Goodpastures Syndrome

Too close for comfort - a near-fatal encounter, told by the patient

3. A new job, a new life - hope blossoms

(This is a true account of my experience with Goodpastures Syndrome, but a few people’s names have been changed, indicated by *.  My aim in writing this is threefold; first, that victims and families of people suffering from Goodpastures Syndrome can have some knowledge of what to expect in a serious event but also to show that Goodpastures is survivable, even in a case like mine; second, it would do no harm for physicians treating Goodpastures Syndrome or other devastating diseases, not to mention GP’s prescribing medication to patients, to read this as there are lessons here for some of them; lastly I am trying to exorcise the psychological after-effects of my experience with Goodpastures Syndrome).

Early the next morning, I rose and washed more than a thousand kilometres of travel off my car because who knows what small detail can make the final difference in an interview. To my great surprise, I found dried salt all over the car from the previous day’s arrival.  I was beginning to wonder if I would even want to stay in Port Elizabeth if I got the job! It was, however, a perfect day.

The interview proved to be thorough before a panel consisting of the Chief Traffic Officer (Mr Alain Portelli) under whom I had served in Pietermaritzburg during his short tenure there (hence his seeking me for the new post), his Deputy (Mr Hennie Basson), the two Assistants (Mr John Jonker and Mr Alan Stott) and a senior official from the city’s Personnel Department (Mr Pieter Gouws).

After about a half-hour wait I was fetched back and told that the job was mine if I wanted it. I accepted with alacrity and it was agreed that my employment would begin on 1st May. As the Senior Superintendent (Operations) I would be second in command to Alan Stott, the Assistant Chief Traffic Officer (Operations).

Alan then spent the rest of the day giving me first a basic tour of the department, meeting a few of those I would be working with, and then a general tour of the city as a whole with useful comments about the desirability of various suburbs.

The following day I popped in at an estate agency that I had noticed and met Archie Ackerman. I told him what my parameters were as regards cost, location and situation. After a rummage through his files he took me out and, to my astonishment, showed me a number of houses which exactly fitted my requirements. My astonishment derived from previous experience with estate agents who tried to sell me what they wished to sell rather than what I wanted and, more importantly, could afford to buy.

My little house at 51 Avondale Road, Kabega ParkThe third house we visited suited my needs perfectly, a modest, neat house in a modest but decent suburb (Kabega Park). The rest of that and the following day was spent in paperwork at the estate agents, the building society and the conveyancers.

Thereafter I spent the rest of my leave revelling in Port Elizabeth’s climate; hot at that time of year but dry compared with the enervating humidity of Pietermaritzburg, and enjoying the beautiful parks, beachfront and some of the historical attractions.

Reluctantly I had to return to Pietermaritzburg, although now with some light at the end of the tunnel, to hand in my resignation and prepare for my move to a new life.



A new job, a new life             copyright 2011 Richard Binstead Goodpasture's Syndrome

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