Arx Hereticus

Welcome to the ramblings of a merry heretic, an ex-pat (Tex-pat?) American living in Maryland after having spent six years in Germany. Arx Hereticus is part travelogue, part cooking, part budo, part socio-political commentary and mostly just me BSing.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Friday, July 27

-- 9th post-op day

Slept well last night, mostly pain-free, woke a couple of times, but fell back asleep fairly promptly. Awoke about 5:30 to begin the morning grind. Nothing new today, but anticipating packing for the rehab center! After doc (who was pleased with yesterday's x-rays) wash-up, breakfast, PT and changing clothes, started organizing papers and books, and will start the packing process sometime today.

I plan a fairly leisurely day, with lots of lying about, and a celebratory eiscafe this afternoon.

HW will be down tomorrow sometime after I get moved with fresh clothes and supplies, and I hope to get a day-pass to get out of the clinic area for a while.

Barbarians is an amazing book. It's a look at the Roman Empire from the outside, and is extremely interesting and telling.

Randomness ...

Tornadoes: Not the whirlwind kind, but the German Luftwaffe kind. Most mornings are punctuated by several whooshing passes of the fighter jets as they fly sorties in support of NATO training ongoing at Hohenfels, for which we are apparently right under the flight path. One of the pilots got a little jiggy the other day and apparently pushed a little hard and we actually got a sonic boom. Kind of cool, if a bit unsettling for some of the older folks here.

Kuwaitis: There's apparently a fairly well-to-do Kuwaiti patient here, with quite an entourage of family and associates. His personal translator and assistant speaks excellent English and as soon as he found out I was American, he began saluting me when we passed in the hallway or on the terrase, and he somehow learned my name, Good MORNING, Mr. Gordon with a crisp, parade-field salute.

*HW isn't sure why this kinda freaks her out... *

Roomie had been out for a turn around the station when he came back in a rush (as rushed as a man on crutches with a fresh knee surgery can rush) with news: He'd found a patient lounge with a coffee machine! For .30 Euro, apiece, we got decent (instant) cappuccino and had a nice sit and chat in the airy, sunny lounge. It's right down the damn hall. Why the hell doesn't the staff let people know about it?

Blurf. Ah well, all reports say the rehab center has a great little cafe-like coffee bar.

Had a great mushroom ragout for lunch, and supper (which came at 4:30 pm!), once again was ... fishy. However, I'd splurged at about 3 pm and had both an eiscafe AND, American friends, brace yourselves ... a beer! My first since coming into the hospital.

It's pretty much accepted here that you'll have a glass or two of beer or wine if you want and no one gives a shrug. I could have had beer all along, but decided to pass on the alcohol to allow for any meds or other side affects (not to mention the possibility of even greater instability on crutches). However, today, being Friday and being my last day here, I celebrated.

HW promises a nice bottle of wine for us to split this weekend and a mini-bottle of good Single Malt for a treat. Mmmmm!

*HW brought a Sommeracher Katzenkopf, which unfortunately turned out to be a halb-trocken. I also got myself some incredible Italian Chardonnays, which I have gotten a bit mad about. I save them for special occasions, as I could literally drink the stuff 'til I fell over. Except that it goes so well with food, like the coconut curry pork I made Friday for my return today, Sunday. Yes, I'm a planner. I knew I'd be unhappy returning without CG so I made dinner and the bed... a poor substitute but a comfort nonetheless.*

Roomie's wife is visiting, and she MUST love him, she brought him beer.

I've got to get packed up this evening, sort out dirties, etc. Someone from the rehab center will be around before 9 am tomorrow to fetch me. I figure the morning will be taken up with orientation, and HW should be here sometime around or just after lunchtime.

I'm moving pretty good, though I have a slight 'muskelkater' (lit: muscle hangover) from the increased pulleyforme exercises. I can actually stand and take a careful step or two without the crutches (shh, don't tell the staff ... they're aghast that I prefer flipflops to tennies and dare to stand and walk around barefoot on occasion), however, I keep it to a bare minimum and only when I'm sure I can reach out and grab support quickly.

I've figured out how to bend over to pick something up from the floor without compromising the new hip (which isn't supposed to bend very much for a while). Basically, I stretch the bad leg out behind, lean on a sturdy support like a non-skid table (crutches work, too) and use my good leg to do the bending.

And having arms like an orangutan helps.

*HW: you should have seen him hanging off the overhanging handle of the hospital bed scratching his armpits and going "ook" I thought I was going to fall off my own hospital bed laughing. That was in between getting so confused with the various controls and levers that I variously impersonated a sandwich, a mudslide, and some unfortunate airplane landings.*

After supper (weird fish salad thingie, thank the gods for beer), roomie (Hr. Bail) and I took a walk over to the rehab center and he gave me a tour. He'd spent a few weeks there a couple years ago getting a shoulder fixed up.

Very nice digs. Very quiet, too, not nearly as bustle-full as the hospital part.

*HW: the rehab apts just exude serenity and restfulness. And the area is almost 10 degrees warmer than the bloody dripping, chilly GTA area- from 21C to 15 in an hour's drive. Brrr. Raining in sharp brittle bursts here, cold and uncompromising. Bleah. *

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