Wedding rings part II

For 3,5 days I have been wearing Mr Esther’s wedding ring as well as mine as he was in hospital for the removal of his heavily infected gall bladder. At the end of this morning the man came home! We’ve been having gorgeous weather here lately and as he has hardly been outside since last week Wednesday when his stomach pains started, he relished the opportunity to just sit in the sun. I planted him on a chair in our front garden with a cup of tea and a stroopwafel (typical Dutch syrup waffle – yumm); it was warm enough for him to be sitting in a t-shirt (his fave Monty Python one with the “What have the Romans ever done for us” print)…

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… and afterwards he put his own wedding ring back on…

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The scary part is over, this is the perfect sign for me that everything will be alright now! He’s still on painkillers and has very reduced mobility but he’s OK and can finally get some proper rest. Hospitals are fine (and seriously, our hospital is the best with the most empathetic care you could hope for!) but still they are very busy with doctors and nurses at your bed constantly, sharing a room with a stranger (albeit a very nice one), a stream of visitors coming to see you and being subject to hospital schedules which differ from your own. The man hasn’t had a good night’s sleep in a week and is exhausted. Mr Esther is also a bit of a hypochondriac, his over-worked mind and overwrought feelings need a little calming down. Now he’s back home, the wedding ring is back on and he can finally have the peace and quiet to settle down, process what happened and recover.  When he took a little nap after lunch I laid down in bed with him for a little bit and it felt so good to have him beside me again. Welcome home, Mr Esther! ❤️

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… and all is well!

Mr Esther’s gall bladder surgery went well. I know it’s a relatively common procedure and doesn’t take too long but still, I was worried. That was my soul mate they operated on, everything just HAD to go well and luckily it did. 🙂

Mr Esther has never had any gall bladder complaints before until Wednesday evening when the pain started and soon became intense. Turns out it wasn’t just gall stones that were bothering him, his whole gall bladder was completely infected. The surgeon called me after surgery and told me the gall bladder had been ‘close to death’, it’s good that it’s removed now. They want to keep Mr Esther in the hospital for a few days for observation, give him antibiotics and make sure the infection is gone. Hopefully he can come home again after the weekend. They gave us a little pot of gall stones that came out of him…

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… and my goodness, I can’t believe he never had complaints before! He’s still groggy after surgery. We left him an hour and a half ago so that he could sleep a little. Going in to see him again in an hour. Thankfully all is well and all he has to do now is have the patience to recover.

Thank you all for your kind thoughts, support and reassurance!

It ain’t easy…

These days I find myself singing this David Bowie song in my head…

There’s a lot to deal with over here in the Esther-household.

Things with my daughter (I call her Sec here) and her friend (Tem), who has been admitted to a closed institution, have come to a head. As much as my daughter wants to support her friend, it has become impossible for her to do so now. Tem is putting Sec under pressure to do certain things for her (not only during visits but also in phone calls), trying to manipulate her, venting her frustration onto my daughter and it is causing deep depression, anxiety, sleeplessness and even fear for Sec. For my daughter’s own protection we’ve decided (and she has come to that conclusion herself as well) that it is best to break off contact with Tem for a while. Things have become so toxic that, together with a psychologist, this decision was made and Sec has felt lighter and somewhat relieved because of it since. We always knew the friendship was close but had its problems (hence us separating them in school a few years ago) but it is only now surfacing how deep those problems have become and how much Sec has slowly slipped into a role of suffering friend doing everything for her friend but getting very little in return. There is of course much more to all of this than I wish to write about here, but suffice it to say we have been very worried for Sec. Now, things do seem to be looking up a little for her, so that is good. Still to be continued, though…

And then the next thing: a week ago we were hearing on the news that in my hometown a woman on a bike  had been killed in an accident when a truck didn’t see her and drove over her. Horrifying news and then last weekend, while I was having a lovely weekend away with Suzy in Germany, I was contacted by an ex-colleague who told me the woman who had been killed was the former cleaning lady we used to have at the office! This wasn’t just any cleaning lady, she was the most lovely, cheerful, warm person you could ever wish to meet. I used to organize movie nights and she’d be there (she was working for a cleaning company, not for us, but she was so dear to many of us, I just invited her along every time), at company parties she was always helpful and friendly and full of mischief and laughter. I can still see her wide smile in my mind’s eye. She even insisted on babysitting my kids once and, even though it was only once some 6 or 7 years ago, the kids still remember her and the games she played with them. I last saw her about two years ago during a dinner… I just can’t believe that she was ripped out of her life in such a horrifying way. I understand her family has taken her body to Morocco so she can be buried there. Rest in peace, dear Hassana.  “Inna Lillaahi Wa Inna Ilayhi Raji’oun” (“We surely belong to Allah and to Him we shall return”).

On top of all this, two evenings ago Mr Esther started getting stomach cramps. It got really bad at night, so we went to see a doctor on night duty. Mr Esther was given tests and painkillers and they think it may be gallstones. We were sent home again, with pain sort of managed and were told to make an appointment in the hospital for a scan of his stomach. The pain has not subsided and the meds are turning out to not be doing enough, so this morning I called the doctor again. We now have a low dose of morphine for him. In less than two hours we have that hospital appointment. Going by in how much pain the poor man is, I fear they may even want to keep him there in hospital… we’ll see.

Sorry for the quick brain drain here. Stuff on this blog tends to be escapist and happy-ish but sometimes real life needs to be acknowledged here too. I know that this too shall all pass but as I already said, it ain’t easy this week. In the meantime, I’m posting kittens here to cheer me up…

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(To anyone else having a bad week: I got that picture from here:    https://metro.co.uk/2017/07/10/23-cute-kittens-to-get-you-through-a-tough-week-6760550/)

Düsseldorf and Gasometer

So, this past weekend I went to see Suzy from the Silverbluelining blog. We e-mail and text occasionally, we’ve seen each other a few times, she’s been to my house (Suzy, I just checked it was two years ago!) and this time I went to visit her. I travelled by train to visit her, which was only a little over 2 hours – not bad! It was beautiful setting off on Saturday morning…

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… and a few hours later Suzy met me off the train in Düsseldorf. We walked around the city for a while, did a little shopping, had some Käsekuchen (yumm!) with our tea and coffee, did some sightseeing including going up the Fernsehturm (the TV tower) and had a late lunch at a Lebanese restaurant which was delicious. Here some images of Düsseldorf (click to enlarge)…

Late in the afternoon we went on to Suzy’s house, which is not far from Düsseldorf. She has two adorable pet rabbits hopping in her back garden!

In the evening we went to the cinema to see A Star is Born (not dubbed in German but shown in English, yess!) with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. Those two together, especially on stage, had great chemistry together.

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The movie is tragic (if you’ve seen the older versions you may know that) and is even better than I ever expected it to be. Everyone’s on about Lady Gaga, and she really was good in this, but Bradley Cooper really knocked this one out of the park! From the trailer you could think that this is a lovely romantic, uplifting movie, but really it isn’t like that… it’s a tragedy.

When the movie finished, everything was deadly quiet in the cinema for a little bit before everyone started getting up. I think Suzy and I weren’t the only ones swallowing away lumps in throats and wiping away tears…

After sleeping in on Sunday we went to the “Gasometer” in Oberhausen to see the exhibition “Der Berg Ruft” (“The Call of the Mountain”). The Gasometer is an old storage center for gas which is now used for exhibitions.

The exhibition was all about mountains, the charm and adventure, the nature, the people climbing them and living near them and the animals. The photo prints were huge and absolutely gorgeous! We took lots of pictures but could easily have taken more.

There were gorgeous pictures of mountains (seriously, click on the images to enlarge!)…

… and here’s Suzy (on the right) looking at one of the beautiful mountain photos…

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Photos of mountain nature…

… and I am always most fascinated by people. So many beautiful images and portraits!

The exhbition of photographs was set up on two floors in the round. On the third floor they had this sculpture of the Matterhorn mountain (between Switzerland and Italy) hanging upside down, suspended from the ceiling, like this (not my picture)…

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You could sit or lie down on the stairs surrounding it and slowly see different lightshows light up the mountain…

There was a large mirror underneath it where you could see the reflection of the top of the mountain. Here are Suzy (on the right) and I (on the left) taking pictures of ourselves and the mountain reflected in the mirror.

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We also went out to the top of the Gasometer to take a look at the view…

… then headed back to Suzy’s house for a home cooked meal followed by a lovely walk in the woods not far from her house.

I also got to meet Suzy’s two grown up sons – it was nice meeting the handsome young men behind the stories. And I even got to pet her younger son’s pet gecko!

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At the beginning of Sunday evening Suzy accompanied me back to Düsseldorf where I boarded a train back home again.

A nice little tidbit: see what both Suzy and I have on our handbags!

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Guylty’s RA pins are a standard feature on each of our bags and a lovely little reminder of the reason why we met in the first place: Richard Armitage! While he is the reason for us meeting and while he was discussed a little, most of our talking was about many many other things. It was really fun to catch up with each other like that, it was a lovely weekend.

Ganz lieben ❤️lichen Dank für das wunderschöne Wochende, Suzy!