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 22, 2007

Post Surgery - The Heretic gets Hip

Saturday, July 21 -- 3rd post-op day

Morning brought the typical start to the day, but a little extra: With breakfast, I got a full pot of coffee rather then just a cup! For the first time in days, I feel adequately caffed-up.

If y'all don't know about typical German fruhstuck, their normal breakfast consists of a couple of broetchen (known as semmelen in Bavaria), a slice or two of some kind of wurst – think cold cuts – with cheese, and honey or jam with butter. Better than the French equivalent (a bowl of coffee and dry bread) or the Greek ( a cigarette and a cup of coffee). I actually rather enjoy the German b'fast, being a huge honey fan, I am.

Overall, feeling better, not as much pain, though some movements are still distinctly tender and must be undertaken quite carefully. Very tired today though. Learned with some (somewhat surprising) relief that I'd not see the physical therapist today or tomorrow, and felt grateful for the rest. The doc will make it in sometime today, but not on the usual early-morning schedule.

The nurse had to remove my (I've forgotten what to call an in-dwelling IV catheter) from the back of my left hand this morning, it'd stopped working. Another Pfleger came by to try to start one in the right, but it blew out and he had to remove it. They were using the shunt to give me a drip of antibiotics, and I'm taking capsules until they can consult the doc for options. Me, I'm fine taking pills rather than dealing with the tubes.

Somehow or other, the day flew past and it was suddenly lunchtime.

I'd watched some TV (love German TV -- wish I could understand more so I could enjoy the weirdness of it all in the native tongue. I can make out the gist of most spiels, but detail eludes me sometimes, especially if they're talking fast or about technical matters.

There's a Saturday morning show about talk shows (Talk Talk Talk), with a very pneumatic, Barbie-doll hostess who changes outfits and hairstyles for EVERY segment,
and has maybe 10 seconds of dialogue, draped or perched provocatively in front of a flat-screen by means of introducing each segment.

They go so far as to translate foreign shows (Spanish and English anyway) into Deutsch, complete with trying to match the voice to the characters. Very strange.

Some interesting history and culture shows, and a couple of familiar (Canadian or American) shows voiced over in German. I always try to catch the news, and can generally suss out most of what they're talking about.

Anyhow, talked to HW a couple times and she's getting ready to head this way. Probably the last night she'll be able to spend here with me. After tomorrow, they may want to plop in a roommate and I'm going to be thinking einzelzimmer (single-room) thoughts most likely. My insurance pays for a double, and we're paying extra for HW to stay over (50 Euro a night, including 3 meals a day), but if the single's not too horribly expensive, I'd be willing to pay extra for peace and quiet and not having the distraction of a roomie right now.

Unless she were a very cute Czech girl, of course (with a big wave at John in Old Blighty).

HW has to go back to work next week. As an independent contractor, she gets no leave or bennies and a week out of the shop is a week with no pay.

I'm very proud of her work and her progress. We haven't bought Euros in several weeks, due to her practice on in town on the German side, and she continues to ply her trade on broken and achy bodies on-post as well. As long as the dollar's in the sewage pit (0.71 Euro cent to the dollar last I looked), HW's Euro income is a Damn Good Thing.

Lunch today more than made up for dinner yesterday – Jaegerschnitzel (pork steak with mushroom gravy) and Spaetzle (a sort of noodley dumpling)! Yum.

I'll drop all this on a thumb drive and hand it off the HW to take home with her tomorrow to update the blog, feel free to comment or query, she's got access and will try to keep posts from herself running, too.

One of the surgeon's assistants showed up in his stead, and we chatted a bit about my progress. He changed my nighttime meds, as I'd been having a lot of trouble sleeping, changed my dressings and said all looked good. He decided to leave the butterfly IV out and give me oral antibiotics, something for which I was greatful. The butterfly was annoying at the best of times.

(HW: for the nonsurgical among you, a butterfly is a shunt inserted into a vein in the hand. It looks like it would hurt, and my supersensitive hands winced every time I saw those tubes inserted in the back of my mate's leathery-skinned paw. It beats a new needle every time, but his body simply got tired of it and shut it off. The last nurse got it to work by stroking the vein, which makes sense, as CG can be made to do darn near anything by petting, and absolutely nothing by striking.. his body threw out the butterfly, it threw out the drain, and is currently draining itself very nicely thank you.. I had to use stain remover on a pair of pants he decided to wear, despite bandages, tape etc. I keep telling him he's just getting in touch with his Feminine side, having to wear stockings and bleeding all over the place involuntarily.. )

HW showed up just before dinner and we had good cuddles, then she showed off all the treats she'd brought, fresh peaches, grapes, watermelon chunks ... tasty!

We spent the evening chatting, playing Scrabble (we were 1 and 1, she took the seven-tile game easily and I swept the nine-tile round away), occasionally seeing what weirdness German TV was up to, and nibbling fruity goodies. We took a walk around the station, debated going down to the cafe, but decided it was a bit much, though we might try to go tomorrow afternoon.

(HW: We did, with a dear German friend who visited that afternoon, make it down to the cafe on Sunday. CG did great, we used a prop pillow stolen from the waiting room on a cafe chair. Funny now it's doc's orders that CG takes his usual comfortable long-legged slump)

I was pretty chipper and alert until after 10 pm, unusual for me since the OP, but after I took the new nighttime meds at about 1030, I was out like a light. Slept pretty much like a log, though I did have one weird dream about HW, P!nk (!?) and myself wandering around this little town drinking beer and raising hell.

(HW: Hmm. Must have had to do with me observing MoPed punks putting on helmets and then punching each other, and wondering how much fun it would be to walk up and knock one over without really hitting the helmet... )

Woke up twice, once to crutch to the WC and once to wave at the night nurse peeking in, then suddenly, it was daylight.



Blogger Janet said...

I have to say it all sounds way more civilized than any hospital/surgery I've seen stateside in at least 20 years!
Keep on chooglin', fellow heretic-in-arms; you'll be back on the mat in no time.

4:23 PM  
Blogger edge said...

Yes, they are truly wonderful. I have no problem leaving him to their ministrations, and have faith that they won't let him get away with nearly as much as I do. Go fig.. ;-)

4:51 PM  
Blogger Margo said...

I adore German breakfasts.
I am about to vacation with family and have planned an un-German breakfast with French toast casserole and sausage. Still, it's nice and fattening and bready so it's not that far from those delectable rolls and wurst.

8:25 PM  

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