On Monday life resumed as normal. I headed off to school where I was thrilled to see all my little friends again. We all quickly caught up with each other’s going-ons and then we all got down to some hard play. At mid-morning we all headed into the car park for a road safety lesson.

It was awesome. There were carpets that looked like roads that were rolled out, battery powered cars were lined up ready for our lesson, and a number of road signs were placed at strategic points along the road. I opted to be the back-seat-driver for the lesson and enjoyed being driven around on the roads. At the end of the lesson we even received real little drivers’ licences.

Just before midday, from the play area, I spotted Dad and immediately ran to him. We hugged and we chatted about the morning, while we waited for Mom to arrive. Once Mom had arrived we left Dad’s car at the school and headed to Unitas in one car.

I was scheduled for a review and discussion with Dr Lippert. When I realised we were heading to Unitas I had a meltdown and got really scared. Mom even hopped in the back of the car with me to keep me company.

We arrived with 15 minutes to spare so Mom and I shopped for a teddy bear for me to keep me company. I chose a Russ Bear called Blake. We spent an age waiting at the reception and then eventually we went in to see the Doctor.

After a long discussion, and my being examined and having to do some exercises, it was concluded that my next surgery will only be done in November. We weren’t really given any in-depth feedback from the assessment, other than I was told by the Doctor that I was lazy. This has really affected me adversely, and I now say “I can’t” every time I’m asked to do something. Mom has her hands full trying to build up my esteem again. With the trauma of the visit, my potty training has also gone to pot.

We are all devastated with the delay in the surgery, as it really results in compounded risk for me. I fully appreciate the risk of the surgery, and that the outcomes could range from successful to losing some or lots of my functionality, to my demise. But at the same time, the wait of six additional months bears the usual risks I’m living with daily, which is fighting to stay alive until the next surgery.

Also, any delays in surgery and not closing off the remaining feeders results in the continued steal-effect of blood and oxygen to my brain, as well as increased blood pressure on my one remaining venous drainage. Increased blood pressure in any vessel begins to cause the walls of the vessel to thicken, and with the thickening, the pressure actually increases more, as the vessel narrows. As the vessel narrows, the pressure increases, and the walls thicken more, creating a vicious circle. Eventually this leads to stenosis of the vessel, in my case the venous drainage. Should both my venous drainage stenos, the consequences will be dire.

So sadly this week has been a very big downer for us, and cause for much disappointment. We had all really prepared ourselves so well for surgery toward the end of May, only to be told it needs to be postponed until November. The main reasons seems to be that the surgeons want to wait 18 months instead of 12 months since my stroke in May last year.

Briefly, after my review we popped in to Prof Fourie’s old offices, where Dr Winter has taken over. Most of the same staff are still there, and it was nice seeing them. Dr Louw, my anaesthetist was also there, and upon seeing him I clapped my hands over my mouth and ran screaming from the room. I couldn’t help myself, and I have nothing against him. It’s just that when I see him all I can recall is a gas mask being put over my face and being put to sleep, and then having a tube pushed down my throat.

We drove back to Jo’burg sombrely, and once in Sandton we dropped Dad off at my school for him to collect his car and drive back to work.

Immediately afterward Mom took me to see Vicky for my speech therapy. The first half went really really well, but then in the second half of the session I had a meltdown – I think the day had just gotten too much for me. Vicky was hugely apologetic and Mom reassured her it wasn’t anything she’d done.

The dinner table was quiet in the evening, and we all passed out really early.

On Tuesday school was ok, and the real treat came in the afternoon when Mom collected me and took me to the Haahoo (Delta) Park. I was thrilled to visit there again, as I hadn’t been in a really long time. I played on the jungle gym, swung from the monkey bars and climbed the tallest slide and slithered down.

Wednesday after school Mom took me to Granny’s place where I spent the entire afternoon. I swam and played with the dogs and had a jolly good time. I was so chuffed to get a last season swim in, as toward the end of the week the weather started getting chilly. Dad has already swapped his summer biking gloves for his winter gloves, and I’ve noticed he’s started putting a scarf on before he leaves for work.

Mom and I got home really late, and I didn’t even see Dad in the evening, as I fell asleep in the car and Mom put me directly to bed at home.

At school on Thursday I cut out and airplane and clouds perfectly, and then decided to label them ‘weather’. Don’t ask. In the afternoon I hooked up with little Ryan at Smudge. We played up a storm, and it was so nice to see him again. Mom and Claudi chatted, while I took photos with Mom’s little camera. I also showed Ryan how to use the camera, and Mommy was very proud of me at how nicely I explained it to him. Below are some of our pics.

I was asleep again in the evening when Dad got home – a habit that neither of us is liking, as we really miss each other. Also, Dad has been working really late and I’m sad that he gets home so late at the moment.

However, at work Dad does think of me, and I know this because he printed some colouring-in outlines for me of my latest favourite TV characters, the Ha Ha Hairies. In a sleepy daze I saw Dad show them to me, and instantly I was awake and was colouring them in. I think it was a ruse by Dad to wake me so that he could spend some time with me before bedtime.

Friday was ‘bike Friday’ at school, and before leaving home I couldn’t decide if I wanted my black or green bike, so I took both to school! While at school, I had a self-inflicted accident; I was rocking on my chair and it fell over backwards, causing me to hit my head really hard. As you all know, this is a no-no for me, after 8 brain surgeries. Teacher Sasha immediately attended to me and phoned Mom and Dad. It turned out I was fine, and I even apologised to Teacher Sasha!

Mom collected me early from school, as I have my usual OT appointment with Lauren before midday. It was a good session, and Mom and her discussed in detail the meeting with the neurologist earlier in the week.

After my appointment, Mom offered to take me to Yeesh, but I opted for Wimpy instead where I played up a storm.

Saturday morning Dad and I were in my bedroom deciding which toys to play with. Eventually I walked to my Thomas the Tank Engine Trackmaster set and piped up “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Dad howled with laughter, and wanted to know where I’d learned that! Later we built an enormous train track that covered the entire dining room table. I spent the majority of the weekend playing with it as it was a really cool track.

Sunday morning, being Mother’s Day, Dad and I took Mom out for breakfast. Yes, it was only a Wimpy, but these days Mom and Dad chose eating establishments by their degree of child friendliness and child activities.

During the afternoon, while we were having our customary ‘team snooze’ it actually started to thunder and rain, which is very unseasonal for this time of year. Needless to say, Roxy had already bolted, but Dad found her a few streets away after driving around the neighbourhood.

Dad popped out for some groceries in the afternoon and when he arrived home and got out the car I used another of my latest sayings on him, “You are soooooo busted” which is Candace’s favourite line from Phineas and Ferb.

In the late afternoon Dad and I played Phineas and Ferb and some tennis on the Wii. My backhand is really improving.

Over the past couple of days I’ve also started quizzing Dad on his childhood. The most common questions are as follows:

Me: “Dad, when you were a little tiny boy, did you have Angry Birds?”

Dad: “No, Jay-Bee, we didn’t even have iPads!”

Me: “That’s ok, you can use mine.”

Another gem.

Me: “Dad, when you were a little tiny boy did you watch Phineas and Ferb on your DVDs?”

Dad: “No, Jay-Bee, we didn’t even have DVDs!”

Me: “That’s ok, you can use mine.”


Me: “Dad, when you were a little tiny boy did you play Nintendo?”

Dad: “No, Jay-Bee, we only got Atari when I was a teenager!”

Me: “That’s ok, you can use mine.”

And lastly.

Me: “Dad, when you were a little tiny boy did you like Phinn McMissile / Tow Mater?” (from Cars 2)

Dad: “No, Jay-Bee, Cars has only been around a few years, and I’ve been around much longer.”

Me: “That’s ok, you can use mine.”

It seems Dad’s childhood was a real bore.

‘Til next week.



Photo 1 Swinging at the Haahoo Park

Photo 2 Monkey time

Photo 3 Ooooooo

Photo 4 Sliding time

Photo 5 Peek-a-boo

Photo 6 My photo of Ryan

Photo 7 An action shot of Ryan

Photo 8 Chilling at Smudge

Photo 9 Colouring in Ha Ha Hairies

Photo 10 All onboard

Photo 11 Percy does a ride-by

Photo 12 Happy Jay-Bee

Photo 13 Controller Jay-Bee

Photo 14 Cargo being loaded

Photo 15 Giant cat on train track

Photo 16 Strawberry express

Photo 17 Salty takes Tugboat Theodore to the docks

Photo 18 Harold does a fly-by

Photo 19 Playing with my colour-changers

Photo 20 Learning about patterns

Photo 21 My tower

Photo 22 See you next week

1 Comment on You Can Use Mine

  1. Mike says:

    Hi Lederers,

    Thinking about you guys after the build up an expectation and then for it not to be happening just yet.

    Norwin in case Jarrod doesn’t own up “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” is also from Phineas and Ferb. Usually it is Phineas to Ferb, just before that make some great invention. (Yes at 40 I am a Phineas and Ferb fan)

    God Bless Guys

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