Thursday, November 29, 2012


Something to look forward to.  As someone who is a bit of a yo-yo bouncing from ecstasy to bouts of hopelessness or despair, I just have to have STLFT.   It doesn't have to be a huge thing but something that makes me feel happy or excited at the anticipation of it.     Christmas on its own would have done it just fine and tomorrow the girls finally eat the 1st chocolate on their Christmas calenders.   I ALWAYS get a real live delicious smelling tree.  I don't know if its PC or if I am being anti-green but I am so frikkin law abiding recycling non wasting health conscious that I figure I can indulge myself in a massive green pine smelling tree every year that makes me very happy every time I walk into the room.

I love the prezzies, I love family, I love church that morning where we celebrate the gift of Christ and every kid brings his or her new barbie or transformer or whatever FC gave that year.  Although I don't know how to do proper roast Christmassy kind of food, between Woolies and my mom and Tertia's mom-in-law we seem to do just fine.  This year I am hosting and I am looking forward to doing a beautiful table and having the kids all swim and just chilling.  The suck bit is always missing sister Nina and her family and baby brother Paul and his GF.  I can imagine I might have the same problem with my kids one day as I have encouraged them to love travel early.   Speaking of travel.....

Well I have something kickarse to look forward to.   My most fave thing to do in the world apart from swimming or being at the beach on a perfect day.  In 130 days, the day after my 42nd birthday, I board a plane for Singapore to visit Nina and her family.   I arrive early Thursday morning and spend the weekend in one of my most fave cities.  I hope it will be a little less bittersweet than my last holiday there where I kept on thinking:  THIS city was supposed to be my home, this is their school, this is the neighborhood where we were going to live, the park where I would walk my Lucy.  I think I am over it, what the feck can I do anyway, my chance to live overseas while my kids are young is over and we have all moved on.  Anyhoo, back to the fun stuff.  On the Monday morning Nina and I fly to Cambodia for 4 days.  We are staying in Siem Riep which Nina says is incredible with amazing temples.   Food and drink is cheap there and our hotel is really reasonable too.  I am paying for my holiday by myself.    I saved and scrimped from my last surrogacy job which all went into my travel fund.  Only prob is I have committed to visiting Nina once a year wherever she might live and I have no way of earning for my next trip.  Oh well, will worry about that in April 2014!   We get back to Sing on the Friday and then the following day is back to the airport where we fly to Bangkok for 2 days to her good friend Vivienne.  Viv is Thai so will really know where to go and what to do in our short 48 hours there.   I get back to Sing on Monday night and I fly back to SA late on Tuesday night.  It feels like Amazing Race, going from one place to another.  I will probably return exhausted and I write exams 13 days later but I will make sure I am super prepared before I leave.

I know its ages away but I can tuck it into my happy heart section and if I feel bleak or overwhelmed by studies or mothering or life in general I can take it out and think about it and get that rushy excited nervy feeling in my tummy.  I do know how fortunate I am to travel and I do appreciate the opportunity.   I feel like after this year and surviving this brain op I just want to live and let live.   I am in a good space in my life and while my body is still fragile and recovering, I know I am getting better.    I am over the bullshit, especially the bits that taint my walk with God or affects my family.  I am done fighting about what doesn't matter or trying to defend my choices.   Live and let live, I think that will be my motto for 2013. Maybe even the name of this blog if I decide to change it.   Yay for being alive!

PS:   Pic is of Nina and I in Ko Samui in April 2011

Monday, November 26, 2012

Life, happy & sad.

Today, like all days, is a mixture of both happy and sad but especially sad.  Lets start with the happy:   My big sister Tertia turns 44 today and even though she isn't big on celebrating her bday, I hope you enjoys knowing she is loved and celebrated by many.  Another happy is my healthy body that has healed so well already and only day 13.   My scar is a long 15cm ugly one and a quarter of my scalp has an army # 1 haircut but I am grateful to both God and my body for my recovery.  This poor body who was so abused in her twenties:  not a drop of water, no exercise, hours in the sun, late nights, lots of drops of alcohol and never an appreciation or marvel at all it did every day.  Fortunately the care I put in my thirties made my recovery so much quicker and I am healthily devoted to this ol' body for the rest of her days.  (Singing my Olivia Newton-John version...)

Then its the funeral of a 6 year old little Scottish boy who I found on a link on FB.   Its not one of those BS try and make money stories.  He got very, very sick and his father who is an incredible writer started this FB page and somehow it grew really quickly with people around the world praying for him.  You can follow his story   He got an meningococcal bacterial infection and lost both his legs and one arm before eventually losing his life.   It just grabbed my heart and I prayed for him faithfully.  I still pray for Kate btw.  For three solid years she stays on my prayer list and I read her mom's updates.  Kate was diagnosed on Sofie's 5th birthday when she was just 6 years old and she is in between the ages of my own precious daughters.  Being a mom makes us a universal nurturer of all children.  I adore, adore, adore kids and wish I could pluck so many neglected kids from awful circumstances and love them how they should be loved.

And then our Aidan.  One year ago Aidan lost his life and forever changed ours and we still miss him so.   Life seemed innocent back then, our families invincible by the barrier and optimism of youth.   He was part of our church, part of our very close life group, part of our friendship circle and one of the very few people Gary allowed in.   Gary is selective with his friends and even though Gary is shy and Aidan so outgoing, somehow they shared this sense of humour, a love of poker and fun and close friendship.  Gary's birthday is tomorrow and I remember last year how absolutely devastated we were.    A pretty shitty birthday.  Tomorrow night the guys celebrate both Gary and Aidan in the best way they know how, poker and cigars and a few rude jokes and lots of laughs.   Aidan we miss you.  I often think how blown away you would be at how brave and awesome Michelle and the kids have been.   I salute their graciousness, their unfailing belief & faith in God, their strength and Michelle's amazing ability to laugh 100% even when times are tough. Miss you seems far too inadequate to express our grief when someone isn't here but its the best we have.  We all miss you so!   

Friday, November 23, 2012

3 Steps forward 1 step back

Day 10 and I am doing pretty damn well, most of the time that is.  Yesterday I felt a little bleak at being so sore and tired but today I googled recovery after an craniotomy and brain surgery and I was grateful I am this far ahead in the healing process.  At the same time I know I cannot rush it.  Me and patience, not BFFs.

I had decided today was the day I started driving.  I made it to Sushi lunch with Heather and to the gym to drop the kids off for swimming and then no more.  Its just too sore to turn my head so reversing and checking for traffic is too painful and therefor not very safe.  I had also packed my costumn and goggs and  was ready to do a few laps to try and get more motion in my neck and back but no go.  S L O W L Y does it I guess.

Why am I not resting now you ask?  Because of my Fekking Pool!    After Don Schultz built it 8 years ago and did a momentous crappy job, we struggled with it trying to keep it clean.   On day 2 of being home the new pool guys were scheduled to empty the pool and re line it with fiberglass and paint it.  I have an old Oomie ex police officer driver guy who sits and does nothing while this poor young black guy works alone.  He has no mask on his face and has to sand the bumps off with a face full of that dust he breathes in.  The owners are trying to rush it so are doing too many pools with too few helpers and the job is sloppy.  No owner or supervisor in site.   I have to walk around with a pencil marking all the sharp spots that would cut the kids to ribbons every time they swim.  They just want to paint and fill the pool so they can get paid.  Its bullshit.   I have been on the phone to the owner who assures me the worker Simon can check the pool.  Poor Simon said he is trying to rush and needs help but has a deadline.  I don't need this BS, it makes my mouth more spazzy as it makes me stressed.   (I am giving them a chance to redeem themselves before bad mouthing them on FB and maybe even Hello Peter)

Anyway, I will stop moaning now.  I am getting better, I am grateful but I think I need to rest more because this is just too exhausting and my brain needs to heal.  I have scary little brain moments where I can't think of the word for something or write something totally different to that I which I am thinking.   Not forever doff, just healing.   Off for a little zzzzz, nighty-night.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

1 week post op

Aren't our bodies just incredible?    Our creator formed us with such genius and I marvel at many aspects of being present in the human body.    Obviously pregnancy is a biggie and one that will always stay miraculous.  An egg and a sperm that despite its minute size, contain a vast amount of info that culminate in a person which a specific hair colour, nose shape, ability to catch (or not) a ball etc.   Another is our ability to heal.  Last week I was in ICU, BP 77/55 and unable to move.  My throat was dry and sore from the tubes and I felt like a very fragile little grandma.   A week later and I could go watch my daughter's fun day and while my competitive spirit was sulking a little at being left out, I stood  grateful that I was there at all.  (Betcha I would have nailed the sack race!)

Each day I get a little stronger and do 1 hour life, one hour rest.  Today I had the doc after the fun day so by the time I got home I had to nap for 2 and 1/2 hours.  Me who struggles to sit longer than 10 minutes could sleep for 150 minutes?   Once again interesting that my body needed that to renew again.   By next week I will be driving and I hope the headaches will drop off as I am dying to walk again.  Goose too!   My doc says by the time Christmas comes I will be 100% brand new.   The doc took the staples out which was sore but now feels better.  He says the pain from the wound is from them cutting through muscle.   Why many of you chicks CHOOSE C-sections I don't know?   Being cut like that and sore and vulnerable and still having to take care of a newborn?    You braver than me.   Yes squeezing that same marvel of creation I just spoke about out your vay-jay-jay is no joke but you can have an epidural and afterwards you are just fine.   Hey, hey, no rude jokes about our fans!    

On Monday evening I lay in bed with my 10 year old Rebeka and she asked me what I was afraid of before I had the op.  I told her of leaving them, of not being around to be their mother.   I was careful not to express my fear of dying to my kids prior to the op as I didn't want them to panic.  Her answer:   Mom all those girls who visited you in hospital and brought you mags and chocolates and sweets and filled our house with flowers and brought us supper every night and did your shopping, THEY would make sure we were all OK.   I got a lump in my throat at the absolute truth of her statement and how blessed I am to be so loved by so many incredible woman including my family.   I have so many different kinds of friends and each one would impart in their lives.  They would always be loved, cared for, mentored, advised, gently disciplined and the wealth of knowledge and wisdom and kindness and love of my friends would be theirs, always.

I missed my 10 years in my house celebration on the 15th as I was in hospital but I have been in Somerset West for a decade now.  I still have many precious friends from my past, but this decade has given me an additional richness in friendship that is beyond what I could have imagined if I remember back to the first 6 months being lonely and missing my GFs in Pretoria so badly.  

Thank you God for my life and my loves.  I will honour both by never taking them for granted and I will be 100% available if you need me to send them any kind of love message from you.  Holy Spirit, just poke me a little and if I don't listen you can even nag till I make that call, send that text, buy those flowers, have that lunch or send that anon pedi to those GFs with dodgy heals.   I'm your girl, at your service!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Brain Op Barbie

I am currently sitting in room H16 at Vergelegen Medi Clinic Private hospital.  I had expected to be home by today but I am not strong enough.     Why?  Because I had BRAIN SURGERY.  What the?!   Why I couldn’t admit that before I went in I just don’t know.  Maybe it was to protect myself or a little bit of denial or not wanting to be all melodramatic attention seeking.  Ja, ja, me = arsehole sometimes.

I am really sore and weak and fragile and the recovery will be longer than I imagined.  I had pictured a small little hole, tiny patch of shaved area and then microscopically going in, perforating the membrane and draining the cyst into my head. Instead I have a deep long cut in my neck, have had a section of my cranium removed, the arachnoid membrane perforated and everything manipulated to get all the fluid out and then my cranium re-stapled back so they could sew my neck up.   He said the cyst was as deep as it could be and I feel like I do because he has taken a big wooden spoon and stirred around my head a little.   Unfortunately tongue still spazzy but I am not given up yet as the swelling and trauma is extensive.   Yesterday I was tearful as I thought I have gone through all this for nothing and my mouth isn’t fixed but the position of the cyst was bound to cause more serious symptoms later.  I will continue to hope and pray it will all be gone and after a few weeks, I will be back on my feet.  Thank goodness for my support group who have all been so divine.  My mom is staying and my dad said I can keep her as long as I need her.  (He misses her when she is away)   My awesome girlfriends have made my family supper and visited and brought me yum stuff and mags and loved me and prayed for me.  I feel so divine to be so cared for.   The no exercise thing is going to be tough for me but I will have to take it very slow and build up my strength again.

In fact to prove my commitment to taking it easy I am going to finish this post tomorrow as my neck is getting sore.  I can hear squelching in my head, its vile!   Chat morrow, hopefully from my own bed.   X
OK so not in my own bed but pretty sure I will be by tonight.  I definitely feel stronger and I am lasting longer between painkillers.    The cut on my neck makes it hard to look down and type.   I am pleased the only obligation I have next week it to help Rebeka study for her exams.  I have supper until Tuesday night and I still feel this weak then my BF Woolworths Foods will no doubt keep us going another week.   I brought so many books to read but it made me too nauseous in the first few days.  When I am at home I will read and do plenty journaling about this extremely ironic so called year of abundance.  I do see God’s hand everywhere, His sweetness and love for His people.    I see the work he hand sews into everyone’s life knowing just what they need when they do.  I look back in hindsight and I am grateful for the evidence of His unique parenting He is doing with all the individual people I care about, myself included of course.   Damn, this is making me too nauseous and sore.  I guess blogging will be in drips and drabs.  Puking on keyboard = bad.  Gotta go!  Later. x   

And now I am at home.    I hate being this vulnerable but I guess I cannot rush my recovery.  My head was so sore last night I got scared.    Took drugs and took more at 3.30am.   We got a new puppy yesterday and she cried most of the night.  That’s a whole other story though and typing time limited to tomorrow.  Thanks again for all the love and support.   Worst part of all…my spazzy and sore mouth that has STILL not ceased.    I can only hope it’s somehow connected to the swelling so me the hope junkie doesn’t give up just yet.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Take your mark, get set.....

And I am ready to go.  I just want this over now.   I have been so yo-yo since booking this op.  Relaxed and calm one minute and Agatha fueled the next.   The silver lining has been pretty bright though.  I have felt very loved and appreciated by my friends and fam.  I feel so blessed to have so many cool people in my life who care about me and who I care about.   Love makes the world go round, it really does.

The other semi bonus is when I become Morbid Maude, I start to imagine the what ifs and the shitty sad stuff makes me savour every second of this past week.   In the past I have either been working, mothering babies or studying so having this past week and a bit off has been awesome.    I am not a big shopper or gym bunny or coffee shop girl.  I am very much an outdoor girl though so have had a week of my fave triple combo:   good friends, natural outdoorsy beauty and endorphin inducing exercise.   Monday was an 8km beach walk with my friends Claire & Bee and my dog aka The Goose.   Then Claire took Goose home and I had a surf with my ol' surf chick friends who I haven't seen in far too long.  Very little waves are taken but much time is spent sitting on our boards talking sh*t and smiling at each other because we are all so damn happy to be out in the ocean.  Tuesday was a 10km walk with Bee in Lourensford which is just so gorgeous.   Wednesday was another 8km walk with Claire followed by 2 hours of tennis with Colleen and Michelle.  Thursday we did a 5.30am walk and then I was off to my pilates before our bunk day.  The bunk day was spent with my 2 Bfs going to Boulders to see the penguins and have lunch and swim in the sea.   We saw 1 sad penguin, got ambushed by a class of 10 year olds on their school field trip and then battled the tourists to find space in a restaurant for lunch.   It took hours to get there due to the winds and a road being closed but somehow with all the oddities the day was divine and we plan to do it more often.

Friday was a rest day and emergency fix my pedi day.   One's toes need to look beautiful when undergoing any kind of surgery!  Saturday was just Goose and I and we did 10km down at the beach.   Strand beach is filled with weird and wonderful people and I loved watching everyone and felt so damn happy to be alive.   I asked God for another 40, not that heaven isn't wonderful or anything but I love life.  I love feeling vital and young youngish and healthy.  I even thought of a Pollyanna perk to my sore back:   I never stay in bed in the mornings as the pain is always bad when I wake up.  Even on holidays I am up at 6.30am which means I get an extra long day.   Sunday morning Sofie and I met BF Jen and we hiked up the Helderberg mountain to the waterfall.   I had to go to church looking sweaty and not so much.  I was vain enough to change my hiking shoes and remove my buff which protects the back of my neck from getting sunburned.   I looked so lesbo in the outfit and I thought with all my passionate talk of gay rights and that outfit, I might just make people thinking I have climbed out the closet. 

Sunday day was chilling and then back down to the tennis court to play with Colleen and Glenda for over 2 hours.  I cannot believe we stopped playing tennis for so many years.  I LOVE it and the fact that I am pretty suck does not dampen my enthusiasm.  We laugh and yell and vloek and sweat and its like a mini holiday.   I have to admit my back is really sore today so possibly overdoing it somewhat.?!   I did do a short hours walk with Bee and Claire this morning so now I think my body is ready.

I appreciate all the prayers and good wishes and energy sent my way.  I love the love.   The fear of dying did lessen when my dad told me HE prayed.   He said his last prayer was for Tertia to have a child and she got a whole heap of extra critters so he reckons he is good at this praying thing.  With requests coming once a decade I figure God would be pretty willing to answer such an undemanding man.   Another 40 years please Jesus.   I appreciate my life, I squeeze out every last drop, I try and live my life with excellence and do it the best way I know how.  I LOVE my kids and Gary.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my children more than I could ever express and I need to be here to raise them.    I hope to write in a few days all better and my mouth no longer painful but back to normal.  I want the end of 2012 now and I want healing and a fresh start without pain and discomfort.  I want to fly, I want to live, I want to thrive, I want to grow and I am grateful for the gift of my life.  

PS:   I will get Gary to post on FB tomorrow post op and tell you all how well it went. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Zoe vs Peggy

4 days to go.    I swing between Zoe and Peggy.  Zoe means life and think about how determined I am to live a good one, even when the kak times inevitably hit.  I think about next week and I know I will be just fine and believe all of you when you say so too.   I feel very fortunate to be who I am and where I am in my life.  I am excited for the future and hopeful.

Then we have Peggy.  As in going to peg.   It took me years to get Gary to write a peg letter which is safely stowed in the safe and God willing, (Oh please Lord!!!) shall remain there for years and decades until such time I open it and need my glasses to read it I am so old.   I guess peg letters need updates though.   I of course haven't written mine which I will do at some point soon.  I suppose because I have no money or policies I have no instructions he will need to know.  I do however have heart instructions, especially concerning my kids but as mentioned, my friends and family and Gary himself know who I am and what I stand for.

I better not peg!  I better not.  Feck.  Or get spazzy and dribbly!  I think its knowing my extreme reactions to all medications that is freaking me out a little as well as my very low blood pressure.  Obviously the anesthetist would know all this though.   I see my psychologist on Monday and I am going to ask her about writing something down.  Would it be better, give me peace of mind?  Or would it be worse and make it too scary.    Maybe just from a mom point of view its OK to write things down?    Its not about how much I love them.  They know that, they really know it.   What is it about then?   Sorry, I am rambling, talking utter rubbish.   This is scary, I hate being vulnerable.  I love my exercise and my ADHD- like permanent state of go-go-go.   I just cannot imagine being there in that white nightie that flashes my bum and being slow or sore or out of control.  God I know you in control and I know stuff happens and I know you love my kids and I know you would never leave them nor forsake them.  Please make sure I don't leave them either.  I am really asking you to keep me safe, for no complications, for a quick recovery, for peace.  Oh, and the mouth thing.  Of dear God PLEASE I beg you to take it away.  I want to wake up with it gone as I am out of options then.  Please reverse the neuro damage from those meds.  I really, really need to have it gone.  Please!!

PS:  Just wanted to say on the healing thing:   I have been prayed for my back too many times to even count, my mouth lately as well.   Some reckon its a faith thing, me not getting healed.  Sorry clappers, I know He can and does heal and even when my faith tales a wobble, He stays the healer.  Others reckon past sin in my life.  Sorry again but no, the whole point of the cross is forgiveness and a new slate.  He no longer even remembers the past sins of our lives and tells us our sin is removed as far as the East is from the West.  (something like that right?)  He is God, He gets to decide and sometimes its instant healing and sometimes months and sometimes doctors who have been blessed with the gift of knowledge and healing re the human body.  Sometimes its not at all actually and we peg which sucks but I am going for option 3 right now.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Brain Drain

In exactly 10 days time I will be at Vergelegen Medi-clinic and Dr Wessels will be about to make a hole in my head and suck out Getrude.  Apparently Helga is normal and stays.  He said I can wait every 6 months to see what Gertie is up to but her position means possible side effects are urinary incontinence, a duck like gait and dementia.   As someone who has to knuip if I jump on a trampoline I am not a big fan of peeing in my pants, the duck like gait isn't doing it for me and dementia doesn't sound fab either.

I think one of the main reasons for me doing this now is the desperate hope that the cyst is linked to my mouth problems and I will wake up with a well behaved tongue.  No more spasms or twitching or pain.   They don't think its related but you know me, extreme hope junkie.   The crash when I come off my hope ride is always so painful.  I try and use my caution protective realistic knee pads and safety helmet but I am useless.  I hope passionately and without reservation, I just can't help it.  Oh please God honour the faith I have in your ability to heal! 

 I always need to make sense of things.  No Singapore meant the wheels came off.  I went on an anti-dep cymgen.  Got the TD/Dystonia from the cymgen which I then went off from.   God decided healing wasn't about to be so off I went to neuro.  MRI reveals cysta Gertrude and here I am about to have her removed.   Surely its all part of the story and God needed me to get to this point?   I so appreciate my health even though I live with chronic back pain and my spazzy mouth.  I still feel very much alive and have good energy levels.  In fact I am bad at doing nothing.   I gained weight this year for the first time ever and I think its because I was forced to sit so much when I am studying.  I usually run around like a mad thing.

People ask me if I am nervous about the op.  I was poop scared, I won't lie.  Its my kids, the thought of them being without a mother or a mother disabled by a stroke.   They love me so much, Gary loves me so much.  I am very blessed to be important to my family and friends, we are interwoven in each others lives.   One of my BFs Jen sent me a text saying: You will be fine xxx.   A glib thing we all say but somehow it seemed to carry real weight.   YOU WILL BE FINE!    A God thing of reassurance and the reminder of His promises to me.  I strongly believe I will live to be in my eighties.   Adoption will play a part in my life whether its my work one day or my grandkids.  (Sofie wants to adopt 3 children and although only 8 years old, I do believe she will adopt at least one)     I will hold my grand babies and love my children's partners who will love God, love them and love family.   I will do plenty traveling with my Gary.   So many things I want to do and loving this phase of growth in my life.   So I can't die now, I just can't.   Part of me wanted to write a little something down for in case, to chat to Gary about what ifs.  It feels like I am not taking God at His word then, it doesn't feel right.    You girls know right, how I want my kids raised?   Frances & Tracey & Penny & Michelle & Jenny & my sisters & so many others.   Nope, I am not going to go there.   I will be fine, I will be fine.   

PS:   Actual op is either perforating arachnoid membrane and having liquid drain into rest of my brain (first choice) or inserting a thing rubber tube into the cysts and have it run under my skin to my stomach.  I spend about 2 hours in theatre, 1 day in intensive care re risk of hemorrhage and 2 days in regular ward.  Now that I am over the death fear thing its the poo fear thing.   What if I need to poo!!!