For Mother’s Day: A Rural Story of a Mother’s Love

I have amazing women in my life – a wonderful mother, grandmother and aunts. I have written about them before, so this Mother’s Day I am sharing a story I have told them, and I know they won’t mind it as a tribute to all mothers.

My rural Family Medicine rotation earlier this year was not just rural – it was classified as DEEP rural. The majority of the people living in the area had no water or electricity. Many of them had pulmonary disease, despite never having smoked – the so-called hut-lung disease. The nearest referral hospital was more than two hours away and was reached by traveling roads with near-dongas as potholes.

Most of our patients were unemployed, or otherwise self-employed as subsistence farmers who struggled to subsist. Almost none of them had cars, and so when we did refer them to the “nearby” hospital they were sent with patient transport vehicles that were chronically overfilled. Patients who had to go to even larger hospitals with more specialised abilities had to find their own way – although the doctors often helped them out with bus fair using their personal income. Continue reading “For Mother’s Day: A Rural Story of a Mother’s Love”


Things my Mother Taught Me

1. There are more important things than chocolate:

My earliest Mother’s Day memory is those chocolates we ordered at school… I didn’t know they were supposed to be gifts! They were so pretty and since they got sent home with me, four-year-old Me thought it was mine. And Mom gracefully let me have them. I would have a hard time giving my chocolates to anybody…

2. Humility has rewards

I knew my dad’s story from a young age and I hero-worshipped him. I knew my mom kept them going while he was finishing his studies, but it took many years before it dawned on me that her selfless sacrifice was also worth hero-worship. Not once was she bitter about us not realising the immensity of her acts. She is a wonderful woman.

Continue reading “Things my Mother Taught Me”

The Importance of Clarity: A Story

Today is fibromyalgia awareness day. I find it quite apt that this happens the day before Mother’s Day.

For as long as I can remember, my mom has suffered from pain. She has always been particularly sensitive to noise, bright lights and abrupt touch. It was only when we were little and clumsy that it didn’t seem to bother her. An overriding maternal instinct I suppose.

I inherited my migraines from Mom. I remember trying to occupy my little sister and baby brother when I was eight and nine, because Mom was in pain and I wanted her to rest and feel better.

Continue reading “The Importance of Clarity: A Story”