Tuesday, November 25, 2008

German names

So it is my opinion that a much higher proportion of German surnames are common words than in English. Perhaps its only because I am quite conscious of German vocab in a way you never are in your native language, but I find it quite amusing.

Here are some examples:
Spiegel - mirror
Stamm - trunk
Heller - lighter
Berg - mountain
Bär - bear
spät - late
Haut - skin
Jahr - year
Reich - rich
Esser - eater
plus all the 'normal' ones like middle-age occupations and colours

But, what I find really cool is that when they are telling someone their last name to make it clear what it is/how to spell it they match it with the opposite. It saves so much time...
So you would say your name as:
Heller wie Dunkler - lighter like darker
Reich wie Arm - rich like poor
White wie Black...


Sunday, November 02, 2008

Do you love my insides? The parts you can't see?

*** overshare warning & long post warning***

So a few weeks ago the doctor decided that I needed to have a colonoscopy. Apparently there are a few doctors in the area that do them but my doctor recommended that I go the local hospital to get it done because they have anaesthesiologists - not just one doctor who is too busy up one end and doesn't notice that you have gone too deeply to sleep (Doctor's explanation)

So I got an introduction appointment for the hospital for a Monday, and assumed that it would then take a while to get the actual appointment, but they wanted to do it that week. The only problem was that Brush was heading OS on the Thursday which was the day they were suggesting. As it is only quick kind of procedure (I have had one before) where you don't have to stay overnight I got an appointment for the Wednesday.

So they gave me a list of very clear instructions about what I was/was not allowed to eat, and when, in the days leading up to the procedure and bunch of tablets and sachets of powdered that I had to dissolve in 3 litres of water that I take to take starting at 4pm on Tuesday. Since the instructions included a very clear instruction to have an easily available toilet I headed home early on the Tuesday so that I could take everything.

Everything was fine (no extreme reactions) until I was near the end of my first litre when the very fake vanilla flavour of the liquid was just too much - so without warning, sitting on a giant floor cushion in the lounge room I chucked. Luckily I managed to only chuck on myself (floor cushion and favourite rug were fine) and my woollen jumper soaked everything up. After a while I decided that I needed to be disciplined and drink more - with an even more enthusiastic reaction this time.. but I was prepared enough that I was at the kitchen sink.

I think this was the first time Brush had seen me vomit and I must say he was great. No freak out, did the obligatory hair holding and didn't laugh at me too much about having chucked on myself. Don't get me wrong - he did laugh, but it was very funny

So the next morning Brett dropped me off at the hospital with the arrangement that I would call him to pick me up when I was done.

After I was signed in and had a shunt inserted in my hand I had to go wait in a room (with two older patients who were not just there for the day) and drink more liquid. After the previous night I was really apprehensive about this but it was always going to be part of the programme. I was told that I would have to drink 1-2 litres depending on how I was going.

So a nurse brings me in an old giant saucepan full of the liquid and a small glass with the instruction that I scull a glassful every five minutes and that after I went to the bathroom I had to show them how I was going, and then she left.

I just stared after her...

After a few minutes another nurse came in... 'Excuse me? I think that other nurse said that I had to show her what I do in the bathroom... What does that mean?'
'After you do your business ring the bell and we will come look'


Well, after a few hours and almost 4 litres of liquid - which I very bravely kept down, they finally decided I was ready and I had to change into the backless gown and a nappy thing... The embarrassment continues...

So eventually I wake up not back in my room but in the nurses’ station where I am informed everything went well, nothing was found except that maybe I have a small intestine infection, but that they took some samples (10-12) just to make sure, and that my blood pressure was quite low but not to worry, just to lay there and it would get better.

After a long while I decided that I was better and that I was fine to go home. So I called Brett to come pick me up and I got dressed. The only thing left to do was pick up my results (which included colour pictures) from the nurses station and have the shunt removed. So while I am sitting in the nurses’ station they pulled the shunt out... and the world started to spin and go dark...

Just then Brush called to say he was there and ask where to meet. I managed, I thought, quite calmly to tell him to come to the ward to meet me. Apparently though I sounded awful and he got a bit worried.

So while the doctors were seeing to me, putting me in a wheelchair to get me back to the room Brett called again to ask where exactly I was. I had no idea - I had been wheeled around all day by large orderlies so a doctor had to give me directions to give to Brett. He arrived at me room just in time to hear the doctor saying that I had to stay in overnight so that they could observe me and work out whether something serious was wrong.

Problem. Brett was flying out the next morning early.

After going home to get things that I needed to stay in overnight and many phone calls to the travel agent and his boss he ended up delaying his flight by a day.

After seeing the doctors a few times in the morning (and more embarrassing experiences of having to have my business inspected) I was allowed to go home

So after my first experience eof German hospitals I can say that the staff are lovely, but the food is not. Especially for a vegetarian... I can also proudly say that the entire experience (except my conversations with Brush of course) was in German.

So I finally have all my results back and the whole adventure found nothing. Though a bad colonoscopy and good results are definitely preferred to a good colonoscopy and bad results... Now I just have to keep a food diary and document how I feel to see if I have an allergy that would explain the small intestine

Hopefully that will also turn out to be nothing…


PS - bonus points if you know where the quote in the title is from... and more bonus points if you can complete it :)