Hi all

So its official, I am writing to you from the North Coast in Umhlanga. Let me first say, I’m loving it here so tonight’s blog needs to be wound up quick so I can get back to playing, if you’ll forgive me? I have to make every day count.

As for my week, when it started it didn’t appear that it was going to be quite so busy, but turned into a bit of a whirlwind.

Monday was physio day, so off Mommy and I headed to see Di. Di gave Mommy lots of exercises to do with me while we were away. I have complained every single day when Mommy does them since she started. After physio we went to see Tammy on her last day off from school, and took her to get her new school shoes. We then had a bite to eat at Sandton and headed off home.

Tuesday saw us heading off to see a friend and then to our wonderful surprise, Mommy and Daddy’s friend Tanya was able to visit. Mommy and her were heard giggling and drinking tea, and then they were crying and hugging and laughing. I was so confused. Girls are so strange. I must honestly say, I did go and check to see if they were drinking something else other than tea – they weren’t. During Tanya’s visit our lovely bag of goodies arrived, as you know, Mommy made me wait for Daddy to open it (see my blog of Tuesday). What hardship for a little person! We unpacked our treats, and I can say with absolute confidence that no chocolate survived the night. Mommy did say that the other things were reserved for other reasons, which I’ll tell you about later. That afternoon, I got into the kitchen sink and just splashed and played in the water. What fun!

Wednesday was rather strange and emotional in a number of ways. As you know in the morning Dad worked from home before our appointment with Professor Fourie at Unitas Hospital in Centurion. He did however find an hour to come with to music. It however worked out that Mommy was the visitor and Daddy was the participant with me. Every now and then I would wave in Mommy’s direction so that she didn’t feel left out. However I did see her out of the corner of my eye that she too was clapping and singing as she couldn’t help herself.

We headed off to Pretoria with a fair amount of trepidation following our great music session. We greeted everyone in the waiting room and we were quickly sent into the Prof’s office. I explored his office while Mommy and Daddy and the Prof stood around the MRI’s, the X-ray light box and books pouring over the details. I will do my best to explain what we are planning.

It has been agreed that due to the insidious nature of my AVM, and now knowing that it is highly aggressive by way of losing the venous drainage on the left hemisphere of my brain, there are additional feeders to the AVM which have not been found. Instead of waiting the 18 months, Mommy and Daddy insisted on an MRI at 8 weeks following my last procedure. Just as well, since the Prof found the feeder. It’s called the cerebral artery and runs around the Corpus Callosum, and at the back meets the AVM lesion. By closing it there will be a greater degree of success in closing the AVM in the future.

There is however a downside. This procedure holds the usual risks of losing an artery or vein in my leg and ultimately losing a leg. Also there is still the mortality issue, i.e. I may not survive the procedure. The highest risk to the brain at this procedure will be if any pieces of superglue dislodge either while inserting or retracting the catheter we have the possible situation of it going into a sub artery or vein and affecting the use of my foot (either left or right) or my visual perception. Having discussed it and knowing that if they were to measure the cause and effect of where I am now in time, I am losing my battle with this AVM. Therefore my folks and I have decided that the only way forward despite risks is to take the bull by the horns so to speak. My surgery is still scheduled for the 13th of May, 2010.

Even though we had a very emotional visit to Pretoria, we decided the best thing to do was to have the family round. My Aunty Birgitt was in town from Cape Town and had found some time to come see us. Opa also joined us for dinner. We had lots of fun and laughs while I showed off all my new skills, like saying cheers while at the dinner table. I had eaten before as dinner was quite late, so I was able to give my full attention to my skills. We bid everyone goodnight and fell into bed to get on with our new day and new found strength.

Thursday I headed off to OT and to see Lauren. I had my Cranio Sacral therapy and showed Lauren exactly how terrible my “two’s” are going to be. We headed off to Benmore with Granny to do some shopping for the holiday. Shortly after we headed off home. Back home it was difficult for Mommy and I as it was raining and muddy everywhere outside and outside was where I wanted to be. I did manage to get some really messy painting done during the day, but I tried to remind Mommy it was Earth Day and I needed to connect with the ground. She relented and let me play in the garden with nature. Shatzi and I bounced around catching grasshoppers and crickets. I giggled at Shatzi’s antics. Eventually with rain pouring everywhere Shatzi abandoned me and Mommy made me go inside and have a bath.

Friday Nina and Kate came for a visit. Wow Kate has grown since I last saw her, although she is still tiny and still making puppy noises and made her presence known every now and then. Mommy and Nina drank tea and laughed and spoke for ages. They said they needed to talk every day to keep up. Nina was very concerned at the fact that I was climbing up and down my jungle gym. She decided not to watch me, so that her guardian angels could keep an eye on me. Thanks Nina, you’re such a darling.

Friday afternoon Mommy and I headed out to do some admin, such as get certificates signed at the police station, go to Dr Anthony for a script and get the car washed. It was my first time in the wishy washy and Mommy was concerned I would freak out, but to form I didn’t I just tried to open the windows and get to the washers to see if I could find out what they were made from. We then collected Granny and got some ‘padkos’ for the next day’s drive to the coast. We went home to pack for the holiday. Rudi arrived to look after the kitties and puppies and we finally all went to sleep.

YAH!!! Holiday day arrived on Saturday. Mommy went to lecture in the morning and headed home early to meet us at 12 to leave for the coast. Before that Granny, Daddy and I went to collect keys, give the keys to Robin and Di, just in case and did a bit of last minute shopping. Daddy then packed the car and Mommy arrived. Aunty Birgitt and Wayne arrived to see us off, and brought us some salt from Namibia. Off we headed. So Jenni-lynne this one is for you … by Germiston, the muffins were gone. By Warden the Eet-sum-mor’s and Iced Zoos were polished off. By Harrismith we were feeling guilty and our bodies were feeling remorse so the fruit was inhaled. By MooiRiver Daddy and I grimaced in a good way as we had ploughed through the sour sweets. By Pietermaritzburg we wished we had hot water for the tea and decided on Wimpy coffee because they couldn’t give us hot water. We also wished we had kept some biscuits for the coffee. At Umhlanga all that remained was a tattered bag and found memories of our Tuesday surprise package. Thanks Jenikins.

After a long drive in the car we arrived at the Umhlanga Sands Lifestyle Resort. We pulled into the hotel drop-off at reception, and our car was swarmed with porters who unpacked all our baggage and things into large trolleys that where whisked away to our room. After we settled in we went for a walk on the promenade as although it was already dark we needed to get close to the sea. We had a great evening walk whereafter I took a nice long bath and I dozed off to dreamland.

Sunday morning we awoke to find the weather stunning – very different from the cold and wet conditions we left behind in Johannesburg the morning before. After a quick breakfast we headed down to the beach. I loved being on the beach again and after Dad and I made (and I destroyed) some sand castles I opted to head to the shoreline with my walker. It was awesome, the sand was nice and compact so my could build up so good speed. On the first attempt, I simply got bowled over onto my bum by the waves. After recovering and Daddy retrieving my walker which was washing out to sea, I opted to try it again. Still time I stormed further down the shore as the water was further away. Little did I realise that it would be coming back again, with a vengeance. I was still running forward when the little 50cm wave hit me, taking my little body full on. Wow, did I get dunked. I must have been washed up shore a few metres, and once my Daddy found me and I was recovering, I coughed a little, and then giggled. My first dunk! I was thrilled! My walker was also recovered but we all opted to sit on the beach for a while. I sneezed a few times and I was ready to go back!

Some more time at the beach ensued, and then we chilled at the pool for a while. Dad and I took a dip in the kiddies’ pool and afterward we went to the games arcade to play for a while. I then opted for my midday snooze. After waking and having lunch, we went for a really long walk on the promenade again, past the Monster surfing championships. We had a really awesome dinner at Spur, followed by my writing this blog and a quick bath. Next, snooze time!

Well, that’s it for this week. We’re here at the beach for another week, so I promise there will be lots of seaside pics next week.

Lots of love,


Photo 1 Mommy gave my seat a major clean before our holiday – I helped!

Photo 2 Playing some tunes

Photo 3 Playing in the kitchen sink

Photo 4 Playing is thirsty work

Photo 5 Even my eyelashes are drenched

Photo 6 Getting to understand fluid dynamics

Photo 7 Visiting with Opa and Aunty Birgitt

Photo 8 Walkies with Opa

Photo 9 Uncle Wayne built me a tent fortress

Photo 10 Getting artistic

Photo 11 Who needs paint brushes?

Photo 12 Celebrating Earth Day!

Photo 13 Waiting at the carwash

Photo 14 At the beach on the first evening of our holiday

Photo 15 Sunday morning walkies on the beach

Photo 16 Loving the beach

Photo 17 Had a good play on the beach

Photo 18 Mmmmmm, ice-cream and waffles at the Spur

Photo 19 Fast asleep after my first (hectic) day on holiday

2 Comments on Are We There Yet?

  1. Lisle says:

    Jarrod, I think about you and your parents so often – occasionally, its all I think about for long periods of time. It was very very hard for me to read parts of your blog..but with that said…I have come to think of you as the “Chuck Norris” of Babies, so I believe deep in my heart you will win this war! I love your holiday pics!!!! With that said, there is a question I have for you….its a serious one….

    CAN YOU GET ANY CUTER!!!!!!!?????????????

  2. Jenni says:

    Hello Leds

    Can’t get you guys out of my mind… I’m sure that you are having an awesome time at the beach… Your Dad makes sure to post a stunning picture of the sunrise on the beach on Facebook every morning, which just makes me wish I were there.

    You just get cuter and cuter everyday, I just want to give you loads of cuddles!!!!

    I’m so glad that you enjoyed your surprise package of treats on your way down to the sea, best you ask Mom to get some equally delicious ones for the trip back.

    Love you all lots and lots

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