Wednesday, 25 November 2015

A Whole New Chapter

Last night was Chad's graduation and awards evening and tomorrow is his final exam and then he is done with Matric. OK, we have to wait for his results before we can sigh a huge sigh of relief and move forward to a new chapter. It does, however, still feel surreal that he has finished Matric and I cannot believe how quickly this day arrived. It honestly went too fast and starting Grade 8 is definitely not a distant memory, it is still fresh in our minds. The graduation was overrated and was really a waste of time except for the students that received awards. Quite a few Matrics did not even come to the Graduation. Chad didn't want to go, but I said that we should go because we never do school stuff. We were rather disgusted that the owner of the school did not even bother to come and say goodbye to the students and thank the parents for their "business" over the past five years after all it is a business - a family business and her husband makes sure that his business and finances are first and foremost. The school had snacks and refreshments, but we went out to dinner afterwards. We went to Adega and I broke my juice fast (more about that some other time) not over the top, but I still gave in because it seemed rude to sit there and not eat - that is my excuse and I am sticking to it.

It may seem as though Chad gets a lot of things and that he is spoilt. He does get nice things, more than some kids and less than others, but the way someone reacts to their gifts and how they treat their things makes someone spoilt or not spoilt. That was so apparent yesterday. Chad absolutely hates surprises and always manages to get his gifts before his birthday and Christmas. It is like he can smell his gifts. He chose his graduation present - a Police Watch and we bought it from Take A Lot. It was about R200.00 cheaper than at a jewelry store so we bought it online. The day it was delivered he was doing a late exam from 2 to 5 or so I thought. The parcel was delivered before his exam after much drama with the Fedex delivery guy as well. When I was dealing with the delivery man for my Kefir Kit, I could see in Chad's face that he thought we had bought his watch so he was kind of disappointed to see it was not the watch that was exasperating me. Whether he knew the Take a Lot package was his watch when it arrived or not, I would never know, but when I arrived home from work, I opened the package and then went to phone the time to set his watch because the time and date was all wrong (the difference between buying from a jewelry store and a general online store). As I am intently listening to the time and trying to set the watch, the kitchen interleading door opens and in walks Chad. Total surprise and shock that he is home and I try and hide the watch, but he sees it. No use putting it away, he tries it on, takes it to be made smaller the next day and wears it. Not all the time - it is only for when he dresses up - his idea.

I told him that I would also buy him a Police Pendant. He already told JD what he wanted for Christmas and she has bought it (I think) a Police ID Bracelet so I said I would buy the Pendant.  I bought the Pendant and Icon cufflinks on Saturday. I wasn't sure when I would give them to him and he had no idea about the cufflinks. I had told him that I couldn't find the pendant and I will get it for Christmas rather because he didn't want to go to his graduation anyway. Lo and behold after work I decide to wrap the present and close my door and he comes looking for me. I shouted that I was busy, he never looks for me in the afternoons, either his girlfriend is at our house or he is watching TV. He goes outside sees me with gift wrap through the window, my back was to the window, he comes in the room and end of surprise. He never saw the cufflinks at first and when he did he was so surprised and so happy because apparently he had seen them and wanted them and was wondering how he would afford them because he had spent his money on JD's Christmas present and he spent more than he was meant to. He kept saying,"mom did I show you these" "Äre you sure I didn't show you" 'Did I tell you I wanted them" He went on and on "mom you really deserve a hug for these - let me hug you" Chad doesn't like shows of affection (to his mother). He was so happy with his R329.00 cufflinks and he knows how much they cost.

I had no idea that he wanted cufflinks and thought it was a bit risky buying them, but also know how he loves dressing smartly. Today he told me that he told JD what he was buying her for Christmas and I said "Chad surely she wants to be surprised" "apparently she loves surprises" he says. "Come on Chad don't spoil her surprise - didn't you enjoy your surprise just a tiny bit yesterday?" I said. "Yea it was actually nice." "So don't tell her what you are buying her".

Chad wants to sell his car and get an Audi - excuse me. I like his car it is so him and it was his birthday present, but it is too fast and it is one of the top hijacked vehicles. For those reasons, I have to agree with him and also it is seriously heavy on fuel. It costs over R900.00 a week on fuel and that is if he doesn't drive all over on the weekends. His other reasoning is because we told him that Mark's insurance would not insure the car without a tracker like he has in it, so he thought if he got a different car he wouldn't need the tracker. We have made it quite clear he has the tracker in no matter what he drives. It is for his safety not because we want to spy on him. I only check up on him if he doesn't let us know he is OK - if he checks in with us then no need to track. He doesn't speed anymore that is out of his system.

This is a conversation that we had yesterday - an actual conversation with him phoning me. I gave him my smart shopper card in the morning because you can get a discount when you use it at the jewelry store he bought his girlfriend's present from. So he phones me at work.

C "Hello mom - why does your phone sound like it is on speaker phone"
D "I don't know - it's not on speaker phone"
C "Can I give Sheila our wifi password"
D "No what do you want to do that for"
C "you know she has this new phone - a cheap smart phone"
 D "but we battle with slow connection as it is - she will use all our data"
C "uncapped mom"
D "yes but it still has a cap then gets slow"
C "well what's the point of uncapped"
D 'I don't know thats how it works - ye I suppose she can have it because then she won't run out of data for whatsapp when I try and get hold of her"
C "yes that was what I was thinking"
D "Chad why are you driving and talking on your phone" sudden realisation that it is car noises I hear
C 'Hands Free"
D "you don't have a hand's free kit"
C "ye built in with my aux cable - hey I test drove that Audi it is so cool"
D "did you - did you go on your own"
C "ja it is so cool - its got ................................"
C "OK then"
D "OK where you going now"
C "to buy condoms"
D " CHAD!!!!" all shades of red
C "hahahahahahahahahahahaha" don't know if it is just to tease me - don't really want to know either.
D "you should have taken my Clicks Club Card so I can earn points seeing that you are giving me grey hair you can give me points too"
C "hahahahahahah I will get you points and give you grey hair hahahahah .... bye"
D "bye my love - love you be safe"

Love that crazy kid with all my heart and so hard to believe he is test driving cars on his own, finished school and all grown up.

He is not going on Vac - he decided this weekend. The hotel that the other guys booked is nowhere near the beach or even the pickup points for the rage shuttle service and it would be four boys in one room with two double beds. The Rage starts before Matric exams even finish because the department of education released the exam timetable too late so two of the boys write on the day Vac starts and the mother who booked the hotel booked it from the 26th, the day before it starts until the 5th. Vac ends after the 5th plus they will be paying for two days that they won't even be there, Chad doesn't like clubbing anyway. He has been to a club once and hated it and went to a pub with a band and hated that too. His girlfriend is ecstatic that he is not going. She was encouraging him to go but told him it is because it was something he had to do and obviously she did not want to be THAT  girlfriend who is jealous and needy, but now she can be happy.

We are all happy that he is not going, but I didn't want him to feel like he is missing out because he was so looking forward to it, but that was before him and JD became so seriously in love. He keeps telling me how much they love each other and I just tell him that I am happy for him and he deserves all the love in the world...

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Monday, 23 November 2015

Going Natural

Once upon a long time ago in March this year, when Karma hit me in the bangs and I knew that I had to find a new hairdresser because my hairdresser had one too many bad hair days - with MY hair, I eventually found a new hairdresser in August this year. I left the salon and for the first time in many years both Chad and Mark complimented my hair and both said that it looked like I had stepped out of the salon. The hairdresser is at a shopping centre I stop at almost every single day and I thought what the hell, let me just make an appointment to get my hair cut. You will be excused if you think that this post is all about me going all natural with my hair - it is not! However, going to this new hairdresser set me on this new found discovery and path in my life. Whilst we were discussing the mess my previous hairdresser made of my hair, like one side much shorter than the other and it wasn't meant to be styled like that and me agreeing that yes, hairdressers can also have a bad day at work and mess up, she did however have far too many bad days with my hair. The new hairdresser said that years ago hairdressers would round off fringes/bangs to make thin hair like mine look thicker. I thought this woman was delusional because I do NOT have thin hair. I never have had thin hair ever. I never argued the point with her and just carried on chatting whilst silently stressing about how my hair will end up if she thinks I have thin hair and I don't.

After leaving the hairdresser, I kept thinking of what she said and why she thought I had thin hair. The fact that she did not mess up my hair and that she managed to fix the mess that the other hairdresser made of my hair and I now have a fringe and not a pot effort on my head just exasperated my thoughts on her opinion of the thickness or rather thinness of my hair. My hair did feel lighter and thinner, but it usually does after being cut especially when I don't cut it for 6 months or longer as I normally do. I also started noticing that my hair falls out a lot more than it used to. It doesn't only fall out, but it breaks when I wash it. My hair has always fallen out a lot and I always said when one strand falls out three more grow - ha! I have since learned that only works with grey hair of which I have 6 strands at the moment, I started with two - now I am not touching them. When the plumber who did our bathrooms said my hair blocked Chad's shower, I said it could never have been my hair because we have never had a blocked shower before. I am now starting to rethink that idea, although I haven't blocked our shower so that reasoning hasn't been firmly confirmed or denied, but when I wash my hair my hands are full of broken strands of hair - a first. I happened across a natural beauty blog and one of the homemade products was Castor Oil and Rosewater for your hair and Lavender essential oil optional. I bought Castor Oil but I couldn't find rosewater. I did not know you bought it from the baking aisle in supermarkets and none of the Clicks stores I frequent, have Lavender Essential Oils. I also came across another site that said you can add Olive Oil to the Castor Oil, a 50/50 ratio and it will be easier to spread and you massage it into your scalp and all over your hair and leave it on for thinning and or broken hair. I used to use Coconut Oil and Olive Oil years ago in my hair, long before they both became a fashionably expensive cooking ingredient. You bought both from pharmacies and they were dirt cheap, however, I did not know about Castor Oil for your hair. Coconut Oil you can sleep with in your hair and Castor Oil just leave for an hour, then wash out and it makes your hair soft and manageable and [hopefully] stops the thinning and breaking. If you leave the Castor Oil in for too long like I did last Sunday [4 hours] there will be a slight Castor Oil smell lingering in your hair - not too unpleasant but not that pleasant either. I don't even blow dry my hair anymore, mainly because it is so hot or has been so hot and now especially because it keeps breaking and using a flat iron will just make it worse. I put Argan Oil in it and Sea Salt Spray and it air dries into curls, not frizz.

I also noticed that my nails no longer grow. For about a year now, they just don't grow even when I take Vital Hair Nail and Skin Supplements, which I used to swear by. I Googled possible causes of why my nails won't grow, as we do and also if the medication I take could cause nails to stop growing. I came up with far more search results of long term use of Nexium causing hair loss than anything about nails not growing. Hair loss is not a side effect of long-term use of Nexium yet so many, especially women, were reporting loss and breaking of hair after long term use, some even as early as 6 months usage. I cannot remember how long I have been on Nexium. I know I was first put on it in 2011 and then I stopped after 6 months, it was a 6-month course. My reflux got worse so I went onto Lockit, which I stopped taking also after 6 months and the doctor put me onto Nexium again, but I can't remember if there was a break in between or how long the break was if there was one. The reflux never healed and if I stopped the Nexium I got such bad Gastritis. When I stopped smoking I suffered so badly with GERD and Gastritis, so I have been on Nexium for a long time. Most of my Google findings painted Nexium in a very bad light, but you cannot just stop Nexium, because of the sudden acid build up in your stomach when you stop. My research also happened upon something called Kefir - the new miracle cure for everything under the Sun including Gerd; Gastritis and Ulcers. A cleanse of Kefir and Flaxseed flour for three weeks will reset your body and cure every ailment possible.

I cannot credit any single site with information on and benefits of Kefir, because every site I went on has the same information down to the almost very last word, but a site I found that had the most info was this one. You cannot buy Kefir in South Africa and you have to make your own with Kefir Grains and you cannot buy Kefir Grains in a store in South Africa. In the US you can buy Kefir drinks in stores but apparently it is not as good as proper Kefir. The Google hunt began for Kefir grains in South Africa and the best place I found was Crafty Cultures in Pretoria Gauteng. You can buy a starter kit for R300.00 which I bought or the grains for R150.00 and pay R75.00 delivery. I bought Milk Kefir, you also get Water Kefir, but Milk Kefir came up in all my searches as the better one to use, although on my Juice Detox I shouldn't have had milk, but I had done two weeks of Juicing so wasn't too worried about the Milk. I thought finding Flaxseed Flour would be difficult, but our local Spar sells a whole host of healthy things these days and I just happened to come across the Flaxseed Flour one day whilst still contemplating the Kefir Cleanse.

I was very impressed with Crafty Cultures because I paid and ordered on the Wednesday and received an email that night informing me that my order was at packaging and on Thursday morning I received an email to say it was being delivered. You have to pay by bank transfer only so that was very quick. Everything fell apart with the courier company, Courier Man. It took me an hour to direct the driver from the Filling Station 3 Km's away from my house. Half an hour later he ended up at the next filling station about one kilometer up the road from the other one he was at - in the same road. Then another 30 minutes to get to my house 2 minutes away. He had the cheek to tell me to meet him at the shopping centre next door to the Filling Centre - after paying R75.00 for delivery I must leave my dinner on the stove and drive off to collect my parcel from a courier company that I paid. He eventually found it. The problem was that every time I started explaining he would say ok and put down the phone - all 20 calls barring the first were paid by me not him. That annoyed me so much I just left the Kefir in the box. When I opened the box eventually I was very disappointed.

The Kit consisted of grains, a Tea Strainer from Checkers, the label was still on it, a plastic spoon which you can grab for free at the Woolworths counters when you buy your milk, an elastic band - wow and two little pieces of cloth - ok the right cloth may have posed a problem in finding, but the rest was not worth the cost of a kit. I bought the Kit because I didn't want to hunt amongst my junk for a suitable container to culture my Kefir in, but I still had to do that. If you are looking to buy Kefir, I do recommend Craft Cultures for the grains, because their grains are good, but I wouldn't recommend buying the kit. I didn't have to hunt too far because I had a milk bottle and a suitable glass container. The Kit also came with instructions on how to start your Kefir Culture, but it didn't say how much milk to use, so I used this site. The Kefir grains came in a tiny plastic bottle with milk, I was quite disappointed and my first attempt on Friday evening that I ate on Saturday with Flaxseed flour was disgusting. I ate half and it was terrible. I kept the other half for Sunday and took about an hour to eat it.

I did not think I would manage the three week cleanse. The first week you have100mls of Kefir and a tablespoon of Flaxseed Flour every day for breakfast and the next week increase the Flaxseed Flour and have two tablespoons and the third week 150mls Kefir and 3 tablespoons of Flaxseed. You only do the cleanse once a year, but during my research I found that so many people eat Kefir every day for years. I decided one more attempt. My first attempt I did not do properly and just put a teaspoon of the grains mixed with the milk they came in into a cup of 2% Low Fat Milk into my glass jar and started the culturing process. I did not even see the Kefir grains. On Saturday, I went and bought Spring water and as usual Woolworths as always badly stocked, did not have their Farm Fresh Organic Milk that I have never bought, but always see so I bought Ayrshire Full Cream Milk. I rinsed the tiny grains in Spring Water and then in Milk and added the one teaspoon of grains that it ended up to be into one cup of milk. First you put boiling water into your glass container for three minutes to sterilise the container and ensure that there is no soap residue in the container. Pour one cup of preferably farm fresh milk or full cream milk, pour in your grains, cover with the cloth and put on a counter in a warm area 20 to 30 degrees celsius and leave to cultivate.

This Sunday I have about 500mls of Kefir Milk, my grains are growing bigger all the time and it is really not bad at all. If you eat cottage cheese, you will eat Kefir with no problem - I don't eat cottage cheese at all and if you eat Greek Yoghurt, Plain Yoghurt or Ayrshire Yoghurt you will tolerate Kefir Milk. I love Plain, Greek and Ayrshire Yoghurt and quite look forward to my Kefir in the mornings. They caution you to only have 100mls and of course, I don't listen and had 200mls the other morning and had a terrible burning pain under my ribs on the right-hand side. I have had that pain often when my Gerd was really bad - I haven't had it for a long time. My healthy eating has helped a lot of my reflux problems. I don't eat Minced Meat at all because I suffer so badly with reflux, even with Mince from Woolworths. Mark does not subscribe to the notion that Woolworths sells quality food, his shop is Spar, but he can only eat Mince from Woolworths otherwise he gets bad heartburn - I get it from any Mince, some more severe than others. I did find 100mls Kefir Milk too dry with the Flaxseed Flour so have 125mls. You have to drink two to three litres of water every day when doing the cleanse - I don't but am trying.

2nd batch - but first properly made batch

It takes between 18 and 24 hours for the grains to culture into Milk Kefir. You then use the plastic strainer to separate the cultured milk from the grains. Never use metal only plastic and glass. Throw the grains back into your culture jar and add a cup of milk and start the process again. Pour the Kefir Milk into a glass jar and refrigerate until you use it.

You don't have to wash your culture jar after each batch, you just throw your grains back in and start the next batch. You wash your container every few days and eat the refrigerated milk within 7 days.

I am weaning myself off the Nexium and take one every three days just in case the sudden acid build-up becomes too hectic. Whether Kefir will help remains to be seen, if it doesn't I need to find another way to address the reflux I have. We, in fact, need acid in our stomach - it helps with the production of Biotin and Biotin is necessary for cell growth. Biotin strengthens nails and hair growth, Wikipedia has a whole bunch of information on Biotin. It all now makes sense and although my Underactive Thyroid could be a cause of hair loss as well, I tend to lean towards it being the Nexium. Hair loss is not listed as a side effect, but I have read that it was never meant to be a long-term medication for reflux, only for 6 weeks. I can't conceive of the fact that whilst I have now embarked on a journey to better health that I end up losing my hair. I could not even think that I can imagine what it is like for someone going through Chemotherapy to lose their hair, I am not going through anything has bad as that, but it is a concern. What is also a concern is that your bones and teeth also become weakened by Nexium and I have enough issues with my teeth as it is - possibly caused from Nexium too or it has exasperated the problem.

I won't lie I have felt the effects of this detox and have had all the side effects of a true detox, I haven't had that with green juicing, which I am still doing so perhaps that is why I am feeling the effects. The 100 to 125mls is more than sufficient for breakfast and it fills you up more than cereal or oatmeal. I have a green juice at 11 when I start getting hungry.

Flaxseed and Kefir Milk
It is not well documented, but it appears that you have the Kefir Milk for breakfast and then have a Mediterranean type diet for the rest of the day. A small amount of protein and lots of fruit and veg - clean eating and no processed foods or carbs.

... So yes, I am not going Au Natural with my hair I am going Au Natural with my medication in the hope that my hair will stay Au Natural...

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Monday, 16 November 2015

World Remembrance Day For Road Traffic Victims 2015

Today is World Remembrance Day For Road Traffic Victims and in honour of Clinty's memory, I have acknowledged this day every year since I heard about it. I had this whole post in my head ready to type up and publish here, but I decided not to publish it as I just wasn't into putting it all out there - out of my head and into a blog post. I have done Blog posts previously which you can read over here. In saying this, I really don't need a special day to honour Clint's memory, not his death day or even his birthday, I honour and cherish his memory, every single second of every day and I am privileged to say that I am his mother and always will be. It is an honour to be his mother and I will always cherish that, however, I do acknowledge this day in honour of his memory and to highlight that "minor" traffic offences are not minor at all - they kill; they maim and destroy lives.

Clinty With His Scholar Patrol Certificate

It is a well-documented fact that mothers will smear their children full of sunblock, put safety catches on toilet seats and electrical sockets and then climb into their cars, strap their children into car seats and then speed through red traffic lights whilst updating their Whatsapp playgroup without giving a second thought to their child or another child dying as a result of their negligence. I am not saying it is only mothers who do this, road deaths don't choose between gender; wealth; age or even morals, The Arrive Alive Wall Of Remembrance is a testament to this, however, this is to what extent road safety is ignored.  It is at the bottom of the safety chain in life - putting a lock on a toilet seat takes priority over safety when driving. The Day of Remembrance is to not only honour Road Traffic Victims but to highlight the consequences of traffic offences.

Excerpt taken from the World Day Of Remembrance Website "The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (WDR) is commemorated on the third Sunday of November each year – to remember the many millions killed and injured on the world’s roads, together with their families, friends and many others who are also affected. It is also a Day on which we thank the emergency services and reflect on the tremendous burden and cost of this daily continuing disaster to families, communities and countries, and on ways to halt it.
Road deaths and injuries are sudden, violent, traumatic events. Their impact is long-lasting, often permanent. Each year, millions of newly injured and bereaved people from every corner of the world are added to the countless millions who already suffer. The cumulative toll is truly tremendous" Read More.

This year is the 20th anniversary and the 10th anniversary that it was adopted by the UN. This year's theme is - "It is time to remember to say no to road crime".  A traffic offence is a crime no matter how "minor" you may think it is - it is a crime. An illegal U-Turn ended a beautiful boy's life - his goals and dreams. These are not statistics on The Wall Of Remembrance they are children; babies; sons; daughters; mothers; fathers - they are people. Living people until someone committed a road crime. [Arrive Alive Wall of Remembrance Is Not Part Of The World Remembrance Day Organisation].

Image Credit WDR2015

In Loving Memory Of Clinton

21.9.1989 to 16 March 2007

Clinty, I will always love; cherish and honour your memory. You will live in my heart forever - until it stops beating and beyond. Love You Always

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Saturday, 14 November 2015

Life Is Not A Text Book

In June this year when people we knew or people we knew of were dying in threes we decided to get our affairs in order because there is a lot of red tape involved when it comes to death and we didn't want Chad to have to struggle, not only financially, but with the arrangements etc if anything should happen to Mark and I, at the same time. This is life and these things happen. Anyone who believes that you just sit at home crying and waiting for people to bring you flowers and promises to be there for you any time of the day or night when someone dies of an unnatural death has no idea of the realities of dealing with death. I can't comment on death by illness as I haven't had to deal with that myself, but there is a whole lot of red tape when it comes to unnatural causes. Besides the fact that the words offered during your time of devastation and grief of being there for you are just words and no one actually lives up to those empty promises, there are realities that you have to face. There are accident reports you have to find, as in find out where the traffic official/police officer or both is stationed that was at the scene. There are mortuaries to go to; there are funeral arrangements to make, funeral homes to go to and a whole host of realities you have to face. There is no such a thing as being strong - people love saying that - it is not being strong it is a matter of having no option. It is going into autopilot and doing what you have to do.

With all these deaths, we realised that our stuff was in a mess and decided to sort it out, so Chad can find everything easily and also take out another better policy for me so Chad has no financial worries. Mark also wanted to take out another policy, he has adequate cover, but do you actually ever have enough cover. With all my ailments and medication that I am on, Thyroid; Gerd and Pre-Diabetes,  I doubted that I would get insurance, but it is not a cliche saying Mark's broker could convince an Eskimo that he needed more ice, because he would and could. At the end of June, the broker came guns blazing, redid our wills and started on the path of selling Mark even more insurance and changing my policy and months later on the 1 October 2015 my new policy came into effect. I got cover Mark didn't. His liver functions were sky high, which he blames on having Hepatits as a kid, which yes there is damage from that, as well as his earlier drinking days, but it was never high enough to be of concern to an insurance company. The fact that he drinks so much cold drink has to be a factor, but his  GP said it wasn't the reason, but I doubt the GP knows that a lot of cold drink is not the same as a lot of cold drink that Mark drinks. Almost 6 months later and he is still dealing with Insurance issues. The biggest issue is that instead of just taking out a small policy to cover Chad's car and taxes etc, yes you pay tax when you die too, which was the plan, his broker has convinced him that he should take out one big policy and cancel his others. Makes sense, because Mr Broker earns upfront commission and won't earn much on a small policy, but cancelling all the others and taking out one big one will earn him bucket loads of commission, Mark doesn't see that but then again, Mark never sees himself being conned by con artists.

Due to my many ailments I had to have many medical tests. Before they even took blood tests I had to have a full medical and because my GP doesn't do stress ECG's I had to go to another doctor and MR Broker who loves money arranged that I go to a Medical Centre and I refused. I will not go to any Medical Centre where I may come in contact with the murdering bitch who killed my child. I need to have control over the doctors I get to see and she may be a locum or employed by one of these train station type facilities. There were many emails and phone calls going back and forth, because going forward was in Chad's best interest and Chad is my reason for 90% of my life and reasoning, but dealing with Insurance Companies was making the end goal, Chad's well-being, very difficult. We got to a stage of a nurse coming out to ask questions and take bloods and I had to answer the same questions over and over and when the nurse arrived in all her arrogance I was ready to throw her and her suitcase out the window. When I did the forms with MR Broker, I said I had been on anti-depressants a year after Clint died, which was 7 years ago and question question question... I stopped them within about 6 months when my psychologist agreed with me that taking a pill will not bring my child back, all the pills in the world won't bring my child back and will not take away the pain. I did not have depression, I was and still am grieving. Lo and behold the nurse comes and asks the same questions and more. Her one question was when did my symptoms stop. I had to restrain myself from punching her in the face and told her she obviously has not gone through the death of a child and told her to go and tell her Company that I refuse to answer another question and tell them life is not a textbook. She was a seemingly intelligent women, English was her home language, she obviously did her training and schooling in the "good old days" a term I use loosely, yet her simple mind could not think out the box. I also said to her that you don't wake up one day and say "Oh Wow I Am Over My Son's Death".

When she left I did not expect to get Insurance, but MR Broker's office had already arranged with a Physician that I had been to previously to do the Full Medical. A really lovely man that helped me to restore a tiny bit of faith in the medical field which helped with all the Medical Marvel Moments I have had since Clint died and now that I have given up smoking. Turns out that I am super healthy, I have stopped taking the Glucophage, my stress ECG was better than very good and I am most definitely not an Insurance Risk. It took weeks and weeks to get there and even if my Insurance got turned down, I still managed to get a free medical out of them with a good physician. If all doctors were on the same level of professionalism and knowledge and empathy and compassion and of course, dedication as Dr Promnitz then life would be so different for us. He also told me that the term pre-diabetic is used far too loosely and I was probably Glucose Intolerant and obviously at the time I did need the Glucophage, but changing my eating habits have done more good than the medication. He told me after checking that I was never given a machine to check my sugar levels daily ( that would mean I am diabetic) that I should stop the glucophage for a month then check my blood sugar levels and if they are normal then I really don't need Glucophage anymore. My levels were excellent.

I did not mention on the Insurance form that I was treated for depression years ago because it was longer than the 5 year period on the form, but also in hindsight, I now know that I was not depressed. Doctors are too quick to think that a little pill is the answer to everything in life, without doing tests first. I now know that I had without a doubt iron deficiency anaemia, which have the same symptoms as depression, but no tests were done or questions asked about my then current health issues. Why, because iron deficiency anaemia doesn't put money into the bank account of medical institutions. I more than likely also had hypothyroidism then too, because you don't wake up one morning with an underactive thyroid and go to the doctor get diagnosed and treated for it. It is one of those medical conditions that take years and years to diagnose. Hypothyroidism have the same or similar symptoms as depression. My cholesterol was not even mentioned after the insurance blood tests were done and I have had high cholesterol since (that I am aware of) the insurance policy I took out about 13 years ago. Last year or the year before, my doctor said my Cholesterol was dangerously high and put me on medication, which I took for one month only and couldn't handle the side effects and stopped them, now it did not even come up as Insurance alarm bells. My physician said that my thyroid would have caused the high cholesterol as well.

I have to say that just by cutting out gluten and sugar for most of this year and doing juice detoxes throughout the year my health has improved in leaps and bounds. This time last year, I was so overweight and "ünwell". I felt ill all the time, I could not breathe, I just felt terrible. I remember waking up one morning and feeling so bloated I decided to try and do a 7 day juice detox and I managed, but barely and also I ate stir fry veg at night, but I struggled and I almost passed out at the shops, it was also very hot, but I felt faint all the time and now I do them with ease. I am currently on day 13 of a Green Juice detox, except that I ate butternut and also orange and fennel salad for dinner on Wednesday night (day 10) and Thursday night butternut and beetroot salad (homemade not bottled) and a shot glass full of raw cashew nuts on Thursday and Friday night and the rest green juices - no food at all. I haven't had coffee for 13 days and only drink water (not enough) Green Tea and Hot Lemon Water when I wake up. Oh I forgot some days I have a banana after work, because I feel I need the potassium from them.

I have managed to lose all my weight that I put on when I stopped smoking without really depriving myself, but I haven't managed to lose the weight from filling a hole after Clinty died. Now my weight fluctuates up and down by 5kg's and then I know I have to detox. I don't even have to weigh myself, as soon as I have too much gluten, my body screams and shouts at me to stop. I get puffy and bloated and I get out of breath easily and then it is time to detox. Thinking about it is tough, but once I get started I don't get hungry. I don't juice as such, whereby the juice is sucked out of the fruit, I still have the fibre, because I use my smoothie machine to make the juice, but I still don't get hungry. I sleep better, have more energy and feel so much better and I don't get hungry. I get hungry when it is time for a juice, I have four a day and then I am full and have no cravings for coffee, sugar, meat or anything and I cook for Mark and Chad every night.

Mark bought Grapefruit the other day, which he thought were oranges and I was upstairs at work and heard him saying that they were the most disgusting oranges he has ever tasted, they are sour. Then I said are you sure they are not grapefruit, he replied it says grapefruit on the label!!! I don't think Mark has ever seen or tasted Grapefruit, but instead of throwing them away I have had Grapefruit; Fennel; Apple and Lemon juices for breakfast every morning - Yuck right??? Not really it is definitely an aquired taste and I discovered by pure accident that freezing it straight after juicing and eating/drinking it frozen is actually refreshing and yummy. Now I am working on getting off the Nexium - another stupid Insurance question - when did you last have heartburn?? Um just wait whilst I have a look in my Diary that I DO NOT KEEP TO RECORD MY HEARTBURN EPISODES!!! I take the dam medicine and suffer from the side effects so that guess what - I don't get heartburn and acid reflux all the time!!!

So yes, life is not a textbook, how many super fit healthy people have unbeknown to them, cancer lurking in their bodies, just waiting for the day that it can rear it's ugly head, which could be a day after their insurance kicked in. What about road deaths, Clint's death is ultimate proof that life is not a textbook and does not go according to the plan of life. About a month ago another Client of ours was driving home from work late at night, he has probably never been to a doctor in his adult life, has no ailments and ends up dead as a result of the carnage on our roads, leaving behind a wife and two small girls. What I am saying is, yes Insurance Companies must do checks otherwise they would go bankrupt, but seriously, take your blinkers off, climb out the box, close your textbooks and face life realistically and pose your questions accordingly.

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Monday, 9 November 2015

The Year Of Chad

I often make reference on my Blog to the fact that our lives are based on the TV show The Middle. If you missed those posts and you are curious, you can read them here and here. Well, The Middle has gone through "The Year Of Sue" her final year of school and now she is in College. Now Chad is nothing like Sue, he is nothing like any of the kids in the show, but bits of all three children make up our lives and he definitely gets his cheek from Axel the boy, but this has been Chad's best year at school and I have tried to make it The Year Of Chad. As life would have it things did not turn out the way it should have and this year has been very tough for me and the year that Chad and I had a massive breakdown in communication fight, which is all happily and thankfully over and all forgotten.

This year being tough for me emotionally is not entirely because of it being a year of firsts for us - all the things that Clinty never got to experience, it has after much analysing on my part, been tough because Chad is all grown up and won't need me anymore. He is not my baby anymore and it is tough dealing with it. It is also very scary with him going out into the big bad world very soon. Every minute and every second of the day that he is not wherever I am, I wait for that dreaded call. Believing that one family can't go through the same tragedy twice, is naive and stupid. However, he just has to live his life and he has to live it as confidently as he can.

In some ways, it seems like a lifetime ago that he was a little boy and sometimes it seems like yesterday. The other week I said to him that I cannot put him as he is now, in my mind with that little boy who used to strip all his clothes off in the car as we drove through our gate after school, because he was so hot and run off to the pool in his undies and spend about 20 minutes running around the pool deciding to swim and then never actually getting into the pool, but the next day it would be the exact same procedure. Strip in the car; dash to the pool and run around. The first thing he said when I was reminding him about it was "...And I never ever swam"  with a big smile on his face. Chad has grown in leaps and bounds this year and time and time again, I forget that he is 18 and not  little kid anymore and that is where the frustrations come in.

I miss fetching him from school and our long chats we had in the car every afternoon - long discussions and arguments or just silence. Whatever it was I miss it.  I am so proud of Chad for many reasons and he has matured so much this year. There is a kid in his class that he struggled to accept for many years in fact since they both started at the school. We had so many discussions about this kid and it is truly something that most people don't understand and very rarely accept even in this day and age. I am not going into too much detail because this is a public blog, but it is just something Chad did not understand and for years I told Chad that it is not a choice, people are born different and she did not choose to be who she is. Now this year they have become very good friends and Chad has come to accept her as she is. She may not have been the same person when she was born as what she is now, but she is just that - a person - a lovely girl who did not ask to be born differently. She is, in fact, the prettiest girl in his class and looked the prettiest out of the girls in his class at their dance.

Tomorrow Chad is going to book for his Learner's Licence for a big bike because his licence is only for a 125 Cc and now that he is 18 he wants one for a big bike. I am not ecstatic about it, but he doesn't plan on riding on the roads all the time. I am going with him to book tomorrow morning and we have to leave at 5.45 to join the queue for the gates that open at 7.30. Ridiculous that you have to queue from 6 (some get there earlier) just to book your licence and that is just the queue to get into the gates to then start the first of many queues. He has no exams this week so he has a week off, then he has one exam the following week and I think only one the last week. Their graduation and awards evening is on the 23 November and Chad has already chosen his graduation present a Police Watch. I told him he should study first then choose graduation presents ;-).

Chad Getting Dressed For A Wedding

I have been thinking of closing down my blog, now that Chad is older and going into the big wide world, I don't want any searches landing up here on my blog. I won't ever delete it and may make it permission based. I also don't blog that much anymore, I just never feel like blogging and so many blogs that I read have closed recently. I will give it some thought over the next month and then decide next year.

That's my weekly update of Chad's current life. Was not intentional that it has become weekly, just procrastination that lead me here and now it is so late and I must get up at 4.30 tomorrow.

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