A Skippers Tale

Hi Guys

To all who are reading this, can I just say thanks from Mum and I.  Much like I found Dad and I a few months ago with Mum, life has handed us another curve ball and we are trying to get our heads around it and stay sane at the same time.

What we know so far…

Sunday evening Mum and I both noticed that Dad was “off”, distracted… but thought nothing more of it.

Monday morning, Mum realised that the bin wasn’t out the front for collection and she could hear the dustman coming up the road.  She said something to Dad who mumbled unintelligibly in return.  Mum looked over and Dad was collapsed on his back over the end of the bed.  When Mum couldn’t rouse him or get him to tell her his name, she called an ambulance.  (one funny little aside, the 000 officer wanted Mum to keep him on his side in a semi coma position, but Dad kept rolling back… Mum’s solution… 20kg’s of staffy pup suddenly laying across the bed behind him… way to go Coco!)

The Ambo’s thought from his symptoms that he was presenting as a stroke patient and got him to Fiona Stanley Emergency.  Mum called me at work and I came straight home.

I’ve posted the following on Facebook – so my apologies to anyone who gets these twice.

09/02/15 13:34  Update on Dad. They have now identified that it isn’t stroke but the have found a “mass” in his CT scan. They are getting an MRI done to see if it’s a lesion or a small tumour. He will probably need to be moved to Sir Charlie’s for treatment

09/02/15 17:29  We are waiting on the official word, but Dad has had an MRI and is going to be moved this evening to Sir Charlies. Apparently they have the best Neurological unit in the state. The good news is what ever this is it’s a) quite small, b) on the surface of the brain. So if removal is required it’s not ‘difficult’.

It’s located on Dad’s left frontal lobe, so it’s currently presenting as tremours in his right side, and loss of cognition. One minute he will remember things, then he won’t. Mum had a moment when the Dr asked if Dad knew who she and I were and he couldn’t name us. Again, I thank my stars that I had actually Mindy Hammond’s account of Richards accident for Top Gear and the stages he went through with damage to his frontal lobe, so I knew that confusion was a strong possibility with the swelling around the site.

The Doctors have put him on a steroid based treatment to reduce any swelling and also anti epilepsy drugs to help reduce the seizures he’s experiencing.

It’s going to depend on visiting hours at Charlies if we see him tonight, or if we go in first thing tomorrow morning.


10/02/15 10:24 Just back from Sir Charlie Gardiner’s. Dad’s in the High Dependency Unit of the Neurological ward. He was awake and alert when we arrived, but we are still a little unsure if his answer of “Yup” when we asked him if he recognised us was true because when we asked him to say our names we got a dirty stare. He is still very stilted in his conversations and gets distracted very easily. The best description I’ve heard for what I’m seeing is… deeply confused.

Actually on a slightly amusing front, it’s not unlike talking to “Big Mac” from My Little Pony atm… sorry if you don’t get the reference

The Neuro team came in while we were there, they couldn’t give us much of an answer – they had only just got his paperwork, but after similar tests to yesterday, the young doctor indicated that they want to send him for a full body CT scan to eliminate the chance that the mass is a ‘secondary’ growth (ie there is a primary mass somewhere else.) Really trying not to think about that right now.

To our advantage, in addition to any physicals that Dad had to take for his job, because he had a history of gastric ulcers his GP did have ‘oscopy’s’ done not that long ago, and anything abnormal would have been picked up on that.

His breakfast came while we were there, and the Occupational and Speech Therapists were there and were able to observe that he was fine with his motor functions for eating etc. He’s also been up and had a shower as well.

So now, Mum and I are hitting the sack for a few hours – not much sleep had by either of us last night – and then we will call the Hospital for an update this afternoon.

We are asking that people hold off coming to see him until we get the word from the Dr’s. But keep those good vibes coming!


10/02/15 – 16:08   Just spoke to the guys at Charlie’s. Dad was sent for a CT scan of the chest and abdomen today. It will take pathology about 24 hours to get the report back to the Neurology unit because as his nurse said… Their guys are red-hot about reading Head scans… not so much with the rest of the body! So we are in a holding pattern for now. Will update when we have more concrete information to share.

Mum and I have decided that this for the moment will be our primary place for posting updates for Dad day-to-day.  We apologise for this and really appreciate the calls from people, but at the moment we are like two long tail cats in a room full of rocking chairs, we are jumping at every time they ring thinking it’s the hospital.  (Mum’s nerves are a bit shot.. I’m not much better)  So we would ask that people be patient and either post questions here if you don’t have facebook or on my facebook page… you can email mum at bml3598@iinet.net.au or me a rimsey@iinet.net.au too.

If something drastically changes we will of course let people know.

Much Love and Thanks

Yoli and Barb


8 thoughts on “A Skippers Tale

  1. Thank you Yoli for the wonderful updates. It goes without saying that they are eagerly searched for amongst the posts. We are with you in spirit. I am off to Geraldton tomorrow for about 6wks but if you think of anything I/we can do,please ask.

    Betty and Rex x x x

    • Thank you Yoli for the wonderful updates. It goes without saying that they are eagerly searched for amongst the posts. We are with you in spirit. I am off to Geraldton tomorrow for about 6wks but if you think of anything I/we can do,please ask.

      Betty and Rex x x x

  2. Hey Yoli and Barb, thanks for the update we really appreciate it. Please pass on our regards to Fred from all the Geraldton crew in the office. Kerren is in town tomorrow but if it is better to not visit at this time then no problem just let me know. Love Loui ank Kerren and all the Bjagwan team

  3. Fred, Barbara, the thoughts of all members of your old BRNC Dartmouth course are with you in these dark times and we very much hope there is some good news just around the corner.
    Hang in there both of you!
    Paul Astle and the Gang……….

  4. Barb and Yoli. Kathy and I are so very sorry to hear of Fred’s passing. Y’all have been in our thoughts and prayers ever since we heard the news about his illness. Nothing we say will ease the burden you are both feeling right now but we hope that with God’s grace you will come to remember Fred as he was. Our deepest condolences.
    Brian and Kathy Davies
    Dallas, TX USA

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