Category Archives: Notes

Doctors aren’t always right

Whenever someone asks me about my foot nowadays I sigh and say: “It’s a looooong story.”

It all started in February this year when I decided to attend a Zumba dancing class. I really enjoyed it. It lasted a month, until…

My right foot was suddenly swollen and painful and I couldn’t figure out why, because I couldn’t remember bumping it against something and it didn’t have a bruise.

I eventually went to my GP and he decided it was a stress fracture based on all the symptoms. The think is he was just guessing because you couldn’t see that it was a stress fracture on the X-ray. So he booked me off for two weeks.

When that two weeks were up, my foot looked better, so stupid me went dancing again. The next day it was swollen again so I decided to extend my waiting period to a month.

Needless to say after two months of no improvement, I went to a physio. He suggested the reason why my foot won’t heal is because I’ve been walking the wrong way my entire life because apparently my right leg is longer than the other one.

So I had to take my favourite boots to a specialist to build up my left boot so that it would make me walk at an even level. I also got an inner sole for my other shoes.

The thing is: that works well for winter, but the seasons are changing. After another 2 months or so with no improvement (the swelling in my right foot still not healing) I decided to drop the physio and go to a foot specialist.

Guess what? He was stumped. He couldn’t get any wiser from their own set of X-rays and only after I went for an MRI (which is quite an alien experience I might add) he could definitely say it was not a stress fracture and if there was one, the bone has healed by now.

Turns out there are some lymph blocked in between the little bones of my big toe and a big lump of something on the foot of my bridge. So he concluded that after my injury a lymph blockage formed.

I was completely flabbergasted by this news, because I’ve never heard of such a thing. Sounds too much like quackery to me.

This last week I’ve been to a lymph specialist to get rid of the excess lymph in my foot through lymph drainage. (The first thought that popped into my head when lymph drainage was suggested, was that they were going to take a needle and pull the liquid out. Turns out I wasn’t the only one who thought that.)

Lymph drainage is actually a set of specialised massaging along the lymphatic system in your body.

I really hope this works, because I’m at my wits end and my medical aid savings have been depleted ages ago. Which means the money I’m supposed to put away for my new car, is going towards my foot.

Now I’m walking around with a bound foot (the bandages have to stay on more than 48 hours at a time) and I’ve been given “special” exercises to help my lymphatic system come alive again. Funny thing is, many of the exercises look a lot similar to those my mom and I used to do from an exercise video while growing up. Hmmm…

To be continued.

stupid doctor

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A Very Tall Order, if you please

Ek is vir eers sat gelees aan Engelse boeke en smag vir ‘n boek in my moedertaal. Maar…

Dit moet nie ‘n hartseer storie wees nie en dit moet ook nie my laat voel asof ek my polse wil afkou nie.

Dit moet ‘n lekkerleesboek wees, ‘n storie wat mens in een go verslind en sommer weer wil lees.

Ek weet dis ‘n baie groot ASK, want om een of ander rede is sulke boeke skaars in Afrikaans. Die enigste ander boeke wat ek al gelees het wat in hierdie kategorie val, is Verna Vels se “Liewe Heksie” reeks en die “Maasdorp”-reeks – boeke wat ek laas op skool gelees het.

Die enigste ander boeke wat naby dit gekom het was Riana Scheepers se “Katriena”- reeks.

Wat sou jy voorstel?

tall order

NaNoWriMo Week 4: The Last Chapter

This chapter was never finished.

I was seriously contemplating ending my story with this, because I just can’t think of an appropriate ending.

Until last night. I got a vague idea now. I just have to finish writing the trial scene to see if it plays out.

While I’m writing the trial and thinking of the ending, I started rewriting some of the other chapters.

NaNoWriMo Week 3

I did some more research on court cases just to get a general idea on how it works and I also started reading Kafka’s “The Trial”.

I’ve researched terms and/or sayings with the words “just” or “justice” in them:

  • just as well, just so, just a minute, just deserts, just for the hell of it, not just another pretty face, just for the record, just in case, just in time
  • justice day/Day of Judgement, bring them to justice, poetic justice, Lady Justice.

The symbolism of Lady Justice: a blindfolded woman with a scale in one hand and a sword in the other. The scales is a symbol of balance, the blindfold = impartiality, sword = authority.

Order of a court case:

  • crime committed.
  • person is arrested
  • charge/accusation
  • Plead guilty or not guilty
  • settlement or
  • The Trial. Evidence is presented to determine if the defendant is guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
  • sentencing: determined through jury and/or judge
  • accused can appeal

Other jargon: if person lays a false claim under oath, he or she can be charged with perjury; jury’s verdict, cross examination, hostile witness, the accused, affidavit, bail, insanity plea, juvenile/minor, double jeopardy (protection of defendant; can’t be charged with same crime twice).

 

NaNoWriMo Day 14 Writing, Plot

Writing is like drawing and  colouring in a picture, but instead of using crayons you use words. The plot is the outline, then colour and shading based on how your character develops.

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I’ve written Chapter 2’s outline (plot) today.

Last time I ended with the teens in the house. Then I had to figure out how to introduce the house characters to them, also which room they are in.

Plot outline: Hallway, sitting room, playroom, bathroom, dining room, hallway, library.

The teens are locked up in the bathroom right now, trying to figure out how to escape.

NaNoWriMo Day 13 Chapters

Here is a thought: when does one plan the chapters? Beforehand? While you’re writing? Or afterwards when the story is finished?

Because I think I’m finished with Chapter 1 and started with Chapter 2. The teens are in the house now and meets the man.

Obviously it’s not perfect. It still needs a lot of rewriting, but I’ll work on that later. Otherwise I’ll never reach the ending.

NaNoWrimo Week 2

I’m ashamed to say I haven’t made any real progress so far this week. I couldn’t do anything on Day 9 and Day 10 and yesterday I only made a small, rudimentary drawing of the interior of the house.

I’m so annoyed with myself. I know I should just start writing now. So without further ado, I’d like to say:

Let the writing commence!

NaNoWriMo Day 8 Milieu Research and Ideas

Today, I should try to define or describe the landscape (woods) and the house (inside and outside).

I haven’t decided in which part of the world the story takes place. The reason why I am so reluctant to do this, is because I don’t want to limit my creativity.

Keep in mind these are just ideas for now.

Woods: What should be in my woods. How should it look like?
Trees? Oak trees, dogwood, willows, birch, fallen trees, tree stumps
Paths? Overgrown path perhaps?
Other plants? wild flowers, ferns, shrubs, mushrooms, climbing plants (ivy), nettles, moss.
Animals? squirrels, hedgehogs, mice,
Birds? owls, black birds, cuckoos, doves, singing birds (thrush, nightingale)
Season? Autumn, red brown leaves carpet
Weather? Cold-ish, humid in the woods.

House: I’ve googled some houses just to get an idea of what the outside looks like.

white house black shutters.jpgwhite house with porch.jpg

The house in my head: White-painted wooden house with black roof and shutters. White wooden fence around the property with a black iron gate. White sign with black bold letters. There is a garden with flowers and maybe a big cherry blossom tree?

The house stands in a clearing.

I still have to decide if the house looks abandoned from the outside or is it neat and tidy?

I still have to draw a map of the interior of the house.

NaNoWriMo Day 7 Character descriptions

I should remind myself that it’s only day 7 and it’s okay that my characters are not complete beings yet. I shouldn’t rush it.

I am actually amazed on how much I covered in just a week. I accomplished more in a week than in the last 10 years (Gasp.Shock.Horror!).

Seriously though this is what I have so far:
A group of teenagers are lost in the woods. There is Chris and Sarah (brother and sister), Jenny (Chris’s girlfriend) and Ben (lifelong friend of Chris and Sarah).

They know each other from school and they grew up in the same neighbourhood. Jenny and Sarah is in the same year, but don’t get along. They tolerate each other only because of Chris.

Jenny is the popular girl in school: pretty, blonde hair, the cheerleader type. Materialistic, egotistic. Will do anything to have a good time. She is wearing heels (not such a great idea for a hike into the woods). Wants to be a model when she grows up.

Sarah is not so popular: she has a strong mind and strong principles, know the difference between right and wrong, a bit of a goodie-two-shoes, worries over trivialities, adores and looks up to her brother. She has dark-brown hair and she wears it in a braid. She is wearing a red T-shirt, chocolate brown jeans and sneakers. She aspires to be a lawyer one day.

Chris is tall, lean, has dark-brown hair, wears glasses, athletically built. He is an adventure seeker, always looking for the next adventure. It was his idea to go for a hike through the woods. He likes to explore which makes him one of the popular kids in school. Everyone wants to be his friend.

Ben is Chris’s best friend. They are the same age. He is the clown of the group. A bit sarcastic maybe? He likes to tease the girls. He is a bit shorter than Chris, blonde, has a sharp hooked nose and his hair is styled to stand up on his forehead (it makes him look a little bit like a cockatiel. He is secretly in love with Jenny, but values his friendship with Chris more important. He hasn’t decided what profession he will go into after finishing school.

Then the occupants of the house:

Man: Owner and master of the house. He is wearing a suit with a black top hat and a bow tie (almost like Willy Wonka). Overfriendly, he wants to keep the teens in the house as long as possible. Plays piano, poor singing voice very false almost like a donkey.

Nurse: Silly, short, plump woman, eager to please her master, follows him around like a sick puppy, nervous giggles. (inspiration: Mrs Kitty Forman from That ’70s Show; Charlotte Palmer from Sense and Sensibility). Always chattering away (mostly about nonsense).

Boy: 6/7/8 year old boy. Short, fat. Wearing brown shorts with suspenders over a white cotton shirt with buttons. Found in the playroom upstairs, clutching his crotch as if he really needs to go pee (but for some strange reason he never does). Shrill voice.

***
Hmmm Now that I’ve actually written it down all in one place it actually doesn’t look that bad.

NaNoWriMo Day 6 Ideas!

Finally I have some idea of the house’s occupants. It’s a man, woman and a boy. And with that, I’m starting to get ideas for the plot and how to introduce these characters to the readers.

In one scene, the man will be playing a song on the piano and singing. He will be singing a familiar song but the words will be different.

The boy is up in the playroom. The man and woman will drag the teens (two each) up the stairs to go meet the boy.

I’m still deciding if there will be other teens in the house (who trespassed before). If I do decide to include them, maybe they can be locked up in the playroom in makeshift ‘cages’. One of the prisoners can try to warn the new teens.

Later, when the teens try to sneak out of the house the man will get really angry and say something like:
“Well, if you do not choose to stay, you must be punished!”

I still need a smooth transition from that to the trial.

Tomorrow is Saturday, so I will have more time to spend on each character’s description.