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

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