Farts, Indigestion, and Telephone Calls

Oupa en Ouma sit op die stoep
Oupa gee ’n harde poep
Ouma sê: “Eet ’n peer”
Oupa sê: “Dan poep ek weer.”

This was a silly little rhyme that we as primary school children recited on the play ground. What is it with kids at that age and toilet humour? I see it with my boys (please tell me it’s not limited to the male species only) – they love farting.

Okey dokey, too much information.

Back to migration and how on earth will I get those two connected? Ah, the art of a great writer is to take two seemingly unrelated topics and combine them to give you something to think about.

Tuesday night my beloved came home with symptoms which resemble a multitude of conditions. The most worrying of those conditions is a heart attack. The other two conditions are a panic attack and GERD (very fancy shmancy word for helse erg sooibrand). Off he went at about 8-9ish, to the emergency department at Joondalup, because we do subscribe to the better safe than sorry mantra in our home, especially when it comes to matters of the heart. (Apart from the live and let live one regarding the spiders.) As he came home just after half past two on the Wednesday morning, after a bevy of ECG’s and blood tests, the verdict was clear. “Nothing wrong, but go and see your GP tomorrow.” So we saw the GP. Not our GP for we do not really have one, ons word mos nie siek nie. He made a couple of phone calls and an appointment with a cardiologist was made. Hubby kept telling the GP that it feels like bad heartburn and almost as if a wind is trapped inside his chest cavity, and the GP replied, “Let’s sort the heart issue out, if there is nothing we’ll get you to swallow a camera and check out your stomach.” Hmmm okay, maybe we go with heart condition… or maybe a camera won’t be that bad… You know that place between the devil and the deep blue sea? It is not a comfortable place to be at all.

And this is relevant to you, how?

Because after the initial, “We’ll get through this. You will be fine,” came the, “The people back home (South Africa) does not have to know anything about this, until we know what is going on. They do not need to get worried and what can they do in any case?”

Today I had a phone call with my mum who went to the doctor to have “stuff” cut out of her chest, under local anaesthetics in his rooms, and they will send it away for tests. Then she informed me that a while ago the doctors thought she may have cancer in her back. “Did I tell you?” she asks! My word! Why did she not tell me? Probably for the same reason why we did not tell them that one of us was hooked up to a machine for a good five hours on Tuesday night.

Dear Migrant to the Great South Land,

this may not happen in the first couple of months from your arrival, but there will come a time when things are not going well for you. When you are ill, of you may have lost your job, or you are dreadfully unhappy. You will find yourself not sharing this with your loved ones who stayed behind. You will reason that you do not want them to worry. And I so get it. I really do. You will also find that life goes on without you. And you may start to feel that you do not really matter.

However, today when I heard that my mum had that scare, and that she had to have things cut from her, I was saddened. Because it is in the sharing of our troubles that our load sometimes become lighter. It is in the knowledge that another human being truly cares about you, truly have your best interest at heart, and yes, truly pray for you, that you sometimes find your strength.

Many of us are always aware of a possible call that may come… that will come. A trip back to the south of Africa that will not be a joyous trip, but one filled with tears.

Sometimes you can give the good news, “Ag nee wat, dit was sommer net ’n poep wat vasgeslaat het.” And you can have a laugh together, knowing that they thought of you constantly.

I don’t know what the right way is to deal with this, but I want you to know that you will have days like this as well. Share it with them that stay behind. To only share the good news, as people do on Facebook does not help in their perceptions of your life.

So, tomorrow (Friday the 13th of March, no none of that Friday the 13th nonsense for me) we have the appointment with the cardiologist, at the Hollywood medical centre, nogals. Hope they don’t charge Hollywood prices! Me and the boys will be having a playdate at Synergy park while hubby does his thing. Then he will be joining us for a relaxing arvo at the play area, because I have noticed that he can not sit and just be any more.

So let’s hope Tuesday was a panic attack or better yet, ’n grote poep!

Much love



To read about the necessity of a will for a new South African Migrant to Australia, please follow this link

3 thoughts on “Farts, Indigestion, and Telephone Calls

  1. Pingback: Are your Affairs in Order? (Part one of why an Australian will is important for South African Migrants) | Marlize Venter

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