Winter, with its constant cold and extremely wet weather, was thrust upon me and now I am officially in winter mode.
This triggered a buzzer in my head and I realised I’m traumatised by the South African winter, and decided to list my top traumas . . . I know you feel the same way!
- Shedding tears of separation anxiety for my bed every morning, knowing I won’t be returning until dusk, and then realising I have no sugar for my first cup of coffee. The doctor said coffee isn’t good for me, but I generally pretend I don’t know that.
- Having to dry my hair after washing it, so I don’t catch a cold.
- The wet tyres of my wheelchair being put on the car seats and the tracks they leave behind, so everyone knows when I’ve entered the building ? there goes my hope of ever becoming a paid assassin. (Guys, I have car seat covers to protect the upholstery!)
- Dealing with wearing bulky winter jackets which make it uncomfortable to push my wheelchair. Not to mention the disgusting wet stains that are left on the cuffs of my sleeves, coupled with not being able to wear my four pairs of suede wedges which I found complement the colour-blocking craze. I must say I just love those shoes; when I stand to unlock my car door I look a little taller.
- Coming to realise you have more bones in your body than you ever thought possible, because with rain, snow and the constant cold you are subjected to every level of bone pain possible. I don’t believe in taking medication because you can become dependent on it so fast. My solution is to keep warm and continue to drink a lot of coffee. So if you see me dozing off, I’m resting my bones to combat the cold.
- Gaining weight is a must to keep warm this winter. Having to shed it and be beach-ready, that is the trauma. But I love who I am and weight doesn’t matter. Just don’t let it affect your health.
- When I’m driving I always listen to music or the radio, but now I have to contend with the sound of the wiper blades and rain, and missing the best part of the song.
- Having to accept the fact the sun sets earlier so it gets darker earlier and having less time during the light of day to do all that needs to be done, including getting the washing dry. I’m missing those relaxing beach sundowners with friends and family.
- Resolving to stow away electric blankets and heaters because of the atrocious electricity price increases.
- Last but definitely not least: knowing there are South African citizens who endure the cold and wet weather and children who go to bed without food. And the lack of adequate and weather-resistant housing is sad, and makes me realise once more how blessed I really am.
*Sherise Dreyer (27) is a writer, journalist, copywriter and translator. In her blog she shares her experiences as a woman with Osteogenesis imperfecta – more commonly known as brittle bone disease.