Over the last three weeks, I have been preparing for and undergoing my final hip relacement. This one was "interesting" to say the least!!
I had been approved for surgery and had to go to the reception of the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital to be admitted and book a bed.
I was confronted by a crowd of protesting maintenance staff with ululating, drums and "vuvuzelas" a kind of plastic trumpet used by South African soccer spectators. The questions and answers between myself and the admissions clerk consisted mainly of hand signs - but, we got it done!!
It was quieter on the 7th floor where my ward and bed was a welcome sight.
The following day it became evident that the strike had involved nursing staff as well. I was beginning to wonder if surgery would ever take place...at one stage being asked if I have any snacks to eat along with medication as they weren't sure if dinner would be served.....!!
On the morning of the surgery, and to my surprise, the surgeon himself arrived to wheel my bed down to the operating theatre. We traversed the distance via what looked like a kitchen - dodging piles of rubbish strewn by the protestors..
I was later informed that the route was used to avoid the main elevators which had been disabled by the protestors.
But, with undying admiration to those of the staff dedicated to their calling, I am at home recovering rapidly and ready to work!!