Tuesday, October 18, 2011

First trip to the Emergency Room

Little did i know that when i woke up on Sunday morning after our trip to the Matterhorn, I would be feeling so much worse. One of my worst fears of being over seas is having to go to the doctor or emergency room. It's just scary. You don't feel at home, there is a language barrier, things are lost in translation, etc. But by the afternoon my back was hurting so bad that I couldn't sit, stand, or lay. We realized it was time to go to the E.R. My sweet husband called our friends to find out a hospital that they could recommend. Even though they had company in town they ran over and picked us up which was so nice. If we would have had to walk to the bus stops and take the bus, David probably would have had to carry me so it was so nice of them to come and get us. I'm sitting in their car crying and miserable in front of people i had just met the day before but everyone was so nice. I felt like a big baby for falling to pieces in front of people i didn't know, but they were all so sympathetic and it wasn't like I could help it. The pain in my back was the worst pain I have ever been in.

We got to the E.R. and checked in with Reception. The receptionist was very nice and he spoke some English which helped. The whole process seemed like it took forever, but i think in reality it maybe only took 15 to 20 minutes. When
i'm in pain things tend to get on my nerves really easily. So i'm sitting there not able to get comfortable and i focus my attention on my husbands shirt!! If you know me at all you know i'm a neat freak!! Well, bless his heart, he was trying to get me out of the house so fast he had a little bit of dog hair on his shirt and i'm sitting there rocking back and forth in pain and trying to pick the dog hair off of his shirt. I think i was trying to focus my attention on something else but then he starts laughing . I'm trying to figure out why he is laughing this is my nightmare coming true?! He says" Are you seriously in the hospital and picking dog hair off of me?"....why "yes, yes i am." Ummm......does that mean i'm totally OCD, i guess so. I didn't even realize I was doing it.

Anyway, they call me back and we explain to the doctor, who spoke pretty good English, what was going on. They brought in a nurse who did not speak English to take some blood. I have been cursed with the smallest veins on the planet. So when people have to get blood it's the worst. I'm always stuck multiple times and my veins are always blown. It's never a fun experience. I told the doctor they needed to use a butterfly needle or they wouldn't get anything from me so she translated that to the nurse. The nurse looked at me and shrugged and proceeded to stick me anyway. I was right and she was wrong. I could feel my vein blowing and her moving the needle around in my arm. She kept
squeezing my arm to get blood out but she couldn't. It wasn't that much fun. She leaves and brings in another nurse who spoke a little English. She brought the butterfly needle and was able to getting everything she needed and then hook me up to some IV's. Communication with her went really smoothly except for the fact that she told me to slow down when i talk because my accent was unlike anything she had learned in school. I mean seriously...don't they teach southern belle drawl in English classes around the world - ha! After they hooked me up to some pain meds, i started feeling better quickly. They decided I had an infection in my kidneys and that hopefully i would be better soon.

I have to say it wasn't that bad of an experience besides the being sick part. You hear about horror stories in doctors offices and ER's all the time, so i really never wanted to experience this in another country. Everyone was nice for the most part and hopefully in the next couple of days i will start feeling better. Everything in Geneve, except some restaurants, are closed on Sundays so we had to wait unitl Monday morning to get my medicine. I have heard that pharmacies rotate some Sunday's to stay open for people in desperate need. However, you never know how far away the pharmacy is and how far you would have to travel to go and get your prescription. Thankfully what they gave me lasted me till the next day except the pain meds, which they gave me a couple to take home. Also, because our fridge/kitchen is so small we go to the grocery almost every day here. Except on Sunday's when it is closed. So when you get sick it makes it hard to find things to eat. I always keep a little stock on hand. It's not like here you can run and pick up fast food except for McDonalds which is what we did on the way home from the hospital on Sunday. Last night it was BLT's complimentary of my hubby. Tonight bless his heart i have no idea haha!! He can make anything but the groceries close at 7 and he isn't usually off work by then so who knows what we will come up with. That is one thing i miss about home is things being open late.

I'm not actually asleep in this picture. I think i was just looking down at the IV. I can't believe i'm actually even posting it where people can see it since i look so terrible. However, this is just life these days :)!

Zermatt and the Matterhorn

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I wanted to write about last weekend while it was still fresh in my mind. Then i plan on back tracking and telling you a little about what the last couple of months have been like for us.

Last Saturday we decided to take a little trip to Zermatt to see the Matterhorn with some friends of ours whose husbands all work with David for the same company here in Geneva. We are all in very different stages of life, but i know we will be life long friends with these other families because of the experiences we will share while living here.

Zermatt is such a pretty little town. It's full of tourists and ski shops. It took us four hours by train to get to Zermatt. I hadn't been feeling well since Wednesday of last week and by Saturday morning I started feeling pretty miserable. I wasn't about to miss out on this trip though, especially since they had already bought our train tickets. So I decided to tough it out and off we went.

The views were amazing from the train. The ride goes along Lake Geneva, through vineyards, and then into the Alps. Once we got to Zermatt we walked around the town, to get the lay of the land, and got our first glimpse of the Matterhorn. Pictures cannot do it justice. After touring the town we decided to go to a restaurant called The Pipe. It was an African fusion restaurant and it was really good. The owner was British (i think) and it was probably the closest thing we have had to American food since we have been in Europe. Pretty funny since it was African fusion.

After we ate, i started feeling even worse. I had a terrible pain right underneath my ribs on both sides of my stomach and radiating to my back. I kept telling my self to "suck it up"!! I really didn't want everyone to leave because of me. Even though I was uncomfortable most of the day, I was glad we didn't leave. Zermatt is such a great town and the views are amazing. At over 5,000 ft in altitude, it provides 360 degree views of some of the worlds tallest and most recognizable peaks.

We found a great place in Zermatt to take pictures of the Matterhorn and put our cameras to work. I could sit there and look at the views all day, but we decided to continue our tour of Zermatt and walked through a cemetery where they buried many of the climbers who tried to climb the Matterhorn and didn't make it. One interesting thing we noticed is that it seemed more people died on the descent than ascent. I guess the way down is just as dangerous as the way up, if not more. Summit-ting the Matterhorn is an extremely difficult feat, even for the most experienced climber.

You can take a train or cable car up to another mountain to get great pictures of the Matterhorn but it was really expensive so the group decided not to go. I think we will try and go back sometime and go up. I was in too much pain to have spent money on it and not enjoy the view. The views where we were sufficed for the time being.

After that, we shopped until our hearts content in all the cute little shops throughout the town. They have tons of ski shops, chocolatiers, and other boutique shops throughout the town. When you think about Switzerland you imagine the little houses and shops being like something right out of the book "Heidi." Zermatt definitely fit that bill. It was the quintessential Swiss Alpine ski village and really gives you the feeling of being in Switzerland. After a great day it was time to head home. We had a long train ride back to Geneva, but thankfully i started feeling better!!

All in all, it was an amazing day. Even though I wasn't feeling well, seeing the Matterhorn is something I'll always remember.

The beginning!!

As soon as we found out we would be moving to Switzerland my friends and family members kept telling me i should start a blog so that everyone could see what our daily lives are like. I'll be honest..i didn't really want to. I'm not great at writing. I'm a pretty private person. Even though I live in the age of Facebook and Twitter i didn't really want everyone knowing everything about my life. I'm not good at being transparent except to close friends and family. Then, someone told me i could take these posts and put them in books like a story or journal. I then realized maybe it wouldn't be such a bad thing to write down our lives and put them in books so that one day our kids and grandchildren could hear about our adventures. I love hearing stories about my grandparents lives, and I hope that one day my children and grandchildren will look at those books, treasure them and learn from them.

So hear I am.....starting this blog!! We will see how it goes. Don't expect anything fancy. It will be an inside glimpse of the craziness that is our lives these days. It will mainly be thoughts and notes about Switzerland, our travels, and the many adjustments to living overseas.

The Real Housewife of Geneve

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