A new day...A new dawn...Strength building...More favorite photos...

A hornbill on a tree in our garden.
"Sighting of the Day in the Bush"
Already, the toad is gaining weight from the excellent nighttime pickings of flying insects near the light fixture.
Once again this morning we took off for Doc Theo's office for our 9:00 am treatment on my leg.  But this time, it was different.  After appointments with him every two to three day to debride the wound in my left leg, remnants of the infections in both legs since the triple coronary bypass surgery in February, today, we finally made progress.
A giraffe stopping by.
As he worked on yet another layer in the debridement process, he discovered under all the layers he hadn't been able to access until now, there were four remaining stitches hidden under all the painful layers of skin.  

With considerable pain on my part and apologies for hurting me on his part, he removed the stitches which looked like they were made of wire instead of some type of fabric.  Tom held my hand as I writhed in pain as Theo carefully removed each of the stitches.
Tusker's huge tusks.  We haven't seen him in many months and wonder if he was culled.
As soon as they were out I'd already begun to feel some relief.  He was thrilled to finally find these stitches stating that they were one of many reasons, my leg had failed to heal these past many weeks.  
Attempting a nap in the garden when tusks get in the way.
He removed more dead tissue with surgical tweezers and a scalpel to reveal what appears to be pink skin on the way to healing.  We are so hopeful.  He told me I could return to the cardiac rehab of walking several times a day but after not walking at all or when using the walker for the past several weeks, I am weak but not feeling frail.
However, when we returned and I walked five minutes without the walker, still tiptoeing on my left leg, I could feel how beneficial the walking will be.  I set the alarm on my phone for every two hours when I'll get up and walk for another five-minute increment.  By the end of today, I'll have walked 30 minutes.
The Mrs.
Tomorrow, I'll walk for six minutes every two hours to work up to 36 minutes.  Within a few days, I'll be able to walk 10 minutes every two hours to work up to 20 minutes twice a day, my goal before we leave here in 12 days.  At that point, I should be able to walk through the various airports during layovers on our way to Ireland.

Once we arrive in Ireland and get unpacked I'll join a fitness center nearby to continue the walking on a treadmill and also begin strengthening my upper body using weights.  Most likely we'll go to the fitness center two or three times a week but I'll continue walking each day.
Tree frog foam nest, made overnight above the cement pond.
Having worked out most of my adult life, I feel experienced enough to establish a safe and effective means of rebuilding my health and fitness.  I am looking forward to feeling stronger after all of these surgeries and periods where I could barely use my arms or legs to help get me up from the sofa or bed.

Within a week of returning to the house in Marloth Park after the bypass surgery, I was able to stand on my own from a seated or lying position, using my legs for stability.  But once, the leg infections worsened, I couldn't use my legs to help me stand or my arms due to the painful chest subsequent to open heart surgery.
Singing oxpecker atop a kudu's back.
I bobbled and teetered when trying to get up but refused to let Tom help me.  Bit by bit, I strengthened my upper body enabling me to use my arms to aid in standing from a seated position.

Oh, the things we take for granted.  I often think of those in much worse situations than I have been during this time...those who are paralyzed or have no limbs to support them.  
Movie night in the bush.
Unfortunately, us humans know...everything is relative, and it's our own situation at any given time that comes to the forefront in our minds when we're struggling to accomplish what normally would have been a simple task.

I am so grateful to be on the mend.  Doc Theo says it may take three more months for my legs to heal entirely and we'll have to continue changing bandages every few days for months to come but we can handle this.  I'll be wearing the compression stockings day and night for months to come.

A handsome male impala in the garden.
Being well, once again, provides sufficient motivation for me to do whatever it takes to continue to improve and with a great sense of happiness and relief, to continue on our journey. 

By far, this has been the toughest health-related period of my entire life, one I will never forget as I make a daily effort to be strong and fit and stay that way for as long as I am gifted with LIFE itself.

May your days be filled with appreciation for life.

Photo from one year ago today, April 29, 2018:
This is a common sight in Marloth Park on holiday weekends.  It's packed with tourists sitting in the back of a "bachie" which is Afrikaans for "pick up truck."  For more photos, please click here.


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