Hi all!

Although the procedure last week seems to have been a success, and I’m back at Morningside Medi-Clinic, this is eclipsed by the fact that I’m somewhat grumpy and agitated at the moment as I’m suffering withdrawal symptoms after being on morphine for almost ten days. I must recommend to all my readers not to take this pain relieving drug too long, as it wreaks havoc with one’s system. One of the symptoms I’m displaying at the moment is that I cannot remain still for more that 2 seconds. I’m continually rubbing my hands together and stretching and retracting my legs. The morphine makes one pretty itchy as well, so I’m a little frustrated at the moment.

The other aspect that is affected is my inability to sleep for lengthy periods of time. Currently I nod off frequently, only to wake up a few minutes later again. Dr Hay reckons this also has to do with the unnatural surrounds of the NNICU, where there are always lights on, and there are always machines yelling out warnings of impending danger, and the constant prodding and poking by the medical practitioners wishing to check my stats or draw blood or measure something.

As I am so lucid and active at the moment, my dedicated Mommy opted to do kangaroo care for the entire week, and has taken off work. Through this kangaroo care I’m in my Mom’s arms most of the day. She talks to me, feeds me and does all my cares, ensuring that I get lots of affectionate touching and skin-on-skin contact. I really enjoy the kangaroo care, as for the past 14 weeks I’ve not really had adequate opportunity to bond with my Mommy.

The kangaroo care is also made easier by the fact that I’m off all my tubes and drips now. The only additional appendages that I’m lugging around with me now are cables attached to sensors for monitoring my heart, saturation, blood pressure, etc. So from this you can gather that I’m really doing well at the moment. No more ventilation, no more oxygen, no more drips! What a relief. Needless to say I’m still in quite a bit of pain, and being cold turkey off morphine is unpleasant. I am still getting pain killers for my head, as the pain of a craniotomy is quite intense, but Dr Hay has put me on much gentler medication that is not as addictive and harsh as morphine.

Other good news is that my stitches have been removed from the back of my head, where the craniotomy was done, and the incision is healing well. There is still much pain in that region, and I cannot lie with my head on that spot, so I either keep my head to the side, lie prone on my tummy, or sit up in Mom’s lap or propped up against a cushion. I developed a bedsore on my neck as well, from lying still for so long after my marathon 10 hour surgery, which is also healing well. My ear, which I lay on for two days while it was folded over (I couldn’t tell anyone as I was out cold), is also healing beautifully.

Sadly there is also always a down side to my news, and that is that I still have klebsiella (which is the infection in my lungs), as well as now having contracted pseudomona, which is a type of bacteria that like my klebsiella, is an opportunist pathogen. This simply means it’s a nasty bacteria that exploits my weaknesses and attacked me where my nasogastric tube goes into my nose. Thanks to these two infections I am now in an isolation area, which limits my being visited by my Opa, Oma and Granny, which is a real downer for me and them, because we really miss each other.

When Mom and Dad visited me earlier this evening I sensed quite a buzz amongst them. I then recalled that it was their 13th wedding anniversary, and they were planning a quick little dinner after visiting with me. It made them really sad that I couldn’t be with them on this special celebration, as this date is significant for me too, but I told them to go and have some fun and have a slice of pizza and a glass of wine on me. So after I was fed and reasonably well settled in, with my music playing over my cot they snuck out quietly and went to Col’Cacchio at Benmore Gardens on the way home for some pizzas & red wine. I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised tomorrow if Mom arrives later than usual!

You are probably wondering what the next steps for me are? Well, I have it on good authority from Dr. Hay that the primary objectives for me right now are that I need to be cleared of my infections and put on some much needed weight. Currently I’m 4,225kg, which is about 400grams less that before my last trip to Unitas. I guess going in and out of surgery three times in a week would cause anyone to shed some weight! Once I’ve put on sufficient weight there are slight rumours about my going home for a while before my next procedure in January, when I’m six months old. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for this, as I’m getting really tired of the clinical hospital environment that I’m being subjected to continuously. Once I know of more news I will definitely let you all know.

Love, hugs and kisses,

Jarrod J

Figure 1 Me and Daddy

Figure 1 Me and Daddy

Figure 2 This is thanks to my germs!

Figure 2 This is thanks to my germs!

Figure 3 People in my ward are supposed to wear this garb

Figure 3 People in my ward are supposed to wear this garb

Figure 4 Goodnight everyone!

Figure 4 Goodnight everyone!

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6 Comments on Cold Turkey

  1. Gillian Lederer says:

    Hi Big Guy

    I have it on good authority that no one likes being in Hospital. Ryan and Kirsten’s Grandpa has also just come out of hospital after 11 days and the folowing is an excerpt from his weekly email to me.

    And I quote ….

    “I am not amused by someone tapping me on the shoulder at 4.15 AM, saying “I am just taking a little blood !,then proceeding to fill 4/5 ampoules !!. Half an hour later “would you like tea or coffee ?”, a little later along comes the Nurse for blood pressure & temperature readings, after that to prick your finger for blood sugar readings & then a bowl of water to wash in !!! By which time I am fully awake and nothing to do until Breakfast at 0800am !.”

    End Quote

    He is a little older than you 🙂 but he understands cranky so I guess there is no escaping the poking and prodding whatever the age.

    Good news that you are finally bonding sans wires and tubes with Mom and Dad which is wonderful – there is going to be a lot more of that coming.

    Hope you get out of isolation soon because I know your Opa and Oma have missed you a lot.

    Don’t forget …. Eat More, Get Stronger, Go Home 🙂

    Gillian, Oliver, Ryan and Kirsten

  2. Bronwyn says:

    Good morning

    It is really awesome to see these pics of you without all the tubes and wires and drips etc. So glad to hear that all is going well after the procedure. We will all just hope and pray that those nasty little infections and bugs go soon, so that you can get bigger and stronger so you can go home, such gr8 news that there is talk of that, your mommy and daddy must be so excited and happy with that.

    Well hugs and kisses.

    Love to all
    Bronwyn, Gary, Brannon, Rhianne

  3. Claudi says:

    Dear Jarrod,

    You look reaaaalllyy cool on your daddy’s lap, free from all your tubes. I will keep my fingers crossed that you will be able to spend some time in your new room at home.

    Love Claudi 🙂

  4. Jenni says:

    Dearest Little Jarrod

    It’s so lovely to see you looking so free of all the ‘shackles’ that were all over the show on your little body. I’m sure that it must be wonderful to be held so close to your Mommy and be able to bond with her.

    It certainly can’t be much fun getting used to not having the morphine anymore, I hope that the withdrawal symptoms go away very quickly.

    You are a very brave little man to have a craniotomy at your tender age, my Dad had one at 59 years old and he suffered immense pain so I can only begin to imagine the intensity of yours.

    I was just saying to your Mommy the other day that you are the strongest person that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and in your short little life so far have endured far more than anyone I know in this world.

    I really admire you little man!!!

    Lots of Love to your Mommy and Daddy

    Keep up the good work and fight off those germs!!!

    Love you lots

  5. Lisle says:

    Jaarrrrrrrrrrrrroooood or should I call you “Joey”
    OMG, I cannot believe what you have been through, whilst i have been on holiday. You are amazing!!!!!. I like your new “pad” its looks cool (and all your new friends painted on the wall). Sorry to hear about the hassles you are having with going “cold turkey”, thats hard 🙁 (on top of having a bad headache – geez). glad to hear your parents don’t suffer from triskaidekaphobia. Please congratulate them on their anniversary! Now, young man…what happened to your “Phat campaign”? I tell you what…I will go back to gym, if you promise to start putting back some weight!!. you don’t know me, but believe me when i tell you, this is quite a promise!!!!
    Take care

  6. Roegshana says:

    Dear Lynn, Norwin & little Jarrod

    Glad to read the little guy is doing SO well! 🙂 Every morning i eagerly await your blogs…thanx for keeping us all updated! God has really been with you guys thru all of this…..

    Our prayers will always be with you Jarrod….so go get “chowing” so that you can get that much-needed weight-gain & be home with Mommy & Daddy soonest… 🙂

    All the best,

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