one day at a time


© Verena Fischer 2013

Berlin | © Verena Fischer 2013

Taken at Alexanderplatz S-Bahn station.

© Verena Fischer 2013

Berlin | © Verena Fischer 2013

On the train these girls were holding onto each other. I couldn’t quite figure out whether one of them was actually holding on to a pole or not.

© Verena Fischer 2013

Berlin | © Verena Fischer 2013

A completely normal Hauptbahnhof scene.

All pictures taken with my Olympus Pen E-PL3 and my M.Zuiko 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 on Thursday 25th of April. I went to the main station to meet my dad there and used the opportunity to take some pictures.

Today they let me out of the hospital after my surgery on Friday. I’m doing surprisingly well considering that I had surgery only 3 days ago. Of course I still have a little bit of pain, but I’m doing fine without painkillers and everything else seems ok too. Turns out that it was what they suspected. This means I have another chronic disease, but at least I now know where the pain comes from. It might also mean that it might get better now after the surgery, but it’s something only time can tell. Only after the acute pain from the surgery subsides can I tell how much residual pain there is left.

I’m so glad that I’m home again. Being in a hospital always means submitting to other people’s schedules. They woke me up at 6am, kicked me out of bed at 7.30, forced me to eat at 8 am – and yes I mean *forced*, since one of the nurses came across more like a drill sergeant – and before 10 am the doctors would come by to have a look, of course with cold instruments and nonsensical comments and facial expressions regarding the general progress of things. What an odd culture! I felt oddly reminded of Thomas Mann’s Magic Mountain. The day went on with lunch at 12, 6 pm dinner, evening thrombosis jab at 8 pm and by 11 it was already time to sleep.

If the orchestrated time table wasn’t bad enough, eating according to a schedule is hell for me anyway. Mostly I don’t feel like eating in the morning and I don’t appreciate being told to “eat some more” by a nurse either. There are reasons as to when, what and how much I eat and I don’t like to have explain myself to anyone there. On top of things in Germany lunch and dinner get swapped: Lunch is the bigger meal, and for dinner there are just some slices of bread. I usually skip breakfast altogether, have a big lunch with eggs, cheese, fruit and yogurt around 12 and have a proper dinner around 9pm with various snacks in between. Completely different from what they made me do.

My diet also doesn’t involve bread, not even gluten-free bread, but I have to admit that in the hospital I ate some things I wasn’t supposed to, just because I wanted to get enough energy to get out of there as quickly as possible. This meant carbs, and most carbs are forbidden on my diet for good reasons and all allowed carbs, namely fruit, I wasn’t supposed to eat after the surgery, because it would have given me pain. I was prepared to deal with the gut fallout from going against my diet, but interestingly none of that happened. Surprisingly enough I was actually fine even with some hospital food in between. I think this is a good sign that gradually my health is improving.

And did I mention that I’m *not* a morning person? Drill sergeant nurse at 7am is more than I can bear. Oh, and what about that nice old lady in the next bed who snored like a choking bear? Sleep apnea deluxe! Several times during those nights, when sleep was eluding me for obvious reasons, I wondered whether she was actually still alive. At least we had some interesting conversations. She was actually in Berlin during the Second World War and told me about how her dad was arrested by the police for doubting the war effort – he managed to talk himself out of the trouble he was in – and how the Russians took the city. I was really surprised that despite all the looting and raping they were actually nice to the children and gave them sweets just like the Americans. These days you hardly have a chance to get a first-hand experience from the war anymore, because it’s been so long ago now. Very interesting indeed!

Well, all of this has worn me out and I’m hopefully going to sleep like a baby tonight. All is well and things are looking up for a change. Now, fingers crossed that there will be no more chronic pain, although I probably shouldn’t get my hopes up.


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