Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What a Week or So!!!!

On the 3rd of June, (our daughters 22nd Birthday) we headed off down to Melbourne for a fantastic relationship conference. The trip down was easy and the 7 hour drive didn't feel like it at all. We arrived at the gorgeous Foothills Conference Centre, checked in & headed down to find our friends who were running the 'Love That Lasts' conference through Family Life Australia.

We were so looking forward to spending some quality time together and looked forward to once again being challenged to make our marriage even better. We got into our room and found the BIGGEST bed we had ever seen. Chocolates and bubbly on the side table and a big TV on the wall....LOL!!

However, after only enjoying the Friday night sessions and a yummy supper, a few hours sleep Shaun got a shocking headache (4am). The next morning we were up at 7am and Shaun finally shares with me that he is worried that this headache feels like a brain bleed (he had one 2 & 1/2 years ago!). I asked if he wanted me to call an ambulance or take him to the hospital. He said that he would have a shower and some breakfast and see how he felt. At breakfast he looked terrible and so I decided he needed to get to a hospital so off we went.

As he showed no other signs of a bleed unlike last time where he was nauseous and his sight was blurred he just had a headache, so none of us including the hospital staff were sure he was having a bleed. Gave him a CT Scan, which showed that he was. So off to a bigger hospital that could cope with this by ambulance. I left him and headed up to the conference centre to pack up before heading down to St Vincents Hospital. The Neurosurgeons there were all a bit gungho about getting in to Shaun's head and removing what had caused the problem (an Arterial Venus Malformation, which he was born with and which had bled before) but we told them they needed to talk to our specialist first, as he had been the only one we trusted. (Incidentally, he had moved to Melbourne & we had organised to see him anyway on the following Monday at his clinic!!). So they did, and released us to go to this appointment on the Monday morning at The Royal Melbourne Hospital. 

Our wonderful specialist Dr Vinni Khurana decided he needed to admit Shaun and do an assessment on his AVM with the possibility of surgery to remove it. No one, except Professor Morgan in Sydney til now had been willing to do this as it was such a high risk due to the flow of blood through this, the size & position of it. Our 3 children drove down from Canberra to Melbourne on the Tuesday, and Shaun's mum flew in as well from Adelaide. My mum paid for an apartment that Tam had organized but no one had thought about the cars and how we would get parking for them!! In a 24 hour period, I spent $85 on parking. In the one next to the apartment I paid $10 for 10 minutes!! So we ended up taking them out to where my mother-in-law was staying with Shaun's brother. It was easy to get around town on the Trams and Trains.....& cheap!!

On the Wed it was my 50th Birthday and the kids went out and got me a lovely bunch of flowers.  Later that day a beautiful bundh of flowers arrived from all the scrapbooking ladies. That night with my family, Pat, (mother-in-law) Darren (brother-in-law)& his son Ethan we went to an Afghan restaurant on Brunswick street....yummy!! The kids also gave me a lovely pink chunky knitted scarf. The next day was Pat's birthday, and they gave her some Crows (her footy team) stuff to wear to the football on Sunday! So although it was not the birthday I had planned, it had some lovely moments to it. The specialist came in that day and talked with us all and had advised us to consider surgery, although it was very high risk, they thought that leaving it was high risk also. 

On Thursday, the top neurosurgeon, Mr John Laidlow, was back and had spoken to the other specialist, looked at all the scans and came in and told us that if Shaun was his brother, he would advise him to leave the AVM alone, go home and get on with his life. That Shaun would come out of the surgery worse than how he was now after the bleed. Well.....to say the least I was shocked. We certainly were stuck between a rock and a hard place. Shaun was going nuts with boredom too, as his room did not have a TV. He couldn't read and would work on his crosswords but only in short time frames as that's all he could manage. That night Pat came back to the apartment and we cooked a yummy dinner, the kids had bought a cheesecake as a birthday cake and we celebrated our birthdays yet again.

Friday morning, the boys were flying home. Tristan had a wedding to go to on the weekend, & Caleb needed to get back home before his partner, Lani with their daughter flew out to Tassie

Saturday we went with Pat and Darren to watch Ethan do his Karate. WE also caught up with Darren's ex...Em who shouted us breakfast which was nice. Tam & I then once again, left the car and caught the train into the hospital. Darren & Pat went off to try & get some tickets to the football game on Sunday between the Brisbane Lions & Darren's team, Carlton. Tam was so looking forward to going to her first AFL game....but was going to be cheering on the Lions!!

It had been a long and exhausting week, with late night, early mornings and we looked forward to some down time in the evenings. Sadly that wasn't really possible and things went from bad to worse and we ended up having to flee to my girlfriends that evening. Tam got hurt and the next day we spent 9 hours in accident and emergency with her, as they were concerned her voice box may have been permanently damaged and had to do a CT scan. Praise God she was fine & we finally got out at 10.30pm. The car had been parked out at the railway station near my brother-in-laws. Being so late, we were advised not to try and get the train for safety reasons. Couldn't get accommodation for the night near the hospital as the airport was closed and everyone was staying in town, so had to catch a taxi out ($30) and then get the car and then try and find a motel. We found one, Sunshine Motor Inn 608 Ballarat Road Sunshine VIC 3020 

The lady was lovely and when she heard our story gave us a discount. The price included an all you can eat breakfast which we then had to be up early for (would have loved a sleep in!!) Pat came by after breakfast and we rearranged the luggage and stuff in the car then headed over to the hospital. Pat was going to join us once Shaun had had a final CT scan then HOME!!  We finally hit the road about 3.30pm on Monday Pat in Tam's car sharing the driving with her, while I was driving our car with Shaun in it (not able to drive!!). We got home just before 11pm & were all glad to be in a decent bed at last!! 

This photo was taken by my 'mean' husband and daughter. I was so tired and we were watching TV in a small lounge area in the hospital when I fell asleep, they woke me laughing!! Aren't they awful???

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