Another year another grey hair or 10

Well it has been a month and a week since Zanes Heart operation and we can certainly notice the difference! Zane is more energetic, more active, does not lose his breath like he did before and best of all he has no longer got that blue tinge to his skin and nails. We are SO happy. I feel a little guilty about dissing the Surgeon, Kinsley, but I must say he did do a good job and we are very happy with his work and even more importantly we are happy that Discovery covered HIS bill in full. The anesthetist on the other hand, Discovery skimped or he over billed by about R1700. Ok ok let me break it down for any one who knows their kid is having an operation let me give you the financials for a typical infant Heart operation So far. I will update, but lets check it out.

Zane stayed in the hospital for 10 Days. 5 Days in ICU and 5 Days in High care. In ICU there is a dedicated nurse on duty the entire time monitoring him and making sure all is well. They take shifts and they do an awesome job. Then in High care they have a Ward or their own room (*grin*) But only a few nurses cover the entire floor and they do rounds. Lucky for Zane We never left his side here.
So Sunning hill Nursing home for 10 days, R110 000 and if you are on Discovery even a hospital plan or up, they will cover ALL of this.
Kinsley’s (Surgeon) bill for the operation and checking up on him before and after came to R24000. Remember Discovery has a Medical aid rate which is a middle to lower plan and then there is a %300 above medical aid rate.(luckily I opted for this).

So Discovery covered the R24k. There are 3 other bills for this operation. The Anesthetist who is way over 300% of Discovery rates. and the Perfusionist who handles the heart and lung machine and the Paediatric Cardiologist.(Dr Dansky)
Dansky’s bills are all covered b Discovery, in fact I have never seen a bill from him.

The Anesthetist (Dr Els) well I will make a call to the accountant and insist that I only can afford Medical aid rates. As for the Perfusionsist I have no idea who this person was how much they charge and where they are. I have not even seen a bill and its been over a month since the operations. I have checked Discovery with no luck.

So normally during the year and during my self payment gap I bitch at Discovery for their pettiness and inability to care for their members. However, as for last year I think I we came out tops, and are happy Discovery covered all the bills that were necessary to pay. I think with my Diabetes chronic medication and Zane’s 30k a shot Health injection, the Twin birth, The Heart operation, all the doctor and dentist visits, Philippa’s pill I think I may have cost Discovery around R300k. The monthly contribution to Discovery for a family of 4 is roughly R3700 which works out to around R44000 per anum. Just that alone is well worth a medical aid, if only they were not so anal about payments and just cover everything.

Ok enough ranting about medical, but it is good news for parents who need to have an infant heart surgery. R160k – 200k if you have no cover. R2000 +- if you do.

Stray Kitty rescued


Last night while passing through the McDonalds drive through the attendant pointed out this Kitty cat roaming around my tyres. It was at this point that I noticed what seems like an 8 week old Kitty cat, which stole my heart instantly. So friendly and play full I left my business card at the Micky- dees and then took her home to melt a few hearts.

Unfortunately we cannot keep this little girl as our dogs would make a meal of her. She is looking for a home, perhaps even as a last minute Christmas gift. She is clean and cute and wants to play!

Here is a link to the gallery album of the kitty.

Please save this Kitty from the SPCA!
Here is a youtube video

Stitches out today!

I know its been a while since I gave a Zane update but luckily he has been doing so well at home with his brother.
It has been a week since we left the hospital and Zane has been enjoying home life.
He is a little quiet and subdued but I think its all due to the stress of hospital.

Zane needs comforting quite a bit, when he wakes up at night and we are not there he squeels a little and then the comforting voice of Mommy or Daddy put him back into dream land.
I think he was traumatized enough in the hospital to make feel alone when we are not there.

We are trying to give him as much love as posible without alienating Trenton, who has developed a temper tantrum of note.
We are hoping it is just a phase but I am sure it will wear off with some discepline! *whiping sound* 🙂

Here is a quick clip of Zane having a giggle at mommy’s funny laugh

– Bren

Zane Is HOME!

I know I didn’t post anything yesterday as yesterday was my day at the hospital and I spent most of my time taking photos and videos of our little cherub!

Zane is slowly becoming his old self again.

It is amazing how much you know you have missed your little boy when you spend a decent amount of time with him. I spent from 1:45 – 6:45 on Wednesday with Zane in his Isolation room at the high care Peads. He slept, he cried, he laughed, he giggled, he stomped his feet (check video) , he drank, he threw his toys out of his cot (not figuratively), he Zaned!

During my stint in the bedside lazyboy zane had his first visitors, his god parents. Mike and Maralize grifiths. They brought 2 little teddy bears, one with a big heart and one with a backpack for Trenton. I am sure the boys will enjoy drooling all over the soft fur.

Trenton has been such an angel at nights sleeping from 7pm to 7am, enough time for his lucky dad to catch up on his well needed beauty sleep. If only they had anti grey hair sleep, I could get rid of these stray silver wonders sprouting up.

I thought I would throw this video in just for a distraction.(pre op)

This afternoon I shot home because Zane arrived home after 8 days at sunninghill hospital.
This is one of the videos:

Ill upload some photos to the gallery soon.

-Bren

A giggle from Zane!

I spent 2 hours today playing with Zane in his bed in high care. They have moved him into an isolation room because apparently he has picked up a virus which is contagious to infants.(lucky us) this means I need to keep scrubbing and cleaning my hands every time I enter the room or leave it.

Well zane was sitting up by himself and bashing a rattle and some plastic rings and toys around.
Again I am sorry no photos yet the camera is still at the hospital with Philippa who has been the most awesome Mom ever. She has never left Zanes side unless I was there and she has been the most caring and amazing wife. I don’t know how I could ever handle anything like this without her. I love you angel!
Hopefully that little serenade will get me more than a big kiss when the whole family is home 🙂

Depending on how Zane is tomorrow the Doc says he may be able to come home and take some oral antibiotics with us.

We went to the scanning room today to see how the repair looked using ultrasound. The doc says all looks well and Zane should live a long and healthy life without (touches wood) any further operations.

We were so happy to hear that. The doc also checked to see if there was any liquid around the heart that might need attention but luckily nothing was detected.

So with a huge sigh of relief I would just like to say thanks to everyone that sent flowers,wrote in a card, gifts,fluffy toys and sent wished via SMS , email or Via phone.

Although I do not profess to be very religious, it is at times like these when every time someone says a nice prayer or blessing for Zane that we always greatly appreciate every single thought that has been said to God and even those silent prayers that people make at any time for him. I think that has been the greatest piece of encouragement any parent could ever want to hear.

The Christ church up the road from us where we got the twins baptized/christened has been doing weekly prayers for Zane through-out the congregation and have been contacting Philippa regularly to get status reports and we cannot thank the congregation enough for those prayers.
Thank you , Thank you thank you.

Zainab, another mother of twins, who is of the Muslim faith has been keeping Zane in their family prayers, which makes us very grateful.

My mother who has been in Clearwater Florida in the states has devoted her life to Scientology and I know that Scientology is what I see as a spiritual religion may or may not have some way in which they deal with things like this. I know my mother has been calling Reguly. I only wish I had been able to take more of the calls that have been coming through to me. Mom I know it has been on your mind a lot too and I appreciate all the words of advice on caring for Zane during his time in the hospital. I have tired my best to take those words of advice and put them to practice.

Ok, I know, I know I am rambling a bit about this. I just felt I needed to thank those people who have given every bit of effort to helping us through this trying time.

*swallows lump in throat*

Zane is out of ICU!

Well I got to the hospital this morning and went down to the ICU for Visiting hours and only to find my Zane had been moved out of ICU and into Peads High Care a few floors up.

He was awake and moving his arms around and being a little verbal, still a little subdued but thats only understandable I just hope that he gets his baby groove back when he gets out of the hospital.

One thing to point out which I am not sure why they do it. the pulled out his IV from his wrist ( we all know hwo small a babies wrist is) And then went ahead and made a new IV in his foot! The buggers could have just left the hand one in!
Having to make a baby go through that pain doesn’t sound fair. I guess when you look at it from a babies point of view would you rather be able to wave your hands around or wave your feet around?

They have taken the jugular feed from his neck out, which is great no more constant feed of drugs.

Philippa was giving him a good feed before I left and he seemed to be keeping it down (holds thumbs)
Hopefully only a few days in High care then we will try take him home.

Philippa will be in high care with Zane 99% of the time and when she comes home I will try spend as much time with him.

I am sorry I did not take my camera cable with me this morning, so no photos but hopefully tonight I will have a few photos and movies to upload.

Thanks youtube for hosting our vids!
and all the support from friends and friends of friends for Zanes health wishes.

– Brennan

YAY Zane is off the respirator!

We arrived at the hospital this morning, for the morning visit expecting to comfort an unconscious boy only to find that he had just been extubated (breathing apparatus removed from nose) His little eyes were half open. So drowsy and very groggy but none the less awake and slightly coherent.

He was reacting to us! Just to see your little boy in such a condition is heart breaking. I do not wish this experience on any one not even my worst enemy( if you are reading please consider yourself lucky 🙂 )

Well, the weight that gets lifted off your shoulders every time Zane reaches a new milestone in recovery is unbelievable.

As soon as all his pipes are out of his body then he can be moved out of ICU into High care. We don’t want to rush it, as in ICU you have a sister looking after him 24 hours a day but in High care they just keep an eye on you, which is why Philippa and I will be taking shifts at night with Zane. Thanks Granny Lyn for helping out.

Here is a clip I took this morning of Zane.

Then I ran some errands in between morning visit and 3pm visit and when we came back at 3 he was a lot more lively and reactive to our presence.

We are ever so happy about today’s events and eagerly await his transfer to high care where we can be with him permanently.

– Brennan

Day 2 after the Operation


It’s been 55 hours since the operation. Zane is still on a respirator.
We were hoping he would come off the respirator today but he appeared to need another pipe put in him to drain fluid between his rib cage and his organs.

He is on a cocktail of about 7 different drugs ranging from adrenalin for his heart to dormicom for sedation and I think I saw some morphine on the list. I will post a photo of all the drugs being pumped into him on the Gallery website.

So right now there are 4 tubes coming out of his body getting rid of excess fluid. He has an IV on his right wrist feeding him nutrients. He has a rectal thermometer, he has a catheter, he has a thick cable going into his jugular feeding him the 7 drug cocktail.
He has sensors all over his body checking heart, respiration, breathing and heart chamber pressures.

They have a spirit level next to his bed in order to make sure his heart is at the same level as the pressure monitor in order to get an accurate pressure reading of each chamber of the heart.

I know the surgeon is one of the best in the country however he is the worst people person for parents who don’t know too much about this.
His answers to questions are usually one word, maybe 2 and then disappear to help another patient.

We do appreciate that he did such a good job on Zane but I would also appreciate a little compassion and explanation. I guess I will go to the Pediatric Cardiologist who dealt with us Dr Raymond dansky.

While we were watching Zane’s Heart rate went up to 177 bpm and the light on the monitor started to flash and alarm. I guess it makes you nervous when these things happen.

OK Philippa has just called for a quick bath with Trenton.

– out

–appendage–

I am just adding this video from day 2 to this post
A status of Day 2: