Sunday, December 31, 2006


HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM SARAH AND HEIDI! LAST THREE PHOTOS TILL NEXT YEAR PERHAPS? And look! Sarah made it outside to the corner store with Heidi! Heidi will celebrate New Year's tonight with friends and family, including Sarah's husband! And Sarah will celebrate at home with her mom and daughter over a movie and Chinese food. Tomorrow is a New Year! Time to right all wrongs, right? We'll see about that! Anyway, let 2007 be a happy and a healthy year for all of y'all!!!

Check out this link of Sarah's New Year's Elf dance
Check out this link of Heidi's New Year's Elf dance...
Check out this link of Yma's New Year's Elf Dance
Check out this link of Ayla's New Year's Elf Dance
Check out this link to Tom's New Year's Elf Dance
Check out this link to Nico's New Year's Elf Dance

Sunday 31 December 2006: Something for when you are bored and Sarah gets a surprise visitor!

Heidi says: Here is a quiz I took. Go on and test yourself! (What to do on the last day of the year ;) )

***You Are 38% Perfectionist***

Occasionally you have perfectionist tendencies, but overall you're pretty normal.
You're sometimes hard on yourself, but you usually focus on what you're doing right!

Are You a Perfectionist?

Sarah says: I took the quiz Heidi suggested above. Below are my results. Above is a photo from just now with me and Filip - Greyn's ex-drummer. He paid me a surprise visit today, which was nice. I have been hiding out so much that maybe an unplanned visit was just what the doctor ordered. I need to start being part of the living again. Time to start letting people back in! And I don't feel great but I am feeling better so... I have a new pain in the whole right side of my back along my spine. I hope it's just from sleeping or something and that it goes away soon. I hate the idea of replacing one pain with another and that seems to be what's going on in my body. One of these days or months I really hope I ake up to no pain! That would be great!!!! Anyway, it was nice of Filip to stop by. Next week, I'll see some more people. It's time. It's so boring without people and friends in your daily life!

***You Are 46% Perfectionist***
No one would call you a perfectionist, but you definitely have a side of you that strives to be perfect.
Try to see your mistakes as learning experiences, and don't be so hard on yourself when you screw up!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saturday 30 December 2006: Sarah and Ayla switch faces because they have nothing better to do today...and then Heidi stops by for a sec...

Sarah says later in the day:
Look: Heidi popped in from the rain and wind for a quicky and to drop off some Communist propaganda for my husband. And I got through my day A-okay! I am really aching now and my hips, shoulders and leg hurt a lot but I had energy today and that is progress! I am even starting to answer my phone, return calls and make plans for people to visit. I do think I did too much today - I can feel it. But even so, I feel better than all the days before. I sneezed today. Coughed. Bent to wipe up the table and to put cream on my legs. And guess what! All those things didn't hurt my back. Pain did not stop me from doing all those things that I haven't been able to do for more than a year! So that is REALLY progress! I just hope this lasts!!!!

Sarah says:
Today I got up and showered and feel all the better for it! My leg still hurts but a little less - something is changing for the better I think. I also have a little more energy - enough to play with my kid, which she's enjoying! We made this picture just now. She also told me when she grows up that she's going to have a blog with a friend. Poor girl...

Friday, December 29, 2006

Friday 29 December 2006: Sarah sheds some skin and then Sarah visits Heidi!!!

Heidi says: look who's here!!!!!

Sarah says:
Finally showered and even put on a mask as you can see me taking off above! It's like shedding skin and starting fresh. Problem is I woke up feeling really off this morning. My whole right lower leg hurts badly! All of my joints are aching. And my belly / intestines are cramping all the time. I am so tired. It sucks! I had hoped I'd feel good today and would take a small walk. Right now I feel sick. I want to feel good!!!! I know I will soon. It's just hard waiting. Hard wondering...

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Thursday 28 December 2006: Sarah feels ill, Heidi feels tired after a long and fun Brussels day

Heidi says: I finally made it to the atomium in Brussels!!! Hooray! I totally love the atomium! We also saw the Barbie exposition! That was the reason why we went in the first place. Great 50's and 60's Barbies. Very hard not to steal 'em... :))

Sarah says:
There are good days and bad days I guess! This morning at 5am I woke up feeling like I was going to be sick again! I had to run to the toilet. I thought I'd have to throw up again but it was an intestinal thing I guess and it all came out the other end. Sorry to say so but that's how it goes. My body has taken over right now! My mind is on vacation for the moment. So my intestines are cramping up all the time. I am so tired from it. It's all normal but it's been two weeks now and I can't wait for some relief! A morning like this one ruins my whole day!
I'm still going to try to shower today and to take a small walk. I feel like fresh air will do me some good. My mind is turning into mush! I just hope I don't have this cramping the whole day. It comes from their having had to take my intestines out of my abdomen during the operation to make space to put the prosthetic disc in my spine. The intestines seem to take a beating from this sort of operation. Oh well! I just need some more time I guess. Other than a couple of people, I still don't have the energy to have visitors. I'm just so tired. Bad company! I hope by next week I feel good enough to see some people!

Wednesday 28 December 2006: Sarah doesn't have a blood clot in her leg which is good and Heidi visits Nancy

Sarah says:
So I went to the hospital to have my leg checked out for a blood clot and I'm happy o say they didn't find any. They do an echograph of the leg area - like they do when you are pregnant(on your belly) and they see how the blood is flowing. Mine is flowing fine, thank you! However, the bad news is that I just have to ride this leg pain out. It's not vascular pain but apparently nerve (neuro) pain. That can happen after operations - especially operations involving the spine or any joints really. Things get moved around - in this case my spine was pushed up higher - and nerves shift and get exposed. Apparently after surgery like this there is something like humidity around the joints. Until that all goes away and everything heals, here can be nerve pain. The legs are so connected to the spine that it makes sense that back operations can lead to leg pain too. I just hope it goes away soon. It keeps me up at night and it bothers me all day! It's like a huge headache that pulses in the leg. I am still wearing the socks they made me wear after the operation (white ones in above photo) because they are supposed to prevent swelling and clotting. They keep the legs tight. They itch though. I had better wash them as well today come to think of it!
Here you can also see that my stitches were taken out yesterday. That's my yucky scar there! It's still healing. The side with the bandage is still slightly open. The whole thing stings. The good news is that I can take my first shower in two weeks tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Tuesday 26 December 2006: Sarah puts on makeup and Heidi takes a bath

Sarah says:
Had to get out of bed and go to house doctor to ge stitches out. My wound is stinging like crazy now. Tomorrow I have to take bandage off and expose it to air to heal. I'm going to a friend's for Christmas today so I put on some makeup I look alive finally though I don't feel alive really. I am so tired. I have to go to the hospital again tomorrow to get an echo x-ray on my right lower leg because it has been aching since the operation. They have to determine if it's something like a blood clot or if it's a neuro thing. The leg pain is annoying. That's for sure! I hope we find something out tomorrow!!!

Heidi says: a bath to wash away all the greasy food...

Monday, December 25, 2006

Monday 25 December 2006: Shhhh... Sarah is asleep... and Heidi is very much awake!!

Heidi says: Look! My fluffy pink boots! They are not a christmas present but they sure feel like one cause I got them long time ago and I could only use them starting from yesterday!

Sarah says:
See that book? That's the latest Post Secret book just out. I got it for Christmas! I liked that page about sleep. That's what I do these days - sleep. Hours pass. Days pass. I sleep through them. That and watch TV. I also chose the below Post Secret entry this week as my favorite one because it's also about sleep. I really do think I will sleep through this Christmas/holiday season. I am so tired all of the time. It's the operation obviously but it feels strange nonetheless. Even with heavy back pain I was more alive and lively than I am now. I guess I have to give it another week or so. I even cried today. Mentally I felt bad because of all the other pains I'm having now that I am no longer having the back pain I had for years. It's normal of course! I just had a big operation. I just wish I could make this process go faster. I can't so I'm just going to try to sleep through it as much as possible. That and watch Six Feet Under... Nighty-night and Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Sunday 24 december 2006: MERRY XMAS!!!

Sarah says:
I ditto what Heidi said below and offer you all this Christmas card with Santa pooping down the chimney! It was meant for one of my brothers but I forgot to send it so now it's for all of y'all! I, like Santa there, spent a lot of time in the bathroom this morning. Woke up and had to vomit - twice. Not really pleasant but all part of recovery I guess. I have watched about episodes of Six Feet Under in the last couple of days. I'm addicted! My friend E-Rocker turned me on to that lovely HBO series. It's getting me through all these days stuck in bed. Now I am off to celebrate Christmas as my husband's parents' home. I hope I can stay up and awake for enough time! I'll try. It will be a test of how much I can take a little more than a week after the operation. I wish I felt better today but I guess I have no choice in the matter and have to give up control and not worry about it all! Another week and I'll have some energy and strength back I'm sure! Anyway, I hope everyone has a fantastic Christmas!!

Heidi says: I have to tell you, I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus!!! But still I get nuttin' for Christmas, 'cause mommy and daddy are mad. While all I want for Christmas is my two front teeth... Luckily I saw Rudolph the red nosed reindeer pass and frosty the snowman and Suzie Snowflake told me they would pay me a visit as well... Good! 'Cause I am dreaming of a white Christmas so me and my little family can come out and play in that winter wonderland.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Saturday 23 December 2006: Sarah gets half her stitches out and waits for after Christmas to get the rest out...

Heidi says: Here I am at my front door. I bought a candle in a pot today, especially for Christmas! When I walk through our street in the dark, and I see christmas lights outside the houses I pass, I think it's so cosy and warm, so I decided to have my own light outside. To everyone who passes my house: enjoy!!

Sarah says:
Yesterday was the worst! I was so tired - couldn't even make it out of bed! Didn't get dressed or wash myself or anything. Slept badly again. Lots of lower leg pain and aches all over.
This morning I went to the house doctor to get my stitches out and she only took half of them out because the others weren't ready she said. I saw the wound and honestly, it looks kind of dirty and nasty! The skin is amazing though with how fats it heals! They used staples to close my skin up instead of threads. So odd! The doctor said I shouldn't hesitate to take a pain killer during the day. So far I try to wait until I sleep. She said if the leg pain doesn't stop by Tuesday when I get the rest of the stitches out - that I should go to the specialist or at least all him, which I will do.
Now I will rest more. Just getting up and washing and getting in the car and waiting in the waiting room and getting some of the stitches out and getting back in the car and going back up my stairs wore me out so much! I have no energy! I thought I'd feel ready to see people and talk this weekend but I am so so tired!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Friday 22 December 2006: Sarah says HAPPY BIRTHDAY MONA!!!! And shows you who My says Mona / Sarah & Heidi look like...

Sarah says:
Enough about me! It's my great, great, great pal Mona's birthday today!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MONA!!!! Have a wonderful day! I love you missy! I hope you shake that ass and dance as the card said! (strange to see yourself here my dear??!!!)

deleted my stuff as it took up too much space!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Thursday 21 December 2006: Sarah finally had an okay night's sleep one week after her surgery! And Carmen is back in town!!!

Heidi popped by again to say hello and bring some cheer! We are pretty much living our little silly dream at moments of hanging out watching Degrassi High together... We look through magazines and watch TV insulting, saying good things about and just chit-chatting about everyone one we see on the pages and on TV. We are like the old men in the Muppets! It's fun and surely breaks up the days! My brother and his wife sent me the first season of Battlestar Gallactica on DVD. Heidi and I might start watching that together a few times a week in the New Year. Very exciting! (haha)

Yippy!!! Carmen is back in town fom Russia! She and her daughter stopped by for a quick visit! It's so great to see them!!

Sarah says:
I slept through till 5am! Yes, with the help of a pain killer and a good leg massage from my mom, but I did it and I feel all the better for it!! I don't know what is going on with my legs and with my intestines still bothering me badly and all but my back sure feels different. Today I could put cream on my lower legs without back pain! It's been over two yeasr since I would do that! Very exciting indeed!!!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Wednesday 20 December 2006: Heidi was happy as a DJ today, but felt guilty as a mother...

Heidi says: I liked 'performing' again. It made me feel more than just a mom at home. But at the same time, I felt guilty for bringing Yma into a very smokey room for a couple of hours and keeping her up while she should have been in bed. Sarah told me today that it doesn't matter so much, when babies are so young as Yma, they don't really need the structure in their sleep and that made me feel a little bit less guilty. But when I brought my daughter in that smokey room, I couldn't help but to feel guilty. On top of that, I had to ask Katrijn to babysit and she did, and I am very very grateful. She is a great darling!

Wednesday 20 December 2006: Days are good and nights are bad for Sarah about one week after her back operation!

Sarah adds at 8pm: Heidi stopped by just before Oprah came on! I measure my days now by what is on TV you know. Above you can see our setting - me, YMA and Heidi lounging arround, reading hair magazines, gossiping. Eventually we'll start watcing some DVDs together when I have the energy! Tonight Heidi is DJ-ing for the first time since YMA arrived. She'll be at De Kreun, where a Portland band will be playing. Hopefully it goes well for her. She'll let us know. As for me, I spent the whole day in bed. The whole day! I have had to take some anti-constipation stuff and I ate lentil soup. My intestines are really suffering and giving me the run around. I guess that makes sense considering the whole lot of them were taken out of my body and clamped to the side to maintain order so they could reach my spine to put the disc in. Right now my intestines are basically telling me to screw off. I do think they will work for me tonight though. Let's hope so. I gotta get this out of me!!!! Now sleep calls again...
Sarah says:
Jeez I had such a bad night! I took a pretty heavy pain killer which helped sort of till 1:30 am. From then on I was just tossing and turning again in a lot of pain all over, especially in my legs. I never had leg pain before! That's one of the big differences between having a hernia in your spine and having no disc (or just a little disc) - with a herniated disc there is almost always leg pain with it, which I have heard can be really terrible and uncomfortable. With what I had, called discopathy or degenerative disc disease there is no leg pain. In fact, if I had had leg pain, they would not have done the surgery on me as it would have had no use. A prosthetic disc is of no use at all when the cause of the problem and pain is a herniated disc. The prostheses is only used when a herniated disc is ruled out as far as I understand.
But now here I am with leg pain!! It's not constant and it could just be from the anesthesia moving through my system still. I don't know. It's early days so I'll just have to ride it out. It just makes it very hard to sleep and very hard to find a comfortable position to stay in day or night. Now I am sitting but I get up every few minutes and I take a break. I get back into bed or I walk around. I am able to get up and down stairs now with no pain surprisingly. The pain starts whenever I stop - stop to sit or to lie down. But I HAVE TO stop because moving around too much is bad for the healing process of where I was cut open (scar tissue) and for the internal cuts and stuff. The more I move around, the easier it is for scar tissue t prop up and muscles and inner wounds to sort of stretch and tear when they should be closing up, sealing and healing.
Last night in my bed I moved on my side and had the first sensation in my lower spine - I could almost feel the prostheses which is set right above my tail bone as you can see if you scroll down a couple of entries (there are two X-rays in entries from 19 December that clearly show the prostheses and the stitches). It made me nervous though I suppose it is normal to feel new things in your body. I need to ask the Dr more about this not being able to jump and not being able to arch backwards ever again as it is bad for the spine now that the fake disc is there. The parameters are too big. I really need to know exactly what I may and may not do. Plenty of sports' people get this operation and go right back to doing sports - such as running. I mean why can you run but not jump? As I understand it, it has to do with both feet hitting the ground hard together at the same time and the impact that has on the "shock" to the spine - the prosthetic disc can't take that and could push itself to deeply further into the spine and puncture something or hit a nerve. As for arching back, I can already feel why that can't be done. The disc just won't allow that movement. It jolts you if you move back to much with the arch of your back.
The prosthetic disc was a better option for me if compared to the more severe "fusion" operation because the fake disc allows movement where as the fusion stops all movement. I am really glad I opted for the fake disc. So far so good. I'll keep you posted.

Here's my favorite Post Secret entry this week.
For some reason the picture and the text about "all I want" is for her to be honest and happy - well, it brings my 7 and a half year old daughter to mind. She's at this very curious stage in her life - asking about the birds and the bees but afraid and ashamed to also because as she puts it: " a little girl like me asking these big girl questions, my oh my, I feel ashamed..." Something like that anyway. She's happily testing some borders these days, using words like "asshole" and seeing how we react - if we'll get mad... Last night I told her, to her surprise, that not only can she ask me any question she wants but she can also always ask her dad too. She couldn't believe she was allowed to ask her dad about "sexy things" (I can sense some Borat jokes in the background!). Next to all her natural curiosity about such sexy things is her fear we'll be disappointed in her - maybe about her school report for example and about her asking curious questions, etcetera... Last year and often she did really well in her class, was the first. She keeps telling me that this year she might not be the first. I could care less if she is the first but I am sure she's afraid she'll disappoint us if she isn't! All I know is that like in the Post Secret postcard all I care about is that she feels she can always be honest and that she is happy! I can't imagine I'll ever be able to stay disappointed in her for more than a minute at a time!

By the way, so many people have checked in here and have written emails or called or sent text messages! Thanks so much for all of your concern! I really appreciate it. I'll probably start answering emails and being more in touch next week after my stitches are removed!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Tuesday 19 December 2006 bis: Heidi's pictures :))

Tuesday 19 December 2006 Part 3: Sarah gets a CLEAN head of hair & up-to-date with Face The Day before she goes back to bed for the rest of the day...

Sarah says:
LOOK - this is this morning! My mom washed my hair and I look fresh and clean and tired!! Now I am very, very tired actually and achy and will take a pain-killer and maybe watch a little TV and fade into sleep. Lying down all day hurts my body. I need to walk around a bit and sit up from time to time. I have to say that I really have no pain at all in my lower back, which is amazing. My pain is now in my legs, neck, shoulders, and belly especially. That's all part of the operation I guess. It's amazing how okay I feel already. I am terribly low energy and am not at all ready to really face the world or have visitors or anything like that but I can walk! I can go to the toilet! I can sit up and lie down! I can climb steps! I have to be careful. Very careful. It's too easy to imagine you feel better than you really are and therefore to do too much too soon. I am doing my best not to do too much. It's hard to be lazy! But I will try for sure!

Sarah adds:
That's my home-hospital bed in my TV room in my house! That's where I'll be spending most of my time these next months. It's a bit hectic in there but I'll have to get used to it all. I hope I don't become a TV-head! I already watched Doctor Phil today and Days of Or Lives! My mind is going to rot! My dad sent me about 30 magazines! What a great thing!!! I read half of them already at the hospital and her at home yesterday. Magazines are the best for fading in and out of sleep. A great cure to being bored lying in bed all day!

Sarah continues:
Here I was yesterday, Monday the 18th when I got home. My hair was dirty. I was a bit overwhelmed. A lot in pain. Tired. Now that I had a good scrub and a hair wash I feel like brand new! And I really do feel taller!!!!

Heidi says: Look at my pile of presents, all ready to give at christmas evening. Well, most of them anyway. There are also presents for Tom, Katrijn, Alexander, Wout and Jeff, and I won't see them on christmas evening. That's for other moments! :))
I pulled such a face because I am watching a program on the oldest drivers in Great Britain, and one of the old men is taking new drivers' lessons, and he used to drive a getaway car when he and his mates were doing bank robberies. Hahahaha. (sorry, apparently I cannot upload pics when the day is already filled in by Sra. I'll do it in another upload for today!)

Tuesday 19 December 2006: Continued - perhaps photos not everyone will want to see! You have been warned! But see why Sarah is 1.5cms taller!!!!

Sarah says:
Look! I really did grow! I was 169 cms (5.54 feet) before the operation. Now I seem to be 170.5 cms (5.59 feet)! This is cool! The best thing about the operation no doubt!!! I am bionic! It looks like there is a UFO in my spine. In these photos you can see my stitches too. The doctor said he used the largest possible prosthesis disc for the lower spine. He said it was the best one to have. I asked him is it was really necessary for me to have this fake spine disc and he said yes. There was nothing there as a cushion before, maybe since I was born. That explains the pain!

Sarah continues:
The doctor used my C-section scar to cut through rather than create a whole new cut on my belly, which is nice! You can see the stitches in the X-ray above. They look like a mouth. It's a big wound and it really aches. I can't shower because it can't get wet so I sponge bath myself with help. I can never jump again! Seriously. Or arch my spine backwards. The doctor showed me both movements. It's not like I am an avid jumper or anything but I really will have to remind myself not to jump!! I guess jump-roping will never be my sport. Even diving into a pool! Those days are over! (not that they really ever existed in the first place!) My belly is a battlefield! By the way, to do this operation, they open you up and have to move all of the organs in the way of your spine. Can you imagine they have to sort of uncoil your long intestines and put them to the side along with everything else and then put everything back gently and in the right place? It's crazy what they are able to do and it sure explains my aching belly!

Sarah goes on:
Man to a get black and blue easily! All those marks are from their taking blood and feeding me pain killers and liquids through my arm. Now they are yellow. I look like a heroin user. For two days I almost was one in the hospital - but they injected the morphine-like stuff into my legs each time and held it and squeezed. That freaking hurt!! But what came after was amazing to be honest. Smartly, they won't keep giving it to you. If they did, you could easily become addicted fast!

Sarah adds:
I think this photo is so funny! My poor husband! Sitting there under the cross in my hospital room! That cross is what I saw from my bed always! It's so strange. Not for me! But it made me laugh sometimes so...

Tuesday 19 December 2006: Sarah is BACK JACK even though she was cut from her guggle to her zatch! Here are the photos!

Sunday 17 December 2006: Heidi popped in! I was happy to see her but probably not very good company! Just before, my husband's parents came to the hospital and was fading in and out of sleep, not feeling very well. Lots of pain on the Sunday and very big problems with going, rather not going, to the BIG toilet! I was in agony from it! The pressure was building up in my intestines and pushing on my wound. The nurses gave me two sacks of powder. They didn't work. They gave me drops. They didn't work. They even gave me a Fleet enema! IT DIDN'T WORK!!!!! It was awful, really. But finally, FINALLY!!! Eventually that night I had a little relief with more to follow the next morning. I never thought I'd be able t leave the hospital Monday feeling this way. It made me scared! But on Monday after seeing my new X-ray, the doctor said everything looked good and I should go home. Now I am home and feel glad to be here. I am in a lot of pain, especially at night. My legs are killing me and my wound is aching. But I have no pain in my lower back!!! I am eating normal food again and enjoying it! I am watching TV and reading magazines and fading in and out of sleep. See above post for more details!

Still Saturday 16 December 2006: Isn't this picture from my daughter so nice! I have only made 6 of the 10 wishes so far, so I have 4 left!

Saturday 16 December 2006: Able to crack a big smile, especially with the visit of my daughter and her lovely picture she gave me above! I think they took the catheter out and I started taking normal pain killers with water rather than through a tube in my arm. That night my fever began I think and I was so very sick - or was it the night before? I can't even remember. But it was really awful! I was it so much pain and shaky and had a fever. They waited 6 hours till I couldn't take it anymore and I was ringing the nurses every 20 minutes - until they gave me a shot in my leg with a heavy pain killer. It was fantastic really because it was the first moment in about 2 year that I had no pain whatsoever! I was in lala land. Totally lovely!

Friday 15 December 2006: Day after the operation. Still on pain killers galore through my arm and peeing through a catheter with blood sack draining my wound. Very uncomfortable but still alive and kicking, just barely though. Nice eyebrows! Glad I had those done the day I checked into the hospital!

Thursday 14 December 2006 around 4pm: Surgery had been at around 8:30 am that morning. I got through recovery and my husband and mother visited me in the afternoon. I was very pale and sickly looking and in a lot of pain but obviously had enough energy to still take this photo! Actually, the pain wasn't that bad thanks to the heavy pain killers at that moment!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Monday 18 December 2006: Sorry, no time to talk, Yma is crying... again...

Sunday 17 December 2006: Heidi visits Sarah and beliefs that everything will be alright

Heidi says: I saw Sarah today in the hospital, and she was in pain. But despite her pain, I could see that she would be fine. I was really happy to see her! We even took a picture together, which will be uploaded later, when Sarah gets back from the hospital.