A new year…new things!

Heinrich is going to school!

That may seem like an everyday statement to most people, but not for us. He has never been in primary school but 2017 started with the challenge of fitting into a school system.

The last year Heinrich has been bugging me to let him go to school, but since he had a very big heart operation in February 2016 I just couldn’t get myself to put him in any school.

He did very well in 2016 and he didn’t even catch a cold – he really was the healthiest of all of us. So January 2017 came with a bang, and there it was – this big decision – staring us in the face!

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So I have heard about this small school with about 40 children – Maple Tree Private School. We went there and talked to the headmaster, looked at the school and without hesitation Heinrich wanted to go.

The first days were definitely not plain sailing, Heinrich found it very challenging to say the least, but he persevered (with mom’s help). He does have the most trouble with the noise level and I never really thought how much that would affect him, but it does.

Noise was alway a problem for him and I still don’t know how we are going to overcome this obstacle because children can be noisy.

But like the headmaster, Louise Olivato reminds Heinrich of every day…… baby steps!

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The road so far…

An update on Heinrich.

TODAY it is 4 months after Heinrich went in for the Fontan surgery on the 10th of February 2016.

The first few weeks after we arrived home we slowly weaned Heinrich of his fat free diet. Luckily there were no setbacks with the extra fat in his diet. We went for X-rays and blood tests when Dr Susan Vosloo asked us to and started reducing some of his medication.

The biggest challenge is monitoring his INR levels (International Normalised Ratio). The INR test is used to monitor the effects of warfarin. It is a blood test that checks how long it takes for blood to clot.

Heinrich had a tough time coping  with the blood they had to draw every week.  We bought a home testing kit  to test his INR levels with and his anxiety levels went down considerably.

It was really amazing how quickly Heinrich recovered from such a big operation. We are really so thankful that everything went according to plan. He is now weaned from all the medication except two which he will take for life. Warfarin (blood thinning medication) and Enap (blood pressure medication). Because Heinrich has only one ventricle we need to keep the ventricle strong and healthy with the support of the medicine.

There is definitely an improvement in Heinrich’s skin colour. When we came home to a higher altitude he was more blue for a while but now I rarely notice any blue. I guess his little body adapted to the thinner air.

There is also a big improvement in his ability to do his school work. He is much more attentive and focused. He can definitely concentrate for longer times. He is less tired and full of mischief.

He does have problems with anxiety and fear which prompt me to seek out a children’s clinical psychologist. She confirmed that he suffers from post traumatic stress disorder.

We are working hard to help him through it. Please pray for Heinrich.

Doing his favorite thing – building LEGO 

Learning about ohm’s law and building pc boards with his brothers.

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Heinrich’s friend Dehan has a heart defect called transposition of the great arteries.

They are great buddies.

Eleven is just heaven

What a great monday it was, the 23 of May!

It is Heinrich’s birthday and he LOVES his birthday…..or let my say, he LOVES presents!  He turned eleven and it was great to see his anticipation growing the previous evening. It was a little sad that Tinus (dad) was still in Spain but grandma Frederika was visiting and we had a great time with her.

Riekie came to tutor my children, but there was not much of that….. according to Heinrich no child may do school work on their birthday.

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Heinrich wanted to eat sushi for his birthday so we went to Ocean basket and he had his own platter! What a great day. The only thing missing was dad.

Back Home Today

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Melkbosstrand, Western Cape

Time to say goodbye.

I guess that bad times come to an end, and good times too. The first weeks in Cape Town was a time I dreaded for years and I am so glad that it is in the past now, but we did have a lovely time afterward in Bloubergstrand.

I am ready to go home.

Heinrich still needs to heal and the road ahead is not as clear as I would like it to be. But like Stormie Omartian the author wrote, I also pray: please Lord give me

Just Enough Light for the Step I’m On

A View over Bloubergstrand

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What a lovely view we had in Bloubergstrand. We had to stay near the hospital for another 2 weeks after Heinrich’s operation. We took periodic visits to the hospital to take blood tests and x-rays and to see Dr Susan Vosloo. She needed to adjust his medication in this time period before we could drive back home.

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Heinrich took on the cold Atlantic ocean water and enjoyed it!

Paternoster

 

Paternoster was just perfect today.

We had lovely weather and we sat outside looking at the ocean, having a great meal at the Voorstrandt Restaurant. The kids had fun!

I think it was the first day that I felt relaxed after this very long month. After every visit at Dr Susan Vosloo, she tells us that Heinrich is getting better and is healing well.

We are blessed!

Enjoying our first day in CT

Early this morning Tinus jnr and Douwe were picked up by a friend in Klerksdorp and he took them to Lanseria Airport.  Heinrich was very excited about his brothers arrival in Cape Town.


At long last the brothers are together.
 
 We have a nice view of Table mountain from were we are staying in Bloubergstrand.