Hi all,

Well, a mid-week blog can only mean some out-of-the-ordinary news. So without delay, I can confirm that my brain surgery which was scheduled for tomorrow has been postponed for two weeks. The reason? I’m spotty! The doctors cannot agree on what is afflicting me, be it chickenpox, urticaria or simply a rash. Whatever it is, it was agreed this afternoon between my Mom and Dad and my medical team that it is not worth the risk of undergoing surgery while I am suffering with an unknown affliction. The stakes are high enough already, so there is no need to increase the ante.

What I can do is share some information with you that we gathered this afternoon during a meeting Mom and Dad had with Prof Fourie and Dr Lippert, who form part of my surgical team. Although I sat on the floor playing I did listen really well, and here’s a summary of what we know.

The intention during the surgery is to close 3 to 4 fistula by means of radio-intervention surgery. This means going arterially from the groin to the brain, and upon reaching the fistula, to deploy blobs of surgical superglue which should then occlude the offending fistula. The risk associated with this is that the artery can haemorrhage where the superglue is deployed in the loom. This worst case scenario results in a 27% mortality, based on precedent cases. Furthermore, what complicates matters more, is that the haemorrhaging could occur immediately, or during recovery.

Needless to say, this begs the question why do the surgery at all? Well, the answer lies in the fact that the fistula (quantity unknown) are causing excessive blood pressure out the venous system, which is the one good vein left to drain my brain of blood. The excessive pressure on this vein results in the vein wall thickening, and causing stenosis (the thickening of the vein’s walls causes the narrowing of the vein preventing blood flowing through it). Consequently, the blood will no longer be able to drain from the brain, and start looking for alternative routes, such as through the jugular and other veins in the head and face, which is not desirable at all. A further consequence of the inability of the brain to drain is that the brain begins to suffer from hydrocephalus, i.e. an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid. This is particularly bad, is this causes intracranial pressure.

The reasons to undergo the surgery are therefore well evidenced, but at the same the risk of undergoing the surgery is not reduced.

Although it is a relief that I’m not undergoing surgery tomorrow, it is delaying the inevitable of undergoing the surgery. Mom, Dad and I had emotionally and psychologically prepared ourselves for tomorrow’s procedure. Now, with the delay, these feelings are perpetuated and may even fester, producing more questions and concerns, resulting in more stress and worry. The same holds true for the surgical team, as they themselves prepare themselves mentally for the surgery.

So please keep all those angels and guardians, prayers and positive thoughts on standby until a new date is scheduled or another set of decisions need to be made. I will keep you all posted on proceedings.

Lots of love,


4 Comments on Going Spotty

  1. The Needham's says:

    Hi little champ! What a tough up and down week for the three of you!! Know we pray for you non stop and know God will guide the medical team and carry the three of you. Love Bertie, Cornel & Juane

  2. The Smith's says:

    Hi Jarrod,

    Goodluck, I hope the spots clear up soon.

    I always believe that there is a reason for everything that happens in life.

    Stay strong and look after your mom and dad. You remain in our thoughts and prayers.

    Duwayne and Ingrid

  3. Tracy & Rox says:

    Gives us more time to build up some positive thought credit. Strength and love to your family

  4. […] home, as Mom, Dad and I had an appointment in Unitas with my surgeons. Wednesday’s blog, Going Spotty, details the outcomes of the […]

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