But is a rest as good as a change?
Expats, by definition, are used to a lot of change. But has anyone ever found the changes involved in moving overseas restful? Erm…I doubt it!
But I am a person who likes change; I love going to new places, trying new things, meeting new people. The girls’ trip I went in to Rome a few weeks back was as rejuvenating as a rest…despite the fact that it took me most of the following week to catch up on sleep! If I get my act together, I’ll be posting a travel blog on Rome later this week…
Right now, however, I am in rest mode. Last week I wrote about my impending surgery to fix my ‘wee’ problem that I was terrified of (yes, I know, these Monday Minutes are a bit ‘all about me’ at the moment, sorry…that will change next week but right now my brain isn’t working all that well!).
Well firstly I wanted to say thank you for all the kind comments and positivity, which really did help steel my nerves. And if it made anyone think they should get help then that’s even better – my operation was successful (although time will tell…I’m not quite up to trampolining yet) and I would say go for it.
Being in hospital is never pleasant, but I felt fortunate to be there for elective rather than emergency surgery. And guess what? I wasn’t brave at all. I was SO nervous and I was tipped over the edge by a surly receptionist and cried all the way to theatre. I will be eternally grateful to the anaesthetist – when I felt myself going under I looked up at him and said, ‘Please take care of me’ to which he replied, ‘We are your guardians here and won’t let anything bad happen to you’. I loved him for that. Not a bad thing to hear as you drift into unconsciousness.
So now I am having to rest and heal. No exercise for six weeks, no lifting. Gah. I’m not very good at being still…physically or mentally.
Will the rest be as good as a change? Well I’m hoping so. I’m definitely following the doctor’s orders (I want the op to work…I REALLY don’t want to have to go back in!) and I’m going to try to make the most of it. Because it might do me some good. To have to stay in one place and actually look after myself. When do we ever do that? That’s right, only when we are sick or have just had surgery!
It was also interesting to have my first experience of surgery in a different country, and one where I do not speak the language. I was at a small hospital in the countryside…the big local hospital was too busy. Less of the staff spoke English, but they were all very kind (except the receptionist….grrrrr). I had made sure I knew the word for ‘pain’ and ‘scared’ (the latter was pretty easy to deduce from the tears and the convulsive shaking!). I managed to get a room with just two beds (a bargain at €35 a night and worth every penny) and the best thing that happened to me was getting a fantastic roommate who was lovely, funny and was happy to have the chance to practise her English. Honestly, that in itself was as good as any medicine.
In the rooms, there are no curtains around the beds for privacy which struck me as a bit odd. But this shows a real cultural difference – my roomie couldn’t understand why we had those curtains in the UK! The attitude to pain relief is also pretty different; definitely a ‘less is more’ approach. The ward was understaffed, the nurses were very kind and the food was pretty gross. So pretty much similar there to the U.K.
Before we could be discharged we had to get checked by the doctor. I just thought he would come to us…clearly a miscommunication. We had to walk to the gynaecology department. Which was a good 5 minute walk with two flights of stairs. It makes me laugh now, but why on earth did I not think to put some normal clothes on?! Or at least pjs? But no, there I went in my granny-style nightie (easy access) complete with surgical stockings, a cardigan (to add to the granny look), and my hair looking like something from the great unwashed (I hadn’t figured out how to wash it without taking off the stockings…and there is only so much dry shampoo can do). But we hobbled down there together, drains in hand. And when we got there, the final hurdle was the two very low, very hard plastic chairs we had to lower ourselves onto. The final torture. Made worse by the fact I couldn’t stop laughing at the ridiculousness of it all…I had sat there three days earlier in my smart new coat with my hair done nicely (figuring the better I looked the less nervous I would feel) and now I looked like I had escaped from an old people’s home. So we sat waiting, and a few women in civilian dress, notes in hand, walked past us, not wanting to look, as they headed to the waiting room. I whispered to my roomie… ‘I reckon he wants us to sit out here so that they can all see us – we’re clearly poster girls for this operation’. Ha! Cue more pained laughter.
Is laughter the best medicine? (blimey, this blog is chock full of clichés!) Well, possibly not directly after gynae surgery when the desire to laugh is balance by the fear you’re going to burst your stitches. But definitely having an ally on the ward helped.
So I’m going to sign this post off now because I am most definitely rambling. Can you tell I haven’t had much social contact this weekend?! So enough of the rambling and back to the resting. And I’ll let you know if it’s as good as a change.