Hi all!

What another really busy week I’ve had! Most of you will remember that I was scheduled on Friday to undergo further MRI’s and scans, which all went ahead as planned; I’ll talk about this later during my blog. Also, you will all have seen Thursday’s blog when I achieved my nine month birthday under a combination of 3’s and 9’s! But first let’s go back to the start of the week.

On Monday morning I woke up giggling! I can’t really tell you why, but it was just something that happened. Mommy and Daddy thought it was funny too, and we all had early morning giggles together in my bedroom. As it was a work day for Dad so we bid him farewell as he headed to the office. Mom and I started getting ready for our day too. I was feeling much better from my colds and flu’s, and the grommets were definitely beginning to feel beneficial; we decided to go to Sister Lindy again to be weighed and have a general check-up. It was quite a reunion, and after lots of chatting and catching up I was put on the scale and weighed – 8.5kg! I was impressed. My height is now 71cm and my head circumference, which is closely observed owing to all the work I had done in my head, as well as all the extra stuff that was up there, like platinum coils and an Amplatzer, is now 46.5cm, which is thankfully within the normal range. Afterward, Granny met Mom and I at Cresta Shopping Centre where we shopped for some winter clothes for me. It was really great fun and I couldn’t wait to show off my cute new outfits to my Dad. We then spent the afternoon around the house, and I took a much needed snooze.

As evening approached, Mom and I were anxiously awaited Dad’s arrival; but sadly he seemed delayed at work. I couldn’t wait any longer so I started dinner without my Dad. I was a little saddened by this, as Dad and I have an entire ritual going on every evening, starting with his feeding me when he gets home, playing, then bathing and massaging me, to feeding again and then he puts me to bed. The look on Dad’s face when he spotted me in the dinning room munching on a chunk of carpaccio meat in one hand and a chunk of butternut in the other hand made up for his not being there to feed me! I was having a whale of a time, and he thought it was all too funny, and joined in on the fun. Soon after eating Mom and I dragged Dad off to the spare bedroom where all my new outfits lay. We took Dad through each one, and we gogo’ed and gaga’ed at how cute they all looked.

Tuesday was filled with the excitement of Kelly’s farewell, as she and her two boys and a girl are moving to Glasgow. It was an awesome farewell, which was held in Michelle’s garden. The weather was incredible, and I got the chance to socialise with some of my little girlfriends. We said adieu to everyone, and on the way home Mom and I stopped in at Granny’s for a quick feed and change. Once there, we bundled off in the car to fetch my cousin Tamsin from school. She is always so excited at seeing me, so I reciprocate with equal amounts of excitement. The excitement led to me getting tired, so Mom and I headed off home.

At home Mom gave me pieces of watermelon, which was a first for me. I thoroughly delighted in the coolness of the red flesh of this fruit, and my delight extended to my getting watermelon and its seeds over most of my body. Mom mentioned that Dad typically only eats watermelon in the garden, followed by a swim; now I know why. The evening was uneventful as Dad took me through my dinner and cares. I love the few hours I get to spend with him in the evening, and although I know I need my sleep, I get annoyed at the fact that I cannot stay up longer and spend more time with him.

I was super excited when I got up on Wednesday morning, as it was music day again! Mom and I hurriedly got ready and headed to my little people’s music school. The lesson dealt with music appreciation, which I think I have down pat, as I know exactly what types of music I like, and I even can anticipate the end of a tune. When the music ends I generally toss my arms around like a mad thing, as I just want it to continue! The cherry on top of Wednesday’s visit to music class was that Mom bought be my own set of maracas, which have subsequently become my favourite toy! Although I was sad at the lesson ending, I was also excited as Mom and I rushed home. Back home Mom laid out cups for tea and cake, as Mom’s Group was coming to our place. Claudia arrived with little Ryan, and Colleen brought with little Joseph. We chatted well into the afternoon, and we all had a wonderful time.

Dad arrived home just as our guests had left. Mom didn’t eat dinner with us as she was going to bookclub at Nina’s, so she’ll have dinner there. Dad and I tucked into some salmon pasta that Mom had made. Because Mom wasn’t eating with us, she feed me while Dad ate his dinner. As many of you will know, Mom is deadly allergic to fish (and no, not just shell fish as most people deduce!). Mom’s allergy is so bad that she cannot even touch fish, let alone eat it, so it is really an incredibly awesome treat for Dad and I that she prepares fish for us at dinner (generally wearing a hazmat outfit while she does it). In fact, when Mom and Dad first tried me on fish they had the car running and the gate open ready for a quick getaway to the hospital, should I show similar symptoms. Fortunately I can tolerate fish, which is great as Dr Nicoletta says it’s very good for my diet. I’m very familiar with Mom’s allergies, so I tried really hard to eat neatly and not mess on her.

Unfortunately every well laid plan is fraught with errors, and mine came in the form of a sneeze! Before I knew it, something started tickling my nose, and next thing I’d sneezed salmon pasta all over Mom! Fortunately there were a pack of wipes nearby, and Mom swiftly got all the salmon off her. I did notice though that as quickly as she got to the wipes she also got to the drinks cabinet, and next she had a strong Johnny Walker Black Label in her hand. Apparently whiskey subdues the effects of her allergy and Dad reckons Mom has the best excuse for whiskey’s in the world. Needless to say Dad was feeling a little left out, and before long he too had a Johnny’s! Dad started my evening cares and Mom bid us farewell as she headed up the road to Nina’s place. Although Mom really loved bookclub, she was sad about tonight’s bookclub, as it was the last time she could walk to bookclub as Nina is moving home soon. Dad and I spent some good quality time together, and then it was time to go to bed. Much later that night I remember Mom kissing me goodnight, upon her return from bookclub. I guessed from her damp hair and wet sweater that it had started to rain during her walk home.

Thursday morning I got up extra early, as I need to post a blog! It was my nine month birthday, and I wanted everyone to know. Moreover, there were so many interesting facts about the date that I couldn’t miss the opportunity of sharing it with my fan club. If you missed Thursday’s blog, click here.

During Thursday Mom and I visited Helen and Kyle (aka ‘The Professor’). Helen was one of the mommies that Mom and Dad got to know while I was in the neo-natal unit at Morningside Medi Clinic. Little Kyle was in the crib next to mine, and we shared many stories together, late at night when all was quiet in the ward. The nickname the nurses gave him was ‘The Professor’, as he looked just like a mini-professor, with wild hair and a thoughtful and deep way about him. One day I will share all my nicknames with you. Helen and Mom chatted for hours while Kyle and I caught up as only old friends do. Since both of us had been discharged from hospital we had had so many new experiences, such as cutting teeth, finding our appendages, putting our feet in our mouths, the discomfort of car seats, textures of foodstuffs, and so much more.

After a lazy few hours together, Mom and I had to get home as Opa was coming to visit. I was so excited to see him again, and he brought me some ‘9 month’ birthday presents. We sat and chatted for a while, and all too soon Opa had to leave again.

Friday morning I had to get up really early, as we all had to be at Sunninghill Hospital for my scans etc. We were on the road just after 6am, which felt like déjà vu, as just like last week I found myself in a similar circumstance when I went to have my grommets put in. This was my first visit to Sunninghill Hospital, and I’m really hoping it is my last as we were all less than impressed with the rudeness and abruptness of the staff there. After admission we headed off to the paediatric ward, where we were accosted by a less than competent security guard who eventually led us to believe that we had to sign in (and out later when we left). I guess this is a good thing, as little people could be napped, but Dad did notice that the other end of the ward there was no security and he could come and go at will! There was no one at the nurses station, and once we where eventually served we were taken to a ward. There I discovered a cot without sheets or a pillow, and in a ward with three other cots there were only two visitor’s chairs. Mom and Dad were unimpressed, and after asking for a pillow for me a disgruntled member of staff eventually conceded and went and got me a pillow. Fortunately Mom is like a fully trained boy scout, and always has stuff for me that I may need, so she produced a blanket for me. We grudgingly settled in, and then Dad discovered an old colleague and friend, Paul, wandering around the next ward. He was also there for a procedure, but we all had time for some quick hellos and I met Paul’s wife Amelie. We wished Paul well as he was wheeled off to theatre.

While Mom, Dad and I waited to go down to radiology, we had a few reunions! In my ward at Unitas there was a little girl whose aunt works at Sunninghill Hospital. She saw us and made a beeline for us. It was so great to chat up with her, and to find out that after many stressful months and lots of procedures her little niece is also home and well. We exchanged details and promised to be in touch, as I’ve noticed that the parents of little people like me, that were sailing so close to the edge, seem to have a bond, as they understand what it must have felt like.

Not long afterward I was collected to go to radiology. En route another reunion; Mom met an old work colleague and we all chatted for a while. We arrived at radiology where I met my anaesthetist and it was agreed that Mom could hold me while I was put under, providing she removed all her jewellery and metal objects, as these would cause distress in the confined space of the MRI equipment. My next disappointment was that neither Mom nor Dad could stay with me in the MRI, although it was arranged that one of them could. At prior scans at Morningside Medi Clinic Mom stayed in the room with me. The grumpy old duck that was my nurse shoed Mom and Dad off to the coffee shop, and I was left alone inside the scary restrictions of the MRI machine.

The next disappointment was that Dr Mears, who is my cardiologist, cancelled my appointment for later that morning. The reason for my Mom and Dad arranging the MRI at Sunninghill Hospital was that, 6 weeks ago, when all the arrangements were made the plan was have the MRI done, then the heart echo, all at Sunninghill, and then off to Dr Nicoletta at Morningside Medi Clinic where the results were to be reviewed for the next steps. Fortunately I wasn’t there at the time, as Mom and Dad were spitting mad at this! The only reason why we opted to go to Sunninghill Hospital, under duress in the first place, was that my cardiologist is there.

Mom and Dad returned to radiology to be there when I woke up. When I opened my eyes, albeit groggily, I saw my Mommy. All my stats were checked and I was cleared to return to the ward. A long wait ensued while the porters came down to collect me. A porter arrived, and after further rude engagements with several of the radiology staff we travelled back to the ward. As we were leaving Mom arranged a private audience with one of the old ducks to remind her of the patients’ rights which none of the staff there seemed to be familiar with.

Back in the ward, were could hardly wait to be discharged. As we were leaving, Dad got a call from the cardiologist’s offices to say that one of the other doctors there could see us, if we could be there within the next few minutes. Clearly Dad’s articulation over the phone at the displeasure of the appointment being cancelled struck a nerve, and a plan was made. Upon arriving at the cardiologist’s offices we were introduced to Dr Greenwood Sinyangwe, who conducted the echo. We all got on very well with Dr Greenwood, as he expertly scanned my heart and other organs. He also checked my pulmonary pressures.

The conclusion that he drew was that my pulmonary pressures are now almost normal, from previously being almost double what they should be. Additionally, my heart is no longer as enlarged as it was previously, which is great news. I still have a hole in my heart, measuring approximately 3mm in diameter, which is no great cause for concern, as this may close on it own. Should I decide to go deep sea diving in the next couple of years, or become an astronaut, then the hole will prove problematic.

After the echo we rushed back to radiology to collect the scans of my head. There Dad had a long chat to Dr Wilson, who confirmed that the veins in my head were definitely more occluded, but couldn’t say by how much until it was compared with the scans that were done the day after my birth. Dad and Dr Wilson, who struck it off really well, made arrangements to have my prior scans delivered as well and they would then be able to do a full comparison. Unfortunately the full report was not ready yet, but Dr Wilson would call Dr Nicoletta with the feedback while we travelled to Morningside Medi Clinic. So, armed with a fresh CD of my scans, we headed to Morningside.

Waiting at Dr Nicoletta’s offices I met Robyn, Dr Enrico’s wife. She swooped me up in her arms and we went behind the reception desk where I helped her to do some filing. A short while later we went into Dr Nicoletta’s office. She was super excited to see me, and was truly impressed at the feedback from the MRI and echo scans. Based on the available information it seems that I may not need to go for another procedure! I was ecstatic at this news, but Dr Nicoletta did caution me at getting excited too early, as she would await the full report from the MRI, and discuss it with Prof Fourie. She did however say that if the next procedure was not needed, or only needed much later in my life, the MIC-Key in my tummy could come at, as I no longer need it. Currently it’s convenient for Mom and Dad to administer meds through, but other than that it serves no purpose but to bother me when I do tummy time. So over the next few days it will become clear as to the next steps, which may mean no procedure, or no procedure immediately and wait and see if the condition improves, or a procedure pretty soon in the future (which is the least likely of the three options, if I listen to everyone’s views). I will keep you posted on this. My ears were also checked post the grommets being inserted, and Dr Nicoletta was very impressed at the work that Dr Davidge-Pitts had done, as they looked perfect. Before leaving Dr Nicoletta’s offices I opted for a quick measles jab, which now brings all my inoculations for a nine month old up to speed.

After a long day we finally made it back home. It rained in the afternoon as we were driving home, which was a welcome relief from the heat. The three of us spent the rest of the day taking it easy, as I tried to work the anaesthetic out of my system.

Saturday started as a really slow and quiet day. Mom slept late and Dad spent the morning doing my cares, playing with me, and generally enjoying good quality time with me. The afternoon turned pretty busy as Granny came to visit, followed a short while later by Aunty Kim and Ronnie. We all chatted for much of the afternoon, and then soon evening started to descend.

A trip to WorldWear was the order of the day on Sunday morning. There Mom and Dad had a quick lunch before getting a few goodies for my bedroom at Mr Price. The actual reason for our visit to WorldWear was to pop into Seeman’s Butchery, where Mom and Dad got some fresh meat and some yummy original German recipe goodies for Opa. It was really hot again as we headed home, and unfortunately our trip come was delayed by Mom and Dad witnessing a horrible accident. Dad pulled over to check that everyone was ok. It seemed the lady in the red Golf, which suffered the brunt of the impact, was quite hurt. Dad immediately got to the task of calming her down but not allowing her to move, owing to the extent of her injuries. While chatting to her, and establishing that her name was Susan, Dad rustled up an ambulance, a fire truck to open the car door, and the police. Minutes later the medics arrived. I craned my neck to see if I could see my old friends Ryan and Carel, who had previously transported me via ambulance between Morningside Medi-Clinic and Unitas, but it was their colleagues from NetCare24 that responded. By now Dad figured it was safe to leave, and after exchanging details as a witness, we started to leave. It was then that Dad noticed his shins were bleeding; without knowing it, he had been kneeling on glass on the seat beside Susan while he was keeping her calm. My baby wipes came in handy to get rid of the blood, and as we were about to pull off an enormous fire engine pulled up alongside our car to assist with getting Susan out of the mangled wreck. I was quite impressed with Dad’s handling of the situation; keeping the injured calm, calling emergency services, calling the injured lady’s sister, and then exchanging details with the drivers for witness purposes! Goooo Dad! Back home Mom check Dad’s legs for any glass that might have gotten trapped under the skin – this would not have been the first time Dad was about to walk around for weeks with automotive glass stuck in his skin!

Mom and I opted for a snooze while Dad watched some stuff on volcanoes on TV. Later, once I was awake, Dad and I spent some time in the garden together. I giggled at his antics as he hid behind a wall or tree and slowly snuck up to surprise me.

Well, that’s about it for this week. My major achievements are that I’m standing on demand very easily, and I said Baba to my Dad after he was forcing a really tight fitting top over my head. My timing was perfect; as my head popped through I looked at him and said Baba! He rolled on the floor laughing with pride! I also achieved a personal best of eating 55 spoonfuls of food and fruit in one sitting, didn’t throw anything up afterward.



Figure 1 The Maestro at Work

Figure 2 Snoozes

Figure 3 Shatzi brings a friend home

Figure 4 Drinkies

Figure 5 Smiling for my foodies

Figure 6 Evidence of Carpaccio and Butternut

Figure 7 Phoning Dad to come home

Figure 8 Showing off my new winter hat

Figure 9 Hi!

Figure 10 Giggles with Tammy

Figure 11 Pigglets!

Figure 12 Playing Maracas

Figure 13 Munching on Rice Cakes with Cream Cheese

Figure 14 Thinking . . .

Figure 15 . . . and smiling

Figure 16 Enjoying some salmon pasta

Figure 17 Eeyore slippers

Figure 18 Practicing kneeling

Figure 19 Bath time!

Figure 20 Splashing about

Figure 21 Shiny and clean!

Figure 22 Look ma, no hands!

Figure 23 Face plant on my Pilates ball

Figure 24 Face plant on my doughnut

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