Sunday, March 8, 2009

We couldn't go to Prague

I am starting to get a bit better.

I went to see Dr Ratzenblender and described my symptoms.

He examined me carefully without moving out from behind his desk, with me fully clothed, and wrote out a Rezept and explained how to take the medications.

He then started searching through the many piles of papers and books on his desk for something and after a long search came up triumphantly with a blank piece of paper, A4 size.

He carefully folded this in two and tore it in half. He then wrote down for me the instructions he had just given me verbally, saying as he did so ‘I am sure you are able to follow the instructions but I will write them down to make sure’. He then said this again – revealing his uncertainty.

Perhaps he was worried about my obviously very poor condition, the fact that I was sweating profusely, and perhaps the dribbling had some effect.

He then prodded me out the door with his wooden stick and told me to come back if I did not get better.

The next day I was sitting in the waiting room. There was quite a crowd but Frau Ratzenblender got me into the Doctor pretty quickly because she saw me sitting there grimacing, gritting my teeth and gripping the arms of the chair.

What she saw was me trying really hard to prevent my bowels from detonating in the waiting room.

He was not particularly pleased to see me but was clearly alarmed by my condition.

So alarmed in fact that for the first time since our relationship began he came round to my side of the desk to take my blood pressure. This was our first contact (other than to shake hands when we meet) and was very emotional.

I was so overcome by this unexpected and spontaneous display of concern that I very nearly let out a great racking sob – but managed to avoid this is it would certainly have resulted in full underpants.

As he shuffled me out the door he said

‘Despite your ill health I hope that you start to get better soon’

Apart from the fact that it made no sense, for Dr Ratzenblender I think this was probably a pep talk. It did not fill me with confidence or make me feel much better as I tottered with clenched buttocks off to the blood takers.

For Cate of course this has been hell. For one thing, we has to cancel our trip to Prague which for her is an event of catastrophic proportions. I mean – we couldn’t go to Prague!

But she is always able to cheer me by saying things like

‘I think this sweating, shaking, shivering, shuddering and brown pants routine is just a ploy to get sympathy’

(This would certainly be the wrong place to look for that).

The dehydration and shaking have caused some loss of hearing so I can’t always hear Cate when she shouts at me.

Fortunately the bedroom is directly below her study so she has developed a system that when she wants something she bangs on the floor with a broomstick and I can crawl out of bed to get it.

The list includes

2 bangs Coffee
3 bangs Wine
4 bangs Chocolate
5 bangs Vegemite Toast

I have lost the ability to walk normally or climb stairs but have developed a system so that I can carry things around my neck and climb up the stairs on all fours. This works for Cate although she doesn’t like having to bend down to unstrap the basket from around my neck – but occasionally gives me a pat and lets me lick her ankles.

This system also worked well when I had to go to Spar to get Cate some bananas. The cashier didn’t see me crawl through so I got out without paying for them.

Of course I have to stand up to cook and iron but use a Zimmer Frame for that.


  1. Wow you don't sound too good.

  2. Well I was on the mend but was flattened by your hurtful comment about Facebook.

  3. Hope you get better soon! I had a very interesting experience with a doc. in the 14th district. I was at home with an 8 week-old baby that I was breastfeeding. I had vomiting and diarrhea - naturally my husband was out of town. The doc. could offer me nothing but a "helpful" tip - I swear to God this is true: make one liter of orange juice from freshly-squeezed oranges; then add black tea. Then, let the concoction "steep" for a few hours. And thus I would be cured. He couldn't however, devise a viable solution as to how I was to get myself at the store on a cold-winter's day, without a car, and somehow shop without any distressing physical symptoms manifesting themselves, baby strapped on my back, I guess, and then spend an hour at the orange press, etc. etc. At that point I was convinced the man was simply insane, although he must still be doing OK as I saw his office sign still out.

  4. Oh I really hope you feel better soon. My Slovak docotr last year recommended Black tea and crackers. Good luck!

  5. It appears to me that there are quite a few insane people in Vienna who are doing OK.

  6. Your husbandry conditions sound quite drastic! ;-)