At 0800, it's 54 degrees Fahrenheit in the lovely Bar Urach, Germany. Not too much sun and pretty chilly.
|Bad Urach, Germany|
I went downstairs (Learn German: "Treppenhaus" = "staircase") to the reception desk to obtain my schedule for the week, and then I took the elevator back up to the 3rd floor to my room. I entered my room just as the phone was ringing; not my cell phone, but the room phone on which I can only receive calls, not make them. I picked it up and all I could understand from the woman speaking very fast and in German, was "reception (Learn German: "Empfang" = "reception", and klinik 1." I told her I didn't understand what she meant and then asked if I needed to come to the reception desk. I made sure to ask if she was referring to clinic 2, where I am residing, and not clinic 1 which is two buildings away.
|My rehab facility: Fachkliniken Hohenurach|
All I grabbed was my German/English dictionary, my schedule, and my room key. I was still in my Pajamas which was a tee shirt and shorts. I was thinking there was already a schedule change for me to pick up so I would be coming right back to my room so I could change for the day. I locked my door and headed back down to the "E" floor (in Germany the first floor is actually marked as "e" and not "1." You take the elevator/stairs/escalator to the 1st floor.) Once I reached the reception area the lady there motioned for me to follow a young man who looked like a courier, he was holding DHL boxes and letters and called me by the wrong name so I hesitated to go with him. The lady again, said "go with him." I followed the guy outside along with an older gentleman and asked where I was going. He spoke to me in German which I did not understand so I said, "never mind, I'll just go." I was pissed, and cold. Once we were on the road the guy said, "you must go to clinic 1 for therapy." I told the driver I wasn't dressed for anything, I was in flip flops and nobody told me about this, it wasn't on my schedule.
|"Kurmittelhaus" where I do PT|
When we arrived at clinic 1 I was told to take a seat. When a nurse came up to me I was too pissed to even try to speak German so I just handed her my schedule and I said "I don't know why I'm here, I was told to get in the van." She left to get another nurse who spoke English. After a few people looked at my schedule and handed it back to me with confused faces, I was told to just wait until this one nurse could make a phone call. I eventually was brought into a room where I had 7-10 electrodes stuck to my skin for an EKG. By this time I didn't even care what was going on. I hadn't even had time to take my pills, put on deodorant, or wash my face. I missed breakfast because all of this happened at 0800, thankfully I had already brushed my teeth.
After it was all said and done I told the reception lady I needed a ride back to clinic 2 and was told to take a seat. I guess the 0900 item on my schedule was something I didn't really need to go to because it was well after 0915 before I got back to my room. I stopped by the nurses station on the 1st floor to drop off my EKG results and ate an apple before tackling the task of shaving my legs. What a Monday morning it's turned out to be!
P.S. Later today I received a call from my patient liaison, Petra, and I told her all about my morning. She contacted one of the doctors for me and then called me back. As it turns out, I really didn't need to go through all of that this morning; she said the doctor apologized and was laughing about what had happened. He said to tell me never to get in a "strange" van again, and that if I'm ever asked to do something that's not on my schedule to go see him. Would have been good to know this sooner...