Monday, January 31, 2011

Auckland Anniversary day

This time last week Jaz was in surgery. What a week we have all had!

I lay in bed last night thinking about the week that was and how much we have been through. The time spent crying has almost passed and is being replaced with happiness and reassurance that things might be ok.

Luke and I visited Jaz this morning. Caitlin is staying with a friend and Molly and Phoebe watched movies in our regular family room on the ward.

Jaz managed with the help of the nurses to get from her seat to her bed no hoist required. A huge achievement. Her speech is stronger, still very forgetful and confused but we are rewarded with conversation of sorts much more than we ever had before. She practices unscrewing and screwing on the lid of her hand creme, more often than not she fails but it highlights to all in the ward how determined she is to get better.
The ward nurses are very proud of her progress and I was stopped several times today by them expressing to me how pleased they were with her.
The Neurology team are great but the nurses and hospital carers are fantastic. They have such a tough job but regardless of the situation continue to care. I make a point of contacting her carers every time I enter or leave the ward. I think my kindness towards them is returned with kindness and compassion towards my family and most importantly Jasmine.

Today is Auckland anniversary day a 3 day weekend which has made the hospital wards very quiet. No surgeons or physios walking the wards, no extra tests or scans. Its almost like everyone that is not critical is on hold for a few days.

Tomorrow will bring the hustle and bustle heightened by the lost day on Monday as new patients arrive and current patients are assessed. For Jaz that means, another MRI, a possible increased dose of blood thinners, assessment for another possible operation (shunts - Ill explain another day!!) and the results of her biopsy. All of those procedures have consequences so it will be another very busy and emotional week.

For me its a meeting with my work place to discuss our future, Molly starts school on Tuesday and Caitlin starts college on Wednesday. I must admit I am looking forward to avoiding the what am I going to wear arguments when the School Uniform takes over!! Im sure there are a few of you out there that understand where Im coming from.
Balancing school and visits will be difficult but made so much easier with Luke staying this week.
Tomorrow we will also try and find a pillow that has an ipod dock or radio built in. Jaz would like to listen to music. I gave her the iPod today but she got frustrated with the ear plugs. Im sure there must be something small that would be appropriate.

So as the first week closes another starts with many more small steps and hospital visits!


  1. I've been away at my son's wedding on the shore of Lake Okareka ( near Rotorua). Have caught up on what has been happening with Jaz and I'm thrilled to hear of such progress. That's your girl Mark!
    Please give my best wishes to her.
    Family is so important and yours are proving to be just that.

  2. As is becoming usual the first thing I do when I come in in the afternoon or evening is look to see the news of Jaz and of you and your family.

    It was good to hear the news today and to know that you are coping as a new semblance of what for the moment will pass as 'normality' takes over in the house. I wish you well.

    So far as the pillow is concerned there is one made in the UK by a company in Wilmslow near where I lived in a past life. I should know by later this evening whether they are available in NZ. I'll let you know.

  3. Big hugs Mark. You are doing an amazing job with the girls and caring for Jaz. It sounds like she is making great progress. Don't forget to take care of yourself and try and have some time out. Thinking of you all.

    I just read that you have moved a bit and in your 2nd year in AKL - we are the same! Plus we are expecting girl #3 in June. Go the Girl power!

    Much love.

  4. Hi Mark, I am guessing you wont know me too well, Jaz was my teacher back at Ashley School about six years ago!!!
    Jaz also took me for extra work outside of school at your home in Rangiora. My mum Glenda Coursey worked at Ashley School with Jaz too.
    Thank you so much for continuing the blog, it's fantastic to see the improvements Jaz is making and the changes your family are making.
    You are doing an awesome job Mark! The way you have handled the situation makes me greatly admired you!
    My prayers go to Jaz, you and your family.

  5. Brilliant to hear of the progress with each passing day. Having conversations with your lovely gal must be just the best! And always so reassuring to hear that the people who are the experts in these things are so impressed with Jaz's progress too. Bless ya. Meg

  6. If I can help with the pillow made in the UK please let me know; I could order it and post it on to you. xx

  7. Thanks to all for you comments. Yes I do remember you Lizzy!!!

    Great to know you are all out there. Thanks for the offers of help for the pillow. Im pretty sure Bed Bath and Beyond sell them which is a shop close to home. I will check them first and let you know if I need anymore help.



  8. Mark. I have discovered the pillow on the website: and it's available through (with whom I have an account). Try as I might I cannot find any seller who will post it to NZ. If you cannot find one in Auckland (and the company tell me they do not export to NZ) I can order one in the UK using my UK address and get someone to ship it here. It may take a week or two but it can be done and I'd be happy to do it.

    There are also very small speakers available which could be put next to the pillow.

  9. I hadn't read your last comment when I posted mine. Good luck. I'd be interested in the result.

  10. Hi - I'm just a random reader of Jaz's blog, but have been away from the computer for a couple of weeks. Have just caught up on everything now - so shocked and sorry to hear what has happened, but so in awe of how strong you are all being, how well Jaz is progressing, how determined she is - and I am sure that she is going to continue from strength to strength. Thanks for updating the blog for us readers, and know that there are those of us out there who don't know you personally, but are thinking of you all and hoping that things keep improving xx

  11. I've had (and still have) problems with my neck having to spend a lot of time just lying on my back doing nothing. Besides music I have also found audio books helpful. Might be something to think about for Jaz too to try. I did have a couple of small battery-driven portable speakers which at times I was also able to put under the pillow. Hope you find a good solution.


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