22 July Operation day

We have had a tense and exhausting week since last I wrote. Nick has been so cold in his room they eventually gave him a pyjama top and another blanket. He is struggling to sleep, as most people do in hospitals. The bed is too narrow, the sheets tangle because he can’t move properly, the room is cold but he is coping. Every now and again the anxiety gets the better of him but he eventually finds his balance and continues on taking every day at time. Waiting is so hard.

With the second wave of CoVid 19 sweeping Victoria and coming from community transmission this time, the hospitals have gone into lockdown and no visitors are allowed except for palliative care or patients who need their carer. It is very hard on everyone and despite the ability to communicate via phones it isn’t quite as reassuring as being there in person. We have face timed and texted continually but that in itself is exhausting. We have some group chats that are great but so many wonderful people contribute it is like a mad party where you just can’t keep up with everyone. However it is the best we can do under the circumstances and it just lifts your spirits to have this support.

On the Friday the Doctor had THE conversation with Nick. The MRI revealed another AVM at the back of his head as well and so they will attend to the first AVM on Wednesday by opening his skull from the top of his head and remove the clots and deal with the AVM. Then the skull piece will be screwed back into place. Nick was very relieved that it was not on his forehead and that the operation was not like a can opener! He does have a vivid imagination. He was disappointed to know there was another and that he would have to go back after recovery to have that attended to also. He was quite down. The family rallied around and that evening on the chat they posted lots of photos of our family trip to Hong Kong 11 years ago.

On that trip Jonathan, Nick and their cousin Martin explored the nightlife of Hong Kong extensively. There were lots of photos of their hijinks which brought back great memories and lifted his spirits. There were photos of their Dad Peter having a great time too. I had a moment of fear when I thought I just can’t lose Nick too. We were all so happy on that holiday but Peter died six months later. I brushed that fear away as completely ridiculous. Nick is in good health overall and as the week has progressed his limbs have recovered some of their strength and control. The Doctor had explained as they do that there was a chance of complications but the odds were low, 5-10%. He has the best surgeon and is in the best hospital, getting great care.

Getting through the next four days seemed interminable and occasionally Nick got restless and impatient. It seems like he has been in for a month but it is only 10 days. On Sunday a new patient arrived into his room. The young man was extremely disoriented and told Nick he had been dead for two years! Nick was spooked and thought he had come out of surgery. He started to imagine he would be the same but of course this young man has something different which is not related to surgery but epilepsy or some other disturbance.

Nick wanted to see us before he had surgery but with the restrictions we could not visit. I felt his anxiety was rising and requested a visit to ease his mind. The hospital allowed Nick to come outside and meet us in a little garden in front of the hospital. We were so thrilled to see him and had brought his favourite Chinese custard buns which he devoured. He showed us his walking and hand movements have improved significantly. He felt so good to be outside in the world but also it seemed strange. He forgot to bring his washing so we will need to drop off more knickers! It put all our minds at ease to see him and gave him strength to face the operation.

Ziggy came too and was treated to some of the lolly snakes that a friend had sent Nick. He showed off his now higgledy, piggledy teeth with glee. He is losing teeth quite dramatically now and Nick was worried he is going to need braces. Jonathan and Nick talked business and appraised a new beanie they are thinking of adding to their Common-Dust clothing range. It seemed like a normal time. Nick bemoaned his thick beard which he loathes and wanted to shave his head. He looked tired and a bit pale but still with the magic smile. There was the usual banter between the three of them and then it was time to leave. Despite social distancing requirements we all hugged him hard.

He has been given sleeping tablets the last couple of nights and has felt better as a result. This morning he rang to say he was probably going into surgery about 10 ish. I received a text from the hospital at12.30 pm that he was going into theatre then. Now we wait and pray all will be well.

Author: fleetfootkath

I am a keen walker and traveller. I love to explore and learn about new people, places and cultures with a sense of joy and gratitude for this fortunate life. I believe walking is a wonderful way to really connect with the present and the beauty of the world that surrounds us. It makes me happy.

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