and going strong. :)
Written and posted yesterday, plus sent off the corresponding appeals.
Arrived at the convalescent centre yesterday. Have seen the doc and been given my plan for the rest od this week. This place is pretty cool—the rooms and facilities are hotel standard, and the food is good. Def not like being in hospital. Today i had a tour of the centre, a sulphur bath (which was much more pleasant than it soounds), ultrasound massage treatment on my upper back and shoulders abd a full back massage. In between treatments i took myself for a walk in the sun and bought a couple of maps so i can go on proper hikes in the future.
There people are generally really frindly, both staff and patients. It’s a new experience to be in the former east surrounded by people from the area with their accents. Of course berlin is in the east too, but the population is quite different.
Am finding myself impatient to get more active treatments—i had seen myself bootcamping it and working really hard. But this week i just have a load of lectures to go to, more sulphur bathing, and aquaaerobics. Not even any pottery! And the mealtimes are def not my usual rhythm: have just had evening meal at 5pm. And now my programme for the day is finished. And of course it is now dark out.
So i just have to get in as much walking as i can in the daytime. This evening i may go to the swimming pool once my tea has gone down.
I am noticing how hard it is for me to just relax without being busy all the time, or without thinking i’ve “earned it”. Of course ive earned a shoulder massage after all ive been through.
Lots of things to think about.
Yet. Are these our last few days in peace before it appears? Or have the robots done away with it? Hope for the latter.
my leukocytes are low (which often happens after the treatment i’ve had), meaning that i’m susceptible to catch anything and everything that’s going, meaning that i can’t go to frankfurt to visit my sis tomorrow as planned :(
am sad, as i was really looking forward to seeing them all again, and was going to babysit so that my sis could go to see James Bond, with whom she is obsessed. i just wanted to be able to help them a tiny bit after all they have done for me.
hope my bloodwork is looking better by the end of the week, or i may have to postpone my stay at the convalescent place too. feck.
oh well, am telling myself it’s just a small setback, it’s just a blip.
the upside is that i have 3 more days under self-imposed isolation to continue slowly clearing up the flat and Getting Things Done. fabulous (not).
edit. have just referred to my previous post and note that what i CAN do is more pampering of self. so.
the universe is really sending me what i need at the moment. having “coincidentally” walked past the psychologist’s office last week, today i bumped into a young woman i had met briefly in hospital back in june, when both of us were sitting outside the consultant’s office—me shitting myself because i was about to get some test results, she probably also because she was asking my doc for a second opinion. turns out she switched hospitals to come to my doc. and is also just through with her treatment and going to rehab in mid-november (not to the same place as me, unfortunately). and she’s just moved to my part of town. so we swapped numbers and are going to meet up for coffee. i’m really happy, because most of the ladies i’ve met so far, though lovely, have been rather older than me. and A seems like a really nice person. amazing that our paths crossed again.
I found out that the psychologist who works in the frauenklinik also has a practice of her own. I liked her. Am thinking about getting in touch to ask how things would work if i wanted to come and see her as a patient. Scary. But surely it was meant to be—i walked past her office and happened to see the plaque on the wall. I mean to bop those tigers before they bop me.
just had a phone call from B, whose colleague was “working her way through English/Irish cookery” and had a question about the “schwarzer Syrup” in a recipe. by which i guess they mean black treacle. told her what she needed to look for and where in berlin she could probably find it and put the phone down. and then had a thought … and indeed, after some rummaging found an unopened tin of the lovely sticky stuff in our cupboard. so alb is going to give B that on their run later. brilliant to be able to give someone exactly what they need while freeing up space in our chaotic cupboard. and hilarious to think that a tin of Tate & Lyle’s will be jogged around the palace gardens this afternoon.
Latin convalescere, from com- + valescere to grow strong, from valēre to be strong, be well
so, having got through my treatment programme i’m now officially convalescing. getting strong, being well. not waiting for the second shoe to drop. i’ve still not been sent the dates for my 3-week stay at the convalescence place (really, isn’t this health system something?), but the standard would be to have 4 weeks at home before going there. so i need to make a bit of a plan for myself.
got up this morning and made a list. mostly just little things: people to get in touch with, little jobs to do. and the morning has just disappeared—a few phone calls, a bit of inbox clearning, a bit of Dawanda-ing. need to make sure i don’t fritter away the whole time.important for physical convalescence:
still have hospital brain, so am finding it hard to concentrate/think logically/do maths. and this is just a brain dump too. but i guess things will take shape organically. one step at a time.
today’s reloans went to Ghana, Cambodia and Tajikistan. to fund a porridge stall, a CD shop, and a sewing machine respectively. porridge around the world.
I’m guessing it will be a bit of an anticlimax. No certificate, no trumpets, no champagne. Though my friend deb has bought me an origami medal, so i can award myself that. And then i can ceremoniously rub off the blue pen crosses i’ve been wearing for months and rejoin the ranks of the people-who-bath.
And then i need to make lots of lovely plans for the next few weeks. Get an appt with the kieser doc and start slooooowly back with strength training. Walk every day. Would it maybe be worth joining a gym for a month, i wonder? Not allowed in chlorinated water for a little while yet… Definitely feel the need for some structure so i don’t fall into any black holes.
And maybe treat self to a massge or sth. My feet are so dry they are almost falling off. Pampering is what i need. Hmmm.
Discharged from hospital today. Just two treatments to go and then i’ll be finished with this load of therapy and ready to move on to convalescence proper. Is this when the psychological bombshell will hit me, i wonder?
Three months tomorrow since my operation. Thank you thank you thank you for the wonderful german health service.
Everything has changed, everything stays the same.
It was a strange old summer.
I dont really care which. It would just be so brilliant to be back in the revolutionary trousers. This is definitely a doable goal and will mean even (much, much) more than the last few times.
Maybe i can get a team of lovely ladies to do it with me for a good cause. But sachte, sachte, one step at a time…
i’m not planning on freelancing any more. have had enough of sitting at my desk staring at a computer to last me a lifetime. still have my part-time job at the institute—in fact, i’m now up to 75% there (not that i’m working at the moment). so i’ve been considering changing my office into a hobby room. or maybe a life room. somewhere to put my sewing machine, my keyboard, my art supplies … all the stuff that is currently hidden under the sofa/on top of the wardrobe, or that’s just chaotically all over the place.
if i were going to do that properly, of course, i’d have to clear my bookshelves and cabinets of work-related stuff i don’t intend to be using again. and what if i change my mind? but what if my resolve crumbles and i end up back in the unhealthy place i was before???
tabula rasa or half-hearted re-functioning?? my recurrent problem is that i’m never quite sure where i want to be going. guess i’m not the only one there. but, tbh, i’d only need to re-clear the desk if there were ever a job that i really wanted to do. and there are a couple i’m going to have to do, because they’ve been paid for already.
am back in hospital for a week or so starting tomorrow, so it’s not as if any immediate action is needed. but de-working this room would be a good project for when i get out. hmmm. sth to think about.
but i can cheer! this was the top of our road at 9:20 this morning—an international sea of runners at the Berlin Marathon. i love it!
have been away for a while with some pretty heavy-duty medical stuff going on, but i’m doing fine. in fact, i’ve been astonishing myself on a daily basis, both psychologically and physically. i’m so lucky and grateful to have brilliant medical care here, not to mention the best ever friends and family. couldn’t wish for more.
have been missing 43t, but spending as little time as possible on the computer, mainly to stop myself going off on pathological google rampages. but now the end of my treatment is in sight, and then i’ll be convalescing for the rest of the year, pretty much. so it’s a good time to make plans/gradually start thinking what i want to be doing. which is definitely not working/sitting in front of the computer for a zillion hours a day like before.
apologies for being such a bad correspondent, especially to those lovely people among you who’ve been in touch personally!
i’ve made a conscious decision not to talk (much) about illness-related things here, mainly because i’d rather have a place apart to focus on the rest of life. and, truly, you probably don’t want to get me started on jugular catheterisation ;).
anyway, have missed you all and this place and am looking forward to being back! xxx
is all very well. rationally i know this is a very minor operation. still i’m shitting myself. do i take my living will with me? should i have written one of the other sort? who do i need to tell i want The Rainbow Connection by Kermit the Frog played at my funeral?
am really not a drama queen. just scared.
for your good wishes. very much appreciated. am at the hospital still waiting to see the anaesthetist (have only been here 3.5 hours, grrr). have been enjoying the waiting time by reading Patti Smith on my kindle, taking part in a study, having a late breakfast at the caff and … LOCKING MYSELF IN THE DISABLED TOILET.
yes, indeed, one old lady stuck in the lavatory.
luckily, a nice man with a toolbox came and let me out ptretty damn quick.
that happened to me once before, on a train. it was the disabled toilet then, too. i thought i was going to have to climb out the window and crawl along the top of the train like James Bond. luckily, alb heard me shouting for help and was able to rescue me from the outside.
guess i had better stop using disabled loos.
without going into too much detail, have a minor gynae op coming up on friday and will be so grateful for any support and healing vibes you can send me. they’re keeping me in hospital for a day or two afterwards but (having spent an unexpected 3 days there last week) i know what’s awaiting me there and that the people (staff and patients) are lovely. have never had a general anaesthetic before, but it’s only a short one … have an appointment with the anaesthetist tomorrow morning so will find out more then.
the crap thing (well, another crap thing) is that we were supposed to be in Dorset now, but had to cancel at the last minute. hoping we’ll be able to go in autumn instead.
got home to find a FB friend request from T, who i sponsored via Plan from 2003-ish to 2009-ish, when she turned 18. i don’t fecking believe it!!! she’s now working in south africa.
that is so so so amazing.