Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Kite Flew Me!

Yesterday I managed to get into and out of the bath on my own – and got myself dressed.  That was an unexpected small miracle.  One of the small miracles I have wanted for a long time is to learn to fly a kite and yesterday was the day!!   The wind had come out and Patrick took me into the park to show me how it is done.  The only problem was that it was not small kite, but a 2m one.  No worries, I said…full with enthusiasm and confidence.  “Babe, this kite is a professional kite.  They use these things for kite surfing”, said, my dear husband.  “Don’t worry – we can handle this”, I responded.   He gave me two strings with straps as handles and told me to hold them tight, so I wound them around my wrists and had them firmly gripped in my hands. I sat down on the park bench, smiling away at the passers-by and not paying too much attention.  He walked down the length of the strings to the kite, did some adjusting and then lifted it. 
With no warning, the kite took off with me being pulled right off the park bench and touching the ground now and again for about 30 meters, landing with quite a thud on the grass.  I did not fly the kite.  The kite flew me!!  And to add insult to injury, I had landed in a patch of dobbelintjies (small star-shaped thorns).

But I am not giving up – Patrick will find me or build me a smaller kite, one that I can be in control of.  I will still learn to fly a kite, but this time I will make sure it is a kite for a child and not a professional surf jumping kite.   I might not have flown my kite yet, but I am still winning.  I will get up again and learn to fly a kite

Monday, November 13, 2017

I am Still Winning

I had a few small miracles I wanted in my life before I die – one of them was to swing on a swing and feel the wind blow my hair back.  This weekend I did that – it was not quite what I had imagined, but I went for a swing in the park.  I had been sleeping for most of my days over the previous week, but that need to swing was overpowering.  There are other small miracles I want; like learning to fly a kite.  That will have to wait a while.
This morning I decided I would bath, knowing my nurse was in the house, I thought I could do it alone.  I got in slowly, sat on my knees and then slid each leg out from under me and I bathed.  But I could not get out.  I tried and tried and then I started shouting for Vimbai.  She was outside and did not hear me.  So I sat in that bath, every now and then attempting to get out on my own.  I lost the battle, shouting once more for Vimbai.  She came and it was a struggle for even the two of us to get me out.  I was exhausted to the point that she had to dry me, dress me and put me back in bed.

Another piece of my independence has gone and I value my independence so much.  
And I cry for one more thing I can’t do on my own.  There is less and less I can do on my own and for myself.  Many say miracles can happen and I could be healed, but I no longer believe that.  It is what it is.  That is why my miracles are small; like swinging and flying a kite.   I am more determined than ever to die on my own terms.  I will not allow myself to be totally dependent on others for my every breath, nor am I prepared to suffer what is insufferable.  But until then, I will continue to write and to connect to others via social media.  While I can still do that, I am still winning. 

Friday, November 3, 2017

Small Dreams

Chronic illness is one of the most isolating experiences.  You become isolated because people just do not understand your reality.  They slowly move out of your life and get on with the lives that you used to be part of.  You feel left behind.  I am not lonely, but I am alone in this reality of mine.
People don’t understand me anymore – we talk past one another.  They have no idea of what my reality is like, but I remember what the reality of a healthy person is.  I hang my head in shame now that I remember my chronically ill grandmother and how little attention I paid to her.  She just could not leave her bed so did not take part in any family activities and would lie in a darkened room day after day.  Yes, I remember bathing her and sitting and talking to her as a young adult, all the while hoping that the visit could be over.   I understand now how isolated and neglected and starved of human company she was.    I have social media but in those days, there was no such thing.  How lonely she must have been.
Words cannot describe the horror of waking up sick every day and of being sick every minute of every day.  Some days are better than others.  Some days I can handle the pain but I get those days when I think I can’t take it anymore and just want to end it all. 
Miracles do happen and I am defying the odds to become part of the “normal” world again.  The verdict of “there is no cure” just refuses to sink into my brain to take me to a place of acceptance.  Every day I live by grace, minute by minute and some days hour by hour.  How I wish I could go to a park and swing like a child again, to walk on the sand picking up bits of driftwood and seaweed or to learn to fly a kite.  My dreams are no longer big dreams but rather dreams of normal things that I know will lift my spirits.  I know I won’t be able to walk on a beach again, but I could sit and watch the waves.  I know that I could be taken to a park and I know I could sit on a swing and soar through the air as though I have no care in the world and I know that I could be taught to fly a kite.  

But who will take me?  Who will teach me?  Who will hold my hand while I pursue these dreams of mine? 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Patient Patience or Participating Patient

Most people see their doctor and do exactly what they are told to do.  They walk away after a five-minute consultation with a prescription and then they follow the doctor's orders.  These patients leave their health and their lives in the doctor’s hands, when in fact he has hundreds of 5-minute patients.  This kind of behaviour from a patient is fine if you have bronchitis, the flu or a migraine headache or any other minor ailment that requires no thought or relationship between the doctor and patient.
I am not one of those patients.  I am a participating patient and discuss the treatment, the appropriateness of it, the side effects and the long-term prognosis.  I have had to become a participating patient because I have a rare disease that is diagnosed only once in every ten million people.  Expecting a doctor to know about my condition is asking the impossible so I do the research, I listen to my body, I suggest the treatment regime and I take control of my own body and my own health.  I will never leave a doctor to treat me according to his limited knowledge of PID, SID or the rare kind of leukaemia I have. If I had done that, I would have been dead long ago.

I do the research.  I belong to a USA research group run by specialists via the internet by inserting my blood results into their database, they answer any questions and also discuss alternative treatments.   I, not the doctor, make the decisions on how I am going to stay alive for as long as possible with the least amount of discomfort.  Strangely enough, doctors actually sit back and listen to me and give me what I need because I am so much more well-informed than they are.  However, not every doctor would be willing to accommodate a participating patient because it dents their egos and makes them feel inadequate.  It is imperative to find a doctor who will have the humility to know that he does not know it all and who is prepared to have a relationship with you – a doctor who has a vested interest in you as a person and not in the money you are paying to see him.  

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Trapped - (Prisoner No: 213720963)

They got me trapped
Whole new different day
Some old thing
It's hard to breath’
When you ain’t well homey
No reason to live
When you ain’t got nothing to tell phony
Stress, no chance
Just to drop tears
It’s hell being in a cell
Proper communication becomes dead
But what wouldn’t I do for cash?
It got me trapped
Like Baleka in parliament
For a maximum of eleven years
Charges?  All HB and theft
Now I got nothing left but myself
As a man, you should understand
No one can cover long for your back
Hard times call for real family and friends
Because when you trapped, people disappear
Like where are they now Nas?
I only see them
When I’ve closed my eyes
I’m broke inside
No plan seems to ever work Like a drug addict’s hope on crack
Paul, I pray that these walls would crack
They got me trapped
Like dirt on a dustbin
To see the sun
I’m dependant on the key
This makes me ill
It's like these walls
Ain’t only got ears
They as well speak
This is sick
I miss them streets.

(Prisoner No: 213720963)

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Some interesting writing coming out of St Albans Medium B prison.

A medium B prisoner's review of my book Shattered. If you would like a copy, inbox me as they are cheaper than getting from Amazon. Literary Analysis of Shattered by Dianne Lang.
The title of the book Shattered truly encapsulates the story as everything that the author held dear was shattered.
The setting is easily identified as the author gives direct information and the language usage is very synonymous with the work. The reader can establish the framework, time and place as well as the context of the work.
The author is very forthcoming with appearance, personality and actions of the characters. The Protagonist is the author and she makes it easy to identify with the characters as she portrays them in the light she sees them. The actions of the characters are interwoven with the plot, subplots and themes. These aspects allow the audience to visualise the characters and make them credible and real in the reader’s mind. The contrasting characters are perfectly used as “foils” to set off other characters to advantage or disadvantage. I identified on a personal level with the flow of the protagonist as her soliloquy is spread throughout as the conflict that occurs is portrayed by the characters.
The narrative is very linear even the flashbacks are too chronological. However, the denouement is perfectly implemented. Not all the sub-plots are intertwined and can confuse the reader at times, but it’s resolved in the climax and conclusion of the work. This technique forces the reader to focus and extend their ability to think laterally. I deem it excellent as the sequenced storyline portrays the author's abilities to create a credible plot.
Themes and subthemes
The exposition identifies the main theme and conveys the message of the author. Once again the soliloquy of the protagonist shows her beliefs and opinions and uses symbolism as a substitution of a concrete image for an abstract idea. The sub-themes include pain, suffering and loss of humanity. They are conveyed literally and figuratively and can only be revealed with understanding or an in-depth study of the work as they are symbolic.
The writer’s style is very individualistic. Her use of diction and language usage is very colloquial and concise. The purpose and setting also contribute significantly to her individual style.
The tone in which she conveys her emotions, underlying feelings and attitude differs as the storyline progress, therefore, the tone differs. This gives the reader a very mysterious mood that captures their interest making it hard to put down at times.
The author’s use of language devices also contributes to the confusion that leads to mystery and her view on forgiveness.
(Medium B Prisoner - Clayton)

Friday, September 29, 2017

Ghetto Episode by Prisoner No 218788199

Ghetto Episode

Reminiscent of my days as a youth
These memories will never fade especially when it’s still the same
And if it’s not the government will tell me who’s to blame

Where the money burns holes in his pocket, spending millions of rands
Signing huge cheques for weapons of mass destruction with our tax
While I’m in the corner killing myself with cigarettes
Then go home and share my house with flies and rats.

At least I’m generous, you selfish it’s obvious
More than a wolf in a sheep's skin you are devious
Calling me notorious, obviously, I’m curious
To make it big and victorious

I don’t regret things I have done
I’m a matriculated ghetto son
Who just looked out for his black brothers
Had some profound lessons from my fallen fathers

Trying to play messenger as the corner occupier
And that ghetto soul whoés a day-night crier
On my ghetto episode, we were all chased by fire.