WHEN YOU HAVE LEG PROBLEMS

 

How to try and live life with no limitations even when your mobility fails you

By: Palesa Matjebele

Medical issues relating to legs are quite serious; they affect both men and women, but more especially women. It no longer happen that only elderly people suffer from issues like swollen legs, arthritis and lymphedema; younger people can also develop such problems depending on the state of their health. Things like high blood pressure, heart diseases and being overweight contributes to the medical issues that may require lifetime treatment.

 

CAUSES AND CONTRIBUTING ISSUES

The lower part of the body plays a significant role in the human mobility. Bahle Nteleki, a podiatrist and founder of Nteleki and Associates, a private podiatric practice explains that the main reason why a lot of people have problems with their legs, is because the lower part of the body takes on a lot of strain with all the everyday physical activities.

‘’Because the legs carryout most of the mobility responsibility, it gets exposed to numerous internal and external factors that can cause pain and discomfort,’’ he explains.

A professional nurse, Sibusiso Zikhali says that issues relating to leg problems cannot be pinned to one specific cause. He explains that while any individual of any form and shape can develop conditions relating to legs, being overweight increases those chances.

‘’Excessive weight may result in decreased mobility. And when one is unable to move around, what started off painful heels can grow into something much more complicated,’’ he says.

Bahle lists skeletal and muscle injuries amongst some of the core contributors of leg problems, saying that they can either be temporary or permanent, depending on the severity and the early treatment method. After sustaining an injury, one may think that it’s nothing serious, but Bahle discourages self-diagnosis, saying that it can result in a bigger issue.

‘’Conditions which affect the legs can be classified according to which part of the legs is affected. The sooner the problem is medically addressed, the better chances for the patient to fully recover,’’ he says.

The expert explains that simple things like homecare grooming have a huge impact on the developing leg conditions. He says that feet also want some extra care, and a little bit of attention.

‘’At times people may exercise poor nail-cutting techniques. During the ‘bathroom surgery’, the skin and nails may get damaged resulting to infection of painful ingrown toenail.’’

 

COMMON LEG PROBLEMS

Some sufferers are lucky enough to still move around as much as they want, reason being that they only have minor issues that can be managed by just applying ointments. While for those who are on the other side of the fence, everyday activities are a mission; these sufferers not only have limited choice of the type of shoes they wear but every aspect of their life is affected, they cannot stand for long due to pain or numbness. Some of the most common leg problems that take a toll on a sufferer’s lifestyle are:

Arthritis- the issue affects joints. The joints inflame, and result in stiffness, pain and overall reduced mobility.

Edema- the condition is caused when the fluid is trapped in one place, causing the feet to swell, and the sufferer experience pain and difficulty in walking.

Lymphedema- is by far worse leg condition, there’s an extreme excessive growth, there’s discoloration on the affected area, and skin gets prone to infection.

Venous Ulcer- occurs when venous valves that control the flow of blood does not function properly, as a result, causing open wounds that starts off as rash.

Corns and Calluses- the condition may be overlooked, because it’s mild in most cases. But some people develop them in multiples and under their feet, and walking becomes a challenge.

 

AVAILABLE TREATMENTS

In most cases, the conditions may only be treated and managed. Because every condition is different, treatment also differs. For Edema, treatment can be done using an appropriate method where a specific issue will be managed appropriately. Pain can be relieved by the intake of painkillers recommended by the doctor, and only taken on minimal.

Swellings require the sufferer to be more cautious, they need to make sure that the legs are always protected and resting on a pillow whenever they are seating. Treatment for ulcerations is complex; Bahle says that the treatment and prescription involves identifying and managing possible predisposing factors.

‘’Ulcers require regular dressings of the wound. Patients are required to visit their podiatrist weekly for regular check-ups of chronic wounds as they can quickly complicate and result in hospitalization and or amputation,’’ he explains.

 

Footwear Education

People suffering from issues related to legs can’t always wear the shoes that they like, both experts advice that they don’t force things, as it may only lead to much bigger problems.

‘’There are different kind of shoes available to patient, but patients still feel like their choice is still limited in terms of style,’’ Sibusiso explains.

‘’It is not always easy to give advice to patient, because people of have certain ideas and beliefs around the type of footwear they should be utilizing,’’ Bahle adds.

With over five years in the field, Bahle had had to advice patients with the kind of shoes they should wear. For years, he has described characteristics of good footwear as:

  • Good fitting shoes. These are not tight on the toes or around heel area.
  • Spacious Toe-box. The area around the front of the shoe allows space foot all toes to be evenly spaced.
  • Sole/support. The sole of the shoe is supportive and soft.
  • Heel height. The height of the shoe is not raised but is with the same horizontal plane as the rest of the sole.
  • Heel cup. The heel cup of the shoe refers to the boarder around the back of the shoe. This should firmly hold the heel and not disturb or rub against Achilles tendon.
  • Laces and straps. Laces and straps should not be tight or pressing on the foot.
  • Material of footwear. Some footwear can consist of plastic or extremely hardened leather. This is not ideal as this may affect the skin and space within the shoe.

 

 

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THE IMPACT OF MENOPAUSE ON WOMEN SEXUALITY

How menopause kills the bedroom joy for women

By: Palesa Matjebele

There is a lot said about sexual issues related to men and their sex lives, less can be said about the ones women are facing on a daily basis. The first ever study to ever be conducted on a woman’s sexuality shows that 50 per cent of postmenopausal women have serious problems in the bedroom.

The study reveals that majority of postmenopausal women find no pleasure within their sexual relationships, mostly because they experience vaginal discomfort during an intercourse due to the dryness. Dr Trudy Smith and Dr Carol Thomas, specialists specialising in women’s health say a lot of women suffer in silence thinking that there’s something wrong with them. The specialists say that there are treatments available, making the condition manageable.

“The changes that happen in the body as a result of menopause are normal, and there is no need to suffer in silence. Women need to be encouraged to ask for assistance, and not to be embarrassed. Convenient treatments are available and consumers need to speak to their doctor or pharmacist about their options,” Carol explains.

Out of the 21 percent women who participated in the research, most of them had positive things to say about the treatment, and their men were also happy about the results. Trudy says patients have an option to choose a treatment that’s convenient for them, she says the local oestrogen therapy be directly administered directly into the vagina, or patients can be given vaginal tablets, cream or ring.

“Only small doses of oestrogen are needed to treat vaginal symptoms of menopause, and the vaginal response to local oestrogen therapy may be long-lasting, provided that you take it as indicated,” she explains.

BE KIND TO YOU; IT DOESN’T HURT

By: Palesa Matjebele

I use a taxi to work, there’s no fun in that! I’m always late, it’s just so frustrating. Firstly, there are no taxis and when you finally GET one, there’s a convoy! I just hate it all so much, I always wish I could just be the driver and press on that accelerator but I know very well that a wish is all that it will ever be. When I’m not sleeping myself through the long distance, I just distract myself from all the stress by reading all those newspaper titbits and all those adverts and billboards.

‘’Smile more,’’ ‘’ Be a friend to others,’’ ‘’Tell someone they did a good job,’’ these three phrases always  catch my eye, I’m not evil and I totally agree with what is being communicated, I mean it doesn’t kill being good to others but sometimes we over do these things. With all these things being communicated every minute, everyday, they grow on us overtime and when they do, we overdo them to a point where we focus too much on being good to others, on treating others better, and we focus on loving them better. I feel like we lose ourselves trying to be there for everyone else. We are constantly giving and giving to everyone else but ourselves!

We forget that the same lady, the same guy on the mirror also needs all that. How many times do we hear the words ‘’Be good to yourself,’’ ‘’Tell yourself, you are good enough,’’ and how many times do you tell yourself, ‘’You can do it.’’ It just never really happen, we are too hard on ourselves. We never give ourselves any credit; instead, we would rather just tell ourselves that we could have done better! I don’t know, maybe it’s just the way we are raised, we are taught everything but to be good to others.

We are too hard on ourselves, we expect nothing less than 110% and anything less is just not good enough. With all this unnecessary pressure, we expect people to be kinder, understanding and easy on us! How are they going to be easy, kind and lenient when we are not; ever heard these words,’’ Dress how you want to be addressed!’’ It’s the same thing with this kindness that we expect from everyone else, people don’t know how to treat others, they learn how to treat us from how we treat ourselves.

I always thought by being nice on myself, I would grow a big head. I always felt like ‘’Uh! She doesn’t matter!’’ I’m such a caring person; I think it just comes natural, effortless. As I grew older, I started reflecting on myself, and I started questioning my values and what I thought was a caring nature. I thought maybe I was not really kind, if I was then what makes it difficult for me to unconditionally love and care for this one person, for Me!?

Every single day I still have to convince myself that I am worthy of the same attention I give to others, all the affection I show others, all the care and kindness I give to others and all the love I give to others; all this and more. I know a lot more other people can relate, it’s okay to admit that you have wronged this person, that you were difficult on this person and that you were horrible to this person. No justifications, because then you will be able to right your wrongs.

Another thing, what if the same person we tell they are just the same as us; they are very hard on themselves, like you and I, they just never give themselves a pat in the back for any good thing they accomplish!? Then all that would be useless, it would equal to nothing, it would just be pouring water on a rock, the water never sinks in. So for us to say we are building a better loving society, it has to start with every single one of us. I have to love myself, you have to love yourself, she should love herself and he also has to love himself so that we can all come together and love each other; this way it will be effective.

WE ALL GUILTY OF THE SAME CRIME…

I AM, YOU ARE!

By: Palesa Matjebele

It’s not easy, if it was easy everyone would do it, there would no point! Life is all about challenges and I think that’s what keeps fun and interesting. We need challenge; we need hardships to keep us going and keep us afloat. Think of it this way, how life would be like if we could all be doctors, if we could all be black or if we could all have the same body type!?

It sure would be super boring, what’s the adventure in that. Same is boring, we need variety. I know we sometimes use other people’s lives as frame of reference and it’s a problem. Everyone has their own journey, some make it too soon and too young while some have to go through a lot before getting to where they are supposed to.

Have you ever compared your life to other people’s lives? –I subconsciously did it all the time, and you know what! It’s bad idea, it brings nothing but misery, and it’s a joy killer. We are different and we are all going to walk different paths, just because we sit in the same desk studying the same course doesn’t mean that we are going to graduate and be employed at the same time. There is what we call fate, we may dream but we must always remember that we have no control over our lives, there’s a Man up there who does that all too well!

If you thought that you were brought here to chill and live like Bill Gates without having to sweat a day in your life, you need to wake up and smell the coffee; life is not about that bass. Even the bible says that we have to work, we have to sweat and we are going to have those sleepless nights while soaking our precious pillows with nothing but tears.

The pain, the tears and all the trials and tribulations are what makes us resilient; I don’t think I would appreciate money if I didn’t have to wake up at 4 am, 5 days a week and sit in front of the computer and have to deal with not so friendly sources.

Not every challenge is meant to break us; in fact, we grow through what we go through. Challenges are not meant to destroy us, but they are meant to build us into these strong beings we are. When we go through it, we may not see it, it’s only when we look back and be grateful for what we once saw as an unfair trial.

Speaking of fair and all that; I always hear people say weird thing like, ‘That’s not fair!’ and I’m like, ‘Life is not fair’. No it’s not; we just have to work with what we have. Like what’s ‘fairness’ and who said that it has to be fair! Some people are out of touch with reality, sitting there and complaining about fairness!

Anyways it’s all good! Now back to reality, we need to stop comparing ourselves with other people, it’s not worth it. It’s high time we look at improving ourselves instead of imitating others, the only competition is that person you see on the mirror. Like I won’t even deny it,  I did that almost all the time and it didn’t change much, the only thing it changed was my appearance and attitude. I would wake up ugly with eyes swollen, on top of it, grumpiness would be all up in my life. I’m sure you can imagine the ‘grumpy meets ugly’ kind of situation, horrible hey! You can’t be grumpy and ugly at the same time; something has to work for heaven’s sake.

SOUTH AFRICA MUST RELOCATE

MAYHEM…MAYHEM AND MORE MAYHEM

by: Palesa Pertunia Matjebele

If countries could move in actual and not only Scientifically so where they say some weird stuff about the Earth moving at 360 degrees, then South Africa would be saved; I mean it’s so sad to wake up in a shameful country where people get fame and fortune for dancing with no undies, well if that’s even dancing! Zodwa Wabantu has gone national and on her way to Internationals after pulling a Kardashian on us; talking about dancing your way to the top…Levels!

Mzanzi is moving at a very dangerously fast pace on its quest to be a mini America, the deeply rooted valuable culture deteriorates per second as everyone now wants to be an American for some reasons, unlike in that American dreamland,you would find a 40-year-old still living under their mama’s roof and repeatedly asking that annoying same old question that goes like ‘’Ma, what’s for dinner?’’ guess it’s quite funny as you would find an 18-year-old American teenager owning their own car and apartment, while a 16-year-old in Britain is this big shot soccer player or a business owner; but my friend come back here, a 21 year old is still struggling to get past high school while a 25 year old is struggling to get a Higher certificate in some College buried somewhere in downtown, while busy saying stuff like ‘’ Oh no; it’s not yet time, I’m still young!’’ like what time ah-ah, it’s puzzling!

South Africans will amaze you with that Hollywood imitations, busy pulling some weird stunts they see on TV like slashing a cheating boyfriend’s tyre, this is Africa, ‘’bazo’k Trapa Goed!’’ jail will navigate you mama and a mugshot sure turns no one into a model! Busy posing for Instagram with clothes you wouldn’t even dream of stepping out of the house with…we see you photo-shoot models!

I guess it would be cool to sometimes wake up in China or something, just to get a break from this joke of a country where nothing good seem to really be going on, a country where stupid things make trends while great achievements are put at the backseat with no recognition, a country where a 13 year old has the right to make a choice of partner and can be authorised for a free abortion without a parent while a consensual sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 18 is a rape offense, a country where people strike for bizarre things like wearing skinny-jeans to school! A country where 30% is a pass rate, where one fails all the subjects and still progresses onto the next grade if their parents sign off some sort of a consent form.

Guess the brain don’t matter no more, well speaking of brains, let’s talk common sense; people don’t meet employable requirements, you know, essential things like qualifications and yet complain that foreigners steal jobs and what not, so if all citizens do not study Med cause of the hopeless 15-30 percent pass rate at Science and Maths then we should not have Doctors at all, there should be no Qualified persons because we are all too cool to be smart, apparently smart people are nerdy and nerds are weird and super uncool!

If it’s meant to be a joke then it must fall already, #MustFall as we always say; what’s there to be proud of? The fact that we broke the World record and got first place for Alcohol consumption? The fact that the very same alcohol is the cause of deaths both in car accidents or those incidents where one would get drunk and stabs the other? For the fact that the very same alcohol causes health complications onto kids whose mothers drink while pregnant? Oh, or for the fact that South African ladies can really handle their alcohol very well, come in brown or green bottle!

EVERYTHING THAT OUR GOVERNMENT STANDS FOR

Written by: Palesa Pertunia Matjebele

Sadness overwhelms joy every single time I take a memory down the lane of what used to be South Africa and what it turned out to be after all these years; think of it in post-apartheid 1994 and what we consider the now 23 years later. It’s like we have just come from this spirit-filled nation that is full of fight and determination to this damp lost society that is rather too relaxed and comfortable in being spoon-fed where things are served on a silver platter.

There is no more fight, the will for greatness has run out and all we are left with is the poisoned generation; the strayed society! By far, the government has lost momentum with all the strategies they come up with in their quest to refurnish and rebuild all that was shattered; the standard just keep on dropping and dropping with every single attempt taken.

We should questions such as: ‘’Does democracy mean compromising the future of our country; does it mean producing a void nation or moulding a dependant society?’’ It’s sad, it’s so sad to be a witness of individuals who are still proud of living off hand-outs and freebies, some even feel entitled to free houses, free food and free education to a point where they take out to the streets and claim what they have not worked for. What is the use of democracy if we are still dependant on others for survival when we are exposed to so many unlimited opportunities that could lead to greatness?

At this state, it is clear that the government emphasises more on Freedom and rights and turning a blind eye on the responsibilities that come with the same rights and freedom that people preach and strive for day by day! We see people taking to the streets and protesting for free housing and education while abandoning the responsibilities of actually cultivating the very same education. The government implements laws and regulations that just keeps handicapping the dependant society further and further; for instance the education system reduces the standards of progress, the learners fail to meet the minimum requirements to proceed into the next grade and what does the government do? –They drop the education standard, parents get to sign off their kid’s move to the next grade and minimum average mark drastically drops.

It can be said that our government promotes illiteracy considering that leadership is aided by the fact that one went to exile while our grandparents took to the reality of merciless streets. With the grade 1 graduate turned president with 783 charges , we cannot expect the younger generation to take education seriously, you find school kids saying things like: ‘’I don’t need education, who does, I mean I am more educated than President Zuma and so I do qualify to be a president,’’ I for one have been through that phase before and I can firmly say that our leadership influences how we approach life; think of how everyone prioritised education under the leadership of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, everyone wanted a taste of education and now it’s the absolute opposite of that.

All that one sees when they think about the government these days is corruption, nepotism and more corruption. There is a lack of accountability from the government where leaders see fit to do the ungovernable, the ruling leadership reflects badly on the black society as they represent us, when people see them, they see us and they now perceive us as being corrupt, greedy and very selfish.

Considering what a wise and well learnt man Mandela was, he sure is disappointed in what has turned out to be this newly dumbfounded South Africa that actually depends on indigenous nations for better educators, doctors and engineers and all this is quite scary for the future of our country, our leadership is at risk of being invaded by foreign nations once again seeing that they are literally leading and ruling the country as it is!

 

 

KARMASUNTRA

AGAINST ALL ODDS

Written by: Palesa Pertunia Matjebele

You can never really know exactly know what is really going on in a rapist’s mind let alone a killer, questions compels us, motives intrigues us and deeds fascinates us. Questions remains unanswered in most cases but one thing for sure is that a killer is not written on anybody’s forehead, we would like to consider ourselves as sane and not capable of such acts but studies show that anybody is capable of murder, that much cannot be said about rape.

Truth is we are drawn by burning desires and driven by spontaneous events that trigger that psychological state of mind as we do not plan what to do or how to react to a certain act. Anybody can do anything; it’s all that classical tangling-twisted mystery, therefore never say never! Indeed there is no excuse to terrorise the society, that is a choice one makes for oneself but we cannot again ignore the fact that our backgrounds carve ways for our future.

No one chose to grow in an environment full of jerks, an immoral environment with no values, an environment filled with abuse, drug and substance abuse, that cold place with no love and the warmth of parents’ protection and no one chose to be violated and abandoned by the very same people meant to protect and nurture. The world can be a very cold place especially when people seem to pass by and none stays, all they do is just leave void footsteps and on they continue with their journey.

Resentment is bound to show face sooner or later, we are human beings after all. The past always find a way to catch up with us, there will come those haunting memories from the age of five, it will all come back no matter how long you put it off, even after 20 years for it is so patient on its attack streak.

The secret recipe is to deal with the past before it deals with you, what a better way to beat Karma to her own little sick games! There is no use to hurt the people you love just because you were hurt at some point in your life, we can’t all be hurt; every bad situation can be turned into a positive one as the very same event meant to destroy us can build us and the people around us. There has to be some sort of destruction before something concrete can be built; we are not defined by the number of times we fall but by the number of times we pick ourselves up and be the best version of ourselves.

You may be broken, yes but you can pick up the pieces and build your very own masterpiece; let’s quit excuses such as ‘’I killed because I am cold, nobody loved me,’’ ‘’I had a difficult upbringing’’ or ‘’I raped because I was adopted and abused.’’ So everyone must feel the kind of pain you felt? Are we building a world of broken people throughout?

Imagine if we all made people feel the magnitude of our emptiness and brokenness, how would the world be like! So cold, so empty yet full of void vessels; if everyone raped because they felt unloved by their parents, if everyone killed because they feel cheated of a life they so much deserved! There is absolutely hope at the end of the tunnel, we now have psychological therapies one may patiently undergo as a way to mend and make peace with the past and anyone can take an initiation as the less priviledged can go through the process, free of charge!

Talking helps, communication can make a significance change as bottling things up may lead to a greater destruction than words could ever do. Talk, heal, forgive and move on; truly forgiveness is not something we merely do for others, it may feel like a favour for others but it is something we do for ourselves to heal and move on because at the end of day the only person hurting is nobody but yourself, so what is the use of killing yourself with blood pressures that could lead to strokes and heart attacks while you can have the greatest peace and outlook on the future.