Planning Another Trip

Thursday 10 March 4 years 6 months on … DEUCE

“ED is in wEd” with Lance du Plessis on AlgoaFM has become standard Wednesday morning fare. Then it’s coffee time at BlueWaters café on the beachfront and yesterday I was joined by Sean who acted as my chauffeur to Summerstrand.

But the afternoon was going to be slightly different to the norm. I knew that Lance was scheduled for a meeting at work, and Pera and I were scheduled to meet with Dr Rod Butters, our GP.

By now, most readers would have picked up that I enjoy travelling, and that I have been most fortunate to have undertaken many trips during my lifetime.

Most trips start with a seed and some discussion, then some books, a visit to the travel agent, many brochures later, much planning, thinking, organising, bookings, arranging passports, visas, currency, insurance, medical, communications, driver’s licences, etc.,  etc. Not a stone is left unturned. Meticulous packing and repacking takes place. Everything is planned to the finest detail – nothing is left to chance!

Often, the planning is part of the fun of the whole trip. It sets the mood and expectations, and gets the adrenalin flowing for what lies ahead.

 This afternoon’s meeting with Rod is also a trip in the planning. But this is a trip of a different nature. It did not start with that seed and was not part of our plans. It has just been thrust upon us. It is the life trip that lies ahead.

Rod has called this planning meeting.  

He spent time detailing what we may expect in the CBD trip that we are undertaking – me as the central person on this tour, almost the tour guide setting the pace, and the rest of the family and medical personnel accompanying me on the tour. This is not going to be a luxury 5-star trip in comfortable surroundings – it is going to involve rough terrain and extreme sports and obstacles that we have not encountered before.

We discussed the destination, the possible routes, deviations and challenges that we may possibly expect along the way. The mood set is certainly not one of fun and great expectations.

However, the purpose of the meeting is to set in motion the planning of the trip –making sure that not a stone is left unturned and that nothing is left to chance in the details of this trip.

And, as the tour guide, and before it’s too late to do so, I have to set the pace and make the important decisions about what I want, so that everyone is quite clear what my thoughts are, what to expect and what to do later in this trip.

So I get the homework – I have to write down my wishes regarding the trip that lies ahead. Things like healthcare, care-giving, machines, feeding tubes, assistance, etc., etc …

This is my task for the coming days. It will be the most difficult of all the writing that I have ever done and, I think, of any writing that still lies ahead. It will require a lucid mind and many drafts and re-writing. But I understand the necessity of this exercise and that it will hopefully obviate future arguments and misunderstandings.    

I know that you will understand that I have chosen not to share these thoughts and my wishes in the public domain. They are the most personal and saddest decisions that I guess I will ever have to make. I will document them in a letter that I will deliver to Dr Butters and leave with Pera, Sean and Phillip.

My prayer is that my instructions and requests may never have to be implemented.


“Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him that strengthened him.”

(Luke 22:42,43 – King James Version)


Cognitive Excellent=============Average==================Poor
Memory (Short) ***********************************
Executive function *************************************
Spelling *****************************
Figures ****************************************
  Physical functions
Left hand/arm *******************************************************
Left leg/foot *******************************************
Right hand/arm **********************************
Right leg/foot *
Lungs *******
Swallowing *
Spasms –left side *************************************
Spasms –right side *

Red stars = Deterioration / Green stars = Improvement from previous week

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