Hi all,

Mom and Dad got me up before the crack of dawn today. It made me pretty grumpy to be woken up so early; additionally my tummy was completely empty and there was no breakfast in sight, so my hunger got the better of me and I managed to cry most of the morning at home.

As the tiredness started lifting I remember that we were off to Unitas this morning to have the catheter removed from my the vein that runs from my head to my groin. It was for this reason that I was being starved, as apparently food and anaesthetic don’t make for a good mix. After the family hurriedly got ready this morning we were on the road. It was still dark, and with the onset of winter, it was a chilly 10°C. As soon as we got going the motion of the car put me to sleep, and fortunately I forgot all about the hunger pangs as the whooshing sound of the car lulled me in my sleep.

Arriving at Unitas we were admitted quickly; Mom and Dad are super efficient and had done all the necessary pre-admissions and had all the reference numbers and paperwork on hand. Upstairs in the paediatric ward I was given a cot to chill in. Shortly afterward I was transported down to the theatre where we met my anaesthetist and surgeon.

I had a new anaesthetist, Dr Marie Karshagen, who was really nice and even arranged to let Mom come into the prep area where she could hold me while I was being anaesthetised. While all of this was being arranged, Dad chatted to Prof Fourie and Dr van Niekerk. It then came to light that a patient in the neurology ward was haemorrhaging and urgently needed to undergo surgery to address the blood flow from his brain. Being a congenial guy, I obliged and agreed that that patient could have the theatre before me.

Plans were then made to have my surgery rescheduled, possibly postponed to the next day. Dad got somewhat assertive at that point, and the team conceded to continue with the surgery today, but later in the day. So back to the ward I went, but not before arrangements were made for me to have 40ml of sugar water to tide me over for the next few hours. I was not looking forward to the next few hours of being starved, but I did manage to snooze for just over an hour while waiting to be taken to the theatre for a second time that day.

At about eleven o’clock I was taken back down to theatre, feeling somewhat better after the nice long snooze. I bid Dad goodbye as I headed down the passage to the theatre, in Mom’s arms as arranged previously by Dr Marie Karshagen. While Mom held me, Dr Marie applied a mask to my face and I could feel my limbs getting heavy and my eyes falling shut as the gas took effect.

Apparently, while in surgery, Mom and Dad headed to a nearby coffee spot for some refreshments, and their usual game of Scrabble (apparently this is their custom, to play Scrabble while I’m in theatre). Dad was about to score big with the triple word ‘scrooge’ when his phone ran – it was Lizl from Prof Fourie’s offices to say the my surgery was over. It had been less than an hour.

Mom was with me as I started waking up – what a wonderful site. I felt really groggy and as the anaesthetic wore off I was left no option but to start howling. My vitals were checked and Mom gave me a bottle which was held at the ready. Dr Marie checked that all was ok, and chatted with Mom and Dad as I was being collected to go back to the ward. Mom carried me all the way, bundled up in blankets and supporting the drip in my arm with her shoulder.

Before leaving the theatre, Mom and Dad chatted to Dr Scheepers and Dr Marie who both confirmed that the surgery was a resounding success, and that the micro-catheter was successfully terminated at the jugular and extracted. Some tugging was needed, but after it dislodged it simply slid out. It was confirmed that there is some thickening of the vein which housed the catheter, and upon Dad’s enquiry, it was also confirmed that the epithelial tissue that built up in the vein around the catheter would not pose any problems in the future.

Back at the ward I opted for lots of screaming, some vomiting and a general air of grumpiness as the pain of the surgery started to become evident and the anaesthetic wore off leaving me feeling light headed and disorientated. Bar this however, at the risk of letting down my fans, I immediately got to work on this blog to let you all know I’m well and that the surgery was a complete success. If my recovery is satisfactory this afternoon, I’ll be discharged at about six o’clock this evening.

In closing, Mom and Dad asked that I thank all of you for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers over the past few days, and especially the past few hours. Also, thank you for dispatching hosts of angels and guardians to look over me and my medical team as they performed this über-delicate procedure. Thank you for all the wonderful emails and SMS’s that started arriving this morning already, even before we reached the hospital.

Lastly, best wishes to nurses and caregivers all over the world today, as its International Nurses Day today. To boot, my nurse here at Unitas, Vanessa was awarded the Nurse of the Year Award for the whole of Unitas, so I’m in extra good hands.

Lots of love and groggy kisses,


Figure 1 Chilling in the ward waiting to be summonsed to theatre

Figure 2 The waiting and stress of the past few days took its toll on Mom and I

Figure 3 Snoozing is an excellent way of keeping my mind of the daunting ordeal ahead of me, and off my hunger pangs

Figure 4 At theatre chatting to Dr Marie

Figure 5 Chatting to Granny on the phone after surgery, letting her know all is ok

Figure 6 Pretty soon I was able to crack a smile again


6 Comments on Catheter Is History

  1. Micheline says:

    Best news of the year! YAY!!!!!

  2. Claire says:

    Excellent news! Time to celebrate again. How about pizza?

  3. Gillian Lederer says:

    Way to go Jarrod 🙂 Glad it is all over

    Gillian, Oliver and your cousins

  4. Jenni says:

    Love you lots Jarrod
    x x x x x x

  5. Lisle says:

    Go Jarrod Go Jarrod, what a relief! How hideous today has been, please thank your dad for sending an update.

  6. […] been a really quiet week as I recovered from Tuesday’s surgery. We decided to put my social schedule on hold, as well as postpone any non-essential medical […]

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