So much has happened (part 3)

The story continues:
Part 1
Part 2

*************

I have decided to continue the story. This is just a summary of it all. Maybe one day I will go into the detail of how I felt and coped with all the things that happened in and around me.

*************

I said the only thing that I could think of in that situation and that was: “Rugby Man… stay away from the light. We cannot lose you, not like this.”

The first week was a hectic week. It was the same time that the magazine I work for had to go to print, luckily the printers and all my colleagues were understanding and helped me out tremendously. Rugby Man was on the ventilator and was in an induced coma and on hectic pain meds. I am sure he was flying. He had very serious injuries and well, the Doctors could only move him on the public holiday, 24 September to do a MRI. The idea was 20 minutes to do the body and then if he was stable enough another 20 minutes for the head.

That Friday, 25 September, we were called in and the prognosis was not good. Rugby Man had a terrible spinal cord injury and according to the Neurologist, he had severe brain damage. The Neurologist explained it as follows: Rugby Man was like a baby who drowned. If you do not get enough oxygen to the brain, then the brain starts shutting down to keep the other parts going. That could of happened when they were moving him from hospital to hospital. However, we would never know the extent of the injury till he woke up. The doctor said that it would take time. Recovery could take anything from six months to five years. However, patience is what we needed. His left side was paralysed, however, the good news was that Rugby Man was moving his right arm and hand which meant that with time, the body could heal itself.

By the end of week two, they started feeding him through a tube to see if his body would accept the “food” and they stared “waking him up”, but the only problem was that he was not reacting. He was still on the ventilator but also in his own comatose state. By week three they started taking him off the meds. However, Rugby Man was not showing any signs of waking up or any sign of pain. The trauma nurses were awesome with him though and were awesome with us too.

The routine of our lives changed from day one and every visiting time over the weekend and every night we were there. My Mom also made me drop her off at the hospital, while I went to work, so that she could see him. Our life became all about Rugby Man. The boys who are 25 and 23 handed everything over to my Mom. My Mom allowed me to take charge because I knew in this time I had to be there for her. A parent should not go through the fear of losing her child, because it was her Son laying there. A man borne out of her, who God entrusted to her.  She did not need to go through additional stress.

Well, I tried to curb the additional stress, but the current gf was not helping. Remember I said it was the woman who he met last year and then they broke up and she took to Facebook to tell everyone why they broke up. They recently got back together and well, I am not her biggest fan? Anyways, she decided that she would tell the nurses she was his FIANCE so that she could see him, because they were only allowing the closest family members in. She would go see him during the day and then share confidential medical information on Whatsapp and Facebook. Obviously an attention whore. She did things without us knowing, like stop his bank cards. She was marching to her own drum and to make a long story short, I put a stop to it. I wrote a letter to the hospital, which they gave to everyone working with my brother, that NO MEDICAL INFORMATION was to be given to ANYONE except the following people: My Mom, Biker Man, Me and my two nephews (Rugby Man’s sons). Also that no medical procedure could be done without the authorisation of My Mom or Biker Man.

The next day, after I handed the letter in, my Mom was at the hospital with my brother’s ex-wife, when the gf rocked up. She walked into the ICU and slammed the ICU door in my Mom’s face. Another gentleman that was behind my Mom asked what was up and my Mom said she did not know. She pressed the buzzer for the nurses to let her in. Now, every time we visited, the family would send my Mom in first. When she got to my brother, the gf was leaning over him (something the nurses asked us not to do, because it is TRAUMA ICU) and when my Mom asked her to give her a few minutes she started shouting at my Mom next to my brother’s bed. She stormed out. Then in the waiting room she told my brother’s ex-wife that my Mom was a bitch. After that day, she never returned to the hospital. She goes around telling everyone we banned her from the hospital, but truth be told, I think she realised that she would never be able to cope with a vegetable and was looking for someone to blame so that she didn’t look like the bad person.

With all that happening, the grief process continued. Any grief/trauma process consists out of DENILE, ANGER, BARGAINING, DEPRESSION and ACCEPTANCE. I think my Mom and I were quick to understand it and realise that life had changed and that whatever the outcome, we were there for Rugby Man. However, some people do not do well when it comes to tragedy, and Biker Man is one of them. He moved to Johannesburg earlier this year and was not nearby when it had happened. He and Rugby Man are close, VERY close, but he was in denile all the time. He did not accept what my Mom was saying about Rugby Man’s condition and because of that, he started lashing out at My Mom and I. At one stage he kicked me out of his family and told me that when my Mom dies, I will be all alone.

16 October came and Ruby Man turned 48 years old. We celebrated with him in Hospital with blue balloons and messages from Facebook, Whatsapp, SMSes, etc. So many people wished him well. A week or two after he was moved to high care, because they couldn’t keep him in Trauma ICU forever and we needed to find a place for him so that he could start with rehabilitation, even if he was just laying there. It was terrible to see, because he was always the active one. Playing rugby at the age of 48. Going to gym twice a day. Running the pub and working. He could never sit still. A few places came to evaluate him, but they said that they would not be able to work with him, because he was showing no signs of reaction. He was not responding to the easiest of commands, like open your eye or stick out your tongue. That was difficult for us. That is when they decided to move him to the rehab in 1 Military Hospital, however, he ended up in the surgical ward, because they had to do all their tests on him as well. That happened in the first week of November.

Then on Thursday, 12 November we were called to the hospital. It was not going well with Rugby Man. As Murphy’s law would have it, my car gave trouble the Wednesday and I took it in the Thursday when I got the phone call. By then I was the liaison between the hospital and the family. I called everyone and told them to go up immediately. I arranged for my nephew to pick up my Mom, while I had to wait for the car. I got there at 14:00, after receiving the call at about 11:45. The Doctor was amazing and explained to the family what was happening.

When I got there she called me aside and said that Rugby Man was spiking a fever and his body was getting enough oxygen. His saturation levels were extremely low (the levels of Oxygen in the blood stream). He had an infection that he was fighting off, but they called us in, because it did not look good. It was a matter of time.  I know this sounds weird, but by that time I knew what they were talking about because my brother’s vitals became a part of my life. His pulse, his temperature, his saturation levels. How much oxygen he was receiving. I even helped and kept new staff up to date with progress etc. My Mom and I stayed by his side… till 21:00 that night. The Doctor came in and asked if she could arrange a bed for us to stay over. By then my Mom was tired and said no, she would go home instead. We said our goodbyes to him and left.

As we walked out, I said to my Mom, that I did not think that we would see him alive again. She agreed and said that if that is what God wanted to do, then it is up to Him. My Mom has and still is strong in her faith. She said from the start that Rugby Man was in God’s hands and whatever God wanted to do, she would accept it. She added that Rugby Man was in his limbo and had been between this world and the next and whatever happened she will accept.

At 07:15 on Friday the 13th of November (yes, I know trust him and his wicked sense of humor to choose Friday the 13th) Rugby Man’s time on earth came to an end. My big brother was no longer with us. He endured for 55 days and even though there were “up” days and there were “down” days and there “happy” days and there were “sad” days, he went to a better place with no more pain and suffering. No words can explain the heartache I feel, or the heartache my Mom feels. But together we mourn for a son, brother, father, friend and all round genuine good guy.

 

Rugby Man

On the 16th day of October 1967 the life story of Timothy started. His emotions of love and hate, sorrow and joy, were written up in his book with God. On the 13th day of November 2015 the last entry was written in his book and God closed it. Through our Heavenly Father’s decision, his soul was claimed back by God, his Maker, and his body given back to the earth, as it should be. He is bereaved by his family and friends.

 

So much has happened (part 2)

So by then details were sketchy… no one knew what was happening and let me tell you the fear of not knowing is what kills you. It makes it difficult to breathe and a lot of emotions come to the fore front.

We were all in the waiting room. My Mom, my nephews (who were both crying), the ex wife, the current gf (It is the one who he met last year and then they broke up and she took to Facebook to tell everyone why they broke up. They recently got back together and well, I am not her biggest fan.) and I. Biker man and his family whereon their way. The nurse came out and said that his injuries were bad. He didn’t have blood pressure and he is very swollen up. They were treating him to keep him alive. She then wanted to know who we were. We told her and she said to my Mom, that she could go in first. Well duh, because she is his mother, but the gf didn’t like that one bit because she is his ‘life partner’. No offence, but you have to be living with a person for at lease six months to be a life partner.

My Mom went in and when she came out, we knew it was bad. After that the Doctor came and spoke to us. Rugby Man had no broken bones in his body, except for a finger and a fracture in his cheek and jaw. However, Rugby Man had a serious brain injury and they were going to drill a hole in his head to relieve the pressure of the brain. Also, he was put in an induced coma and was on a lot of meds due to the fact that he was in a lot of pain.

My brother went in to see him and then when I had to go in, the gf ran in before me. It was almost 11:00 and visiting hours and well, I just thought let her go. I wasn’t going to start an argument. However, when she got out, she made such a scene. She threw herself on the floor and started sobbing. It was then that my Mom (who had not yet shed a tear) went to her and told her to behave. Making a scene was not helping the family and other traumatised families waiting to see their loved ones and it certainly was not helping my brother who was fighting for his life. Well, let’s just say my Mom says it like it is, but the gf stopped crying.

Anyways, so, in the meantime, Biker Man found out where the bike was and kinda how it happened. It seemed like a hit and run…

My first thoughts were, what sick bastard, hits a person and rides/drives away? Seriously?

It was finally my turn to go see Rugby Man. I was only allowed two minutes, but you know what? I took them. When I walked in, he had one of those orange braces around his head like you see on Greys Anatomy. He had on a neck brace. He had drips in everywhere and a heart machine beeping. He was on the ventilator and had pipes coming out of his mouth. His face was swollen to double the size. He didn’t look like my Rugby Man. His head was shaved on the one side and he had a screw coming out of his head. It was really traumatic, not just for me, but everyone around me.

I said the only thing that I could think of in that situation and that was: “Rugby Man… stay away from the light. We cannot lose you, not like this.”

Looking back now, I realise how selfish I was.

So much has happened.

So, yes, it has been a while since I posted. Although all things out of my control and let me just tell you that the 42 days have been the most difficult days that I have experienced in a long time. The last time I felt this was was just before and after my Dad passed away almost nine years ago.

It was on 19 September, Noodles 3rd birthday. We were supposed to go through to Oakdene to go see the girlies for Noodle’s birthday. However, when I woke up at 07:00, I saw I had a number of missed calls on my phone from my nephews. Turns out Rugby Man, was supposed to go to his gf the night and never rocked up. Well, maybe he went home I said. How wrong I was….

I am going to relay the story from when it happened at 12:30 that evening.

Rugby Man was on his way home from the pub. He stayed open for the opening game of the Rugby World Cup. He spoke to the Model at 12:30 and said he was going to his gf. Rugby Man rides with his motorcycle and he has been riding bike since the age of 16, so, he knows what he is doing. However, at 01:00 the ambulance picked him up on the side of the road. He had an accident. The ambulance took him to Steve Biko Hospital (the state hospital), however, when they got there and realised that he had dog tags on and was in the airforce they moved him to 1 military hospital (the famous one, where Nelson Mandela was in). HOWEVER, they don’t have a tram unit, so they moved him to Unitas, a private hospital. He arrived there at 05:00 the morning.

When his gf woke up at 06:00 and realised that he wasn’t there, she decided to phone my nephews. This is what gets me though. How do you know someone is coming to you and you go sleep? Don’t you wait up for that person? Anyways, that’s when my nephews started panicking and decided to phone their Mother (Rugby Man’s ex wife), who was bright enough to phone 1 military hospital. She is still on Rugby Man’s medical aid. Anyways, they (the hospital) had tried to get hold of her the whole night, but she recently changed her number and she hadn’t changed it with the medical aid yet. They told her to go to Unitas because Rugby Man had an accident and was there.

By 07:30 we were at the hospital. The air force chaplain was there (never a good sign) and so was one of Rugby Man’s commanding officers. And then the waiting started…

Tuesday Tune: See you again

Dear Dad…

Today, seven years ago, you left us. It has not been an easy journey and so many things have happened and changed in life. I wanted to write you a letter, give you an update on everything here, however, I know you see us all the time and where would I begin?

I guess that I just want you to know that we miss you. A lot! I see a bit of you in everyone and everything around me, and I thank God for that.

I put a quote up on my Facebook wall that says: “Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory that no one can steal,” and that is so true Dad. The memories are always good ones. Thank you for those.

Once again, we love and miss you Dad.

Love,
Kat
x

PS. I saw this song and thought it would be perfect to post today.

See You Again
Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth

It’s been a long day without you, my friend
And I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again
We’ve come a long way from where we began
Oh, I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again
When I see you again

Damn, who knew?
All the planes we flew
Good things we’ve been through
That I’ll be standing right here talking to you
About another path
I know we loved to hit the road and laugh
But something told me that it wouldn’t last
Had to switch up
Look at things different see the bigger picture
Those were the days
Hard work forever pays
Now I see you in a better place

How could we not talk about family when family’s all that we got?
Everything I went through you were standing there by my side
And now you gonna be with me for the last ride

It’s been a long day without you, my friend
And I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again
We’ve come a long way from where we began
Oh, I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again
When I see you again

First you both go out your way
And the vibe is feeling strong
And what’s small turn to a friendship
A friendship turn into a bond
And that bond will never be broken
And the love will never get lost
And when brotherhood come first
Then the line will never be crossed
Established it on our own
When that line had to be drawn
And that line is what we reach
So remember me when I’m gone

How could we not talk about family when family’s all that we got?
Everything I went through you were standing there by my side
And now you gonna be with me for the last ride

So let the light guide your way, yeah
Hold every memory as you go
And every road you take will always lead you home, home

It’s been a long day without you, my friend
And I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again
We’ve come a long way from where we began
Oh, I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again
When I see you again
When I see you again
When I see you again

Happy birthday to my American Boy

Dear American Boy,

You are 21 today. Congratulations.

21

I know this sounds cliche but you are an adult now. You are getting the key to unlock the door to the rest of your life. You are very far away, but I think of you everyday. I wonder what you are up to, I stalk your Facebook page to see if you are happy and well, my boy, it seems like you are. I know you aren’t big on replying to mails and posts, hence why I send them few and far between.

I remember the day you were born. You almost didn’t make it. I remember  how Ouma had to explain to me that your umbilical chord was around your neck and that your mom had to have an operation for your to come out. I was at the hospital, pacing up and down the corridor mimicking what your dad was doing, while your mom was in the theater. I remember your dad wasn’t allowed to go in and that was terrible for him. I remember that I was one of the first ones to see you in your tiny form in the incubator.

I remember how, for the first few months after you were born, I used to take the bus after school and come visit you and your mom (we lived about six blocks away from you). I remember how your mom used to teach me how to pick you up and change your nappy and I thank her for that. I learnt so much and I think that is why you ended calling me your big sister.

I remember how when you and your mom and dad moved away, how your dad used to pick me up during school holidays to come visit. I remember walking with you to the garage to go buy sweets. It was special times.

Then you moved away to America with your Mom. I know it broke your dad, but he knew you would have opportunities there that you would never have gotten in South Africa. Your new family has really looked after you well and your Mom has given you the opportunities that one can only dream of.

On this, your 21st birthday, I wish you health and happiness and tons of love. May all your hopes and dreams come true and may you always have a smile on  your face.

Remember that we love you a lot and miss you terrible.

Love,

Kitty and Ouma

 

 

The news…

Okay, so, a lot has happened in a space of two to three weeks.

Biker Man and Wifey are moving. Yes, they are taking the two lights of my life (Cutie Pie and Noodle) and moving to a new suburb… 45 minutes away.

That is a whole 65 km away.

moving-day

I was and am still  shattered by the announcement.

I knew things were going to change when he started his new job. But then Wifey decided the nail business wasn’t for her  and found a job in Alberton.

This weekend they are getting the keys to the house that they are renting. They have arranged that Cutie Pie and Noodle stay with us from early Saturday morning till Sunday afternoon. On Monday the moving truck will come and move them and then they will be gone.

For practical reasons, I know why they are doing this namely, time constraints and petrol. But I am selfish and I don’t like change. I like having them close by. I know it isn’t a different continent and we don’t see the girlies during the week, but it is maybe just something that I have to get used to.

My Mom has accepted it. As she says it is their life and they have to decide what they need and want. But between you and me, I think my Mom is just trying to be strong. She has told them that they must visit every weekend, because she cannot expect me to take her to visit them as I have a life of my own to live.

So there you have it…  the big news that I said I would share.

Happy Thursday evening (almost Friday)!

Print