View Full Version : My wife WAS in Intensive Care

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01-21-2007, 02:43 PM
Seems we have a case of forum amnesia! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif Worst is, I didn't get to read the replies to my last post. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-mad.gif

Anyway, until someone gets my thread back, here's the next update:

Christmas today was kinda surreal but fun. Terry being the only patient in the ward (which was what probably sparked the idea), we shut the door and took over the place.

Terry loved watching everyone opening the gifts she had so carefully chosen. A bright sunny day in her recent life of storms. Poor girl struggled to get the wrapping off her gifts, every one useless until she gets out of there, but wouldn't allow any help.

During her fuzzy period of the past few weeks she expressed 2 fervent wishes, firstly to go home and secondly to see the sea again and walk once more on her most beloved beaches. Can't do much about the 1st, but I could happily inform her I've booked 2 weeks at her favourite seaside spot in March, giving her 7 weeks to become beachworthy again. She's filled with trepidation but is going to give it her best shot and her Physio promised to help.

On the health front, nothing dramatic but she's a little more independant every day. The trachy-hole surgeon reckons she has to go back to theatre again this week, and maybe again after that until they get the bloody thing to heal. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif Damn anti-rejection drugs!!

01-21-2007, 07:13 PM
To you and the misses!! Enjoy buddy, you both deserve it!!

01-21-2007, 08:18 PM
VikingGrandad should have the post, PM him.

I wish I could see her face once she feels the warm sand between her toes, and breathes in that fresh ocean air. I got a feeling this is gonna happen http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

01-21-2007, 08:41 PM
Well, its good to hear how much better you two are doing!

01-22-2007, 02:42 AM
Good to read!!

Have a beautifull time with her.

01-22-2007, 02:30 PM
Any chance you can recreate the thread VG? Waste of time on a 56k modem. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Anyway, today's update:

Bad day today. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

First thing in the morning, the throat surgeon tells Terry she has to go back to theatre today for the 4th time.

1 to put in the trachy
2 to take out the trachy and close the hole
3 to have another go at closing the hole
4, today, see 3.

Then he leaves her all day to stew over it and they only collects a terrified her at 17h00. I get word she's going back to ICU, so I pack all her stuff from the ward and unpack it in her assigned ICU cabinet. Then I wait to meet her as she exits the theatre area and they tell me the doc says she's ok, she can go back to the ward. So we are parted, her to the ward and me to ICU. Hmph!

4 operations on the same spot in less than a month! Believe me, that makes for some seriously raw meat and Terry is in PAIN.

The days saving grace was I had to listen to her tell me proudly several times how should stood alone today, while the Physio and assisting nurses clapped and cheered. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

01-22-2007, 02:42 PM
The days saving grace was I had to listen to her tell me proudly several times how should stood alone today, while the Physio and assisting nurses clapped and cheered.


01-22-2007, 03:10 PM
Excellent news on your wife's progress! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

01-23-2007, 05:24 PM
Joyest of Joys! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/partyhat.gif

01-23-2007, 06:08 PM
All I can do is extend to you both my best wishes, and hope she gets well soon. Seriuos illness is never any joy, but wandering on beaches - regardless of weather - is great fun. Get her there, the air alone is a tonic

01-24-2007, 12:52 PM
Terry is recovering ok from her latest throat op and is able to eat and swallow again now.

Strange coincidence: Just before she fell ill, she received a 'missed call' from an old work colleague from where she used to work several years ago, before her health packed up. She mentioned it over the weekend, so I checked her phone and called the number. Turns out someone was just messing with the phone and dialled her number by mistake. Nevertheless the colleague was shocked to hear about Terry's misfortune and has spread the word. Over the last few days, she's had a steady stream of old workmates visit (pre-warned by the colleague not to show their shock at her condition), which has lifted her spirits big time. Can't remember when last I've seen such joyful smiles from her, I had to look away and pretend to be finding something very interesting outside the window, until I could swallow the lump.

When she went into hospital, she was fine on the outside and wrecked on the inside. This has now been reversed. The engine is ticking over ok, but the bodywork is a train smash. Only her face is unmarked and that's only because the marks from the plasters holding the respirator tube in her mouth have faded. Some of the wounds where her skin has ruptured are serious, so I had a word with the hospital matron, who has taken personal charge of Terry's nursing and has brought in a 'wound specialist' to treat her.

The holiday is still on so far, but a bikini just isn't going to happen.

01-24-2007, 06:46 PM
Thats allways nice to heare. I forgot what origanaly happend to her. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blush.gif

01-27-2007, 01:22 PM
TERRY'S HOME!!! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Well, not for good, but the doc gave her a weekend pass, I think to encourage her to keep working on her rehabilitation. It was a major logistical and very costly project to arrange home nursing and ambulance transport but worth it to see her sitting in her own home again.

She usually dozes quite often in the hospital but today, although exhausted, she wouldn't close an eye, just wanted to take everything in. I performed her daily physio and am pleased to announce, she stood better and longer than ever, those medical types should get some engineering training to better understand structural stability. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I was the 2nd second nurse during the day and will be again tomorrow, but I hired 2 for tonight, cause this nurse is nackered and needs some sleep.

01-27-2007, 01:46 PM
Alright http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

Looks like the trip to the beach is really gonna happen.

BTW, I wanted to tell you it brought tears to my eyes to read this "The days saving grace was I had to listen to her tell me proudly several times how should stood alone today, while the Physio and assisting nurses clapped and cheered." I am so happy.

01-27-2007, 01:52 PM

Very good news http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif

01-27-2007, 03:43 PM
Great news dd http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/partyhat.gif. I hope you and Terry have a good home stay, at least for the time being. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif

01-27-2007, 05:25 PM
Good news is allways good to hear.

And a big round of applause to your wifes stout heart. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif

01-27-2007, 11:29 PM
Even greater Joy of Joys!
It must be nice to have her at home again.
Nice to hear her ever improving condition.

01-28-2007, 02:13 PM
Very brilliant weekend having Terry home. She spent most of the days in her hyper-deluxe recliner I bought for her, watching cricket of all things, and being waited on hand and foot. We're perfectly matched in that she cooks, I eat but this weekend it was; I cook, she eats. She's lucky to have survived. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

We organised her hairdresser to make a house call today. It was quite a mission backing the wheelchair to the basin and getting her hair washed, but she revelled in the head rub and in being wheeled out onto the patio and having the cut outdoors. I prepped the hairdresser about Terry's condition but still, she was visibly shaken and fighting back tears the whole time. That made 2 of us. She even refused payment, muttering something about "a long-time and valued client......"

The 'looking-after' side was pretty tough. Her present state is somewhere between paraplegic and quadraplegic, so nursey and I did everything for her. First thing we did was get a sheet under her so we could move her, because due to the osteoporosis and tissue paper skin, hands-on is a no-no. There was a LOT of lifting to do between chair, wheelchair and bed and even more just turning her when she felt uncomfortable.

Worst though, was getting up close and personal with all the wounds on her poor tortured body. When the trachy surgeon heard she was weekend off, he thrust a huge syringe of disinfectant into my hand and gave instructions for me to change her dressing twice a day and clean the wound. When I first saw it, my blood froze in my veins. The small trachy hole is now a jagged crater about 5cm long x 1.5 cm wide and over a cm deep (I couldn't actually see the bottom), with a drain pipe emerging from the deepest part. Glad she wasn't watching my face, she doesn't know. Realising for the first time why the syringe was so big, I gritted my teeth and did my duty, squirting the stuff inside and a squirt down the pipe, mopping up what overflowed. I think I'm going to have a few nightmares over this one.

Terry is back in their hands now, but I'm so glad we had this time together. I think both of us are a little stronger now.

01-28-2007, 02:26 PM
Very brilliant weekend having Terry home

Doug I must have missed this, what fantastic news to read that you had this time at home! brilliant, I'm really pleased for you both. I suspect it will have done you both the power of good!

Edit: I know why now I didn't know - I hadn't re-subscribed to the topic, after the forum crash because I hadn't posted anything in it. I've been forgetting that recently - that we've lost all our subscribed thread updates.

01-28-2007, 03:45 PM
Wow DD, that is good. To finally have her at home, temporary, but still...
I'm sure your cooking wasn't that bad, and I'm sure it tasted so much better for her because you cooked it.
Still praying to our deiety of choice for her speedy recovery

02-01-2007, 12:02 PM
Things haven't gone well since the wonderful weekend at home. Somehow, and I have no idea how or when, the trachy hole tore open again. The surgeon blames me for undoing his work over the weekend and Terry went back into theatre on Tuesday for try number 3 to close the damn thing.

She's been instructed to keep her head tucked down until it knits which makes the usual physio impossible, so this is a big step backwards in the quest to get her back on her feet.

Also over the weekend, I did not have the equipment to help her cough up the fluids from her lungs (a generic problem caused by being on a respirator and needing a thingy that passes oxygen through saline water to loosen the phlegm), so her chest was really tight come Monday. I tried normal inhalations using steam and a towel over her head which helped, but it wasn't good enough.

Not to mention we stuffed up the dressings on the leg wounds by having to move her around so much. Our solution was to bandage her legs over the dressings from knee to foot to limit the damage. Fortunately, this worked and the 'wound specialist' was pleased when she redid the dressings on Monday. In fact when she finished redoing them, she bandaged the legs as well. Her legs look scary, like those of a shark bite victim..... a smallish shark of course.

All in all, Terry is in poor spirits. Part of the reason is that her brother has stopped visiting and this hurts her. He's not taking my calls so I don't know whether Terry said something to offend him, which would be dumb as she's pretty fuzzy and doesn't always know what she's saying. I may have offended him because I tackled him over his cruel and hurtful "jokes" at a time when Terry needs all the positive vibes she can get. If he lets a problem with me stop him from supporting his sister, then he drops to zero on my respect meter. In fact, most of her extended family have gotten off the bus, leaving only her immediate family to carry on. Thank goodness for her old work mates filling the gap. It will only get worse next week because I must go away on another business trip.

Just to add insult to injury, the speeding fines have started coming in from the early weeks of her hospitalisation, including one on Christmas day. What can I say, my level of anxiety to rush back to her side daily translated to pressure on my right foot. I wonder if the med aid will accept them as "hospital related expenses".

02-01-2007, 01:12 PM
Hi Doug

My friend, I'll tell you this much - your devotion and commitment to Terry is frankly astonishing. Without getting soppy (Hey! we're all tough manly Kaleuns here! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif) It comes through in your posts. I'm sorry to hear of the set backs you've had to endure recently.

I wanted to raise 2 points if I may. Your brother in law, now obviously I don't know him but I wonder if he's finding it all a bit much to deal with? and it's his way of coping by not responding to calls or seeing Terry? I'm not defending him, don't get me wrong please, it was just my initial reaction to what you said. Perhaps the cruel jokes were an attempt at humour, in his own way, in a difficult situation. Having said that, not seeing her is not good.

Regarding the speeding fines - Is there a way you can appeal against them? get a letter from Terry's Surgeon to back you up - that's what I'd do in the UK.

I continue to wish you both the best of luck, keep us posted.

02-02-2007, 01:38 PM
Application for clemency duly posted to the public prosecutor for the fines.

A better day. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Terry is oozing so much haemoglobin through her wounds that she was ghostly pale, weak and tired, the palms of her hands were as white as the bed sheets. So they gave her a blood transfusion last night and today she's all pink, pretty and awake again.

I decided she needed a treat so I convinced the nurses to give her a real bath in the morning before she went for her dressing change with the wound specialist. I reinforced the request with a phone call this morning 'cause they sounded reluctant. It's hard work, takes 4 nurses and Terry has to be lowered into the bath on a sheet. But, she got her 1st real bath in over a month. Revelled in it!

The dialysis shunt on her chest, unused since her 1st ICU stint, was removed today. This is not a step taken lightly as there are a limited number of points in the body that can be used for a shunt and few can ever be re-used. Sort of like removing a safety net. So, definitely no more dialysis, an excellent sign that her kidney is much improved.

One of the longer term patients went home today and slipped Terry a TV remote. These are scarce as hen's teeth in the hospital, only obtainable from the 'secret sisterhood of patients' society. Strange how a TV remote can be so empowering and comforting to a woman. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

The only thing we're waiting for now is the trachy hole to heal and then Terry can leave the hospital and be transferred to the Netcare 911 Rehabilitation Centre, a far more friendly environment, to tackle the final hurdle of rebuilding her body and getting her mobility back. They have the facilities to care for her wounds as well, so that shouldn't be a problem. Unfortunately, it's very far from home, right through the thick of the traffic, so visiting will be tougher, but worth it.

All together now..... GO TRACHY HOLE!!! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

02-02-2007, 01:48 PM
We're all behind you Doug!

*Visualising holes closing*


02-03-2007, 08:25 AM
Your brother in law

Not been on this forum for ages and this thread caught my eye.

Firstly I wish you all the best and I'd like to add about your worry about the brother, I can relate to that in that I have a large family but when I lost my father who I was extremely close to I just could not handle seeing him in Hospital, he was not conscious and after he went in and they gave him little hope.

People handle it in different ways. I have to say it tore me up I could not do anything and could not face seeing him like the way he was. He was surrounded by loving relatives and close family when he died and I have to emit shamefully I was in the car park crying.

02-04-2007, 02:18 AM
Originally posted by Realjambo:
Hi Doug

I wanted to raise 2 points if I may. Your brother in law, now obviously I don't know him but I wonder if he's finding it all a bit much to deal with? and it's his way of coping by not responding to calls or seeing Terry? I'm not defending him, don't get me wrong please, it was just my initial reaction to what you said. Perhaps the cruel jokes were an attempt at humour, in his own way, in a difficult situation. Having said that, not seeing her is not good.
Naa, finally got hold of him and had a chat. Nothing noble there, he's playing some kind of pathetic hurt pride game. He demanded an apology and for Terry's sake I gave it to him. That was 3 days ago, still no sign of him.

02-08-2007, 12:53 PM
Whilst on my business trip this week, I received news that the trachy hole had struck back at us. Apart from being no nearer healing, Terry has picked up a hospital-resident, drug-resistant staphylococcus infection in the hole. She was whipped into an isolation ward and all who enter must don gowns, masks and gloves. The doctor reckons "it's not serious yet, we will have to wait and see". A Sister seemed quite concerned that she would be breathing the bacteria into her lungs. She's on arbitrary antibiotics while doctors await the results of sensitivity tests', to find the right one that can kill the infection, assuming there is one.

Her general condition has deteriorated and she can no longer stand, even with Physio support.

How much more?!......................

I took her, her cellphone so we could stay in contact while I was away, which was great. Looked through her dialled numbers today, I noted she had called her brother. She probably doesn't understand that he's abandoned her. She said his son answered and went off to call daddy, returning to inform her neither mommy nor daddy were home. There has been no return call. How heartless is that?!

We're pushing for a transfer to a rehab centre, before her mobility is lost forever. The damn trachy hole and other wounds can go along for the ride.

Either way, seems the holiday on the beach was just a pipe dream. I'll wait until the last minute before cancelling, seeing I will have lost the deposit anyway.

02-08-2007, 10:43 PM
Am sorry to hear about the family problems and the steps backwards. I believe she knows that your will is as strong as your love for her.

02-10-2007, 03:52 AM
To cherry pick some positives out of the current downer:

Terry's frame of mind has improved dramatically since I got back, much less panicky and depressed. Not great visiting with all the protective gear on, but nevertheless, great to be with her again.

Her Nephrologist calls her kidney recovery "excellent". He's weaning her off one of her anti-rejection drugs, Rappamune, and introducing an alternative, Prograph. (Probably spelt wrong.). Rappamune is known to seriously impact the body's healing capacity. Prograph will too but to a lesser extent and the aim is to get the trachy hole to heal. The effect can already be seen in her leg wounds which are slowly granulating up and are definitely less deep. She's tried Prograph before and it didn't work great kidney-wise, so she may have to swop back once the hole has healed.

We have an appointment with an assessor from a rehab clinic on Monday to give her a detailed breakdown of Terry's medical history and current condition. If everything goes well and the med aid authorises it, she could move across next week already.

As I'm sticking to positives here, I shan't talk about the bugs in her life which have not yet been resolved i.e. the "hospital" infection and her brother.

02-12-2007, 01:51 PM
Well, the seeds we've sown have finally germinated. Terry leaves 1st thing in the morning, by ambulance, for a Rehabilitation Clinic quaintly named the Riverfield Lodge. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

The overwhelming message from all the docs, nurses, case manager etc., is one of "wow that's great", but the underlying warning is "fail, and the medical profession and medical aid will give up on her". Her confidence has been eroded so far that she sees her hospital bed as a comfort zone and place of safety, whereas it's really a place of pain and danger. Seldom a day goes by that she doesn't receive another accidental nursing bruise or skin tear, or feel the excruciating pain of another rib injury or aggrevation of a bed-sore. The rehab will need to work a miracle on her mind, the healing of her body will then follow.

Terry will be quite a challenge for them but if all goes well, and it simply has to, failure is NOT an option, then she will come straight home from there and I shall have the pleasure of taking her into the hospital as a walking patient for further interventions i.e. repair of the trachy hole and specialised wound treatment.

So, depending on your persuasion, please join me in holding thumbs, praying, self-flagulating etc., in aid of a successful outcome.

Incidently, Terry has accepted that her brother is history and was actually not too upset about it. Reckons she only has room for sincere people in her life and is probably better off without him and his poisonous mouth.

Btw, anyone know of a good wheelchair laying about that could be put to good use, say near a beach. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

02-12-2007, 02:01 PM
Fingers crossed Doug...

I wonder if wheelchairs are equipped with GPS nowadays?

02-12-2007, 02:08 PM
Good luck Doug & Terry! Really encouraging news! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

02-12-2007, 03:39 PM
Very positive news indeed Doug http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

02-12-2007, 03:41 PM
Good lick and keep going!!!!

Second star on the right and straight on till morning...

02-13-2007, 12:29 PM
Rough, ROUGH day! I was just going to escort her there and then go to work, never made work. Terry's 'hospital security bubble' has been well and truly burst. She's petrified of what is to come and spent most of the day in tears, begging me to get her the hell out of there, even accused me of abandoning her.

I'm hoping she will start to develop relationships and trust with her rehab team, they seem like a good bunch. At least she has a much better TV and after a deposit of 50 bucks, her very own remote.

They insist on their patients being dressed and up and about, even if in wheelchairs, no laying in bed in PJ's all day. Considering her present state of weakness and immobility, it's gonna be tough on her.

Tough love sucks. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Btw, ever had to choose a woman's clothes for her?! I had to go home and select her wardrobe and realised just how unobservant I'd been with regard to what she normally likes to wear. I ended up carting most of her stuff along and played a game of "take home" or "hang in the cupboard". Not too bad, I scored about 75%. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

02-13-2007, 12:41 PM
Btw, ever had to choose a woman's clothes for her?! I had to go home and select her wardrobe and realised just how unobservant I'd been with regard to what she normally likes to wear. I ended up carting most of her stuff along and played a game of "take home" or "hang in the cupboard". Not too bad, I scored about 75%.

Good man! I suspect you did a lot better there than some of us would have Doug! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif It's moments like that you'll look on and laugh I'm sure when you're both at home again. I continue to wish you all the best, even if it seems 'the best' is slow in coming sometimes. Keep up the good work.

02-16-2007, 04:08 PM
Haven't posted for a couple of days, partly due to exhaustion, rehab has added a couple of hours driving time to an already overloaded day, but mostly due to the emergence of the secret fears that I've kept to myself, hidden behind a mask of optimism. I've woken up to the realisation that we're not going to get our lives back, in anything like the shape we hoped for.

Four days in rehab and little to show for it. A team of 6 rehab specialists are carrying out their individual functions, all being very positive and hopeful, but the goals they're aiming at are so far short of what I was hoping for and what I keep assuring Terry we will achieve together, that I despair as well.

Rather than saving the life of the woman I love so dearly, I've trashed her dignity and condemned my fiercely independent woman to a life, or what's left of it, of total dependence, a prisoner in a severely damaged and pain-tormented body, that she can never again be proud of and will come to hate passionately.

If it were me, I might bear such physical devastation stoically but never her. I've just postponed the inevitable and caused her to suffer more than any human being should ever have to endure. I should be apologising and begging her forgiveness, but instead I'm going to sit holding her hand, a silly smile on my face, telling her how good things are going to be when she gets better.

Life doesn't have to end in death, it can end long before that and become something not worth having.

02-16-2007, 06:20 PM
Doug, I don't have any words that will comfort you or your wife. The only thing I can say is that I am truly saddened by your situation and the only positive I can offer you is to never stop believing. God bless you both.
Merlin http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

02-18-2007, 10:02 AM
I'm just going to have to motivate the rehab crew to aim higher. There are certain minimum and sustainable targets that they must reach in order to inspire Terry to want to rejoin the world.

Failure is not an option.

Thanks for the continuing support.

02-22-2007, 12:00 PM
Two weeks in Rehab.

Terry is slightly stronger, the Physio is working on upper body strength and mobility mostly, to enable her to move herself around on the bed, turn over from side to side etc. This would save her from being hurt by the nurses when handled. Small stuff, but a start. She spends every morning in the gym.

They started wheelchair work this week, including assisted board transfers from bed to chair to loo etc., and wheeling herself slowly around the clinic. Also taking breakfast and lunch at the table in the dining room. Great to see her sitting up in a chair, looking like Paralympics material with her new cycling gloves on.

I pushed her out into the garden last Sunday and we had a mini-picnic down by the pool. Beats ICU anytime. They may not allow it so soon, but I'm going to see if I can get her a day-pass this Sunday and take her for a drive.

Had a look at the trachy hole yesterday during a dressing change. It's lost all of it's rawness from the last closure attempt and is healing on the surface. Trouble is, that surface is at the bottom of a 5cm long by 1cm wide jagged canyon. At one end there is a 1.5cm deep crater and at the bottom of this, the hole through into her trachea. This hole is now only about a mm in diameter and I believe it may even close on its own. If this can happen, it will greatly increase the chances of success of the canyon closure operation because she wouldn't be coughing through it and/or depositing infection-prone material behind the stitched flesh. Her other wounds are coming along slowly.

PS: Traffic fines were reduced from R400 & R300 to R200 & R100. Fair I suppose, but I'd be interested to know what it would take to have fines scrapped altogether.

02-22-2007, 06:45 PM
This is good news Doug. Progress will most likely be slow from now on, so hang in there, I'm praying for you both.

02-26-2007, 01:09 PM
At last! After months of constantly striking Terry's flint, the spark has finally ignited a fire in her belly to get going. She told the Physio and Occupational Therapists: "Stop treating me like I'm going to break and let's get to work, I'll tell you when it hurts too much and I need to rest." The rehab's Psychiatrist has changed her happy pills and I think that's also allowed her mind to clear and take charge. The old strength and determination has resurfaced and the hypothetical kitten had better just stay out of her way if it wants to lead a long and happy life.

I had a meeting with the rehab team last Thursday and told them their expectations didn't match ours, so they should upgrade theirs. I also told them Terry is tougher than they thought and they should push her a bit harder. Terry is very grateful to me for this... at least I think that's what she means when she says: "Thank you! Thank you very bloody damn much for making them work my *** off!" http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

The outride didn't happen over the weekend, the doctor is worried about infections in her leg wounds. We apparently have to complete a leave application form which gets evaluated by the whole rehab team before she can leave the premises. Nevertheless, we had a good 2 days outdoors, picnicking under a lapa in the garden. Terry's reached the point now when she stays in her wheelchair and doesn't have to spend any time in bed during the day, taking all her meals at the dining table. Her mood at the end of the day is tired, but content and proud of her progress.

She's able to talk clearly and strongly again, no longer having to push her fingers into the trachy hole (through the dressing of course), to stop the leak. That's enabled her to use her cellphone freely and call up friends and family to chat whenever the mood grabs her.

Long way to go yet but the mountain is not looking quite as formidable.

02-26-2007, 01:23 PM
Rooting dude Rooting...
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif

02-26-2007, 01:32 PM
Fantastic news Doug! Really uplifting! I recall your posts around Xmas time, compare those to your post today - you've come a million miles. I'm really pleased for you both. Onwards and upwards! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

02-26-2007, 01:33 PM

02-26-2007, 03:22 PM
Wonderful news Doug,Glad to hear that things have turned more positive I am sure we will all keep thinking the happy thoughts prayers etc to help you both onward and upward http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif

02-27-2007, 11:15 AM
Terry's bored, asks if someone can send her a copy of Silent Hunter 4 when it's available. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

02-27-2007, 01:31 PM
Great job on all the work you both have done. Every step counts, no matter ow small it may seem.

PS. May have to start a collection to get "her" a copy...

03-01-2007, 07:00 AM
I've been prayerfully following this thread since just after Christmas. It amazes me the power of the internet to bring people together in their common humanity or to wedge them apart. How many people reading this around the world must have been praying for the two of you. You are a remarkable man and Terry must be a remarkable woman. God bless you both.

03-01-2007, 07:35 AM
Originally posted by doug.d:

I had a meeting with the rehab team last Thursday and told them their expectations didn't match ours, so they should upgrade theirs. I also told them Terry is tougher than they thought and they should push her a bit harder. Terry is very grateful to me for this... at least I think that's what she means when she says: "Thank you! Thank you very bloody damn much for making them work my *** off!" http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Long way to go yet but the mountain is not looking quite as formidable.

This is what makes me happy to hear, she is not pissed at you for keeping her around a little bit longer. That trip to the Beach look really close, better start looking a a new pair of sandles for her, so that warm sand can get in between her toes, and the happy tears will flow once again, and life will be good.

Also, another observation of mine, is that this thread is close to being as long if not longer than any of Celeon's never ending threads(Pretty amazing if I must say so http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif) . This means people love you and your wife, and that goes for me too.

RJ, you have the table set for the Guest Of Honor for the UBI Silent Hunter Forum Meet yet, looks like we will need the best seat in the house for them. I am still working on winning the Lotto to help fund this event, but these two deserve 1st Class treatment http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

03-01-2007, 07:41 AM
Originally posted by Moghdad:
I've been prayerfully following this thread since just after Christmas. It amazes me the power of the internet to bring people together in their common humanity or to wedge them apart. How many people reading this around the world must have been praying for the two of you. You are a remarkable man and Terry must be a remarkable woman. God bless you both.

I could not have said it any better mate, and I couldn't choose a nicer Forum to belong to. We have said it time after time, and I hope no one takes our friendships here for granted, because the love always flows here, and I feel closer to most of you than most of my family.

Not only God Bless to Terry and Doug, but God Bless to all of you for being such caring people for all of us through good and bad.

03-01-2007, 07:47 AM
Pleased to hear about your wifes recovery, here's hoping that she will regain full strength and be herself again very soon, of which I'm sure she will be. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Best wishes to her from RedTerex.

03-01-2007, 09:32 AM
RJ, you have the table set for the Guest Of Honor for the UBI Silent Hunter Forum Meet yet, looks like we will need the best seat in the house for them. I am still working on winning the Lotto to help fund this event, but these two deserve 1st Class treatment

'Doug & Terry' are definitely on the top table Tuddley http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

03-01-2007, 09:42 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/agreepost.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

03-04-2007, 10:16 AM
Outride happened today. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Joined by our 2 daughters plus 1's SO & 1's family, I took Terry to the Lion Park. The thinking was that she didn't have to get out the car and could spend the day in a comfy car seat, plus aircon, instead of the not-so-comfy wheelchair, plus blistering heatwave. We happened upon feeding time so there was plenty of hungry Lion action.

The day was great, especially considering that a short while ago, I didn't think there would ever be such a day with her again. We found with the aid of a bridging board, it wasn't such a mission to transfer Terry from the wheelchair to the car and out again. My biggest fear was that she'd need the toilet cause the Lion Park doesn't have one for the disabled. Funny how I've started noticing such things. They also don't have pathways or level ground in their picnic area and we got bogged down in the stone chips they've laid down. The only way a wheelchair could get through was in reverse.

My picnic basket wasn't too imaginative but fortunately daughter came to the rescue with some fancy stuff.

Next week, I reckon I'll bring her home for the day. Once she gets to standing a little, needed for easier toilet transfer, we could make that the whole weekend.

03-07-2007, 12:15 PM
TERRY WALKED!!! Unaided by human hands.

She was given a gym exercise yesterday by the Physio, which involved getting her legs off the "plinth" (hard exercise bed), and standing. There was a walking frame in front of her for support and when she had stood up, and seeing the Physio wasn't watching, she shuffled across the gym.

When the Physio saw her she freaked out, telling Terry she wasn't ready for that yet, had a lot more building up to do first and had to take it slower.

True enough, her energy reservoir was depleted and she was unable to successfully complete her morning's gym regime, but what an incentive to carry on!!

Plus, she's got a Saturday and a Sunday pass this weekend. She has to go back for Saturday night, but the rest of the weekend, she's home.

03-07-2007, 12:25 PM
A lot of progress has happened for you, since last time I read this thread!

Congratulation! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

03-07-2007, 12:28 PM
Great news Doug!! Onwards and upwards http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

03-07-2007, 05:30 PM
Doug, I'm so glad to hear all of this good news! I'll continue to pray for you both. I know Terry isn't completely out of the woods yet, but it sounds like she is on her way! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif

03-11-2007, 06:00 PM
Hello Doug,

It's good news to hear that she's progressing at a faster pace than her doctors believed possible. I'll be happy once she leaves the hospital altogether though, as I'm not really into these so called doctors and the medications they subscribe. Unfortunately though, I believe we may have another problem on our hands that's more concerning.

Please don't flip out when I say this, but I believe there was a reason that all of this happened, and we need to get to the bottom of this if we're to succeed with her recovery. This gut feeling is that the attack was from other beings from our Earth's inner world (they live in underground bases), or possibly from another planetary system entirely. It might also be a spiritual entity.

While prayer is a good form of communication, often times I find that it takes a while longer than we sometimes hope for. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif It's better to take action now, and make sure that we're dependable upon ourselves.

When I first caught this thread, and then went back and read the entire thing, I had the feeling that it was something worse than what most probably saw at the time. For several days at work (overnight shift) I felt as though I should respond to this, as I believed (and felt) strongly that other beings were the cause of this nonsense and rediculous suffering.

This happened to me to an extent, and I found a way of eliminating the threat in an interesting way. Since doing this, I haven't had the same stuff happen to me, both physical pain and also mental suffering. Now I feel FREE from this invading force, physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Where exactly do you live? Are you in the US, or another country? The reason I ask is because I'm trying to get my bearings so I can gather more of an accurate reading on this issue and what the solution might be.

Mr Smith

p.s. get rid of the tits. It's really an eyesore http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

03-12-2007, 02:13 PM
Wonderful weekend!

On Saturday, while I employed a housecleaning service to knock the place back into some sort of acceptable shape for Terry, my daughter picked her up from the Rehab and drove her home, stopping only to satisfy Terry's craving for some KFC chicken.

The only mishap on the way was when said daughter placed the removable arm of the wheelchair on her car's roof and, you guessed it, forgot it there. When she accelerated out on the main road, she heard the bump and in the rear-view mirror, saw the arm slide past the hatchback's window and bounce on the road. As luck would have it, also in the mirror, was an 18 wheeler charging along behind her and which rode over the arm. I tried to re-engineer it in my garage but the flattened steel tubing defied all my efforts. I guess I'll be paying for a replacement.

Terry got out the car in the driveway and with the aid of a walking frame, walked to the house, including some long, flat steps up to the patio (they only start steps this week at rehab), down the passage to the toilet and back to the lounge. A distance of about 60m unaided! Wow, I'm sooooo impressed. She tried the house on for fit and although there are some problem areas, she should, given her rapid rate of improvement, be able to overcome most of them after a few more weeks of rehab. What a pleasure to sit and watch some TV (opening MotoGP races), together again after months of solitude at home.

I fetched her again on Sunday, and this time we tried out a major shopping centre using the wheelchair, where she bought some imported reading material from Woolies and then off to another centre for lunch. To our horror and disbelief, our favourite restaurant has closed down, so it was off to yet another centre for our magic, brilliant, re-union lunch. We're getting this wheelchair-car, car-wheelchair thing down pat although the wheelchair was kinda getting heavier every time.

More blissful and leasurely home time followed but all too soon it back-to-rehab time. There, she had the best dinner ever in that place, her doggy-bag of ribs left over from lunch.

Roll on next weekend!

03-12-2007, 02:36 PM
This is very good news. Thanks for the udpate. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Mr Smith

03-12-2007, 11:33 PM
This is the best news I have read anywhere in a long time. I will continue to pray for both of you. Thanks for the update. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

03-13-2007, 09:52 AM
WAY TO GO!!!! Hope that it is just the start of the road to recovery and it stay smooth... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

03-13-2007, 11:06 AM

I've been away from the forum for a while, and just now got to reading this. You may not know who I am, but you're one I recognize and respect.

I'm glad to hear now that things are looking up. I'm pulling for you all. Take good care and best wishes.


03-13-2007, 11:39 AM
More good news http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

03-13-2007, 01:32 PM
NEWS FLASH!! THE TRACHY HOLE HAS CLOSED!!! All by itself. There is now NO air escaping whatsoever!!

We are hoping the rest of the hole will granulate up and remove the necessity for any further surgical attention i.e. Terry can then come home without the threat of re-hospitalisation hanging over her head.

Disappointingly, I cancelled the beach holiday, she isn't going to be out of rehab in time. Later maybe.

03-13-2007, 03:03 PM

03-14-2007, 04:21 AM
Originally posted by doug.d:

Disappointingly, I cancelled the beach holiday, she isn't going to be out of rehab in time. Later maybe.

No Doug not cancelled....postponed http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Best wishes to you Terry and your family on her continuing improvement

03-19-2007, 02:00 PM
Terry was home for the whole weekend, including a sleepover on Saturday night. To quote Charles Dickens "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."

Wonderful having her home, took her for lunch and shopping, her favourite past-time, on Saturday and had the whole family over for lunch out in the garden by the pool on Sunday. Thereafter, she got to watch the taped Oz GP before reporting again for Rehab duty.

Nevertheless, her lasting mood after the weekend was one of depression. In Rehab, she has worked like a dog and tackled everything they threw at her with determination and a beat-me-if-you-can grin. However, Rehab is a controlled environment and her hard work did not prepare her well for the real world and the home environment. It was a harsh wake-up call. I believe she coped brilliantly but she could not overlook the many things she can't do yet and the reminder of just how weak she still is. Her "new" life is going to place a mountain of challenges in front of her and it will take every fibre of her being, and probably mine too, to make a go of it.

The date has been set!! Terry will be discharged on Friday 30 March, which is the date that the rehab team reckon she will be beyond their further help and she will be coming home! Thanks to the trachy hole closing, there will NOT be a detour via the hospital for further surgery! Wound treatment will probably continue as a hospital out-patient. The rest, and there is a long and scary journey ahead, will be entirely up to us.

03-19-2007, 02:14 PM
The date has been set!! Terry will be discharged on Friday 30 March

That's excellent news Doug. It's been quite a ride to say the least! although I appreciate it isn't quite over yet. I remember your first post just before Christmas about Terry, and now here we are mid March!

I'm very pleased to read your latest update, I'm sure Terry will be much happier to be at home and I continue to wish you both well. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

03-28-2007, 01:46 PM
Enjoyed another good and very relaxed weekend, plebbing at home with Terry last weekend, but life is seriously hectic this week, trying to get all our ducks in a row for her homecoming on Friday.

The collarbone that she broke in a Physio mishap 2 weeks ago is still intensely painful and continues to plague her but she has bravely worked around it so as not to ****** the rest of her physical recovery.

Once home, someone will always have to be around to protect her and/or assist with the many things she will not yet be able to do. I'll have to take her to the doctor/hospital for the remaining medical interventions such as continuing wound treatment.

I managed to wriggle out of a business trip next week and took some leave but for the longer term, I'm engaging a nursing agency to provide someone. The med aid class this as "frail care" and don't pay for it so I guess I'll be paying someone else's salary out of mine for awhile which could be painful. I investigated early retirement cause I'd like the job of caring for Terry myself for the rest of our lives together, but the numbers just don't add up and I'd be dropping us in the financial brown stuff. Pity.

Nevertheless, limitations/challenges or not, it's time now for Terry to come home where she can take refuge from the medical profession for awhile.

03-28-2007, 03:28 PM
I cant understand everything but i wishes you and your family al the best in her curering prosses

03-30-2007, 03:56 PM
Shhhh....... turn those U-boats at war sounds down, Terry's sleeping! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

..... in her own bed, in her own home! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

03-30-2007, 04:03 PM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif Doug!

03-30-2007, 08:30 PM

03-30-2007, 10:31 PM
That is really wonderful.


04-01-2007, 10:38 AM

04-04-2007, 04:10 PM
Terry's new ride. Custom Lowrider Sport


The Rehab sent her home with the wrong size chair but the supplier came and swopped it out today. It's not been used yet and we hope to keep it that way, except perhaps for long journeys around shopping centres. She's walking around the house like a pro, carrying a walking frame just in case she gets the wobblies.

Today's 'mission impossible' was to go off to a local supermarket and do some shopping. Followed closely by myself and the nurse, she went in with the walking frame and transfered to a shopping trolley. As the trolley started to fill up, she started to stuggle to push it. I jokingly said this would stop her from buying too much stuff. She got an evil grin on her face, transfered back to the walking frame, gave me the trolley and proceeded to fill it up. I took the wheelchair along in the car boot but it stayed there, she finished the whole mission on her feet! I am so proud of her!

She's even cooked a few meals this week, needing help only with heavy stuff e.g. the pressure cooker and with activities such as rolling dough for pizzas which the damn broken collar bone won't let her do.

I figured we'd need the home nurse for quite awhile, but already she's got the most boring job in the world, standing by, just in case and actually working for about half an hour out of a whole day's shift.

Terry is on a roll and it won't be long before she is independent around the house again.

04-04-2007, 07:38 PM
Great news doug.d http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif

04-20-2007, 04:13 PM
Yes, I know, I've been remiss in not updating for awhile. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif Thanks all for the little poke in the ribs reminders and the PM's.

It has been a busy time, but a joyous time too and we've been cherishing every moment together at home. Terry is doing great and progressing every day, the caregiver lasted only a week and Terry insisted we let her go so Terry could reclaim her domain. Not having to use a walker leaves her hands-free and it makes life much easier, especially in the kitchen were she's rejoicing being able to cook again.

Mobility is excellent. We use the wheelchair exclusively for shopping centre trips and visits to restaurants, in fact we eat out quite a bit nowadays and enjoy it thoroughly. When I ask her where her walking frame is, she has to think hard to remember where she left it. Stairs are still a problem but her legs are slowly gathering strength and it shouldn't be too long now. Walking on the lawn is wobbly but it's got more to do with lack of confidence than lack of ability.

Medically, she is stable but the broken collar bone is still a major hassle, not sure if it's knitting and it's damn painful. It's also caused her shoulder to drop and she complains her bra strap keeps slipping off. She's down to 7 leg wounds which still require weekly dressing by a visiting home nurse and has only incurred a few minor skin tears and bruises since coming home. The trachy hole, although healed over, will need attention. The skin of the throat has adhered to the trachea and they pull each other around with movement of the head.... uncomfortable and sometimes cuts off her air. Her voice remains husky and not very strong, due to damage to the vocal chords from the respirator tube down her throat in ICU. Quite sexy though and she can't yell at me anymore. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Doc reckons it may be permanent, but could still improve a bit.

The wounds keep her from bathing or showering, so that's my job. With the aid of a bath-board and using the hand shower I had installed, I get to bath her and then move over to the basin and wash her hair. She loves bathtime.

All in all, she's settling in so well and life feels so 'back-to-normal' that we're both inclined to forget how fragile she still is, so we're trying to remain very cautious, the possible consequences of a little slip up do not bear thinking about.

Yes, yes, I've been trying to get Terry to the PC to read the thread and say hi, but so far no luck. Will keep trying. Hopefully, the next word will be from her.

04-20-2007, 04:32 PM
You've saved me sending you a chaser PM Doug. Good to hear from you. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Another really positive update. But that wobbly lawn, you should really get out there and smooth it down! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

If you can get Terry to the forum, that'd be great. I can promise you both that every Kaleun and Skipper will be very gentle, and very pleased to read a post.

05-16-2007, 01:06 PM
Doug - long time no hear - Terry got you keeping busy eh? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

05-16-2007, 01:55 PM
Too true RJ http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Hopefully, the next word will be from her.

Sorry, it's me again. I got as far as getting Terry to read the thread but the experience was so painful, I may never get her near a computer again. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif Nevertheless, I was able catch a few tearful quotes for you:

"I'm amazed!!" ..... "Such wonderful people!" ..... "I'm so happy they were here for you when you needed them" ..... "I don't know how to thank them."

Anyway, to update, Terry's progress is amazing. I took her back to the Rehab Clinic yesterday for the customary '6 week after' re-evaluation and she knocked their socks off, by strolling in unaided and passing every gym-test they gave her with flying colours, including the stair-test and psycho-test.

She still has some challenges. The wounds on her legs are still quite bad and painful. W.r.t. mobility, she'll be attempting to drive her car again soon. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif The broken collarbone still gives trouble but the pain has receded to the point where it no longer inhibits her mobility, or sleeping on that side. Kidney function and general health is good and improving daily.

I can't say life has almost returned to 'normal', because it's far better than 'normal' used to be. Having almost lost each other forever, I would say our relationship is now happier and stronger than ever! I guess I could say she's back in intensive care. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

On the basis that a picture paints a thousand words, I offer this one which I've entitled "Abandonware":


Once again, OUR sincerest thanks for all your empathy and support over this period, during which we've gone from the darkest of dark nights, slowly back into bright sunshine again. We salute you my friends. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

05-16-2007, 02:05 PM
We salute you my friends.

I think it's you two guys us rabble here should be saluting Doug! Great news, good to hear from you.

PS: I loved your choice of photo title "Abandonware" http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

05-16-2007, 02:15 PM
It's great to hear your news Doug. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

The Internet can be a wonderful thing...

05-17-2007, 09:47 AM
Reading this latest news just made my day. A big salute to both of you. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif

05-17-2007, 10:19 AM

05-18-2007, 08:04 PM
Awesome, Doug. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

05-19-2007, 11:51 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/partyhat.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif

Doug and Terry, Good news and congrats to both of you. This is such great news. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

05-19-2007, 01:02 PM
Nice to hear such good news Doug ! both of you keep up the good work http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif

05-19-2007, 01:27 PM

It's great to hear about Terry's progress!

I salute two very brave people!! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif


06-15-2007, 02:55 PM
I received a gloating SMS from Terry whilst at work today which said: "Guess where I am?"

When I guessed wrong, this was the answer: "FREEEEEE!!! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif"

She'd gone on a major shopping trip, including a major shopping centre, solo, in her own car!

I guess that's about the last major milestone obliterated. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

06-15-2007, 07:28 PM
Congratulations to both of you, it is truly a miracle how far Terry has come in such a short time.

06-16-2007, 03:31 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/partyhat.gif

06-16-2007, 10:20 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

I only hope that Terry got through this terrible ordeal with one thing on her mind - "It was worthed after all".

I remember you saying how she gave up and at that instance I came to an ethical divergence.
I had experienced similar dilemma not so long ago and I was very much aware I could have made a different decision back then.

A decision which from my current viewpoint seems far more appropriate that the one I took, burdened with inexplicable amount of love and hampered with inability to differentiate between necessity and selfishness.

I'll drink to both of you tonight.

06-16-2007, 11:12 AM
I'll second that Messervy. I'll raise a glass or three to you both too! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

07-07-2007, 03:20 PM
Just a short status report for those whom I see by the numbers are still reading this thread.

Alas, the solo shopping trip I posted of above was the 1st and the last to date. I made sure we got the anti-flu injection before winter set in, to keep the biggest, baddest bugs at bay, but a minor one got through. The effect on me was negligable, maybe blew my nose a bit more often and snored a little louder but that was it.

The effect on Terry was alarming thanks to her anti-rejection drugs, and she's been really sick, not eating and throwing up when she does. Most worrying is that it went into her lungs making it very hard to breathe and she's been coughing up gallons of mucous. Just to make her life really ****, the coughing fits broke (or perhaps re-broke), 3 ribs and the pain pretty much stopped her in her tracks.

The doc added more meds to her collection and the nurse, still coming 3 times a week to change her wound dressing (yup, they still haven't healed), brought along an electric nebuliser and a supply of cortizone sachets.

It peaked last week and we were seriously contemplating re-hospitalisation, but thankfully she started to come out of the dive. Today, apart from the rib pain, she's been quite perky and together we watched the Springboks get beaten by the Aussies and Ferrari get bumped off pole position.

She has so many meds that we dispense from the dining room table. I've taken to managing her meds and wrote out a 'what-when-how many' list 'cause it's become impossible to remember them all. Needless to say, we haven't been able to eat at the table, nor have I been able to get the top off and play some pool for ages.

For interest sake, here's a pic of her monthly meds:


07-07-2007, 04:26 PM
Hi Doug and Terry.

Thanks for the update, always good to hear from you about Terry - she is as much part of this community as you are.

Damn those little bugs eh? They get everywhere eh?! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

That said, being positive, even having contemplating going back to hospital you haven't had to so far, so that's a good thing. Watching sport on TV together must be a good thing too.

Cling onto those positive things Doug, and wish Terry all the best from us for getting over this latest hurdle.

I'm confident you'll have that table top to yourself again and be shooting pool in no time. Hell, we'll all come over and we'll have a knockout match eh? Terry can be the adjudicator! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Salutes to you both.

07-07-2007, 08:08 PM
Sorry to hear of the latest setback, glad to hear she is improving again.

07-08-2007, 01:42 AM
Terry has come so far, she will get over this too. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

07-14-2007, 08:41 AM
And now a word from our sponsor

Hi, yes it's me, Terry. I'm still here on good old planet earth.

Going through a bad patch at the moment, but still appreciating everything I have here at home, including my longsuffering hubby. Thanks for standing by him while I was out of it and helping him stay sane for me until I got home. Although, I'm not always convinced of his sanity.

Life is so much richer now than before. The little things have become very precious such as sitting in my chair in the lounge, looking out into the garden, seeing the flowers and trees, watching the birds and watching out for hubby's car when it's time for him to come home from work. I wish he didn't have to go at all. Even being woken up at 3am and dragged outside to see the snow falling was very special. Life is a lot more tranquil.

One of the most important lessons I've learned through all of this, when the day-to-day things don't go right or aren't exactly as I wish them to be, is to say "So what!?" and really mean it. I can recommend this to everyone.

I've read the thread and I thank you all so much for being there for us.

Best wishes to all.

07-14-2007, 08:55 AM

07-14-2007, 09:18 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif

07-14-2007, 09:52 AM
You're welcome!
http://foolstown.com/sm/appl.gif http://foolstown.com/sm/appl.gif http://foolstown.com/sm/appl.gif http://foolstown.com/sm/appl.gif http://foolstown.com/sm/999.gif http://foolstown.com/sm/999.gif http://foolstown.com/sm/999.gif

07-14-2007, 10:00 AM
It is so good to hear from you Terry!



07-14-2007, 10:21 AM
Good to hear from you Terry! Seeing as your on the PC, are we to presume you have Doug doing the household chores? Good on ya! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

07-15-2007, 01:48 AM
And as Terry mentions this, lets all remember to do just as she is. Stop and smell the roses every once and a while, and stop taking so much for granted, sometimes we all tend to forget to appreciate the small, but important things in life. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/10.gif

07-22-2007, 03:24 PM
This is not an update I wanted to make so soon, if ever. We fought the good fight against Terry's cold and the aftermath, took all the meds, did all we were supposed to, and lost.

She's been unable to eat or drink much for several days so we arranged an emergency consultation with her doctor at the hospital on Saterday morning and Terry was admitted immediately.

She's feeling generally better today but her kidney is teetering on the brink. Even if it recovers a lot, it may not be enough to avoid permanent dialysis. If it gets back close to it's functionality of 4 weeks ago, it will be a miracle.

I shall not tell her of the doctors opinion yet, I'm going to feed her positivity, talk a lot about the 3 most blissful months of our lives between rehab and her current decline and hope fervently for that miracle.

Just to make it a really fun weekend, my daughter's SO was also admitted on Saturday after breaking his ankle on some stairs. His plate and pins operation went fine but for some unknown reason, he developed complications and was rushed to ICU tonight in a serious state. All the doctors know is that something's gone terribly wrong with his lungs. I suspect a pre-existing condition aggravated by the anaesthetic.

So, after spending all weekend at Terry's side, I spent a several hours tonight at my daughter's side.

I don't know how much more of me there is to go around, I'll just have to dig deeper.

07-22-2007, 03:37 PM
Goodness me Doug, I'm so very sorry to read your latest post. You must be feeling pretty rock bottom right now, and that's perfectly understandable.

The human spirit is an amazing thing, just when you think you have given your all, you'll find more, if you need to.

I wish you and Terry and all your family well, as ever. You have the support of everyone here.

A lifelong Greek friend of mine once said to me during a time of hardship he was enduring "Do you have any good luck I can buy from you?" (I understand it is a Greek saying) Doug, I'd let you have all my good luck right now for free if I could.

07-26-2007, 02:28 PM
Sadly, 'tis not the season for miracles. Terry's kidney is not coming back from wherever kidneys go to die. Her choice is simple, death or dialysis.

Actually, to say it's simple is a gross oversimplification and she has wrestled with the pro's and cons all week, but favouring death over prolonging the suffering any longer. I somehow managed to convince her to try the dialysis and if she doesn't make a go of it, her former decision will always be available.

If all goes to plan, she should be having the permanent catheter installed in a major neck vein tomorrow and be home after dialysis on Saturday.

The kidney will be monitored between dialysis sessions and if it doesn't carry enough of the load, will be allowed to reject. The upside is that then, some of the most evil immuno-suppressants and hopefully their side effects, will be discontinued.

The future beyond the next couple of days is greyed out for now.

07-26-2007, 05:31 PM
Doug, to both of you - long may your strength and optimism continue.

07-27-2007, 03:43 PM
My wife is in Intensive Care........ again........ but this is only as a precaution after her op to insert the permanent dialysis catheter in her neck. You can't see it though, they insert it in the chest and tunnel upwards under the skin to the neck where it's inserted into a major vein.

She's ok but overcome with stark, blind terror at finding herself back in the ICU environment. They finally kicked me out and I went cruising the empty streets to find somewhere open so I could have a quiet dinner and recharge.

She'll have her 1st dialysis tomorrow and then finally I can take her home and start all over again, working at smoothing her ragged nerves and maybe even bringing a smile back to her face.

Btw, The daughter's boyfriend was discharged a couple of days ago. The doc's still don't know what happened but he knows he has a problem that will require further investigation and treatment. He doesn't have a medical aid so the hospital bundled him out of there as quick as possible, before actually diagnosing the problem.

07-27-2007, 05:10 PM
We all wish you well Doug, and Terry too of course. Keep us posted. In the meantime, be strong.

07-27-2007, 08:40 PM
I haven't checked in here in awhile but I reckon I'll make a post.

I'm sorry about your wife's deteriorating condition. I hope the best for the both of you but it doesn't sound good.

I believe its been touched on before around here but you should count yourself lucky to have found someone you love and enjoyed many years of marriage with. And I say this because I know or have known several people who have gone well into middle age and have never been able to say the same for themselves. Various reasons, maybe they are too socially inept, never met the right person, fail to understand how to attract a partner, too ugly, very overweight... etc.

Anywho, before the liquor start so speak too freely I'll have you know my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Also, one other thing. I hate to end on a downer but might I suggest the book "Ghost Rider: Travels On The Healing Road" by Neil Peart to you. Its a story of a man who lost everything he holds dear (his wife and daughter) and to keep his sanity he got on his motorcycle and rode over 90,000km in 14 months I think it was all over North America. He just rode on and on searching for a reason to keep going. A very spiritual sort of book laden with all sorts of touchy-feely concepts that most men wouldn't speak to another man, probably not even on a forum like this.

I read it myself because I'm a big fan of Rush and I love motorcycles. Although never suffering such a tremendous loss myself, I believe I took some away from that book.

07-28-2007, 10:08 AM
Doug, I wish you and Terry all the best with this latest setback. If it is any comfort, I have a friend who has been undergoing dialysis for the last 15 years. He is living a very normal life, other than the trips to the dialysis center. He tells me many people take something to read to pass the time while they are there.

08-14-2007, 03:58 PM
Life is going up and down so quickly, it's like driving over a rumble strip. Overall, Terry's done ok since her last hospital stint but it cost her.

Her strength and endurance are down and we've had to bring the wheelchair and walker out of retirement. Some really bad periods of pain from cracked ribs has seen the Morphine come out of retirement too. Despite her protests, she's only skipped 1 dialysis session so far.

Yesterday, she got up from her chair, stepped skew and heard the snap of a bone in her foot. The sharp pain and inability of her foot to take her weight caused her to fall. Fortunately, nothing else broke. I took her for X-rays and the doc reckons she needs a cast. She refused, preferring to strap it up.

There have been several periods of depression of the "Please, no more!" kind, but I'm constantly amazed how she bounces back. Spent most of the long weekend just going out, anywhere, resorts war museum, lunches, dinners, shops, just letting her focus outwards. She went to dialysis without a fight today and was quite chirpy.

Took daughter/birthday girl and her SO (still on crutches), out to dinner tonight, was cheerful.

Slippery slopes but we keep at it, what else can we do.

08-16-2007, 10:55 AM
All my best to you and your family Doug. Hang in there and keep us posted.

08-16-2007, 11:15 AM
Originally posted by HW3:
All my best to you and your family Doug. Hang in there and keep us posted.


08-24-2007, 03:38 PM
We were both flattened by a really nasty flu last weekend and feebly managed to help each other through it. Haven't felt so awful in decades.

To make matters worse, I had to fly out of town on business on Monday.

Bloody hell! What a week! We were both still feeling **** from the flue on Monday but stable and seemingly improving, so I got on the plane, hoping to be fit to start work on Tuesday and that Terry would continue to feel better, as I was.

I'd no sooner arrived on Monday night, when Terry called me to say she was feeling really awful, like that night in December that she collapsed, and it was getting worse by the minute. She was really afraid and said she didn't want to go to sleep because she did not know if she would wake up again and she didn't want to die alone. I spent Monday evening on the phone, organising my son to spend the night with her, the doctor to see her at dialysis on Tuesday and the chemist to instantly deliver whatever the doctor prescribed. The situation at home eventually stabilised.

I optimised my work so I could leave early but I found that once the airlines have you by the balls, they won't let go. I spent hours sitting at the airport on "standby" because all the flights back were full, watching all the gold and silver 'Voyager' flyers pitch up whenever they felt like it, jump to the top of the standby queue and fly out. Eventually, I gave up and then, having booked out of my hotel, started scratching for a place to spend the night. After about 20 calls, I located a rather nice B&B who had a room. Finally flew out of there on the 08h00 flight on Thursday.

Spent all afternoon yesterday panelbeating life back into shape at home and thankfully, Terry responded well and is ok for now.

The decision has been taken for me, I'll be applying for early retirement so I can be at Terry's side for the time we have remaining to us. I realise there are probable negative financial implications but I no longer give a hoot, my "work" and looking after Terry must become one and the same thing now.

08-24-2007, 04:40 PM
Wow Doug , I am sad to hear you 2 have had such a rough go of it lately. All I can say is I wish you both the best and am pulling for you folks. As far as early retirement goes well you have your priorities as you see them and you are following them as I think any one of us would.
The important thing here is that you look after yourself and Terry.She depends on you and you depend on her I think thats what its all about.
Keep your chin up and know that we all are in your corner.

08-25-2007, 03:43 AM
I think what you are doing, 'retiring', in order to devote all your time to Terry is very courageous, and I suspect it's probably a little daunting for Doug but I'm sure you have made the right decision for both of you. Keep us posted, and as ever I wish you good luck. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

08-25-2007, 04:32 AM
Doing it for a person you love, it can only be the best thing to do http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

09-07-2007, 03:39 PM
Sentence has been passed. The doc ordered the taking of 2 of the 3 immuno-suppresents to cease immediately, effectively sentencing Terry's kidney to death. The third is Cortisone which will be phased out slowly, a sudden stop could be deadly to the other organs which are used to functioning with it.

On the bright side, Terry will slowly rebuild her immunity to minor bugs and infections and her tissue paper skin should get stronger and its healing capacity should improve dramatically. Incidently, the last of her leg wounds has closed, no more dressings needed. Another plus, no more standing in long queues at the ladies loo. The only way for fluids to leave her body will be through the dialysis machine.

Terry's had some really bad dialysis sessions recently, leaving her physically and emotionally wiped out. She discussed this with them and it turns out they set the machine to remove Potassium, which most kidney patients have too much of. Terry however, has always suffered from low Potassium and they could have killed her! They changed the machine type, filters and settings and todays session just left her hungry, so out to dinner we went tonight. I hope this trend continues.

An ominous sign is that she has lost feeling in her feet and this sometimes spreads to her lower legs, fingers and hands. It's quite common in kidney failure and longer term dialysis patients, that blood flow to the extremeties weakens and sometimes stops altogether. Then gangrene sets in and the extremeties must be amputated.

I doubt Terry will let things go that far. She insisted I draw up a 'Living Will', also known as a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order, which she signed today. Another 'December 06' shall never happen again and next time, the awful life or death decision will not be mine to make. It has already been taken.

I heard today that my early retirement proposal was signed as supported by all the necessary levels of management in my company. All that needs to be done now, is for me to obtain, complete and submit the official application paperwork and it should happen. OMG! I'm likely to be unemployed before Christmas!!! Part of me feels like I've won the lottery but the rest of me is having a panic attack! Ever done a calculation a dozen times and got the same unwanted answer, then switched off the calculator and gone ahead anyway? Oh well, I'll just call it my 'leap of faith'.

Anyway, it's been a good day. Full tummys, drowsy and all mellowed out after a good evening out. Tomorrow belongs to tomorrow.

09-07-2007, 04:16 PM
Doug, your posts as ever always draws the immediate attention of your friends here. Thanks for the update.

It's difficult to know what to say to be honest my friend, other than we are all thinking of you both and we are behind you all the way.

God bless you both.

09-07-2007, 08:15 PM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/agreepost.gif What he said.

09-24-2007, 03:01 AM
It's a girl!!!

One way of getting through tough times is to set goals, which Terry is doing. One of those goals which she set for herself in rehab in March, was to see the birth of her 4th grandchild. She made it!!

Generally, Terry has been on a fairly stable plateaux for the last few weeks and hasn't dipped below the critical' line since that horrid week at the end of August. Dialysis has been going better but she's on the limit of how much fluid they can remove in 2 sessions a week and the spectre of 3 a week is looming.

She's been off the immuno-suppressants for a couple of weeks now and we've seen a slight improvement in the strength of her skin. It doesn't tear as easily and bruises heal quicker. The dosage of the last of these nasties, cortisone, has been halved and hopefully it will be safe to stop it altogether soon. The doc forgot to tell her kidney however, it's still showing signs of life and sending her to the toilet a couple of times a day. We may have to beat it to death with a stick.

Terry's next goal is my early retirement. Looks like everything is on track for end November. Wrote out a cheque to settle my car and will do the same for my house before month end, to get rid of monthly money drains. Another goal is to enjoy this summer and Christmas, the last one was blanked out and she didn't even know it was happening.

Just waiting for a long-lost cousin of Terry's who emigrated to Oz and is out here for a couple of weeks, to come visit today. Terry is excited and even. painfully but successfully, did some baking for the occasion.

Relative of course, but currently, life is great.

09-24-2007, 07:29 AM
Thats good to hear Doug http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/partyhat.gif

09-24-2007, 07:36 AM
Thanks for keeping us posted Doug. All my best wishes to you and Terry. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

09-24-2007, 12:00 PM
Hi Doug,

I just wanted you to know your wife and yourself are in my prayers.



09-28-2007, 05:16 AM
Thats good news. I believe it takes a real man to quit his job to take care of the woman he loves like that.

Things tend to slip out of mind as time passes but I'll have you know the 2 of you will be back in my prayers again.

10-05-2007, 09:22 AM
Things are pretty good atm. Terry drove her car solo yesterday and went shopping, for only the 2nd time since dark December. Took her almost 4 hours for a greengrocer and Spar and I had to take her to another shop when I got home, but hey, it's massive progress!

She's being given massive doses of iron and stuff for anemia at the dialysis sessions and they give her a big boost. Water removal is a delicate balancing act with the absolute max target being 4l. With Terry they aim at 3l but usually her blood pressure plummets, she loses her lunch and almost passes out, the machine throws an alarm wobbly and the techs have to urgently pump in saline to rapidly boost the pressure. The saline causes the anemia. 2 to 2.5 l is about the best they can do, which is not really enough.

Nevertheless, her saw-tooth health graph now spikes after dialysis and drops to the next one like it should, whereas before it plummeted after dialysis and recovered partially to the next one, overall trend downwards. The overall trend is upwards now.

She caught her leg hard on something last night, screamed in pain and with horror and dread we pulled up her pants leg, expecting to see peeled back skin, ripped flesh and loads of blood. Nothing, just an abrasion like any normal person. She's been off immuno-suppressants for a month and a half and already her skin is toughening. Even her voice is strengthening (vocal chords badly damaged by the ventilator tube). I guess I can look forward to being yelled at again, what a pleasure!

It's official, I shall be unemployed (and unemployable), from end November. Paid off the car and house, so no debts, just expenses. Being retired is all I could think off the past few days, sitting for hours in traffic at all the rain-induced out of order robots. I believe the money will cover in the short term, as to the longer term I don't know. I'm not the type to take a leap of faith but hey, it's not like there were good alternatives.

I must acknowledge the Dementia Forum who flipped a bird at my repeated protests that nothing was needed and collected to give Terry a gift, presenting me with a coup de grace. Terry has made a date with daughter 2, Cheryl, to go shopping on Saturday with the vouchers. If there's anything left by the time NFS Pro Street is released in November, there may well be a case of intra-marital embezzlement.

Terry will never allow pics anymore, but meet my grand daughter Mishca:

http://www.imagehosting.com/out.php/i1179041_Mishca.jpg (http://www.imagehosting.com)

10-05-2007, 09:34 AM

I am so pleased that progress continues!.....That's great news!

The best of luck to you in the near future!


10-05-2007, 09:38 AM

Excellent news in every way! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Best wishes,


10-05-2007, 10:50 AM
That's heart lifting news Doug! We send all our regards here to you and all yours http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

10-05-2007, 10:57 AM

10-05-2007, 11:29 AM

11-29-2007, 01:42 PM
Well, it's done, I pencilled in on my calendar today "END CAREER" and told the boss I'm not coming in tomorrow. I'll have to re-arrange my cupboard, push my working clothes to the back and make room for my cute new nurses outfits. Dunno whether to go with a harsh masochistic cotton or maybe lycra or even leather, what you think? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

No more blue Mondays, TGIF's, yellow-lining taxi's or Jo'burgs increasingly infamous out-of-order traffic lights and traffic jams for me.

Terry is overjoyed to have me home full time, I suspect that may fade a bit with time. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Terry is fortunately keeping pretty stable and staying clear of the red-alarm line. Her legs are a problem and we're fighting to keep them working. Trying some new treatments atm and the doc is hopeful.

So, we enter a new and final phase of our lives, where the "until death us do part" part of our marriage vows kicks in. No idea how long this phase will be but we shall make the most of it.

11-29-2007, 05:04 PM
Here is hoping the
"until death us do part" lasts a good long time. My best wishes to the both of you as you embark on this new phase of your lives.

11-30-2007, 01:54 AM
Good to hear that Terry's condition is ok so far. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Now that you have enough time to look after her she will soon become even better http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

And Doug........your avatar is as always .....HYPNOTIZING http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/inlove.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/inlove.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

11-30-2007, 03:25 PM
I feel for you mate.
Keep your chin up, your a diamond guy....
Its going to be hard, not that it hasn't been already as I've tracked your posts but when you need to sound off, and you probably will, just give us a call.
I'm sure I speak for all when I say we'll be here...... all you have to do is shout.

12-20-2007, 03:39 PM
After being totally unaware of Christmas 2006 happening, Terry is highly pumped about this Christmas. We've gone about our Christmas preparations with gusto, enthusiastically putting up and decorating the Christmas tree and staring in wonder at the beauty of it, loads of scheming and plotting over buying and hiding family gifts and busy, busy, busy planning the family Christmas celebrations.

21 December at 05h00, is the 1st anniversary of her collapse which kicked off a year from hell for all of us and we've all come through it with severe emotional scarring, but also revitalised in many ways and appreciating life and each other like never before. Terry is actually healthier than I am at the moment.

So, in the spirit of a Christmas that we never imagined in our most optimistic dreams that we'd ever experience again, we wish all of you and your loved ones, a Christmas like no other you've ever had before, just like ours is going to be. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

12-20-2007, 03:52 PM

I remember last Christmas well!

I hope this Christmas is everything you and Terry could hope for!


12-20-2007, 04:16 PM
So far I think it is, they still have each other. That is a great Christmas I must say http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/heart.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

12-20-2007, 05:36 PM
Merry Christmas Doug and Terry, may this Christmas be the first of many more to come for both of you.


03-20-2008, 05:06 AM
Doug goes sheepishly into the confessional: "Forgive me for I have sinned, it's been months since my last update post......" http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

The reason mainly has been because there has been little news to report, Terry has been in good medical shape and getting along pretty well and along with a retired Doug, we have been enjoying our borrowed time' together like never before.

It's amazing that we spend our entire lives chasing some mythical Nirvana where everything will be perfect and all the time it was there for the taking. We had to almost lose everything before realizing that all we had to do was stop, look around, focus on each other, family and the world around us that we took for granted, and there it was.

The only stone in our shoe has been Terry's mobility which has continued to deteriorate since Rehab, with one of her knees practically and extremely painfully, ceasing to function. I had a very nasty feeling of dj vu whilst spending yesterday next to her hospital bed, but thankfully, this time it was with the knowledge that she was coming home today. They did a little op on her knee, poking around with a camera inserted through one little incision and an instrument inserted through another little incision. Surgeon says he found a torn cartilage and fixed up some stuff inside, time will tell, but we fervently hope he found the problem.

Some quotes from way back:

1 January 2007: During her fuzzy period of the past few weeks she expressed 2 fervent wishes, firstly to go home and secondly to see the sea again and walk once more on her most beloved beaches. Can't do much about the 1st, but I could happily inform her I've booked 2 weeks at her favourite seaside spot in March, giving her 7 weeks to become beachworthy again. She's filled with trepidation but is going to give it her best shot and her Physio promised to help.

8 February 2007: Either way, seems the holiday on the beach was just a pipe dream. I'll wait until the last minute before cancelling, seeing I will have lost the deposit anyway.

13 March 2007: Disappointingly, I cancelled the beach holiday, she isn't going to be out of rehab in time. Later maybe.

Well, it's time to try again! I've booked a house on the beach on KZN's South Coast for several days in April. It will be very experimental, we don't know whether we'll be restricted to looking at the sea from the veranda or perhaps the car window, or whether she'll actually be able to negotiate the sand and take that much desired walk on the beach.

The renal unit up here will be making Terry's dialysis bookings at a local facility. Dialysis is a major restriction but we've become quite used to working around it.

Terry is busting with excitement! She says she feels like a little girl again, going on holiday for the 1st time!

It should do me some good too, I'm noticing the last year and a bit has taken a lot more out of me than I'd thought. As a wise and intellectual sage once said: "......reading the signs of my body, you know my hips don't lie and I am starting to feel it now, come on lets go, real slow."

As a sweetener, I'm taking her to see Swan Lake on Ice this weekend. She has this culture thing going, which I lack, but being on ice with skates, it may not be as painful for me as a full blown ballet, http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

03-20-2008, 05:38 AM
If you come walking on the Cape beaches, give us a call.

(PS:.. did you film those boobs ???)

03-20-2008, 06:07 AM
"Forgive me for I have sinned, it's been months since my last update post......"

You are forgiven! Good to read the update Doug http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

03-20-2008, 07:51 AM
Good to hear that Terry and you are doing fine. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

03-20-2008, 11:15 AM
Well I guess when you are a sinner thing are O.K.
Keep sinning then.... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

03-20-2008, 11:57 AM
No worries about the lack of updates Doug, you have plenty of more important things to think and worry about. It's good to hear that both of you are doing okay http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Best Wishes to you both http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

03-20-2008, 06:47 PM
Thanks for the update. It is great to hear that things are stabilizing a bit, and the beach thing is something to reach for. I remember your original post(s) and you've both come such a long way in a short time. Keep enjoying that "borrowed" time together. That is all that is important.


03-21-2008, 01:32 AM
Thanks for the update Doug. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif Continued best wishes to you and Terry.

03-21-2008, 03:26 AM
Thanks friends. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Terry says she's feeling no pain at all in her knee after yesterday's operation. She's still using the crutches and walking very carefully, feeling elated but terrified the agony will come back.

She's a lot better off than my brother in law, he's got the big C, collapsed and went into hospital a couple of weeks ago, full time on a respirator and unlikely to ever walk out or even wake up again properly. Doc reckons 3 weeks to 2 months tops. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Btw, that's my deceased sister's hubby, not Terry's brother. Still haven't heard from that ***** and Terry stopped trying to call him now, he doesn't return her calls.

04-14-2008, 12:20 PM
Gloomy times.

We're busy preparing and packing for our holiday on the beach, but Terry's health is alarmingly uncertain. Her dialysis line is packing up and the last 2 sessions were not very successful, leaving her, we suspect, tanked up with toxins. She's kept little down for the last few days, her breathing is shallow and today she just couldn't stay awake for longer than a minute or two.

I buzzed her doctor who said he'd check her out tomorrow at dialysis and let me know whether it's safe to go away. She may instead have to go back into hospital for a new line to be established.

Maybe another couple of k's in holiday deposits down the tubes, but that's ok, her life's worth infinitely more. She's seriously upset at the thought of possibly cancelling yet again.

I'm pretty worried and I'll probably be pushing beat through the night, just to be sure she keeps breathing.

Her legs are also not improving as expected, the pain is less intense than before the op, but the functionality is worse.

Didn't help my mood that the BIL only made 2 weeks. Memorial service was on Saturday.

04-14-2008, 10:45 PM
Sorry to hear about this setback Doug. Hoping all goes well with the doc and Terry gets better again. My condolences on the death of your brother-in-law.

04-15-2008, 02:23 AM
Hang on Doug. Im sure Terry's condition will improve again just as before. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

You are there for her and that will help a lot http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Sorry to hear about your brother-in-law http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif RIP

04-15-2008, 04:24 AM
Dialysis not going smoothly. The machine keeps alarming and stopping. They're changing the machine now in the hope that it's the machine and not her dialysis line that's faulty.

Doc is running a battery of blood tests to find out why she's in bad shape. Hopefully there's a quick-fix.

04-15-2008, 05:44 AM
Ok, the results are in, her condition has deteriorated and blood toxins are way into the danger zone. Doc's making them give her an extra couple of hours on the machine today and getting them to arrange more sessions while on holiday. So we can still go, although there are now almost as many dialysis days as holiday days. I'll try and make plan down there to extend since another holiday opportunity is looking unlikely.

When we get back, she gets new lines but has to increase dialysis to 3 times a week. Terry's feeling very despondent. Another step nearer to the exit, but I prefer to see it as another step up towards heaven.

Like Robert Mugabe in Zim, no matter what anyone says, we shall never step down without a fight.

04-15-2008, 07:37 PM
If it helps at all Doug, I have a friend who has been doing dialysis 3 times a week for years now. So tell Terry just because they have increased the times, it doesn't mean her time is growing short. Once they get her toxins under control she should feel better too.

04-17-2008, 03:04 PM
no matter what anyone says, we shall never step down without a fight.

good approach! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Btw.. My ex boss'es ex wife (lots of ex'es there) was on dialisis for 7 years while waiting for a transplant. One night the phone rang, the whole family gathered and raced for 4 hours to a hospital 250 miles away... She received the transplant that made her into a new person (well, sadistically of life, it made her leave her huband who was the most supportive person I've ever known... but that's how sadistic life can be!). They had lots of difficult moments but never gave up the tiresome, tedious and painful obligations that brought many changes to their lives. In the end, she overcame her medical condition and has been living with new kidney for 6 years now...

And that's one of many stories that show that good spirit and faith in better days pays off.. In my immediate family I have people who won the fights with "C" and those who left us forever because of it.

Keep up the faith, the efforts -- life has a very interesting ways of making things worthwhile, no matter what the outcome! Make the best of each day, month, year....

Keep us posted -- your family is in our prayers!

04-30-2008, 04:54 PM
Hi there, we're baaaack! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

The house was basic but comfortable with a few essential good features; a brilliant sea view, a fridge that kept the drinks icy cold, a comfortable bed and great shower i.e. one that let me easily remove the shower head for a solid stream instead of that drizzly nonsense.... something I got used to in the army where all the shower heads were vandalised.

I made the owner an offer to stay another week, around a third of his rate and he accepted, so the more frequent dialysis didn't stop us having enough time to holiday. Also, the local dialysis unit is a gem, very much focused on the patient's comfort and wellbeing and not at all like the 'sausage factory' up here. We also made a point of doing something fun straight after dialysis to minimise it's impact.

I love it when my car sniffs the sea air and goes like on steroids and the sea air had the same effect on Terry. On day one, I drove her to a point where there was a shallow ramp down on to the beach and she stepped gingerly on to the sand, found the crutches didn't sink in too far and her legs worked ok. She just burst into tears and I had to fight a few back myself. A small length adjustment on the crutches and off she went, the first of many longish beach walks.

That wasn't enough for her though. As her confidence grew she engaged the 4x4 abilities of her crutches and took on some heavy terrain including traversing the rocks! She scared the hell out of me at times and I nearly fell a few times, scrambling to try and get a good footing in case I had to catch her.

There were a few 'rescue' times. One, we went around on the sea side of some rocks when the seventh wave, you know, the one that gave rise to the adage "never turn your back on the sea!", came in. Not being able to run away, I told Terry to assume the position.... no, it wasn't my bad sense of amorous timing, I had briefed her to assume a crutch-legs-crutch triangle if threatened by waves. The water was too strong though and her legs buckled, but I caught her before she fell and floated away.

Another was when she walked several hundred metres along a beach, concentrating hard on getting a good workout and without warning, ran out of steam and was on the point of collapse. This happens sometimes, we don't really know why, possibly a sudden blood pressure drop. There was no way off the beach except back the way we came, so I seated her on a driftwood log and went the several hundred metres back to the car for the wheelchair. The wheelchair worked ok on the beach until she climbed into it and the only way I could make any progress was to drag it backwards on the fairly firm, smooth dry area between the lapping waves and thick churned up sand, both of which were bog-down territory. I was just about ready to drop when I reached the main swimming beach where dozens of strong, healthy young men lay relaxing on their towels or made me divert around their cricket game, stopping only to watch the spectacle. Finally a Lifesaver came and gave me a hand and we got Terry to a beachfront restaurant, where half an hour and a lot of drinks eventually got us back to normal.

We had a tremendous time and I really believe it lived up to the dream Terry clung so tightly to, during those dark days in ICU.

04-30-2008, 10:21 PM
I have been waiting forever to hear you talk about the day Terry finally got to sink her feet in the sand, and breathe the fresh salty air. This is true testament of how hard work and lots of love can achieve great things, and this is one example.

I am beside myself in happiness to hear this great progress taking place Doug. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/inlove.gif

05-01-2008, 03:49 AM
Good news again http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/partyhat.gif

05-01-2008, 02:29 PM
I am so happy you both finally got to take this trip, and that you were able to stay a extra week as well. This is by far the best news I have read today.

05-01-2008, 04:13 PM
Im glad that you too can enjoy yourselves, especialy your wife.

05-01-2008, 08:00 PM
I havent been by in a while and I drop in and the first topic I see is this one I just want to say well done to you and Terry .Doug, I am Glad you both had such a great time and have made some wonderful memories of this trip . take care oe each other -peace

05-02-2008, 04:27 PM
I hope you have some wonderful pictures and memories from what sound like a high quality moments together!

Awesome! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif
Keep the updates comming Doug!

05-02-2008, 04:39 PM
Glad to hear good news!

05-03-2008, 07:48 AM
A few pics of Terry's greatest achievements, bearing in mind that a week before she was struggling to just get around the house:

4x4 crutches:

Point of no return.... literally:

Sir Edmund couldn't have done better, relatively speaking:

And just cause I enjoyed it... Now that's what I call a picture window!

05-03-2008, 08:38 AM
Great pic http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

05-03-2008, 04:41 PM

05-03-2008, 05:11 PM
What a wonderful post. Thanks for posting. I'd been holding my breath that the two of you would make this journey. Now you did. Absolutly great. The pictures were something else. Thanks for sharing.


09-17-2008, 10:25 AM
Hope all is well.

09-17-2008, 10:35 AM
Funnily enough, I was thinking just yesterday 'I wonder how Doug and Terry are doing?'

... How goes it Doug? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

09-17-2008, 04:39 PM
Hey guys http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Soz, I stopped updating 'cause life has settled down a lot and there's not a lot to report.

Can't believe that in a couple of months I will have been retired a year already. Highly recommended, totally brilliant!

In this time my 'caregiver/nursing' skills have been finely honed and Terry has responded well, although she remains terribly fragile. Medically she's pretty stable now but still struggles with a weak body, especially the legs, and goes up and down like a game of snakes and ladders, from wheelchair to crutches to walking stick to free walking, and back down again. Pain, unfortunately, is her constant companion.

Don't let anyone tell you dialysis is a routine thing like topping up the oil on your car, far from it. The technology is good but far from perfected and complications are legion. The renal unit we go to has a death toll of about 2 people per month. This month it was a bright and bubbly lady in her 80's and a young girl of only 22. A few weeks ago they they were strutting around, smiling, laughing, joking, then something pops and they're gone. Fellow patients are like a family, brought together by adversity and losing 'friends' at regular intervals is alarming and depressing.

Last week Monday they took off a dash too much water and Terry's blood pressure crashed in the middle of the night. To add to the crisis she tried to get out of bed and fell, getting a relatively minor (very lucky) hip fracture. I had to rush her off to casualty where she spent from 2am to 5am on a drip, trying to raise her BP and keep her heart going. Nothing they can do about the fracture except Morphine.

Anyway, she's picking up nicely and has climbed the ladder from wheelchair to crutches again and is improving steadily.

We're painfully aware that we're playing the endgame and that the checkmate could be only a move or two away but despite this and all the hardships, we've learned to savour every moment we have together and I can honestly say we've never, ever, been happier!

So, my submariner friends, thanks for thinking of us and I trust all is well with you.

09-18-2008, 12:04 AM
Good to hear things are well Doug. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

09-18-2008, 09:01 AM
Good to hear that your wife is doing (reletivly) well. But god that last incadent would of killed me with worry. I dont know how you can do it. God bless the both of you.

09-18-2008, 05:10 PM
Originally posted by WilhelmSchulz.:
I dont know how you can do it.

After a few years of taking care of my father, I know that it takes a lot of love and patience. I do nowhere near the work Doug does, so I tip my hat to him for being such a wonderful husband and friend to Terry.

I've sent you a PM Doug http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

09-19-2008, 01:47 PM
Good to hear you all are doing fine http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

09-20-2008, 01:01 PM
Good to hear from you again Doug, and that you're both enjoying life together http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

10-11-2008, 03:34 AM
Originally posted by Realjambo:
Funnily enough, I was thinking just yesterday 'I wonder how Doug and Terry are doing?'

... How goes it Doug? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
Hey RJ, you ask a question then don't stick around for the answer! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

So when did they let you out? ......or more to the point, WHY?!

11-26-2008, 03:56 PM
Good times! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Terry is growing stronger every day and is walking without any aids, not even a walking stick now. True, not very fast, or very far, dosed with painkillers and with a limp, but walking nonetheless. She's very happy to have both hands free for shopping now. Medically too, she's doing very well, although regular hiccups still occur and every dialysis session is a lucky dip, sometimes we get sweeties, sometimes booby prizes, but we're coping well enough in dealing with them.

We have much to be grateful for and quite a few things to celebrate in this year end. This Christmas will be our third one together since Terry nearly left the planet 2 years ago and a tough but blissful and highly rewarding 2 years they have been. Any day now we'll meet our second grandchild since that fateful day too, a boy, our 5th grandchild in total, but the little bugger is has been well screwed in and is 5 days overdue already. Doctors may have to induce soon or the little tyke will soon be too big to get out of the exit provided by nature.

In a couple of days I celebrate my 1st anniversary of my early retirement and words cannot express how great it feels to be a lazy, loafing, hasbeen. I took a leap of faith with great trepidation but to my great relief, landed on my feet. Next week I see my optician to organise some specs for my new eyes (had cataract removal and lens implant operations), and soon I'll be able to start working on the serious backlog of games piling up on the shelf next to me, should be great.

All things considered, we're in a great place at the moment, filled with love and contentment. Thanks to all of you for making this long and emotional journey with us and my sincere wish for you all, is that you too find such a place for yourselves.

11-26-2008, 04:34 PM
Brilliant! Just Brilliant Doug!

I remember so well, all the posts from you in the dark early days - How far we, more to the point - you and Terry have come!

You post gives me cheer at the end of a long and hard day http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Don't be a stranger, don't leave it so long next time! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

11-26-2008, 04:52 PM
Wonderful news! Thanks for the update Doug http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

11-26-2008, 05:27 PM
That is so great to hear Doug. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

11-27-2008, 03:57 AM
Great news Doug http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

11-27-2008, 08:17 PM
I concur with the others Doug, this is great news indeed. Best wishes to you and Terry this Christmas. It is good to hear from you again.

11-29-2008, 03:15 PM
Thanks guys http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

11-29-2008, 04:40 PM
Keep the posts coming doug. Great to see how happy life can be if we choose to live it to the fullest!

Very inspiring news! Thanks for sharing!

12-04-2008, 01:21 AM
Baby Kyle entered our world at around 8am this morning. No way he was going to exit the way he went in. Born by emergency ceasarian, he weighed in at a hefty 5.22kg (rugby player?) and is 60cm tall (or at least long until he gets vertical). Mom (Cheryl), is in high care receiving blood but should be ok. Kyle appears healthy.

12-04-2008, 01:55 AM
Congratulations to you and the parents http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif

12-04-2008, 07:54 AM
Great news, Doug! I'm very happy for all of you http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

12-04-2008, 06:44 PM
Most excellent news on your wife's and your situation, and even greater with the new grandchild. That is really wonderful news.


12-21-2008, 02:03 AM
Terry is over the moon about this Christmas, she's pretty mobile so we're going to host the traditional family celebrations again after being forced to skip the last few years. She's also been able to put in the hours in the kitchen to make all our traditional Christmas goodies and her satisfaction and sense of achievement are boundless. I'll be doing a lamb on the spit, so she won't be too pressured on Christmas day. She's been able to put in the hours at the shops too, to spend a small fortune on gifts for everyone, but finance repair is my job in the new year, until then, she gets anything her heart desires that will add to her happiness.

To all our friends out there, may your Christmas be as joyful as ours is shaping up to be and we wish you all the best for a brilliant 2009. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

12-21-2008, 04:56 AM
Great to see things are good...
Happy Xmas to you and the family.

12-21-2008, 07:54 AM
Best wishes to you and Terry.

01-10-2009, 03:40 PM
Everything went blissfully well this festive season with Terry revelling in the company and attention of our family. There's something magical in looking down the dinner table and seeing a couple of generations of our spawn, each individual with his/her own personality, hopes, dreams and promise for the future. Magical moments that almost never happened for Terry but which now provide boundless inspiration and joy. Her latest 'thing', is to take them each on individual shopping expeditions for their birthdays, spending a whole day with them, kitting them out with new clothes and other bits and bobs. With a few birthdays coinciding with Christmas, my bank accounts are creaking under the load but hey, we can't take it with us and the beaming smiles are ample reward.

Hit a speedbump on Friday, Terry went for dialysis at 10h00 as usual, only to find out her line had pulled out of her heart and had to be fully extracted. She was already overloaded with water so couldn't have surgery over the weekend and carry on with her normal Monday dialysis session, the risks would rise geometrically over the 5 days from her last Wednesday session, emergency buttons were pressed. I rushed back to the hospital and phone calls flashed between the renal unit, doctor, surgeon, hospital admission, ward, theatre and medical aid and miraculously, by 13h30 on Friday Terry was under the surgeon's knife. It's a complex little procedure, an incision is made about mid chest so that the line connection can be hidden by clothing and the surgeon tunnels the tube up underneath the skin to her neck, where a large vein passes close to the surface, inserts it into the vein and does a U-turn, pushing it down the vein until the end enters the atrium of her heart. They gave it a day to heal and the bleeding to reduce and she had an unscheduled dialysis session today (Saturday). The line worked well but they couldn't get all the water and toxins off in one shot. leaving her a bit the worse for wear, but after Monday's session Terry should be back on track.

On the upside, Terry didn't let it get her down and was strong and determined enough to go to her long-time booked birthday celebration on Friday night (birthday actually on Monday), and enjoyed it totally.

01-10-2009, 10:35 PM
Good to hear she didn't let it get her down. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif Thanks for the progress report Doug. Glad you and Terry had a great holliday season.

02-12-2009, 02:27 PM
After a fairey tale 2008, 2009 has just failed to take off so far. Terry's been in theatre twice already and bone and joint deterioration is causing considerable pain and discomfort and restricted mobility. I'm also feeling the consequences of the last couple of years and have required medical attention, I guess it's some kind of delayed stress backlash.

So, we had no choice really, but to book March by the sea and get this bloody year kickstarted! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

02-13-2009, 01:54 PM
Have a great time Doug and Terry! You both have sure earned it.

02-13-2009, 02:20 PM
Celeon wishes both of you all the best for 2009 http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

03-20-2009, 06:38 PM
Hi all, we're back. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Good trip down until we reached 'maritzburg and had to drive through torrential rains and zero visibility until well past Durbs. Several cars didn't make it through, including a larny SUV which streaked passed us like he was driving a speedboat and which we saw parked, buckled and battered, at a jaunty angle on top of the guard rails further on. As a bonus, no blue-light bandit incidents either.

We arrived at the BP garage where we were supposed to pick up our cabana keys but they weren't there. Seems the agent cocked it up and the place wasn't ready but he did good and put us up in a B&B, organised a lock-up garage so we didn't have to unpack the car, threw in breakfast and gave us a full day's cash refund, with which we had a hearty dinner. We moved in the next morning and the cabana was great, showing excellent attention to detail to ensure a great holiday. Fully serviced too, so no washing dishes, making beds etc., for 3 weeks!

We had an unrivalled sea view from anywhere inside and outside the cabana (except the toilet):


I commented about the view, the proximity to the sea and not much higher either to the agent and mentioned my nervousness about a Sunami. Apparently, until the end of last year, the sea view was limited to this:


I was informed that during last year's storm surges, the sea rose up and smashed through the Admiralty Reserve flora, removing it and their front fence and was lapping against the cabanas' patios. So nature gave them the current views which they were not allowed to give themselves and the authorities could do nothing about it. When they did their repairs, they planted low plants and ground covers in the Reserve to ensure they kept the sea views.

The weather was fab, we had 1 DVD day due to rain and 2 DVD days due to gale force winds, caught up on several 'missed' movies. The waves were awe inspiring in the first week, the NSRI issued a big wave warning and the beaches were closed, although 5 people still drowned. Biggest waves I've ever seen in KZN.

Terry was on top form, walking the beaches with no aids, including conquering the beach where I had to rescue her last year without even stopping to rest. The rocks were a bit different and I had to be the walking aid, but she managed the flatter rocks. Here is Terry doing what she loves:


...and me, spoiling her view:


We had one scare. A dialysis session took off a bit too much water and further fluid loss from sweating in the heat and getting violently sick (happens, we and the doctors still don't know why), caused a serious blood pressure crash. Took her to Margate hospital at 3am that night for them to put up a drip and rapidly rehydrate her. They wanted to admit her but she stubbornly refused. They got her pressure up out of the death zone but the next day was a dead loss, spent in bed too exhausted to move and me taking her blood pressure every half hour in case I had to rush her back to the hospital. By that night she started to come out of it and with a huge sigh of relief, we resumed our holiday the next morning.

We had a great time and Terry is definitely stronger and in better shape after this holiday than before we went down. 2009 is starting to look a whole lot brighter.

Sadly, when I took her to dialysis back here this morning, we learned they'd lost 2 more patients and are scrambling to save a third whose veins are collapsing so they're battling to dialise her. One guy who died, after waiting for many, many years, got to the head of the queue and received a new kidney. Everyone rejoiced with him but soon after the transplant something went wrong, the new kidney failed, attempts to restart dialysis failed and he was gone, just when he thought his long struggle was over.

Nevertheless, we are not they and we shall continue to wring the last drop of joy out of this life and not worry about tomorrow.

03-21-2009, 08:17 AM
That is great news Doug! I'll bet Terry doesn't think you spoil her view. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

03-21-2009, 03:01 PM
2009 is starting to look a whole lot brighter.


Good to hear that http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

03-24-2009, 02:01 PM
When you mentioned Cabana, I'm thinking 'Those rocks, waves and water doesn't look like the north coast, I'm sure it's south coast...

Eventually found Margate.. that was a good guess. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I haven't been that way for yearzzzz, maybe one day. Enjoy it down there... it's a nice place

09-02-2009, 07:40 AM
How are things going?

09-04-2009, 10:11 AM
Hey Doug! I hope all is going well.

09-09-2009, 04:47 PM
I've sent Doug an email, so lets hope he replies.

09-09-2009, 04:51 PM
Unfortunately, his email is no longer valid. The postmaster sent me a message saying my email attemp failed. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

09-11-2009, 02:54 AM
Ok, Ive been remiss in not updating. Thanks to those who have enquired about our wellbeing. I drop in here from time to time and happened to see this thread on page 1 again, nice to know people are thinking of us. Yes, my email address is way out of date, but I can't correct it, when I try I get a message that my current Email addy is banned on this site. How it can be banned if it hasn't ever been used here yet, I don't know. Perhaps a mod can fix this?


Although there have been some nasty incidents, changes in Terrys health are slow day-to-day, even month-to-month, but I guess, looking back, they have been quite dramatic since I last reported. So here goes:

2007 was a year of triumph and joy as Terry, showing superhuman courage and determination, clawed her way back to life. Going from an ICU patient who couldnt lift her head off the pillow, to a woman who took her car and went shopping solo. This led into 2008, a gift from on high, my early retirement and the closest and happiest year of our lives together, filled with boundless love and contentment, going a long way towards helping us overcome any and all challenges.

2009 has been a year of payback for services rendered from on high in the previous 2 years. Terry has slowly but with a dreadful inevitability, slipped gradually back down the slope. Her car, once a motivational target and symbol of her powers of recovery, hasnt left the garage this year and is now a monument to her decline and she wants it gone. In the first half of the year the slide was gradual and we both assumed treatment could turn it around as was always the case previously, but to no avail. In the last few months, her decline has increased and for a time, started accelerating out of control.

Pain has increased a lot, generally but mostly in her back and legs and shes living on enough pain killers to kill me. Theres a bottle of Morphine mixture in the fridge to get her over the worst spikes but she hates feeling drugged. Although walking is agony Terry is resolute that she will fight this fight on her feet, she refuses to give up and only relents to using the wheelchair for longish trips e.g. so she can still enjoy her shopping.

Most frightening, especially to her, is a decline in her mental agility. Her memory is shot, if she says something and I say pardon?, she often cant repeat it, its already forgotten. Her speech is also going, sometimes slurring and the words dont come, she sometimes struggles to access her vocabulary memory banks in order to express herself. Her favourite toy, the TV remote has become a bit of a mystery to her so shes relinquished it to me but makes sure I go where SHE wants. This condition has been thoroughly investigated via CT scans and examination by various specialists, but the root cause still eludes us. Symptoms are similar to a condition called Dialysis Dementia/Encephalopathy, but the doctor says thats not it.

Weve managed to stabilise her in the last few weeks and get her slide largely back under control. Its probably the toughest and saddest challenge Ive had yet, keeping positive for her, reassuring her and ensuring she has lots to be happy about to motivate her to keep going, whilst at the same time watching her gradually slipping away from me. Of course she always has the option, at a time of her choosing, to stop dialysis/treatment and let go of this life and although she has had these thoughts in some dark hours, shes not ready to throw in the towel just yet.

We both know where this is going eventually, but for now were continuing to take life by the neck and wring every drop of joy out of it. Something we shall be doing until we are physically unable to.

Thanks for caring. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/heart.gif

09-11-2009, 04:16 AM
Not so good news http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif

But its good to hear you with her. Your positivness is the light of her day , hope you know that ! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

09-11-2009, 04:41 AM
Hi Doug, sorry to hear the bad news, but it sounds like things are looking up again. Let her know we are still fighting with her, as it was a moral booster before.

Thanks for caring.
Damn right, we are all friends here, and don't you dare forget that.

If you want your current email added to your profile, send it to me via PM.

It was good hearing from you again,

09-11-2009, 09:32 PM
Hang in there Doug, and you too Terry. We are praying for both of you.

09-16-2009, 10:30 AM
You two are the bravest, most determined, most loving souls I think I've ever heard of. Hang in there. Our prayers are with you.

09-16-2009, 11:43 AM
Originally posted by Stingray-65:
You two are the bravest, most determined, most loving souls I think I've ever heard of. Hang in there. Our prayers are with you.

That sums up this entire thread, very well said Stingray http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

09-22-2009, 01:50 PM
Terry's car went today, she 'sold' it to my daughter on a 'whenever' sales agreement. Due to it's value, I had to set a price so as to compensate the other kids one day with a similar amount. It sailed through roadworthy with nothing more than a wash, not bad for a 14 year old car, and she received offers to 'pleeeease sell it' from the people who washed it and the roadworthy officer who was awestruck by it's condition.

However, Terry was not here to see it go. She's been feeling progressively worse since last week and was admitted to hospital on Monday with a raging infection. She was shaking uncontrollably, couldn't breathe, having violent puking spams and was unable to eat or sleep for days. Worse, her mind slipped out of gear and she just sat, staring into eternity and barely responsive, didn't really know what was going on. She sat watching TV for hours, except the TV wasn't on..... she said she was seeing "shapes (?)". Medication prescribed by the doc on Friday for the weekend had clearly failed, as I guess had my nursing, so into hospital she went. By tomorrow she will have received 3 litres of a powerful anti-biotic, almost neat, directly into her bloodstream (2x500ml/day). Her mind is largely back in gear but she's still confused though. Tonight she called me joyfully to come fetch her, the drip had been removed and she could go, so I rushed back to the hospital, pushed her wheelchair up to the ward.... only to find she had not been discharged. They had removed the drip because the blood vessel had collapsed and the fluids were going into tissue and they were in the process of putting up a new drip to continue treatment.

She is responding though and may be able to come home tomorrow night, according to her, but this time I'll be sure to check with the doc first.

09-23-2009, 01:22 AM
Thank you for taking the time to keep us posted Doug. We are continuing to pray for both of you.

09-23-2009, 11:11 PM
May God Bless you and keep you.
May he lift up your heart, raise your spirit and shine his Love and Grace upon Terry, You and yours.
May you find, in this time of transition, that the depths of your faith and the heights of your belief have no bounds.
Rejoice in what you have had, the memories you have made, the many lives you have touched and the children you have raised.
Pour out now, that joy you wrung out on the sunnier days now passed by.
Bathe in it.
Revel in it.
Drink and be drunk with it!
And remember....

We are with you in heart and in spirit Brother, so take all that there is, all that there was, both chaff and grain together, and throw it into the sky knowing that with a breath of kindness, God will return that which is worth keeping and blow the rest away.
Peace and Courage, Strength and Wisdom, Rest and Healing!

10-12-2009, 03:18 AM
Terry did indeed come home that day, but still in pretty poor shape. With my fabulous 1 on 1 nursing and continued meds however, she is recovering, slowly, almost imperceptably at first, but surely.

It's our 35th wedding anniversary today, another seemingly impossible milestone reached. She's spending the day on dialysis, but I took her out to see Cats this weekend and I guess we'll do dinner tonight and just keep the good times rolling on.

10-12-2009, 03:32 AM
It's our 35th wedding anniversary today

Congratulations http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/partyhat.gif

Im not sure if it is the right thing to say "enjoy the day" considering her dialysis but you surely know what i want to say http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

10-12-2009, 02:38 PM
Congratulations on 35 years together. We will continue the prayers for both of you.

12-22-2009, 12:44 AM
Here wishing you and yours the very best Christmas and the most wonderful new year from Terry and I!!

Yup, we've been blessed with another year and although Terry is not doing great physically, legs getting seriously wobbly and loads of pains everywhere, she's in pretty good shape medically and mentally.

12-22-2009, 01:19 AM
A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and Terry Doug! I was just thinking of you and Terry the other day. Glad to read that all is well.

12-22-2009, 01:28 AM
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to both of you http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

12-24-2009, 01:27 PM
Merry Christmas & best wishes to both of you! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

12-30-2009, 07:59 AM
Pardon me for butting in everyone - I am a stranger here, an older lady in UK who wandered in looking for solutions to a gaming problem.

I have read this thread right through from the 2007 date and have been moved to tears by the unfolding ups and downs of Terry's condition and Doug's response to the situation. It is a heartbreaking account which shines with courage and love, spirit, determination and guts. I want to add my best wishes for the coming year to both Doug and Terry, and my thoughts and prayers will be with them, that they may continue as overcomers and keeper-on-ers despite whatever is thrown at them both.
Just BIG HUGS to the both of you.

12-31-2009, 12:54 AM
Originally posted by pawzisme:
Pardon me for butting in everyone - I am a stranger here, an older lady in UK who wandered in looking for solutions to a gaming problem.

I have read this thread right through from the 2007 date and have been moved to tears by the unfolding ups and downs of Terry's condition and Doug's response to the situation. It is a heartbreaking account which shines with courage and love, spirit, determination and guts. I want to add my best wishes for the coming year to both Doug and Terry, and my thoughts and prayers will be with them, that they may continue as overcomers and keeper-on-ers despite whatever is thrown at them both.
Just BIG HUGS to the both of you.
Thanks for the kind words, appreciated. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Due to a forum crash the first weeks of the saga were lost, should you be interested, you can read from the beginning on another forum, here: http://www.systemshock.co.za/f...earch__1&#entry97387 (http://www.systemshock.co.za/forums/index.php/topic/9276-my-wife-is-in-intensive-care/page__p__97387__fromsearch__1&#entry97387)

12-31-2009, 07:43 AM
thanks Doug, I am interested and will do that http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

01-26-2010, 05:52 AM
Fate is not finished with us yet.

Terry underwent her first extensive set of 2010 benchmarking blood tests for the purpose of adjusting her treatment if needed. A subset of these tests is to scan for any developing complications or infections not previously present. One of these tests came back positive and a more specific test thereafter confirmed it, Terry has been infected with the Hepatitis C virus, most probably from dialysis, someone not sterilising the machine properly after dialysing an infected patient? Who knows?

The virus attacks the liver, causing cirrhosis and death. On the plus side, Hep-C takes a long time to do this, taking a decade or 2 to become seriously symptomatic, at least in healthy people it does, we don't know how soon it will affect Terry. There is a medicinal treatment, after doing a liver biopsy to identify the strain of Hep-C, take interferons for about a year, but the side effects are particularly nasty, much like any other chemo-therapy and we don't know if Terry can, or would want to, withstand them in her weakened state.

An option may be to monitor the infection and liver function and only treat if it becomes imperative. The thinking behind this is that she may not live long enough, due to her current condition, to ever have to worry about Hep-C killing her. This of course, is a seriously depressing reality check, to live our normal lives in love and happiness, we live day-to-day and tend to not contemplate the future and how long we have left together. Having it capped like this is a bit distressing.

However, we have already begun to put aside our paranoia that a higher power is out to get us, and shall take it in our stride like all the other challenges. There is no way we're going to waste our precious time worrying about it.

01-26-2010, 08:52 AM
Sorry to hear that http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/sadeyes.gif

But after all you've been through, i doubt that something like this can impress you both any longer am i right ? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

01-26-2010, 06:27 PM
That is the only way to live, one day at a time. None of us can know the exact day and time when our time will run out. So live each day like it will be your last, someday it will be.

03-21-2010, 12:19 PM
I never thought it would happen but finally, an official, full-on, offspring wedding!

My son married on Friday, much to our delight and especially a boundless joy to his proud mother, Terry. Were all extremely happy she was spared and stuck around for it, a superb reward for her agonising struggle to stay alive.

It was an awesome, no-holding-back affair at a stunning venue and a good time was had by all, well into the night.

The groom, bride and part of the venue:


Mother and son, bursting with pride and joy:


A dad who likes them young:


Ok, ok, I confess! The young lady is my eldest granddaughter and Terry took the picture. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

The wedding displaced Terrys Friday dialysis, so we had to get up at 4am Saturday morning to get her to the hospital for a special dialysis session. We were very broken on Saturday, but serenely content too.

PS: Oh gosh, were on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaDbLa8bCSw

03-21-2010, 01:46 PM
Congratulations ! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif

03-21-2010, 01:51 PM
Congratulations, both with the continuous good health of your wife and with the wedding of your son. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

03-21-2010, 03:28 PM
Thanks for sharing that with us, Doug! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

03-21-2010, 05:33 PM
Congratulations to all, to the bride and groom, and to Terry for making it to another milestone.

03-21-2010, 09:37 PM
Beautiful venue for that wedding! Congrats and well wishes to all!

03-24-2010, 12:50 PM
Congrats Doug (and Terry)... Is that the 'Lost City' ?

03-24-2010, 04:22 PM
Thanks all. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif


Originally posted by K_Freddie:
Congrats Doug (and Terry)... Is that the 'Lost City' ?

It's a function venue in Jhb called Shepstone Gardens. (Google for more info)

08-04-2010, 02:41 AM
Our new, happily married daughter-in-law is with child! Terry is overjoyed and having a new milestone to aim at, has perked up amazingly. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

08-04-2010, 02:55 AM
Congratulations ! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/partyhat.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif

08-04-2010, 02:05 PM
That is great news on both counts Doug!

12-17-2010, 02:56 AM
As we head towards Terry's 4th post-apocalypse Christmas, Terry is upbeat about it, very much looking forward to spending it with her family.

However, she still hasn't regained the losses from her last episode and now she's developed pneumonia as well. She's insisting on home treatment and flatly refuses to spend Christmas in hospital. General pain levels are becoming too difficult to bear and in her own words: "I don't want to live in this body anymore, it hurts too much."

Nevertheless, we're hoping for a great Christmas and new year and from Terry and I, we wish you all the same, or more appropriately, a much better Christmas and new year.

Warmest wishes,

Doug and Terry

12-17-2010, 03:29 AM
Merry Christmas to both of you and your family http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

12-17-2010, 12:23 PM
A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to both of you and your family!

12-17-2010, 03:34 PM
A Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Wishes for a Blessed New Year.

May God's favor be with you two.

.....any more words escape me, I am only left with thoughts and prayers. You have them.


12-27-2010, 01:39 AM
Thanks all http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Christmas was a bit of a mission for me but most rewarding as it resulted in a best-ever for Terry with our family, she loved it! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Y'all have a fantastic 2011!!

02-02-2011, 07:49 AM
My wife is in intensive care...... again, unfortunately.

After many ups and downs but a generally blissful life over the last few years, a couple of weeks ago, she experienced a severe pain in the chest which we treated as another 'routine' cracked rib. The pain intensity persisted too long though and was accompanied by increasingly restricted breathing and nausea. As a result she couldn't eat and grew rapidly weaker. Dialysis gave us a problem in that she had excess fluids on board but couldn't pump them out on account of a very low blood pressure. I started nagging for hospitalisation weeks earlier but Terry remained stubborn until even she had to admit she was in real trouble.

I filled in the forms to admit her to a ward last week, but before I could even deliver her file to the ward, the doctor switched her to General ICU (High Care). When we got there, I was kicked out while they settled her in and he examined her and before I could even get in to see her, the doctor switched her again, to Medical ICU, because he felt more intense treatment may be required. This filled me with images of the dreaded ventilator and tracheotomy horror. X-rays showed a totally opaque left lung and another doctor was called in to insert a drain in her side. In 10 minutes, over a litre of watery pus drained out. They already put Terry on general anti-biotics but they will test the pus to identify the microbe and target it with specific anti-biotics. The infection could have mimicked a cracked rib pain, hope so, then we cure that too.

We still have no idea whether we'll land on a snake or a ladder, could go either way, but we're remaining positive. At least I am, Terry's state is closer to panicky terror. Nevertheless, she withdrew her DNR with the doctor on account of her grandson to be born on 23 March and she wants to be there to see him before contemplating any off-world adventures.


Darn, that hospital is a snake pit!

Unlike in 2006 when they rushed Terry into ICU and connected her up to a host of horror gizmos and gadgets all at once, this time they snuck up on her and connected a few at a time. The effect is the same in the long run though. Having inserted the lung drain in her left side and thereafter, taking her to theatre to clean out the lung through the drain incision, the serous fluid draining out is almost clear of pus. However, her white blood cell count carried on climbing, telling a tale of more, undiscovered infection. The thoracic surgeon's bright idea was to do open chest surgery and go looking for infections to clean out; an idea shot down by her doctor and my wtf are you thinking reaction, on account of her being far too weak to survive such major surgery.

They settled for a CT scan, the results of which were not promising. There is more infection in the cleaned out lung in hard to reach locations and some in the right lung as well, plus serous fluid being produced by the body's defences which threatens to drown her. So, now she has a right lung drain in as well. She also has an additional tube in the left lung to vent air bubbles which neutralise oxygen exchange where they occur, a condition they call surgical emphysema. No more intrusions are planned, I'm told the anti-biotics are the last tool in the toolbox and it's all up to them now. We can only wait.

When I asked the prognosis, the thoracic surgeon's answer was essentially, "The anti-biotics sometimes work, but 'her doctor' is optimistic". Sometimes??!!

Terry of course, is in much pain and distress, as am I. I have the deepest, darkest sense of foreboding in the pit of my stomach and can barely breathe.