invincible...you think.
And from one day to the next i got knocked off my feet.
Gall Stone. Jammed up the liver duct so the bile could no longer flow off and collected in my body. It attacked my liver, my spleen, my blood. I was truly down and out.
I had some bad ass stomach pains and decided to go see the GP.
He looked in my eyes and told me to pack my bag.
Pack my bag ??? Are you sending me on a forced holiday ???
Yes, holiday at the Margate Private Hospital, he says.
Totally shocked i hear my diagnosis and that there is no choice but to remove the stone and subsequently the gall bladder.
After 2 days in Margate Private, the doctor sees me and has a shock.
He immediately orders an ambulance which shoots me to Durban. Parklands Hospital.
I am told, my condition had worsened and they can't handle me here in Margate.
Parklands is top of the range. The doctors there are the finest in the country. The nurses are focused on their job with no issues at all.
I had a deluxe room in the Oncology department. My single room had an ensuite bathroom, flat screen TV, WiFi, the lot. My food was excellent, i chose off a menu .
Still, i was very sick. When they wanted to operate on me they looked at my blood count and stopped the process.
First we need to get the platelet count right in order to avoid you from bleeding to death. ...Okay...???
I got sicker by the day. Fever almost reached 40˚. What got me going was the fact that in the Oncology department i was the lucky one !!!
Beulah phoned me and when i made no sense she shot through to Durban to spend every minute at my side. She was my invaluable companion in this ordeal.
I went through MRI scans which scared the living hell out of me, through bone marrow extracts which almost broke me completely and of course gall stone removal.
A thousand injections, drips, blood samples. It never ended.
After 12 days i felt fit enough to get stroppy. All i wanted was to be home.
Home with my Beulah, home in my beautiful house , home with my beloved dogs.
It became painful and started to affect me mentally. I had to force myself to stay calm. Everyday i had to stay another day, another weekend.
In the end i told the doctors that as much as i appreciated their immaculate care, i am going home tomorrow - with or without their consent.
So they let me go.
I was still so weak, i could hardly walk up the stairs to my room.
So i chilled for a week at home before i dared myself back into the ocean.
In the meantime we were very busy and Beulah and Spike ran the show. They were short staffed and struggled like hell but they managed.
Karen went with me on my first dive and watched me closely. I did well, had no problems at all.
Straight away i did the second dive that day. Might as well see what i can do...
And i managed well. I was coming out of my low spot and back to normal.
As we are busy this week as well i made a deal with the surgeon to postpone my gall bladder removal until Thursday next week. So i could be of good help this week with our groups.
It feels good....
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