Autumn again… well almost

It’s not really autumn here yet, even though you might think so seeing all shop windows full of coats and knitted sweaters… Now we are back down to a more agreeable 31 degrees, but still not really autumn..

There was a summer… on paper at least there was one. I didn’t participate much in it. Although on paper it looks awesome!

I had my first ever cover of a magazine. A 10 pages article, written about me, some horses and some wine. Did lean a little bit towards my survival skills and only slightly about the cancer and coma…

I sang on stage in front of 20.000 people together with legend Jakob Hellman! Malmöfestivalen rocked!!!!

Me and Dan were in a book called Hip Wines Mallorca! An amazing book about the place we love (Mallorca) and our super hobby (wine)!

I saw Coldplay live in Glasgow! Incredible, was also lucky enough to see both Nina Nesbitt and London Grammar as the opening acts!

We managed to do a whole little Sweden tour visiting friends both on the west coast (Särö and Smögen) and have a crayfish party at Joibo together with my sister and her wonderful animals!

I spent a good 17 days behind bars (or on a different wards) because of the nasty accident in June. A lot of people have told me I should write a book. I think a book I could write is a guide book of hospitals around the world… the worst vs the best… treatments, doctors, nurses and more importantly the beds and the food!

Now I find myself, still clad in my stomach brace as the hematoma won’t go away, at an A&E in Palma, for the umpteenth time..

So what’s happening now one might ask oneself? I have on top of my triage friendly outings developed a Baker’s cyst. What is that? You might ask yourself as I did… it’s a cyst connected to the meniscus filled with fluid. It sits proudly behind my right knee. It could be pain free. Unfortunately for me it’s not.

I noticed a lump at the back of my right knee. I was worried it had something to do with the reconstruction of my cruciate ligament, but I had it looked at by my Osteopat who told me it was a Baker’s cyst. It has nothing to do with baked goods, rather a doctor who’s surname was Baker.

It started being a little uncomfortable straightening the leg. A little more pain as I walked on it. After starting back giving a few lessons and walking around more it was more noticeable after I sat down or was still for too long. Today the pain increased to a level where I cannot walk downstairs. Walking up is not a problem, nor is getting on a horse, and low and behold, nor is riding!!! I have zero pain riding! There is a little less power in that leg, but otherwise A OK!

Anyway, as luck has it I took 2 of my kids to cross fit and as was sat drinking a protein shake whilst dreaming about lifting weights or swinging myself from the rings pulling up into a straight T, the knee made itself really known. I just turned it a little bit and I nearly fainted.

So here I am. Waiting to see a doctor. The will hopefully give me something for the pain. There isn’t much one can do about the cyst if one is to trust dr Google. Hopefully there is something we can do so we can start celebrating our wine that will be blessed by the priests on Thursday, and Dan who is having a birthday and we will start to celebrate him for a week!

There are so many bad things happening in the world so we have to celebrate even the smallest wins!

Keep smiling 🙂 soon autumn actually will be here and wearing a stomach brace will feel like an accessory!

To be or not to be

We made it! After spending almost 5 days in Italy, 4 of them in hospital, I came to the sensible decision not to continue said “holiday” but instead flying in a helping hand from Mallorca. It was my sister in law Bitte that kindly offered to fly out to help! I don’t know if maybe Bitte first thought she might be able to relax in Riva del Garda as the visiting hours in the hospital were so few and far in-between? I really don’t expect her to have signed up for the real killing me softly saga…

Dan and Bitte had been talking on the phone, discussing different options, every different possibility of me staying in hospital in Italy or going further with Dan and the girls. Bitte had booked a flight that would get her to Lasize (the new hotel where the girls and Dan now stayed at) for about 4pm on Saturday afternoon. The doctors had already cleared me to fly on the Sunday, they just didn’t know where I would be flying.

In my head I had already researched hospitals close to where we were going to stay, for me it was more important I would continue the journey, as I was bedridden and not allowed to do anything I thought I might just do that close to my family. It wasn’t until Dan on the Friday night visit at the hospital in Arco pointed out that we didn’t know where we were going, had no idea about closeness to bathroom and comfort of beds… all true. It’s just my “get on and do it” persona that takes over and silences all the other voices in my head.

That was Friday evening, the doctors had said I would be free to leave Saturday by 4pm. That coincided with Bitte’s arrival at the hotel so Dan was planning to pick me up a little before 6pm just to get the whole day to run smoothly. The doctors also had said the plastic tube would be removed from my stomach… they had also promised me a “fit to fly” certificate. I had by now started to realize what an upmost numpty I was sounding like when I tried to make excuses for continuing this holiday of hell and pain. We had starting researching new flights home, back to Mallorca, and as I knew then already and even more now, things often go really skewed quickly after one is released from hospital. There were not so many options but there was a morning flight that would get us back to Palma for 11:15. The only drawback was a 5am transfer from the hotel to the airport.

Come Saturday morning the doctors came to check my drainage tube. I had before then not really thought about the drainage or how liquid was being drained from my stomach. I shall tell you now. A big clear plastic tube has been inserted through a slice of my stomach skin, then attached in place through 3 to 5 black stitches… I don’t know how far in she goes (the tube, clearly feminine) but she is sticking out a good 3cm on the front… and I guess her girth is well maybe 2cm… what on earth are they trying to drain from my stomach??? The doctor removed layers of bloody compresses, the heavy sighs made me understand that tube would not come out that day. We had already purchased the return tickets to Mallorca, but by now I said “no problem I can stay here until you safely can remove the drain”, then the doctor said “no no no, no problem”, as long as I made my first stop at a hospital I’m Mallorca when I landed they could take the drainage out.

Fit to fly handwritten consent paper in Italian- check! Tube still sticking out of tummy but covered in great layers of compresses-check!

My last night in Italy was spent at a lovely new hotel with magical view over Lake Garda, we managed to get there just for the most spectacular sun set. I was in my wheelchair enjoying my gluten free and lactose free 7 plates tasting menu… most dishes had to be changed and some disappeared leaving me with a gluten-free bread followed by 3 strange but still nice tasting dishes… as I couldn’t enjoy the local wines by taste I allowed myself to sniff the wines that Dan and Bitte were trying! As one of them actually was better on the nose than in the mouth I was basically the evenings winner… (At least let me think that)

Bitte and I left for the airport at 5am, Dan helped us to roll me down to reception and into waiting transfer. The best thing of traveling so early and also on a Sunday is the lack of traffic. The strange speed limits in Italy that no one seems to follow always make excuses for extravagant accidents. We arrived full on time for Bitte to stroll into terminal and finding the Special assistance crew of Milan! This time we got the 2-for-1-deal! We got the trainee assistance guy with his blonde manager assistance gal, him with a kind and nerdy voice and her with the brightest bluest eyes of any Italian I have ever seen. Bitte got to be part of the whole assistance experience deal, she got to play the very valid part in my minus-valid game. She got to walk through with us through security, walked passed any shopping possibilities and then left at a canteen/coffee shop. We were told not to go anywhere but as they removed my wheelchair when they left I wouldn’t be able to get very far. Bitte then got the behind the scene experience of elevator-bus going back and behind of any gate queueing and ending up at the front of the plane, on the other side, at the door that normally is always shut. Very special! We bid our goodbyes to our special assistances. The young nerd clearly heading towards special assistance guru-dom!

We arrived on time! Not a cloud in the sky. Lovely house sitter picking me up and driving me immediately to Juaneda hospital. It was Sunday, I had called the day before and asked, they had told me, just get in to a&e when you get here and we shall see you straight away!

We got to A&E we were seen but then I was questioned on why I had come in on a Sunday? Why had I flown that morning? Why had I flown to Italy? What was I thinking about bringing them a drain that had been put in me in a different country? Couldn’t I go back there and have it removed? Why had they left it in there? Why why why? Then after the 100 questions they decided to remove the bandage that to me didn’t look too bad today, they then decided to bandage me back up again and send me on my way. Go home take it easy come back tomorrow and see a doctor. Easy words of advice to live by. House sitter (and by now also Emelie-sitter) drove me to pharmacy to get the drugs I needed and then home. Bed be there, pup be there, stay cool.

I managed to get to the bathroom, then I started smelling rather than feeling a trickling of earthy iron smell, looking down on the floor around me there was blood everywhere. It was gushing from under my green PJ shorts that I had managed to wear incognito for the whole Italy to Spain re-coming home journey. It was flowing in ridges, thickly down my right leg. At the same time Mike and Maggie made their exciting discovery of my homecoming! I didn’t want them slipping in my blood or dare I say eat it, I was so shocked about the amount of blood that was flowing from under my compassed and bandaged belly, I could hardly stand up, I was crying trying to get the attention of someone. Bitte and the lovely house sitter came to my rescue. They managed to get me to my bed, cover it with towels and the hospital plastic cover that we had got with us from Italy.

Now begun The Bitte 2.0, the upgrade.

Bitte was born to do it! She was helping me removing soggy bloody bandages, wiping off whatever stuff that was being drained from me all over me. My head was spinning, I was starting to feel cold, we managed to clean me up quite alright. I thought if I only could lie down here for a white it might work out. The spinning of the head didn’t settle. Half conversations with my mum, my sister and Dan, I realized it was best to go back to hospital, but I couldn’t sit up. Time to call the ambulance…

As I was lying in the ambulance a strange thought went through me, think that I know what these look like from the inside pretty good! But I haven’t been inside an ambulance for quite a long time… it totally escaped me that I had had a full hour in an ambulance less than 3 days ago! There was no scent or trail of remembrance when I was there in the Mallorcan ambulance, my Italian crew fading away before my very eyes.

Again the questions. Beating down on me. The why? The how on earth? Followed by some more why’s and how’s? Finally I get it. I’m not special. I’m not gifted. I’m not here fighting for anything that means anything for anyone other than maybe for me? How can I be so immature, selfish and careless? Such an imbecile.

They took me back to where this story stared 2 weeks ago. A lifetime ago from today yet so close I can still hear every drop of water being pushed through the sprinkler system as the machinery started it’s nightly doings. Well not exactly where this nightmare begun but they took me back to the first hospital, Son Espases.

It was easier arriving in an ambulance and not trying to explain everything whilst you are in such high pain, not perfect grammatically, trying to talk through pain to explain the happenings of the faithful night. Fine I had had my third talking to of the day regarding the sanity of my lifestyle and life choices. As I was transferred over to a hospital bed from the ambulance stretcher I was rolled into a waiting bay, there was one other lady waiting in the medium size room. This was kind of like a half way house for people arriving to A&E with either police or ambulances. I got to see a doctor young enough to soon be dating one of my daughters! He seamed to be really switched on and as he was fluent in Italian it also helped with my Italian papers. He couldn’t for the life of him understand why the first drainage had been put in and he also couldn’t understand why the Italians also felt the need of draining my massive hematoma. I guess he saw the risks of intervening more than a solution for problems.

In my waiting bay more people arrived. A lady with acute Chrone’s disease, where her pain screams pulsated vividly through us. A man quietly waiting for his turn in a strange wheelchair, a lady that needed some bloods taken and Fransisco. Fransisco was on a first name basis with all the staff, well they all knew his name… he was totally up and over drunk. So inebriated he hardly could speak. I have no idea of other than drunk, what was wrong with him? He started shouting. Asking about his bed and where it was. I was hidden behind a small textile movable wall. Fransisco was doing something to the chair he was sitting in, trying to throw it over, I couldn’t see behind my cover but all of a sudden he jumped up! Fiercely fast for an old drunkard, not gracefully but he threw himself on to another person’s chair to claim it for himself.

As I was on the only bed in the room I started to get worried. I envisioned him trying to take over my bed and for us to have a struggle. In my mind I karate chopped his nasty arse straight back to whatever back street he had climbed out of, but in reality I could see him managing to get hold of my hospital bed and claiming it to be his. Luckily it never had to go that far. On 3 separate occasions he got up and loudly was either looking for a bed, someone to take him in a chair to his bed or, as a desperate half measure, looking for a loo.

I was taken away from the bay of misery just in time to hear him being told off from another set of nurses. I was taken to a mixed ward of endless illness. There doesn’t seem to be any right or reason to anyone that is here. I think we are all just considered as ill. I was rolled into a small umbilical cord like zone. In here there are 4 beds. I’m in one. The other 3 are occupied by male species.

I’m sorry. Gender equality has never talked to me. In a hospital environment even less so. I don’t believe in sharing loos. I don’t believe in telling your doctor your problems with the ease of everyone listening into. A shared problem is not a solved problem, it’s just a problem…

For example when it started leaking again. There was I on my bed not really thinking anything was going to happen as they had seemed a bit noncommittal to let me stay over night for the drain pipe. I was sitting in bed, only slightly half sitting as you do on hospital beds in general when eating the not so fully delicious hospital meals from Son Espases. I only went to lie down again when I noticed something. It was all tacky and a little wet. My entire bed, the drain had drained itself onto the bed, the sheets, my new hospital PJ, the color of the summer is pink but I Definitely prefer another color to work with. There are plenty of fluid leaving my body. I wish they wouldn’t! Now for my last treat of the day the doctor brought me a corset. It’s great to keep those leaking nasty tubes in check. Let’s hope for a dry night!

Small and big wishes. That’s what we all bring with us. If my getting bad last time coincided with my sisters birthday, that only made me more determined not to die, not on her day. That would be so selfish! I remarked that Shakespeare knew what he was doing all those years ago, he took his birthday also to coincide with his death day. I don’t think it was planned, more like a poetry in motion. To be or not to be? That is the question

For me it’s of course to be! Or normally to be more! This means excess of love and laughter. But as balance is poetic, in my life fully lived the excess of tears and pain will have its days too.

Keep smiling 🙂 Force of July

My parallel universe

Firstly I made it! Out of hospital Juaneda. It was a warm Monday evening. 8 days after my accident. The bleeding in the stomach had stopped. I had received my “fit to fly” certificate and as my family had already left for our holidays in Italy, I was ready to follow suit and go as quickly, but steady, all special assistance-ced from beginning of airport in Palma to be delivered to a driver in Milan. No bag should be lifted by me. Nothing more than 3kg

It all started off quite well. Our amazing house dog and cat sitter’s drove me to the airport, they even fetched me a wheelchair that the members of the check in desk thought was my own and tried to give me a special tag for it. I declined even though it was a quite racy model. (I wonder if he by chance had managed to swipe someone else’s racing wheel chair?)

After hours queueing and slowly being dragged through security I was put in a much lesser chair and again to wait. It’s funny, I have never else been used as a thing for people that I don’t know to “lean on”, “balance from” and almost hanging their bags on! I mean how rude! As I was traveling alone I couldn’t have the people behind me huffing and puffing and pretending to be a part of my crew. My solo crew.

After asking them please to release me as they were traveling back to their other island, that’s no longer part of the EU, I spoke only Spanish to everyone else so they clearly understood I had nothing to do with the “Huffers”. They only queued up to Special Assistance to take kids and grandkids with them. It wasn’t pretty, but I think it did work.

At very last minute a very lean young Spanish boy (kart racer) turned up in his electric (racer kart). Me and another wheelchair lady returning to her home in Münster, Germany. As her flight was boarding 5 minutes before mine, the racer decided to take us to her gate first. As far away in terminal C that you could ever go to. Amazingly racer boy actually got me to my gate exactly on the spot second of my gate opening for minus-valid people like me! Even more amazingly he didn’t kill a single person on his way there! Amen

On to the plane. The very nice people at the gate had managed to change my seat so I got a whole row to sit in. As I had only been waiting and queueing at airport except for the formula electric race (they are so quiet! No wonder we nearly killed so many!) I haven’t had time to buy anything eatable. On top of that, due to some allergic reactions I had got from the contrast dye of the CAT scans, I have been put on the harshest of diets ever known to mankind…

I cannot have

Gluten

Lactose

Nuts

Seafood

Cheese

Things from cans

Strawberries

Kiwi

Citrus fruits

Alcohol

And I am starting my holiday to Italy, land famous for wine, pizza and pasta…. Well thankfully on the airplane they had olives. So a bag of olives, a black coffee and a sparkling water and I was good to fly!

As the plane was traveling to Italy most stuff said by the crew was in Italian, or Spanish, sometimes English. But as I was watching a movie I didn’t react at all for the feisty weather around us. As the plane dived and I got the biggest tickle in my stomach and I had to really stop myself laughing, as I started seeing the anxious people around me. I controlled one of my favorite pastimes of roller coaster flying! Oh come on! You might think you are going to die, but more probably not, and then it’s like a free roller coaster!

Anyway due to the disastrous weather the plane was circulating Milan for 30 minutes but they had to refuel so they decided to redirect plane to Verona. I had looked at flying to Verona first as it was closer to our hotel but the flight from Mallorca was full that day. My biggest worry was that there would be a 2 hours bus journey back to Milan where I had a further 2 hours back with my driver from the hotel. Man of my dreams and hero of the day was once again Dan! Managing to call from a freezing waterfall to redirect my driver from Milan to Verona!

I was brought off the plane last of all. They had to use the escalator bus to take me to the terminal. As I was sat on front seat, loads of passengers passed me with their full bags of puke to deposit of. That’s what one gets when one does not get sick on planes… one gets to enjoy other people suffer…. And then it was time for me to try out the Verona airport “special assistance”.

Well Special Assistance is one word for it…. The guys that picked me up from the plane in their elevator bus were awesome! One of them from Venezuela so spoke perfect Spanish! They only took me to the terminal and that’s when it started to get “super special” I was the only one in a wheelchair in the medium crowded terminal where the bags come in on the bands. I was told to stay in my chair and await my “roller”… after about 7-10 minutes my Neón orange clad dude came to roll me. Hopefully to where my bag was coming in from… he didn’t do that, he passed 2 bands with rolling bags on… not reading said signs over on televisions advertising where bags came from. Then he parked me. About 15 meters from a standing still band. And there he left me. This time for a full 15 minutes.

The empty band where I was parked had no luggage on it. It was strangely enough the only band in the whole hall that was at a stand still. Roller dude was a goner, probably smoking something to make his life more “special”. My mobile did not seem to like Italian mobile network and there was no WiFi. I managed to get a few messages away to Dan to inform him about my lack of luggage and possibility of lack of driver, as he couldn’t contact me with a phone call. Then I started filming my predicament, a video I was going to send to my mum. From my back side roller guy came flying almost crashing me into the “help desk” then roughly pushing me to another band that was also running with bags on it… a flight from Palma, but with another airline… I tried to tell him to go back to the help desk that we had almost crashed into before, to see if my bag had gone with the bus of people traveling back to Milan.

The help desk was a window that you couldn’t really make yourself seen from whilst sitting. Roller guy wasn’t in a very helpful mode. I eventually got eye contact with a lady behind the glass and she immediately came out. I told her I was missing a bag from my flight. She took me up to the first band that roller guy had ignored and there upside down on the floor was my bag! Yay! I was so happy! This was going to turn out ok! At the same time my driver managed to get a phone call through saying he was outside waiting for me! Roller guy had not done his part yet!

The lady from the help desk double checked my boarding card and the number and name on the bag tag! But Roller guy didn’t want to take that bag. The kind lady picked it up from the floor and as it is a big soft bag with only 2 wheels that you have to drag after unless you decide to carry it. The kind helper lady even extended the arm that makes said bag, easy to roll. Roller guy had had enough. He half tried to roll it for a short distance but as he didn’t roll it with its wheels down he was instead dragging the bag (weighing 22.1kg!) whist pushing me sideways forwards. After another 30 meters he gave up and started carrying the bag instead. Through the nothing to declare and by now rushing through the outside full of people that were carrying signs. At such pace there was no possibility to read anything. I thought I saw my name at a sign and was pointing like a wild woman. Roller guy threw me to the right and as he was now carrying my heavy bag he managed to trip someone over. Luckily it was my name on the board. Saved by the driver! He very kindly took over the mangled bag and showed with his hand to roller boy that the car was parked outside hence I should also be wheeled outside to get to said car.

Roller boy now knew exactly what to do. He rushed me outside on to the pavement, pushing the wheelchair so hard in front of him and also in front of the nice driver, the nice driver that also knew where the car was… I was being pushed over a Tokyo sized zebra crossing away from the terminal, away from the driver…. Towards????

Then I heard a loud voice behind us, shouting something to Roller boy. It was the nice driver that had parked his car just outside the exit of the terminal and roller boy had to swallow hard and in front of all the people turn the pink haired lady in a wheelchair around and go back past some sniggering people. Eventually I was in the back seat of my own nice driver car. There was a small tetra pack of water, easy listening music and the trip was only going to be a little over 1 hour, turns out you can drive pretty fast in Italy. We made it to the hotel in 49 minutes straight. Luckily I’m not that faced by speed, or close meetings with death.

As I arrived “early” I had to wait a few minutes until my whole family arrived! But there they were and also half the management of the hotel! They all knew of my horrible landing in Verona, they all knew I couldn’t walk far, so they got me a wheelchair of my own. That I could use for the duration of my stay!

Being wheeled around can be quite fun, especially when your 3 children are arguing over who should push you! We were staying in an awesome little bungalow. 2 bedrooms and a sofa bed in the living room. As I had only had a bag of olives I staid inside resting for a few hours when the rest of the family went out cycling. In the early evening we had booked a table at a fabulous restaurant less than 100 meters rolling from the bungalow! I decided it was all worth it, even though life sometimes throws you lemons, just make lemonade. We finished dinner and the girls wheeled me down to the waterfront. So beautiful there at the top of Lake Garda. It started to rain again and I was wheeled home by Millie.

3 o’clock in the morning I woke up. The pain was taking over. I didn’t have enough pillows to half sit when I was sleeping. I managed to go to the bathroom and there in the mirror I managed to see my squashed stomach. It was very red. And the third breast had grown back. I got some folded robes and another blanket from Dan that also helped me getting some ice from the reception. I took another painkiller and managed to get another hour of sleep.

When we wheeled up to breakfast both me and Dan had come to the conclusion that I had to see a doctor and possibly a hospital as soon as possible. We were recommended the local hospital only 11 minutes away.

That’s if you find it straight away. It can also take a little longer trying out scenic routes. We had managed to take the hotel wheelchair with us, no one could stop us! Well except possibly the Italian language… how can it be so hard? And how come it is so far away from Spanish? They were doing some summer revamping of the hospital. There really was only one entrance you could use to go inside, but it was called first aid and not accidents and emergency. Trying to talk to the lady in reception only got us knowing she spoke no English, but along some verbal guttural noises we headed up to a different door and pushed a button. No answer from the door we were waiting by… after a few minutes another door opened and we were wheeled in to state my problem.

I lost track of time, we got in there around 11, I didn’t see a doctor until 16:00, I sent Dan home to eat and look after the girls. They booked me in for X-ray and another scan. I told them that I got an allergic reaction from the contrast dye in the CAT scan. We had all sorts of hero’s helping us getting my European health card updated as it had stopped working in February this year… All the small things in life…

At 18:00 ish I got to see the main surgeon of the Arco hospital. He wasn’t happy with the eco results so he himself did another more complete ecógrafo scan. He said the whole muscle wall was broken and there looked to be leaking blood inside the hematoma. They were discussing in hard Italian the pros and cons of another CAT scan. The pros are you will be able to see exactly where and if there is a bleed. The cons are my newfound allergy to the contrast dye they inject you with to see all things 3D.

They decided to go for a special CAT scan but at another bigger hospital where surgeons were on call 24 hours if they needed to do an emergency incision. I got transported up with my very own ambulance. Giuseppe the ultra fast driver and Lisa his side kick as well as my own nurse Julia that stayed with me all the time! The other hospital that was supposed to be 33 minutes away only turned out to be 25! I love how they drive here! Probably good that I’m banned from driving until I can lift things again…

The CAT scan didn’t show us anything new. The hematoma was where it used to be and they didn’t see a broken blood vessel to explain the swelling or the pain. Back to the hospital in Arco in my own private ambulance. My bloods were getting worse, they took a third blood test and they concluded the red blood cells count was getting on the low side. They suggested I’d stay the night. Dan came back bearing food. A delicious poke bowl, that I was asked not to eat… I was put in a massive ward with an array of ill people around me.

Waking up in the morning, better sleep, still very swollen still lots of pain. More blood tests, hemoglobin low, we discuss. They think I have a leak of blood somewhere but they cannot seem to find it. They want to keep me in but in a special surgical ward. We have to sign papers that give our consent to blood transfusion. They don’t want to worry us. After all papers are signed we realize the ward I will be in is not one we’re guests (Dan and the girls) were allowed in. They can visit 1 hour at 19:00 Monday to Friday and 2 hours during weekends. It’s all still to do with covid.

I got to my room and I’m sharing with a seriously small Italian woman. I would put her as late 80’s maybe 90’s. She speaks nothing apart from Italian. She is normally so quiet I often think she has passed on. But now it turns out she is a little snorer! One of those blowy snorers… I might go up and do the deed myself if she doesn’t stop soon!

Keep smiling 🙂 the lessons one learns from going the crooked way! And I win! My mum told me! Nobody has as many diverse accidents as I do! Winner winner chicken dinner… as long as it’s gluten free

No Muse no way

So it’s written in the stars… Emelie Marsh SHALL NEVER see Muse LIVE! EVER!!! I know it was maybe a little ambitious thinking I would make it to Mallorca Live festival after a week of hospitals etc.. well I am ever the optimist, so just knowing that the concert is definitely happening less than 20 minutes from where I am staying (ok the hospital where I am staying) there was always the little yes guy inside of my crumpled slightly damaged brain that was keeping the spirits high for me…. Not any more.

The doctors come and see patients here once a day. Tests get carried out first thing so results will be there to be shared. We thought we had given me and said doctors plenty of time, getting here Wednesday morning, but we had not calculated with holy ceremony of San Juan (midsummer) as a totally red day where nothing works in the hospital… AS WELL AS… today! A small insignificant Sunday. Who would have known? No test results gets given on a Sunday… which means…. I cannot go home.

Will miss the concert of the year, will miss the start of the holidays with my kids… and I am not sure when I will be let out of here… time will tell. I’m in a terrible tricky mood. As well as I’m happy that the girls can go on holiday without me, I just feel like the leftover loser. I also feel it could be good to stay creative but either I get tired or batteries on said phone or pad dies… and for some reason the chargers only work here sometimes, and from different plugs… I hence have to chase the functioning plug…sometimes its in the loo, sometimes high above my bed, other times low below the other bed and once in a blue moon it’s works just between the beds on the furniture that was kind of made to keep charging stuff on it… it’s a fun game… not!

There I was quietly tapping away on this blog, and all of a sudden I was captured, put in a fluffy wheelchair and taken down for some 6pm X-rays of my chest! Why on earth? No one could tell me why or who had ordered said X-rays of chest… well that might be the mark I leave behind. A whole lot of X-rays, CAT scans and a whole ray of different photographs and moldings of my teeth… that, and I will be THE FOREVER MISSER OF MUSE!

My life
You electrify my life
Let’s conspire to ignite
All the souls that would die just to feel alive

I’ll never let you go
If you promise not to fade away
Never fade away

Our hopes and expectations
Black holes and revelations
Our hopes and expectations
Black holes and revelations

Hold you in my arms
I just wanted to hold
You in my arms

Far away
This ship is taking me far away
Far away from the memories
Of the people who care if I live or die

I’ll never let you go
If you promise not to fade away
Never fade away

Muse : Starlight

Keep smiling 🙂 black holes and revelations

Midsummers night

Here it is, once again! The celebration of the year if you talk to any Swedes! It could possibly be one of only 2 days of the year where I feel the most Swedish. One being Christmas Eve as that’s the birthday of baby Jesus, and Midsummer eve, the longest day of the year, combined with the shortest night! What could be more lovable?

As by slight tradition, rather than spending the day dressing the midsummer maypole with flowers and leaves, setting up a long table, cooking good traditional food that will last a week or 2 (in Mallorcan weather probably not so long), then singing the whole array of snaps-songs, bound in my mothers own creative style snaps books, I am instead back in hospital. Gut has internal bleeding. Not from any organ they say, but it’s still bleeding, trickling away slowly, filling up my right hand side just recently christened third breast. Trying to keep the spirits up, the doctors here only got confused when they started draining the blood out of said third boob. I had to de-christen it as doctors hoped it would drain faster if not referred of with a first, middle and second name.

Hey ho, here we go, 11 hours draining and 150ml has been emptied. The swelling is to me just as big, but I guess if it’s still bleeding that won’t help?

I’ve been told tomorrow is the day of reckoning! Even though no maypole will be clad, no food specially cooked, no songs sung in spirit with spirits, I will jump! Not with a horse, but to a tune! I will jump “små grodorna” as they according to the song are fun to see, have small ears and no tails. For one day a year I will be Swedish and if that’s hooked up to drips and drainage still in the hospital so be it!

Keep smiling 🙂 happy midsummer 

Champion then doormat

Hello dear friends, as I write so irregularly you might understand that something awful has happened, since that’s when I have time to write. Lying in my recovery bed/hospital bed or hooked up to certain stuff that eventually will make one better. I will tell you this story, a story of hope and glory, followed by an act of thoughtfulness that turned out to be the most reckless act of my life. And as things have it I’m still alive to tell the tale, guardian angels so totally on my side, once again…

It was a weekend in June. The Mallorcan championships were going on in Calvia at the Es Pas club Hipica. Me and my wonder horse Unreal perfected our 3 faultless fast rounds and were crowned champions this year again! It was a seriously hot day even for Mallorca so when we returned home with the 3 horses from the show we decided to let them rest indoors for a couple of hours before I was to let them out a bit later as they all sleep outdoors during the summer months.

We went back to the magnificent price giving ceremony, which here in Mallorca is almost as important as the actual show. It was the first time that I made it back to the ceremony as normally with 3 young children and a full yard of horses it takes a bit of planning. To celebrate the victory we then decided to go out for a delicious meal at a local favorite and when we got back, me and Millie went to take the horses out to their paddocks.

I think with hindsight here is where I should have stopped myself. Hindsight is such a clever never ending way of making oneself an even bigger idiot in one’s own eyes. It was dark. The lights were already off. The horses got a bit surprised that they were going out but as they are normally fine to lead I decided to take 2 and Millie, my 10 year old daughter took our kindest saintliness mare Ellie.

Even as we started walking out of the stable, the young mare I was leading was pulling wanting to go but at the same time looking nervously around at everything. My other horse, the newly crowned King of Mallorca for the 3d time running was a bit slower and got pushed to the side by the now tank like youngster that was pulling and jumping straight up in the air for the smallest sound.

I should have aborted mission “letting horses out” as it was so dark. I should have left them inside. I should have never let my 10 year old lead a full size horse, no matter how saintly…. Well I had ignored all that and what followed was a terror greater than any I have ever known. And for those of you who know me, that’s quite a long list to top…

As the young mare pulled and pushed my horse on my left as well as dragging me as a plaything all of a sudden a sound to the right of her made her jump upwards as well as to her left, where my 70 kg did nothing to stop her force of nature 600kg flying acrobatic style. I was pulled off my feet up in the air but simultaneously dragged backwards down as my champion horse wanted nothing to do with the crazy acrobatic suicidal monster on our right. I was pulled and spun backwards down and as my head crashed against the floor all I could see were 8 long horse legs moving in different directions. I had managed to let go of the one lead rope but I think I was trying to free my other hand as I saw a massive hoof moving towards me.

His hoof landed straight over my right hand side belly. Straight over my liver. As I felt my entire right hand side being compressed down into the stones below me I could simultaneously feel the hesitation from his foot. I knew then that he didn’t want me caught under him but it was too late. I had managed to let go of my 2 horses but Millie was still holding on to hers. I could see the shock in her face as I heard myself shouting at her to let go of the lead rope. She did as she was told and Ellie managed to get away without stepping or kicking anyone.

There was a second I was convinced that that was it. But for the life of me I have never wanted to be slaughtered right in front of my daughters innocent eyes. There are a few things with one’s death that is on a superior un-cool level. For me being trampled to death in front of one’s tiny child is one of those seriously un-cool ways… But then I heard myself scream.

There are 2 things you should know and appreciate about screaming. 1, you are somehow conscious enough to let out a sound. 2, your lunges are not too damaged. These 2 things comforted me whilst I heard myself shouting and crying at the same time. I got Millie to run for help and as I was half lying squashed to the ground, half sitting up, I noticed the sprinkler system starting. A fine shower that kept coming and going, circling over my broken body. As luck would have it Dan was at home and my other 2 daughters also came out in the by now pitch black night, with the sprinklers full on doing their job, wetting all of us. As I was convinced no bones were broken I got into Dans car. The only problem was then I was convinced something was leaking inside me.

We got to Son Espases hospital, as I was convinced it would be an easy in and out job. Little had I thought of Mallorca as the metropolitan of weekend drinking and partying. At first there was a few locals with heart and lunge problems and me half sitting in an orange really strange wheelchair. Then they started coming in, I’m droves… the girls heavily made up with sparkly cheeks, one high heel the other missing and part of foot missing… the vomiting German who by the translator had taken something…. Probably not legal drugs of some kind to make the party more party like, the whole drove of Dutch people that all had been in a car incident. Me with my “horse accident” was put further and further down any line of treatment. The slow trickle inside of me kept making itself noticed. When finally I got to see a doctor she immediately changed the ultrasound to a full on TAC scan.

Time was ticking along as slow as time often does in these kind of situations. I was put on a ward where 25 other people were being assessed and treated. A kind of midway room, where time stood still for someone like me, my screaming had stopped by now and as all clothes had been removed and changed into the classic hospital PJ, I was easily confused for any other patient. In this room no family members were allowed in so I kept falling in and out of sleep depending on my neighbours screaming or snoring.

Finally a doctor came and told me all my inner organs were fine! The damage was in the muscles and the bleeding also from there. By now my right hand side was so swollen it reminded me of a third boob. They were thinking I would stay the night with them but I had other plans! I wanted to go home as soon as possible. It wasn’t to prove anything to anyone other than that I thought I would be a lot less problems here. Rightly or wrongly I was given my bag of clothes and pointed in the direction of the loo where I could get dressed. I had no shoes as Dan already had removed them. I was dressed in my full on showjumping outfit when I was trampled down, hence tight white (or shall we say previously white) breeches and a tight white (also previously white with hoof print and blood all over it) was the clothes they expected me to A. Get on and B. Get on inside the loo… that toilet was the dirtiest toilet I have ever seen. I was barefoot… Dan had my shoes so I was given blue plastic bags to put on feet… one more look at the loo with urine all over the floor, bits of vomit hanging around the edges of the toilet and a grimness and stinking smell that one won’t forget for a long time… my whole insides said NO and even though it was 3am and I was in pain all over I decided the only way for me was to go home and be with my family.

Monday morning I start wondering if it was the best plan to just up and leave the hospital. I was still dressed in the hospital PJ as both refusal to enter toilet as well as knowledge that worn clothes wouldn’t fit any longer, I was also still wearing the complimentary wristlet band with my full name and numbers on… this made my youngest definitely sure I had escaped hospital… but after both 1 successful trip to the loo as well as an ok maneuvering back in to bed I was right to leave the hospital! The swelling keeps getting bigger… but with the painkillers they have given me I am alright to sleep and relax in bed.

The really sad thing is that I miss my own pony summer camp! It was planned for this week since forever and I can’t even be outside to watch it, but luckily enough I have the best staff and helpers for the camp to make it extra special for everyone!

Keep smiling 🙂 know that no matter how hard you get used as a doormat take it slow but you will get up again! Don’t ever let anything hold you down!

Champion
Bronze prince and Gold King

2022 we don’t dare to wish…

I have waited a good while before writing this first post of 2022. We have finally entered the Chinese birth year of my sign! It’s the year of the Tiger!

I came into this new year not wishing for anything or aiming anywhere. It’s strange where I naturally used to be so focused and driven I’m now a slightly different calmer (?) sense of self. After catching the omicron Covid-19 I have lost all my oomph, and I gradually try and fix it by doing shorter spells of training, combined with longer rests of nothingness. I’m not very good at it, but I am still trying.

What else can I say? As I haven’t updated the blog for a long time it means I was before this post covid nonsense back to almost my normal supersonic speed and workload. As I cannot allow myself to think too much about it, but I can tell you this, after a Christmas celebrated living at the farm that we finally have finished renovating, the year of 2022 just sneaked in, with no real statement fall, dislocation, break or deadly disease! Well at least to start off with… then Covid came and only got 3/5 of the family sick… strange deadly virus… I can honestly say as a virus when I tested positive it wasn’t too bad for me… I was in bed for a week, fever and chest pain… the problem begun afterwards. I was negative (Whoop whoop!) and I slowly started giving lessons and then riding a little. All of a sudden I was back competing… I don’t know how that happened and why I ended up driving 3 horses by myself after giving help to 2 students and jumping a double clear round (mostly thanks to Rulle) After that experience I was was totally dead in bed for 3 days. No fever, no chest pain, no covid… but tired to the point where I couldn’t even think. Still now trying to put words to it, it’s really hard to focus enough to verbalize what I am still feeling.

At this moment I am teaching a maximum of 2 lessons/day and riding max 2 horses. Although at the moment it’s not much like riding, it’s more like being carried by my faithful friends. I go where they go. No effort really.

Keep smiling 🙂 it still only requires 2 muscles in your face to smile, seams a lot less than frowning!

The “SesRotes” sign

www.SesRotes.com

Adieu 2020 what the hell 2021 you had such promise!

I started this year in pain, with newly broken ribs in the north of Sweden. I am finishing it in more or less flying colors for the first time in forever! Well there is one more day to go for me to stumble over some root or slip on an icy stair. Both happened days before new year and resulted in different fractures but both prohibiting me drinking any alcohol over New Years celebrations. There might be a hidden message in that? I can’t be asked to try and understand what someone tries to tell me…

Thinking about it, new year is normally not such a jolly time for me.

Starting with the 2000 millennium New Years head on collision in a car on a bridge close to Bunyola in Mallorca.

This is how far I managed to compose my new years blog, before the nastiness of 2021 started to reveal itself.

Most of 2020 was spent worrying about COVID-19. Avoiding and quarantining. But other than that it was a year for me that was super healthy! Not a broken bone! No visits or overstays in hospitals.

Being the schizophrenic little brother of 2020, 2021 has just amped up his severeness. On the first day of the year my middle daughter fell down 4meter face first from a balcony and landed straight on her forehead. After 3 days in hospital with her I realize how lucky we all were and how amazing our guardian angels were working out for us.

We are still in some strange half lockdown. COVID-19 is still killing any fun fests around the island. Music festivals are so far far away from happening again. The masks are to be worn at all time and distance to be held. It’s the norm now, we don’t even question it. Any time you spend with anyone that has Covid-19 even when you afterwards test negative on the nose trial thingie, you still have to lock in for another 7 days before you are allowed to go back to any normality.

This week started with a fever for me on Monday. I was isolated in one room in the house and as it was just a fever I felt that it probably wasn’t Covid-19 as I could still smell and taste.

Tuesday morning I had my first nose test. This 5 min test to see if you are positive or negative. It was negative so the girls could go to school as long as I was kept in isolation. Fever consisted with bone and joint ache.

They were calling me back on Thursday to see how I was. Then the fever, the chills and some vomiting had started so I told the and was booked in for a PCR test. It’s the same nose tryout thing but takes 24hrs to develop.

This time we kept the kids back from school as we weren’t sure that it wasn’t Covid-19, but 24hrs later they called back with the results that it was still a negative test. The fever was still high and the vomiting more frequent. The strange thing was that it almost always happened in the wolf hours. Between 2 and 4am.

I was given an antibiotic from my local doctor. But after taking it twice as well as 1gr paracetamol mixed with 600mg ibuprofen the fever stayed up high and the vomiting continued.

So last night in the middle of a chilly/sweaty/vomitfest Dan decided to take me to hospital. And this is where I am now.

Again they probed my nose for this weeks 3d negative COVID-19 test. Today they have tried collecting blood and do analysis for a million different bacteria infections. Since the cancer I can only use my left arm for blood samples. After stabbing 10-12 different veins on my poor left arm and hand, they tried to reverse use my drop catheter they finally got to use a vein on my leg for their 500ml. So most tests for this world of weird diseases will be done for tomorrow. I have a long list of different weird ones that they try and find. The doctor here also thought it was quite clear I have an urinary tract infection, this without any pain peeing…

So 2021 to me is this schizophrenic, rabid, tantrum little brother to 2020, trying to blame shift all his weak points to 2020. Now my hands are starting to fall asleep and I will update you all when I get to find out what I finally have.

Keep smiling 🙂 soon this will all be over.

Waiting for the nurse

Flying again

After how ever many months lockdown, home schooling, summer holidaying at home we found ourselves with a bit of a conundrum. The girls Swedish passports had all run out during the time in quarantine. Luckily for them they have dual citizenship and their other passports were all within limits. As the embassy in Madrid seams overwhelmed by the COVID-19 we could only book a time there to get a new passport for October the earliest, so now we find ourselves on a flight to Copenhagen. We are all fully masked up to the eyeballs! Hopefully we will be able to take the train over to Sweden from there as tomorrow morning we are booked in with the police station in Lund to get our new passports! In this Corona time it’s all touch and go as nobody knows for sure how things work and if we will be allowed to travel through Denmark to get to Sweden, or even worse, to travel back from Sweden to get to the airport in Denmark and fly home on Thursday, only time will tell.

The last couple of weeks in paradise have been rather full on. As the wine harvest has started and we have 10 horses in full work, there are many early mornings to be had!

The first grapes to be picked where the Pinot Noir. At first we didn’t think we would get many grapes as the vines are only 2 years old. We couldn’t see any grapes but that was only because they were hiding under the protective plastic sleeve that covered the plants. So last Saturday we finally decided to start picking them. The work was way hard, mostly because the protective sleeves aka “the condoms” had to be removed before one could see if intended plant actually bore any fruit. After de-condomizing ones plant it became more like a treasure hunt. Some plants had no grapes others were heaving. The second problem were the uninvited guests, the wasps, that also wanted to feast on our grapes. It led to a number of wasp bites and sore bits with some of our pickers. Lastly but possibly the hardest thing was the heat. It was the first day of August, and the forecast of 41,5 degrees couldn’t stop us picking.

This was only our second year picking and as last year we picked at night, during a full moon, with blasting “wine picking playlist”, copious amount of wine drinking, it felt more like a fun party! The result was that we missed to pick a couple of lines of vines, but the most disgraceful thing was that we missed 4 crates of grapes already picked, that we could find a few days later with raisins like substance in. Therefore night picking is off the list.

We learn so many new things with the grapes every day. They are incredible beings. They self pollinate for example. No need of bees to carry their pollen from plant to plant, the wind works just fine! The harvesting is a work of art. Not just the picking, but the carrying of the boxes, stacking in cool rooms and at last the pressing!

We managed to pick our Sauvignon Blanc field next. Gone were the plastic condoms, the folding over in double to try and find your grapes. Here were 3 year old massive plants where the grapes were oozing! In a correct height for anyone with a pathetic back. This time we managed to start the picking an hour earlier. We also unbeknown to us had attracted a full 10 extra pickers which unfortunately led to us under staffing the scissors, knives and gloves. Dan and Dario has managed to set up a tent of plenty, coffee, water, sweet things from Palma Bread and lastly the Bose speaker so we could play the “wine picking playlist”! To anyone who hasn’t been introduced to this playlist on Spotify, by all means be my guest to listen to it. It spans across classical Clair de Lune, Claude Debussy, some hip hop with Eminem and Rakim, to the classic masterpiece of Rock me Amadeus by Falco. Dan has only deleted Cottoneyed Joe which was on last years playlist… I added Tuesday it is by Still in the bank as well as Dance Monkey by Tones and I to make up for it!

From Tuesday it is to Thursday it is! On Thursday we did our first pressing! Of our own grapes in our own bodega! It’s still kind of in the middle of being a building site so all the more credit to our fabulous build team of Ferratur and our engineers from CIEM that have really pushed to get our Bodega finished to the highest standard! Early Thursday we begun the first press of the white wine. After tasting the grape juice coming out of the press our 3 girls unitedly wondered, “-Why don’t we just make grape juice? It’s super tasty! Not like wine at all!”, we had brief thought about that but decided against it, we will keep the bodega to try and make very delicious drinkable wine! I’m sure the girls will appreciate it in the future!

As things normally tend to be pretty doubly full on for us, make no mistake, August has delivered, the 4 day show Infanta Elena started on Thursday evening at 7pm. As I was in the second class we thought it wouldn’t be too late. The shear number of starts was what made the show quite a long day. 62 entries in the first class! Not bad for a small island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. Unreal aka Rulle jumped amazing with me for a clear round and 2d place behind only Emma Bayliss and Cherry who also stable at Ses Rotes.

The second places continued for me and Rulle after a fast Friday night only beaten by the oldest show jumper on the island, apparently he nearly came off twice during his lightingly fast round to beat me. Yesterday was the final night for my class. I again managed to get a second place again this time beaten by Tracy Mignatti and her fabulous mare Vic Vac. Tracy and I were the only triple clears for the championship and I was crowned 2d place again after a jump off. Still clear! Rulle had jumped 4 solid courses without touching a single fence on warm up or on the course!

As had to go to Sweden for tomorrow mornings passports we are missing the Grand Finale prizegiving ceremony tonight at RCEEM. Such a shame, but very happy with the week that’s been.

We have one more grape to pick. My one and only favorite! The Callet! The Callet is a Mallorcan black grape. (That’s a purple colored grape for you not in the know). With the Callet one can make a fabulous red wine, a spectacular rosé wine or a breathtakingly awesome Blanc Noir, a white wine made with a black grape. It all depends of the sugar level off the grape on what you will make. On a young vine such as ours, it might be better suited for a Blanc Noir (Callet Blanc), or a rosé. After the vines matures at 5-7 years it might become better to make a full bodied red wine.

Also at last, I always time my travels normally to see some of my other horses in the world perform, this week it’s Clarissimo aka Simon and Malle jumping at Falsterbo Horse Show! We hope to be able to go in and see him live, but because of COVID-19 hellish pandemic, they have decided that owners are not allowed to come and watch. It’s a disgrace! The owners of show jumping horses are what keeps the sport alive. I heard of one owner having to get certified as a fence builder to be able to come in and watch her horses jump at another Swedish show. In Spain maybe we have gone over the top with our mask wearing all the time, but at least we can go and watch sport outdoors!

Keep Smiling 🙂 or stick out your tongue as nobody will see what you do behind your mask!

Quarantine day 29, day 12 sleeping in stable

Hello world! I normally pester you with tales about either a, silly accidents I’ve had trying to live my life, or b, telling you about nasty illnesses that I try to survive but now this is something new, a quarantine that forbids me to do any sport.

For Everyman in Spain the lockdown is pretty definite and vicious. As we work with live animals we have been able to continue go up to the farm and exercise them, but only by hand as riding them is seen as something too risky.

We have two mares in foal both due in the next couple of weeks. Therefore I have been staying up at the farm since the 1/4… no foals so far… and as 2 weeks ago all work was stopped during a pretty crucial time in the construction timetable. The guys had just managed to completely rip up all our roads, ready to be replaced by some new wonderful ones… but then lockdown. We have such a jigsaw of unreliable rubbish so called “road” to orientate around during the nights. I only have a total of 15 human steps to get to the maternity foaling stable from where I sleep, but I have a total of 5 life threatening obstacles on the way… first it’s the step out of my office. Then to the right there is a hole filled with cables and tubes. A small wall that has no lighting and 2 raised iron lids that when the new road is laid will make sense/will not be seen but now as it stands provide me a 15-20cm obstacle in the dark.

I’ve heard that we possibly can start riding again on Tuesday! That would be wonderful as we are getting a little annoyed longreining or lunging. I will share with you all something that only happened the first day of super lockdown. (Our first 2 weeks were just quarantine but you could still work)

I was just leading my two fat ladies down into their stables. There is a small concrete ramp leading down from their paddock to the boxes. For no reason at all I fell forward. And as I had a mare in each hand I had no hands to put up and protect myself with. I could not believe how this could happen. I ripped the skin on both my knees and my whole left arm. Even though I had been wearing trousers. At first I couldn’t believe what was happening. I didn’t know how deep the holes in arms and knees were, but I knew 100% that I didn’t want to go to hospital to pick up the Corona virus, so I saw myself dying from tetanus or losing a limb due to bad healing of skin. Luckily the wounds were shallow and now after 2 weeks it’s mainly scars left.

Keep smiling 🙂 tomorrow is another day and maybe we will have a new foal