Friday, October 14, 2011

Brain surgery, parties, children and a night away.

Just what the doctor ordered.

In that sequential order as well.

I have, if you read Mark's you will know that my head decided not to cope with a gradual build up of fluid and I had a rather quick surgical procedure called a Ventriculostomy. Very often a shunt is put into people's ventricles when they suffer from hydrocephalus (fluid build up). Instead the surgeon decided to insert a snazzy camera and then pierce a hole in the base of the ventricle to allow drainage. It allows slow, gradual drainage and balancing of the fluid levels. I also have a flash little Rickham reservoir placed just under the skin of the entry wound through which they can actually simply enter a needle to remove extra fluid if it is so needed. Flash huh?! It's small, and I can only feel a slight bump under the skin and shaven hair. Yep. Another hairstyle emergency (sigh). Although kindly they just took off a little bit so I have modified my fringe and parting to accommodate. (You can't really tell in the photo but they used a new
iodine solution which was bright pink!! My entire head and pillow was very 'punk' looking for a few days. Kind of cool. Thankfully it has almost all gone as I write this today...but I kind of liked it for a while).
The recovery has felt slow. But then I'm not all the patient with this process anymore. Considering I have had my head cut into, I really should be more realistic. I forget that I can't always bounce back straight away. I didn't cope so well initially. It all came as a shock. Suddenly I was being admitted to the same ward that I had spent so many sleepless nights back in January. Back to the midnightly blood-tests, Heparin jabs in the belly to avoid blood clots and the two hourly waking to check that I'm Neurologically 'with it'. It brought back a lot of the fear and trauma of January/Feb I must admit. I recognised the sounds, smells and many of the nurses. It was lonely and scary. But.........only a week this time and then Mark took me home and cooked and cared for me as only he wonderfully can.

I have recovered at home well. Still struggling with poor eyesight, but battling on despite. Hopefully as the recovery process completes so will the recovery of my sight. I can't drive again. A standard 'stand down' period is required after any brain surgery. I am feeling a little housebound, but at least I feel well. I have got a crappy sinus infection which antibiotics are dealing with which makes my head feel spaced out. I look forward to the day when my head feels normal again. A happy day that will be.

I have an onslaught of hospital appointments coming up over the next two months. I hope the MRI in two weeks reveals some more die off of this tumour of mine. I have finished with it. I'm just not sure yet if it has finished with me. Most importantly, I need to make sure it doesn't actually 'finish' me.
I'm tired of being scared and sad. I want laughter again.

We had a little of this recently. Beautiful Phoebe turned three and her love of pirates inspired me to bake a Pirate ship cake. Just a little one, but she seemed pleased. We had Nana and my brother visiting from Christchurch which made the birthday weekend a bit more special for us all.
Notice how the candle on right of pic is actually burning the ship's mast. Giggle!

Plenty of pirate loot!

She proudly took a little cake to preschool as well and shared birthday news. Gosh how they grow up huh!! Before I know it my baby will be starting school. Good golly!

My kids have grown to love spinach. Just on the plate, no dressings, maybe a few other salad bits on an occasion. I am am a proud mum. Mark should be a proud dad about this because it is his cooking and perseverance by simply putting it on their plates and expecting it to be eaten................they now just do!! (Although our carnivore Phoebe had only attempted one leaf, but baby steps!!)
Just a little spinach with your pasta anyone??

School Holidays
We have done something a little out of the ordinary this week. We sent our two eldest children; Caitlin and Molly off on a flight to stay with their Aunty and Uncle in Canterbury. It felt very odd sending them off as unaccompanied minors. But they coped extremely well and are having a lovely time.

It has been strange and VERY quiet in the house, especially on the first night and morning. Phoebe was missing her sisters by bath-time of second night. But Mark and I are making the most of having a one child weekend. We plan to drive to Whangamata for one night of dining out and then chilling in a motel room all together. Not much, but we are excited anyway. Since living up here away from our extended family we haven't had these opportunities, so we are grabbing it! I'm still feel a little fatigued and will be traveling with a swag of medications in my toilet bag. But I guess you just have to grab life by the chin and just do stuff anyway sometimes huh!
I'll update you soon on my night away with my gorgeous man and big three year old!

Well. It's nice to be blogging again. I'm glad you're still out there. Thanks for hanging around for me.
Have a lovely weekend yourself.
Jaz xx


  1. what a lot you've gone through...Your husband sounds like a keeper. May blessings rain upon your tumor and take it away.

  2. Oh wow - what a busy and rough time! So glad you got through that procedure ok and really loving the cake you made!! Enjoy your break and tell your guy we all think he's pretty amazing out here in blogland!

  3. Being new to your blog, I had no idea of your journey. Will be praying for you and for that tumour to die (big time!)
    Glad that the procedure went well and LOVE that pirate ship cake!

  4. What a fantabulous cake - and so many happy faces :)
    Lovely to have you writing again - another step forward in this journey. You are doing a fantastic job, both of you.

  5. Despite your frustration at what feels like a slow recovery, your body has been through an amazing amount this year and to others looking in you continue to amaze and inspire with how well your body has responded to each challenge, any one of which on their own were big obstacles to overcome.

    Yay for your pretty pirate, it looked to be a very fun day :-)

    Hope your time away is wonderful and special and just what you all need xxx

  6. An awesome cake. Children remember their cakes I've discovered. Phoebe will definitely be reminding you of that one and you've set yourself quite a target for future years.

    It's good to see you back in Blogland being an inspiration to those of us who often become too complacent with life.

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  7. So good to hear from you. We missed you. Im so sorry you have to go through all this. But the nurse in me is learning LOADS about neuro I appreciate all the (gorry) details. :)
    I can't believe you even managed to make such a spectacular cake!
    Have a great weekend away

  8. Oh Jaz, Im so sorry to hear what you have had to go through again. I'll be praying hard for you for that next MRI.
    The Pirate ship is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!!
    Have a great weekend

  9. Enjoy your night away, you deserve a nice break even if it's just for one night.

  10. What an awesome cake, hope you have a fun mini-break :)

  11. What a trooper, good to see you are doing better, bet you were glad to have ya mum and bro to help celebrate phoebe's birthday. I no nana would have loved it too. Now you get better young lady so at some stage you all can come down to visit..
    Luv Julie

  12. So good to hear from you again Jaz!! You continue to amaze me with your positive aspect on life. You are so right - that the little moments need to be noticed and celebrated. The cake for Phoebe is awesome - no wonder she loved it. Was great to hear that you are going to get away somewhere different for a night.


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