Posted in Press releases



It’s true: Babies don’t come with manuals. So, if your baby spikes a fever and appears to be in pain, it’s natural for even the calmest of moms and dads to panic.

When your baby or infant has pain and fever, turn to recently launched and conveniently packaged  Panado® Paediatric Syrup, Peppermint 5 ml Sachets.

What Is Fever and Is It Dangerous to Children?

Throughout the ages, certain myths have caused an uproar… kiss a frog and get a prince, goldfish only have a three-second memory, and all fevers are bad for children.

Fever is defined as a body temperature of > (more than/equal to) 38 degrees C.1a  As strange as it may seem, fevers can be a good thing. A fever is your child’s body’s way of fighting off infections and helping speed up recovery.1b 

What Causes Pain And Fever In Children?

  • Viral infections are common in infants and children, and most are not serious, including the common cold and a sore throat.2
  •  Teething can be uncomfortable for young children as the tooth cuts through the gums,3a while in older children, cavities may also cause toothache.3b Childhood vaccinations can also cause fever and local reaction (pain, swelling and redness).1c
  • Headaches are common in children, affecting up to 75% of school-aged children,4a and are commonly caused by viral or an upper respiratory tract infection.4b 

Why choose Panado® Paediatric Syrup, Peppermint 5 ml Sachets?

Recently launched and conveniently packaged Panado® Paediatric Syrup, Peppermint 5 ml Sachets have been made with little ones in mind.  It contains paracetamol, which boasts more than 150 years of clinical experience5a, and is a trusted choice for many South African families to treat headaches, pain and fever. It’s also gentle on little tummies.5b Panado® Paediatric Syrup, Peppermint 5 ml Sachets are great for on-the-go parents and super convenient for when you’re travelling those long distances!

Other Panado® Products Suitable for Your Child 

In addition to Panado® Paediatric Syrup Peppermint 5 ml Sachet, Panado’s range for children include

  • Panado® Paediatric Syrup Strawberry (50 ml | 100 ml),6
  •  Panado® Paediatric Syrup Peppermint Alcohol and Sugar-Free (50 ml | 100 ml),7
  • and Panado® Infant Drops 20 ml.8

Make pain and fever care easy by shopping for Panado products from independent pharmacies and selected Clicks, Dis-Chem, and Pick ‘n Pay stores. For more information, visit and join the conversations on Facebook. #Panado #ADoseOfCare



1a,b,c: Green R, Jeena P, Kotze S, et al. Management of acute fever in children: Guideline for community healthcare providers and pharmacists. S Afr Med J 2013;103(12):948-954. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.7207. [Cited 2022 March 29]; Available from

  1. Tesini BL. Overview of Viral Infections in Children. Merck Manual Consumer Version [online] September 2019. [Cited 2022 March 29]; Available

3a,b: Hennessy BJ. Toothache. Merck Manual Consumer Version [online] September 2018. [Cited 2022 March 29]; Available from

4a,b: Bonthius DJ, Hershey AD. Headache in children. Beyond the basics [online] October 2019. [Cited 2022 March 29]; Available 

5a,b: 150 years of paracetamol. GP Pharma Update Mar/Apr 2019. [Cited 2022 March 29]

  1. Panado® Paediatric Strawberry Approved package insert March 2002.
  2. Panado® Paediatric Syrup Alcohol and Sugar-Free & Panado® Paediatric Syrup package insert. April 2010.
  3. Panado® Infant Drops (Drops) approved professional information, August 1990.

Posted in Health & Wellness

Keeping your family active during winter

The days are getting colder and we are all looking at ways to snuggle up and keep warm.

However, as a family it’s still very important to stay active. The best way to do this is to set put togther a family plan that includes physical activities.
Children spend an average of 3 hours a day watching screens and many teens and children do not get regular weekly exercize.
Children should, ideally spend 1 hour a day outside, engaged in play and vigorous activity. Adults need 30 minutes exercize a day to stay healthy.
So, exercising as a family is not only benefits our health but it also teaches our children how to become healthy adults.

How to set out a physical activity plan for your family

With so many other things to do a week, taking care of everyone’s physical health may seem really overwealming but this is where a good schedule will help co-ordinate your family and keep you all physically healthy.
So, how do you set up a physical activity plan for your family? 
  • Existing activities – examine which physical activities your family currently take part in. Prehaps your child does an extra mural, you enjoy an evening run or your family hikes each Sunday. Chart these into your plan first.
  • Options – for those families not yet active, or for the families wanting to add more activities that include all family members sit down and brainstorm some activities first. Make a list of options that meet your family dynamic, interests, energy and physical level and that are age appropriate.
  • Time limits – set time limits to how much physical activity you wish to participate in each week. This could be a 30 minute walk or a 1hour hike. By having a time limit it will help the less enthusiastic members of your family to  complete the activity. This also sets the basis to physical activity becoming a habit in your weekly routine.
  •  Be flexible – Remember that life happens and many factors could determine you not reaching your goals for the week. Mood, health, weather or other engagements. Instead of feeling guilty or frustrated rather enjoy your family in a less demanding way.

Some low cost family activities

Not every family has the resources to join gyms, add additional extra murals or endulge in new exercize equipment.


Every family can enjoy these low cost and free activities to become healthy.


Low cost family activity ideas

  • Walking – walk around your neighborhood, in the park, at the beach or walk the dog
  • Ball games– winter is the perfect time to bring out those soccer balls.  cricket sets or other ball games.


  • School yard games – games like tag, hide and go seek or red rover on the yard or park will keep the kids entertained.
  • Fly a kite– Cape Town autumn winds are perfect for kite flying. You could make your own first then see who flies their kite the highest.
  • Park runs – join a local park run . These are every Saturday morning and great for all ages.
  • Beach clean ups – use your physical time to do good and join a beach or river clean up


  • Bike rides– family bike rides or scooter rides are great to not only see your neighborhood but to keep fit too.
  • Roller skating – Go roller skating, roller blading or ice skating.
  • Dance parties– for bad weather you could turn up the music and have a dance party.
There are so many other inexpensive ways to get moving as a family and stay healthy. The goal however is to always have fun.
Posted in Family Life, Family Time, Health & Wellness

A new me needs new shoes

A new year, a new me is the mantra that many of us chant as we write our New year resolutions. All of us want to become our best selves.  I know I’m certainly chanting this into 2022.

One of my biggest resolutions this year is in relation to my own health and physical fitness.
I’m 5 years into pregnancy weight, bad health, broken bones, blood clots, and covid munching. So to be honest, I’m not at all happy with my weight.

Lifestyle changes

However, I’m also not a fan of diets or the diet culture and so believe that if I’m going to lose the chicken wings, spare tyre, and double chin it is going to have to be a lifestyle choice.
I eat very healthy and aside from smaller portions, less late-night snacking, and actually sticking to 3 meals a day instead of one with way too much coffee, I don’t need to alter my meals much.
Healthwise I’ve chosen to consult with my medical practitioner and have them check what needs checking to treat any underlying conditions, allowing me to be healthy enough to lose the weight naturally and effectively.
My mindset is also in the right space. My lifestyle change into a more healthy one and my weight loss goal are for myself and I’m motivated by myself. So many times we want to lose weight for others and set ourselves up for failure.
One of the things I love is walking, so for me, that is the best exercise to start with. I’m not yet fit enough to run the park run but I can walk it and so am not taking myself until I feel I can fun it again. Hamish and I walk every day and from next week we will be doing our beach walks each morning.
But walking means we need good, sturdy shoes that will support our weight and offer comfort on long distances.
So, I recently spent some time looking for some new shoes to represent the new me. I was also looking for affordable shoes that looked great with all of my exercise outfits. Often I’ll wear tights if I’m taking Hamish out for the day to the park, beach or on a playdate and I wanted walking shoes that looked stylish and complimented my outfit but expressed my personality at the same time.

Urban Art sneakers

To find my ideal walking shoes I visited DC one online and shopped their stunning catalogue of shoes.
It was incredibly hard to choose just one set of shoes, and honestly, their pricing is so affordable that I could have bought a few pairs. There were also so many styles I really liked.
I finally settled on some Urban art sneakers for both Hamish and I.
Hamish got a light blue pair, which has little mesh holes in the canvas for easy breathing and keeping his feet cool as we walk. Inside the shoe is soft and cushioned for longer distances. I bought his size hoping they would fit as I wasn’t certain with doing online shopping sizing can often be too big or too small. They are a perfect fit.
My shoes are pastel pink and everyone who has seen them has commented on the shade. The shoes look stylish to add to my mom wear wardrobe as well as to exercise. Inside is soft and cushioned, making them super comfortable.
Online shopping is reliable through DC One. Their service is great and their website is user-friendly making your shoe shopping experience stress-free.
In conclusion 
For me choosing great shoes was the most difficult part of getting back to a regular walking routine. However, I am super motivated to keep moving in my Urban art sneakers.
Posted in Blog posts, Family Life, Health & Wellness

Tips for outside play with your toddler

Studies have shown that a small child needs a minimum of 15 minutes outside play each day. As a mom of a busy little boy I personally find that 15 minutes would be way too short a time for him to get all his energy out but now that we live in a flat and especially during the very windy or rainy days, we do try to get at least those 15-30minutes outdoor play in during our day.

Why is outdoor play important?

Playing outdoors has many benefits for children (and adults) some of them include :

  • Vitamin D – Often referred to as the sunshine vitamin as the sun is the best source of vitamin D , being outside helps your child get the vitamin D needed to promote calcium intake to grow their bones and help their bodies to develop.
  • Gross motor skills – outdoor play promotes gross motor skills and gives a child wide open spaces to exert themselves.
  • Fitness- being outdoors promotes a healthier lifestyle and encourages your child to boost their fitness level.
  • Knowledge – Being outside is a great way for your child to understand and explore the world around them. Being outdoors will naturally encourage them to discover and explore, promoting a love of learning and developing their natural curiosity. It will also encourage them to use all their senses as they investigate their surrounding.

How to get your child outdoors more often

Now that we know the benefits of taking our children outdoors to play, here are some fun ways to get outside for some quick play time with your toddler.

Dress well

When headed outside, check the weather. Often times, as in Cape Town we can have four seasons in one day, I will pack a warmer or cooler set of clothing in a bag to take with. if it is slightly drizzling, you can add a raincoat and some wellington boots for some fun running in the rain or if you are heading to the beach pack in a costume and towel. Be careful of  your child over heating if they are dressed warmly. When we exercise our bodies get warm and if dressed too warmly your child may over heat.


Keeping hydrated is very important, even if you are only outside for a short while, your child will be exerting themselves through play so always offer them a bottle of water or juice after or during  play.

Let outdoor play be natural

Introduce outdoor play as a natural part of your daily routine, this way your child learns to enjoy being outside and sees it as a natural thing to do.

Indulge in your child’s interests

Indulge in your child’s interests and encourage their discovery. If your child likes flowers, plant a garden. If they love bugs, go on a bug hunt. Find them a strong tree to climb if they enjoy climbing or help them to make mud pies, build pretend roads or look for imaginary fairies under mushrooms.

Go for a walk

Often if the day has been busy or Hamish has been extra busy that day we stop what we are doing and go for  a little walk. These need not be long and can include looking for flowers, spotting birds, counting cars, identifying colours and numbers and learning road signs. you could take a scooter or bike with you to exercise those gross motor muscle. Often even the shortest walk is enough to refocus and break the monotony of the day.

Go for a run

One of our favourite ways to get outside as a family was to join a park run. (Pre-coivid) Running gets your endorphins flowing and is good for you. Take a ball, hula hoop, skipping rope or cricket set outside and get running.

Make it fun

Never let your child feel like being outdoors is a negative experience or a chore as this will affect their fitness levels as they are older.

Some fun activities you could try with your children are ;

  • wash the car together
  • take paints outdoors and paint rocks
  • have an outdoor picnic
  • go on a scavanger hunt
  • join a beach clean up
  • spend time planting a garden
  • build a fort in the yard
  • fly a kite
  • play a game like cricket, baseball or rounders
  • kick a ball
  • play in sand or mud
  • add a container of water
  • use water guns or water balloons
  • play with some toys in the shade
  • play in a paddling pool
  • search for insects, butterflies and frogs

Which ever way you choose to enjoy the outdoors always make it fun. Setting a positive example to our children now will help them enjoy keeping fit and healthy as adults.



Posted in Brands we love

Making Your New Years Resolutions a Reality

After a long relaxing holiday, it is sometimes difficult to get back to reality and face the New Year.

The festive season is so busy with holiday plans and family festivities, you never have the time to think about yourself and all that you will need to help and make your New Year’s resolution a reality.

For most of us , we promise that we will go to the gym when we start work after our holidays. Our resolution is to live a healthier lifestyle and then the excuses start…

“I don’t have a gym bag, I’m too scared to use my new phone as I might drop it at the gym and I don’t have the right equipment, food or clothing to get into this new lifestyle that I have promised myself.”

The best way to make sure that you actually follow through with these promises is to make an investment and buy the equipment you will need to accomplish these goals.

How to make your New Year’s resolutions a reality

We have put together a list of things that you will need to help make your new-year’s resolution a reality.

Solo Hybrid bags:

Now that you need to go to the gym after work, you need to get a bag that is easy to carry and that can separate your sweaty gym clothes from your office equipment.

Solo hybrid bags can be carried anyway you need and converts from a Carry bag to Backpack in seconds.

You will never need another bag for your new lifestyle again.

Priced from R899

Body Glove wireless earphones

You would like to listen to your favourite tunes at the gym but you hate untangling the wires before you start your workout.

Body Glove mini-Bluetooth ear-buds are sweat proof and no wires will interfere with your workout.

Priced at R999

SNüG wireless chargers

The New Year is so jam-packed with work that your phone’s battery does not last the day.

You can charge your phone with the wireless magnetic car charger or take power with you and charge with the wireless charging powerbank from SNüG.

Priced from R399.

UAG rugged phone cases

These rugged phone cases are drop tested and built for an active lifestyle. Whether you are in the gym or on a hike, you can be confident that your phone will always be protected against accidental drops.

Priced from R599

Now that you have all the equipment you need, and you have invested the money to kick start your new lifestyle, you will no longer be able to put it off and this year, you might actually follow through with the goals that you have been setting for yourself for the last few years.

These products are available in SA from Vodacom stores, Incredible Connection, and online on, and

Posted in Blog posts

Rebounding with Lisa Raleigh and Power Footware

Two weeks ago I was invited to come meet Lisa Raleigh and experience the new Power Footware at Shoe City in Canal Walk for the It’s your move activation.

I arrived at the store and couldn’t find Lisa. At first thought I was at the wrong store . It turned out, as the helpful staff explained that Lisa’s plane was delayed.I did however notice the neat row of exercize equipment staring ominously at me.

Totally intimidated by the night before’s googling on rebounding , I glanced at the mini trampolines in total fear.

My health and balance no where near my optimum levels after 2 years of breaks and blood clots I began to worry about this rebounding class I was about to take.

So, I turned my mind to prettier things …the new Power footware.To say I love them is an understatement. I fell head over heels for this particular pair of black and pink Power shoes.

Too afraid to look at the price , because we all know what a good pair of exercize shoes costs, I was impressed to later find out these retail at only R599.00.

Now you can afford to have one in every colour.

The shoes are stylish and avaliable in colours that would compliment any sport outfit. There is both a male and female range.The exclusion of laces on the ladies shoes is great , especially if you on the go and don’t want to be worried about laces coming undone.

The shoe is light weight and only designed for low impact activities like walking or rebounding.For me these are perfect as I walk my way back to a fitness level to be able to run again.After drooling over the shoes I was eager to meet Lisa Raleigh and try my balance rebounding.Lisa arrived, totally unperplexed and immediatly went to work. Her professionalism was as apparent as her love of rebounding.I was able to ask the questions I had prepared … ( please don’t quote Lisa here as I’m writing the answers as I recall them not as they were quoted)

Is rebounding safe if I’m unfit and recovering from broken bones and a blood clot? Yes. Because rebounding is a low impact sport you aren’t required to jump high or do outrageous movements, eliminating damage to your back or knees. You can rebound for short periods at a time making up a full workout throughout the day and therefore can go at your own pace building up stamina.

Is it safe for your toddler to join you ?Lisa has her own little toddler who jumps with her and often joins mom’s class. This was great to hear as any forms of exercize I do currently involves a 2 year old underfoot.And then came the true test as I slipped on a pair of Power shoes ( the black and pink ones) and began a work out with Lisa.


Firstly, it’s not as intimidating as it looks. But I did feel totally unbalanced. So it was great to hear that you can purchace a stabilising bar for your trampoline.

Secondly ….those shoes!!!!! Wow! Not only were they light weight, easy to put on and super comfortable, I felt like I was walking on air. They are really soft and great for rebounding.

Thirdly Lisa has a fun friendly vibe which motivated me to continue jumping. I love that she supplies a usb with exersize routines to follow with her products as I always find it easier to follow a workout than to do my own.I didn’t jump long but my legs felt the workout early into the routine.

I am a new fan and looking into buying myself a rebounder.

As for the shoes ….Sadly I had to take them off …but I did whisper in Santa’s ear what I’d like to find under the Christmas tree.

Posted in Brands we love


Health and wellness expert, Lisa Raleigh has been appointed as the new brand ambassador for Power Footwear South Africa.

As a health and wellness expert, Lisa provides expert advice, inspiration and motivation specialising in digestion, stress management, obesity and more recently, fitness management.

This exciting new relationship with the brand will be celebrated through a series of in-store activations at Shoe City stores nationwide where Power footwear is stocked. Lisa will also meet consumers as she showcases her latest fitness management program, Rebounding.

“Lisa is a great match for Power as she brings her unique brand of integrity and drive to the table as an active voice of the targeted consumers,” says Swastika Juggernath, Bata South Africa Marketing Manager. “As one of South Africa’s leading wellness and fitness influencers, we are confident that this will drive engagement and interest into Shoe City stores countrywide. Her authentic and talented persona is everything that today’s female consumer is looking to be – we are thrilled to see what heights Lisa will take the Power brand to,” added Juggernath.

Lisa will first appear in the brand’s campaign promoting the It’s your Move footwear range which is all about flexibility and adapting to the natural motion of your foot.

Together with her fitness program Rebounding, Lisa will Rebound with Power showcasing how you can get fit with freedom and flexibility.

This campaign will feature in-store, online and via print and social media.

Rebounding brings a fun and unique twist to conventional cardiovascular exercises, as it involves jumping on a mini trampoline combined with jumping jacks, twisting, running in place, bouncing on one leg at a time, and dancing. In addition,Rebounding is very low impact and allows you to do jumping and aerobic exercises for much longer intervals than you could on solid ground without tiring out or creating harmful oxidative and adrenal stress.

In addition,Rebounding is very low impact and allows you to do jumping and aerobic exercises for much longer intervals than you could on solid ground without tiring out or creating harmful oxidative and adrenal stress.

“I am looking forward to my new partnership with Power Footwear,” says Lisa Raleigh. “There is always a sense of excitement when working with a new brand and I am confident that my ethos and what I represent will draw attention to Power and engage new brand believers and enthusiasts!” Raleigh further commented that she is excited to engage with fans.

Read about my experience rebounding with Power and the Its your move shoes here

Posted in Family Life

What happens to your body when you add pink Himalayan salt to your diet ?

I’m sure that you’ve all seen pink Himalayan salt in one form or another. Many of you may even have read an article on the benefits of adding it to your diet but for those who, like me only knew it was good for you and not why , I thought I’d share what I recently learnt whilst adding pink Himalayan salt to our diets.


Originating in Asia , it is believed that 200 million years ago a bed of crystalised sea salt was buried under a layer of volcanic lava.

Over time the salt was preserved from the elements by the layer of lava which had formed into rock. Because of this , these salts have been untouched by man or the environment and are therefore in pristine condition.

Trace elements

Our bodies contain 84 trace minerals. These 84 trace minerals needed to sustain our bodies are also found in pink Himalayan salt.

A few of these trace minerals are :

▫️Sodium chloride















Benefits of using Pink Himalayan Salt

By adding Pink Himalayan Salt to your diet not only are you helping to maintain your body’s optimal health but you are also ingesting less sodium per serving as this salt is less refind and therefore served in larger sizes.

Some of the other health benefits are :

💮Improved vascular health

💮Improved respiratory and lung function

💮A stable pH balance of your cells

💮Combats aging effects

💮Improved sleep habits

💮Improved sex drive

💮Reduced levels of muscle cramps

💮Improved hydration

💮Strengthening of the bones

💮A lowered blood pressure

💮Improved blood circulation

💮Detoxification of heavy metals

What is the difference between table salt and Pink Himalayan Salt?

As you can see from this comparison table from Curejoy there are quite a number of considerable differences.

Table salt is more refined, less salty and contains impurities where as Pink Himalayan Salt is less refined, more salty and pure, not affected by impurities.

Many of the minerals in table salt are lost in the purification process while Pink Himalayan Salt contains all 84 minerals and electrolytes.

Table salt, if eaten in excess can cause high blood pressure whilst Pink Himalayan Salt aids in blood circulation.

Pink Himalayan salt contains a natural iodine, where iodine is artificially added to table salt.

Table salt contains an anti – caking compound where Pink Himalayan Salt doesn’t.

My experience

I was recently gifted a packet of Pink Himalayan Salt by ItWorkx. This neat packet of fine salt sat on my counter for two days before I finally opened it .

I don’t cook with much salt and for me I found I could add less salt to a meal and my family didn’t notice.

They have however noticed it is much more salty and have all started adding less when needing salt in their food .

I’ve found my husband who eats alot of salt isn’t adding additional salt to his meals anymore.

The salt also feels softer. I took a fine grain but you can also purchase a coarse salt varients.

As for the health benefits. I will only see that over time but I’ve removed table salt from our diet completely.

For more information on ItWorkx or their Pink Himalayan Salt products visit their website

Posted in Parenting

Benefits of taking baby for a daily walk

Enjoying daily walks with your newborn is a great way to get you out the house and help you to regain your pre-baby shape.

It’s also a great way to restore your physical fitness level, energise your body and connect you to your neighbourhood and nature.

Best of all fresh air and a little sunshine is great for baby.

What you will need:

1. Pram

A jogger pram was the first item on my To buy list as I’d hoped to start running with bear . (Unfortunately I broke my leg and ankle when he was 3 weeks old so that idea went on hold for a while)

When purchasing a pram to walk distances with always take these points into consideration:

  • Deep seat and a seat belt.
  • Locking brake to use whenever you put the child into or take the child out of the stroller.
  • A safety wrist strap to keep the stroller from rolling away from you.
  • Check the stroller for sturdiness.
  • A sunshade is essential to protecting the baby’s skin from sunburn.

Some moms may choose to walk with a baby carrier (only advisable from the age stipulated on the carrier as newborns can slip through these) or a sling or wrap.

Whilst the baby wraps and slings are very comfortable for a little baby , a larger toddler may get very heavy on a long distance.

2. Comfy clothing and shoes for mom

It’s important to walk in comfortable clothing and good running shoes. I like to use my tights , a large lose top and my Adidas running shoes. They absorb more of the impact from my ankle and knees than my pumps or boots, allowing me to enjoy my walk.

As pregnancy may have caused your feet to grow , purchase a new pair after birth to start walking in. It’s advisable to ask your fitness shop to measure your feet to find a comfortable size shoe.

3. Water

Always keep water on you if you walking so that you do not dehydrate.

I also always carried water incase I needed to wash baby , or myself.

4. Sunscreen

The sun is harsh and even if it does not seem too warm when you set out , the weather may change and get warmer. Always carry sunscreen with you.

5. Babys nappy bag

Baby’s bag should be packed whenever you go out.

My standard nappy bag contained :

  • 3 nappies
  • wipes
  • bumcream
  • boiled water in a flask
  • 2 feeds
  • dummy
  • Sunscreen
  • hat or beenie
  • 2 changes of clothing( one each for warm and cold weather)
  • a jersey
  • blanket.

The best place to walk.

Don’t take your pram on gravel or rough paths, the vibration and bumping aren’t good for baby or for your wrists, arms, and shoulders when pushing the pram.

If you can rather stick to sidewalks and asphalt.

Studies have shown that walking in natural settings reduces stress and enhances your mood so try to find a pathway that leads through a natural setting for a daily walk.

Posted in Family Life

A body shutting down …. ( part 1)

Health-wise I’ve encountered a rather challenging year.

I started to feel exhausted and drained just before our wedding last November, but wrote it off to wedding planning.

By January I felt I was losing my mind.

I seemed to be constantly sick and out of breath. This was obviously due to my body still carrying all the baby weight and me needing more exercise I determined.

So I began eating better, drinking more water and walking bear to and from school as well as trying to start running again.

And I did.

I even managed the Spar ladies race in February. But the exhaustion and breathlessness were overwhelming. I was working up to 16 hours a day on my blog and marketing and decided maybe I was just overworked.

Just after papas birthday in March I contracted the worst case of food poisoning which my Dr confirmed was a gastro virus. I felt like I was dying. I couldn’t breathe.

I want to tell you the antibiotics worked but I just got worse. Each week a new ailment attacked.

April came and I found myself taking Bear to school getting home from this 15-minute walk and sleeping until 1 pm when I needed to fetch him… Then I’d fetch him and have to rest until my feet stopped swelling and I could breathe again. I was always tired. My body ached and my feet were swelling each time I walked.

Dr after Dr could find nothing wrong with me. I was healthy!

I eventually begged my Dr for a full physical. They extracted more blood from me and took 10 separate tests, testing me for everything.

I had an ecg and stress test …


The only thing they could see was that I was suffering from a vitamin D deficiency and suggested a vitamin B booster shot.

But I was still aching everywhere and unable to make it through a full day without sleep. I begin to worry as I was still experiencing chest pains, breathlessness and kept yawning.

I’m no Dr but I knew I was sick and started to feel like a hypochondriac.

Just after Monkeys birthday, we made our way to the Department of Home affairs. I was fine, aside from a pain in my inner leg, where Bear had jumped on me weeks before.

That night I felt an awful pull on my shoulder and in my lower back. I attributed it to carrying my bag on that shoulder and standing so long as I still tend to put more weight on that side even though I’ve been able to walk again for months.

It wasn’t too bad, just uncomfortable and I visited with Byron and saw papa off to soccer.

At about 7.30 I started to feel very uncomfortable and insisted bear sleep so I could. I’d obviously pulled a muscle.

By 8pm I couldn’t move . I was having muscle and body spasms. Everywhere from my neck to the base of my spine was in pain . A pain so excruciating that I can only compare it to birthing.

I couldn’t breathe. I also couldn’t call anyone for help. Panicking I woke the kids and tried to phone papa. Through breathless heaves, I managed to tell him I couldn’t breathe and needed to go to the emergency room.

In those 10 minutes I waited for him to get here, I felt I was dying. I was having a panic attack at not being able to breathe. I was losing my vision, I was dizzy, nauseous and couldn’t stand or sit. Lying down was out of the question as my body spasmed it’s way into contorted shapes to try get comfortable.

I left bear with the kids and barely said a word to papa as I climbed into the car.

We rushed to the closest hospital .

I was using every effort left in my body to breathe. Instinctively I breathed as if in labour. Shivering as my body began to feel extremely cold.

We arrived at Blaauwberg Netcare and to save time papa dropped me at the emergency door so he could park.

I walked in and through laboured breathe managed to tell the receptionist I couldn’t breathe.

She asked my name, looking up just long enough from her computer screen to notice my face.

Then politely told me to *take a seat as someone would see me shortly* as she started printing stickers

I was astonished. All of my first aid training indicates that if a patient is in distress, having a panic attack or can’t breathe for any reason you attend them first before printing stickers!

I stood wrapping bears little blanket that I’d brought from home around my shivering, aching body. Waiting for someone to attend to me.

At one point I tried to sit but the agony was overwhelming and so I paced the waiting room.

Papa had parked by now and joined me. I arrived at 8.30pm.

It was closer to 9 pm when someone finally came to see me. She took me to a small cubical and did my vitals. 5 times she tried to take my blood pressure and 5 times it wouldn’t stabilise.

5 times!

At what point is it not an emergency that you can’t get a reading for blood pressure, the patient is shivering but dripping in sweat, can’t breathe and wants to pass out.

I asked for water as I was about to lose consciousness.

At this point I believed I was going to die right there on the spot.

No, she said. I might puke.

I remember thinking I also might die but that doesn’t seem to much of an issue, so get me water.

She fetched a wheelchair and my battered, exhausted body succumbed to the chair and I sat there falling in and out of sleep until 11 pm when a Dr finally saw me.

All of this at a private hospital that my medical aid is paying a fortune for.

She looked at me and asked me what my symptoms were. I explained mentioning a pain in my leg, and my visit to the Department of Home affairs thinking I may have sprained of pulled a muscle.

She did a urine test. I explained it would be inconclusive as I was coming off a period.

She listened to my chest. That was it …

A nurse came back to tell me I had a kidney infection and someone would phone me.

The Dr came back mentioned some meds and offered me a voltaren injection.

Bear in mind I’d been in pain since 8pm , it was now 11.30 pm. I was hardly able to breathe and exhausted. By now I was over trying to get treated as I just wanted to go home and sleep.

I remember thinking I would have been treated faster at a government hospital.

A quick script and painkillers and I was sent on my way.

A week later I phoned the same hospital as I was no better and in 40 years I’ve not once had a kidney infection like this. Even if I’ve only ever had one I knew it didn’t feel like this.

I was still exhausted. The breathlessness was worse. I couldn’t take ten steps without yawning and needing to sit down.

My knowledge said heart attack but my heart was strong and medical tests said I was healthy.

I spoke to a sister in the emergency room who told me they don’t phone people back as * do I know how much time it would take for them to phone everyone.*

I was overly peeved by this hospital by now. I phoned the hospital manager and just let her know how I felt and if I had the same mindset as her dedicated nursing staff , I’d have a good mind to tell my medical aid not to pay every Dr or hospital I see.

I have never in my life had such an awful experience in what would turn out to be a life threatening situation ….

( part 2 to follow)