Why don’t I just go to sleep and never wake up?

IMG_7151Last year Vic said:  “Why don’t I just go to sleep and never wake up?”

This year – today – I am saying “Why don’t I just go to sleep and never wake up?”

Last year Vic said:  “My boys don’t need me anymore.  I have been sick all my life.  Even my ears hurt. ”

On the 8th of January 2013 Vic said “Mommy my room is full of angels…”

Tonight I reread something a friend sent me as a comment https://tersiaburger.wordpress.com/wp-admin/edit-comments.php?p=383&approved=1

Dear Tersia

I have been following your journey now for some time and my heart goes out to you and your family. It is NOT EASY to care for somebody that is terminally ill. It makes it even more difficult if that person is your child.
I would like to share something with you though. It is vitally important that you take care of yourself in this tiring time. Please accept all the help from family and friends that’s been offered to you. This will give you some breathing space. It will also allow Vic to know that it is okay if Mom is just having a little bit of “me” time. Her energy is very powerful and she proved it to everybody up to now that she wants to survive.

Allow all Angels and guides to assist you with the care that you and your family so much need right now. God allows you to call upon their assistance when you need them. When Jacob was struggling with an Angel he called the Angel Michael to assist him and Michael was there not only to help him, but also to guide him with whatever he was struggling with. There are many stories in the Bible and other scriptures about God’s Angels. What still amazes me is that God found it necessary to create Angels. HE knew that we and all other creatures would need assistance and comfort when we are lonely. It took me a long time to work this out. It was only after my mom passed away and I fell very ill that my awareness of these wonderful creations of God was awakened.

Dear Tersia, know they are there, they are with you. You just need to ask for their guidance and assistance. Please know that Angels come in all forms. It might be your neighbour, your friend, nursing staff or maybe a presence! Nurture yourself. Get all the friends, family and help that you can now and trust people. They will be guided and equiped with the knowledge to help you now. You need to be taken care of now and so does your family.

Your friend

Louise xxx

The angels did come to comfort my child in her most fear-filled day.

We have found many angels in human form.  Friends, family, acquaintances, WordPress Friends, Facebook friends…..

Thank you Louise for opening my eyes to the angels.   Thank you for the angels that comforted my child in her hour of need and thank you for the angels that came and took her by the hand and whisked her away to a pain-free, joy filled place.


Endometriosis, abdominal surgery, fistula and adhesions…..

Vic has had 81 abdominal surgeries in her life.  Vic’s first abdominal operation was at the age of 10 when she had her first batch of endometrioses surgically removed.

Endometriosis is a gynecological medical condition in which cells from the lining of the uterus (endometrium) appear and flourish outside the uterine cavity, most commonly on the peritoneum which lines the abdominal cavity. The uterine cavity is lined with endometrial cells, which are under the influence of female hormones.

Endometriosis is typically seen during the reproductive years and it has been estimated that endometriosis occurs in roughly 6–10% of women.

About 93%–100% of people undergoing abdominal or pelvic surgery will form adhesions, but luckily most do not have complications of the adhesions.  Adhesions may also result from infectious processes, such as pelvic inflammatory disease.

Abdominal adhesions are bands of fibrous scar tissue that form on organs in the abdomen, causing the organs to stick to one another or to the wall of the abdomen. Scar tissue most commonly develops after abdominal surgery, in which organs are handled by the surgical team and are shifted temporarily from their normal positions. It can also form in people who develop peritonitis, an infection that has spread to the membrane that covers the abdominal organs. Vic has developed peritonitis on numerous occasions.  Peritonitis usually occurs after appendicitis or another abdominal infection such as Vic first developed after her blotched surgery when her small bowel was perforated.  https://tersiaburger.com/2012/10/19/the-albatross/

There is no way to prevent adhesions. Abdominal adhesions can be treated, but they can be a recurring problem. Because surgery is both the cause and the treatment, the problem can keep returning. For example, when surgery is done to remove an intestinal obstruction caused by adhesions, adhesions form again and creates a new obstruction in 11% to 21% of cases.  http://www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtPrint/WSIHW000/9339/9394.html?hide=t&k=basePrint#prognosis

Fibrous Bands of Adhesion – Bowel obstruction

In most patients, adhesions do not cause health problems. In a small number of people, like Vic, the fibrous bands of scar tissue block the intestines either completely or partially. This blockage is called a bowel obstruction, and it leads to death in about 5% of cases. Sometimes, an area of intestine that is affected by adhesions can keep becoming blocked then unblocked, causing symptoms to come and go. In about 10% of small-bowel obstructions, a portion of the bowel twists tightly around a band of adhesions. This cuts off the normal blood supply to the twisted bowel, causing what is called strangulation, and that section of bowel begins to die. When this emergency happens, the person must be taken to surgery immediately. The death rate is as high as 37% in people who develop strangulation.

Literally meters, of different parts of Vic’s intestines, has been removed.  Every time Vic had an obstruction she had surgery.  Vic has needed skin grafts to cover open wounds.  Vic developed numerous gastrointestinal fistulas.  Due to the extremely thin layer of skin covering her intestines the intestines have chaffed through.  Vic would lose up to 7 liters of feces  per day, through the fistula.

Now we cope with partial obstructions on a weekly basis.  We battle with poor absorption because Vic has lost critical parts of her intestines.  Vic will not have further surgery.  My child has been to hell and back.

No more surgery.

Ready for theater….again…..




September and awareness of pain

As a mother of a terminally ill child, who suffers debilitating chronic pain, I have researched pain extensively.  I have argued with physicians and meet with pain specialists at the pain clinic every month.  I have bullied hospital nursing staff.  I have witnessed and lived my child screaming like a wounded animal from pain….. Doctors telling her that she is a morphine addict and pharmacists double-checking and verifying Vic’s scripts…  

September and awareness of pain.


Relax, it’s just a bend, not the end!

We are seeing a GP tomorrow morning regarding Vic’s arm.  Both her arm and hand are so swollen that I am concerned that she may actually lose her arm.  It has now been more than a month from the day that she fractured her arm.  When I bathed her tonight I removed part of the dressing that is protecting her arm.  Her arm is still black and blue and horrifically swollen.  I am convinced that she has pressure sores under the cast.

Today was a truly exciting day… (Relax, I am being facetious)

We phoned the Orthopod that treated Vic in hospital.  Sorry, he (Dr Y) can only see Vic next week!  We then phoned her original Orthopod (Dr V) with the permission of Dr Y.  Dr V’s receptionist informs us that Dr V will only see Vic with the written consent of Dr Y.  We tell her that Dr Y is too busy to write a letter but has advised us to get Dr V to phone him (Dr Y) if he needs to speak to him.  “We will not even allow you into Dr’s rooms without a letter.  Doctor V is too busy to phone.  Get a letter if it is so urgent for you to see Doctor!”

Well!!!  What the hell do you do?  You cannot force a receptionist to allow you to see a doctor.  Even if you force your way into the consulting rooms you cannot force a doctor to see you.


The fact that Vicky is terminal does not give any doctor permission to wash their hands off her.  It is written into our Constitution that every citizen of this beautiful country has the right to medical care!!  “In terms of South Africa’s constitution each person is entitled to human dignity, equality and freedom. This should also be the case when a patient receives medical treatment in the private and public sector.

The Government has an obligation to protect the life of every person in South Africa. The patient has the right to receive medical treatment.”

I promise anyone who cares to read this or hear me: if there is permanent damage to Vic’s arm, I will sue both doctors, regardless of her overall medical condition.

Tomorrow we will see Vic’s GP and hopefully she can get Vic into an Orthopod’s rooms!  Why only tomorrow?  She is too fully booked today to see us today…

Today I had a message from Dr Jaffer Hussain asking whether the Jurnista is working.  Not only did he care enough but he asked whether I wanted him to ask Prof Froehlich to motivate Hospice?

I received a message from my brother today that read:- Often when we lose hope and think this is the end, GOD smiles from above and says, “Relax, it’s just a bend, not the end!” 

Is there hope after all?  I am cautiously optimistic!

Tomorrow afternoon we see the Urologist.  Strangely I am at peace about Jared.  God cannot be that cruel so I trust in a positive outcome!

JD (Jared’s Dog), is 15 years old and suffering from 3rd degree congenital heart failure.  In human years JD is at least 105 dog years old. She has been such a healthy little dog but is now starting to battle.  She coughs throughout the night and end up sitting upright to breathe easier.  When I get home she is so excited that she has a coughing spell.

JD follows me where ever I go.  If I step back I step on her.  She sleeps in my room.  JD and I have a system worked out.  When I come out of the shower she is already waiting for me.  When I go downstairs, with her in tow, her little tail is wagging and she is clearly very excited to see what little snack she is going to have.  I know she is not supposed to have little snacks but heaven helps the person who tries to feed me hard, dry biscuits when I am 105 years old!

I do not want JD to suffer any further.  Tomorrow morning she will go to the parlour one final time.  In the afternoon she will have an injection at the vet and gently drift off to Doggie Heaven.  Vic and Jared want to go with her.

I am a coward.  I do not have the resilience and strength to take her.

Vic and JD watching a movie