Can it really be three months since my last post? Well yes, the wonderful stay in Ras al Khaimah featured in that post was at the end of February, doesn’t time fly! So in this post, I want to look back over what has been going on in that time, and at the things that have shaped the past few weeks for me.
After finishing my last project in Saudi Arabia just before Christmas, the primary intention of at least the first few months of this year was to take it easy, and spend some ‘quality time’ at home in Dubai with Mrs E – a mini sabbatical maybe (or retirement rehearsal!), and it’s been great to have that opportunity. In fact, after returning to Dubai in mid January, I then spent 3 full months in the UAE without flying – probably the longest I have had my feet on the ground for many a year.
Dubai during the Winter and Spring time offers a great climate, with temperatures usually in the mid 20s, which is ideal for me. I spent quite a bit of time out walking, and taking pictures, and never once did I miss having to check my phone for work emails and messages!
Returning to Peyia
Eventually though, after my extended stay in Dubai, I got the chance in mid April to spend 12 days back at our apartment in Peyia, Cyprus – the first week was shared with my younger son Alex, and then as he departed, Mrs E flew out for the remainder of the stay.
The original pretext of the visit was to attend the AGM of our ‘owners committee’ that runs the complex in which our apartment is located. The complex has the grand name of ‘Eleonas Royal Gardens’, and the meeting was a great excuse to visit this wonderful place once again.
I’ve blogged quite a bit about previous visits, so rather than repeat myself, I just wanted to include a few new photos from this stay, that hopefully give the impression of a very enjoyable time.
Returning to work
It’s all very well kicking back and taking things easy, but I’m not quite ready to put myself totally out to pasture just yet, so throughout the past few months, I’ve been on the lookout for work opportunities, although with little enthusiasm at the beginning.
Eventually, I had the chance to work on a project based not so far from Dubai, in the oil-rich country of Kuwait. Previously, I’d only had one trip there, an overnight visit to attend a couple of meetings several years back, therefore it was quite exciting to have the chance to visit somewhere relatively new. So in mid-May I packed my bags, and took the 1 hour 20 minute flight to KWI for an initial 2 week stay.
I plan to blog more about Kuwait in future posts, as I expect to return there at the end of June, but in the meantime, I’d like to share a few shots taken during the visit.
Expat Medical Matters …. Medicals Matter
Spoiler Alert – medical details are discussed here (no photos though!)
On a somewhat different tangent, the other key events for me this year have been regular visits to local medical facilities. I have to own up and say that I have been rather negligent of my health in the past few years, which is probably easy to blame on the kind of expat lifestyle I lead. In recent times I have moved around quite a bit, spending time in Congo, Qatar, UAE and Saudi Arabia, so not having a single home-base has made it more difficult to take time out and go see a Doctor, either when feeling unwell, or for general health-checks – or at least this is the excuse I have given myself.
However, at the beginning of this year, as I had a couple of issues that have been hanging around for some time, I decided to get things checked, and hopefully fixed. These appointments resulted in me having to undertake several tests, the worst of which was probably the ‘barium swallow’ – yuk!
Whilst I don’t want to turn the blog into an overview of my health woes, I did want to express the importance of getting things checked, especially as we get more advanced in our years. In my case, I learnt that it’s not normal to go to the loo 4 or 5 times a night, even when you are 60, and that this can be treated.
It turned out that along with many ‘older’ men, I had an enlarged prostate (or to give it its formal name – benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)), and this was causing my problems as it was impacting on my bladder.
For me, hearing that I had prostate problems sounded major alarm bells as my dear father passed away 18 years ago due to prostate cancer. I’m the first to admit that my medical knowledge is fairly weak, therefore it’s easy to jump to conclusions and assume the worst, but after assurances that the PSA levels in my blood were very low, I was more relaxed about my condition. (I now know that it is VERY IMPORTANT to get PSA levels checked via a simple blood test, as this can be an early indication of prostate cancer – readers please take note!).
My urologist tried initially to deal with my condition via medication, but after a few months, very little changed, so earlier this week I had surgery to reduce the size of my prostate, and consequently, its influence on my bladder (more details on the surgery I had can be found in the link below, if interested).
In a few days I return to the clinic to have everything checked, and I’m hopeful that all will now be ok – I’m looking forward to less night-time loo visits!
So, it’s been an eventful few months, with a combination of relaxation, medical stress, and a new work project to get my teeth into. I’m very much looking forward to what the rest of this year has to bring.
Radisson Blu Hotel, Kuwait – here
More about my prostate surgery (TURP) – here
Information about PSA blood tests – here