Local Heart, Global Soul

November 30, 2015

The Sands Of Time Tick Back Some 70 Years…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The next section of the Garderen Sand Sculpture exhibition deals with historic events, and there are various informational boards in the Dutch language, the first being:

Liberation 70 years. After nearly five years of occupation by the Germans, the American offensive nicknamed “Operation Market Garden” began on 12th September 1944.

The offensive would go on to liberate North-Braband, Limburg and a part of Gelderland, but stalled at Arnhem.

The Dutch that has not yet been liberated were hit hard by the following “hunger winter” which was a particularly hard winter in the most pressing of times. The second offensive began on 8th February 1945 and was called “Operation Veritable” (also known as the Battle of the Reichswald), an attrition eventually won by the Allies. On 5th May 1945 the Germans capitulated and with the war and oppression over, people broke out in mass celebration.”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This was followed by: “The Lady of Putten. In retaliation for an ambush  of a car carrying two German officers and two corporals by the organised Putten resistance movement, the Germans captured the population of Putten and set one hundred houses on fire during an action that saw six men and a woman shot dead.

Men and women were separated and almost the entire male population of 601 men were transported to the Neuengamme forced labour concentration camp. By the end of the war only 48 men returned.

On 1st October, 1949 , Queen Juliana unveiled a monument that includes a memorial park and a statue  depicting a grieving woman in traditional dress holding a handkerchief in her hand, that has become known as “The Lady of Putten”. The statue is located so that looks toward the Oude Kerk in Putten, from where the men were deported.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Sand Sculpture Garderen / Zandsculpturen Garderen

January 12, 2011

Cabin Fever, “Franken-Foot” and the Pain of Blissful Ignorance.

Filed under: An Accidental Franken-Foot,LIFE — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I probably have the lowest pain threshold known to mankind. You figure that out fast enough when the dentist puts in half a dozen injections in your mouth (a procedure I handle badly enough anyway) waits a short while,  starts poking around and asks if you can feel something.

Invariably I can.

So she adds one or two more shots, the work starts and then she shifts slightly left or right and  suddenly I’m leaving finger nail imprints in her expensive dentist chair armrests  and making it perfectly clear in dentists-chair-speak that the anesthetic missed a spot.

I parted my firmly shut eyes long enough to wipe away the tears squeezing though them and saw the look of  shocked amazement on the dentist’s face that I could still clearly feel pain despite how many injections had been given already. Fortunately she used to this by now and probably gets a discount on her bulk orders of anesthetic before my visits.

If you’ve ever sat in a dentist chair then you will know what dentist-chair-speak is. It’s when your dentist tries to put you at ease by asking you a question, so here I am, being asked where I went on holiday…  Come on!,  I have my mouth open, most of my mouth is doped up to the nines and in happy-land, my tongue can’t make sense of where anything is to make normal speech  and they are busy working whilst you “open wide” , but  alas social etiquette demands that I trump common sense and logic and requires  me to at least attempt an answer,

So I try and reply “Portugal” and naturally it comes out as “agggh aahhh alll”

I swear all dentists have a warped sense of humour.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

My insurance company has paid a small fortune for the work, but probably if they look closely at the bills then in amongst the list of dentist techno-jargon they’d see what looks like a severely inappropriate number of anesthetic fees. If they are investigating this now, “Yes I am still alive and well, Thanks!”

My husband, knowing this from the off,  wondered how on earth I would survive the year and a half year procedure getting  implants. (The complete and utter truth is that I was blissfully ignorant if what the full procedure would actually involve.)

My Best Friend had it done and described it all… in layman’s terms. Sounded a little grim, but not  too bad.  I didn’t find out until afterwards that she was having a section of her top teeth done, and that I needed work on almost all my teeth top and bottom.

The Implantologist described it all again, more in dentist-speak (yeah yeah, of course I know where my “Lateral incisors” and “Second premolars” are! Come off it, who am I kidding?) I was too cowardly to own up, and nodded a lot.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I was spurred on by the fact that my regular dentist had outlined the necessary plan of action via the non-implant route. In detail. Really in detail,  there is definitely such a thing as too much information. It wasn’t pretty, and I mean seriously not pretty. And worse, it wasn’t nearly so permanent, so there was very possibility that this plan needed redoing every decade or so.

Had I been ninety years of age it might have looked like the better option.

I’m not ninety so I got though the Implantology saga on the basis of two thoughts, (A) It will all be worth it in the end (B) Too late,  they’ve started, there was No going back. Both thoughts turned out to be correct.

By now, you may have realised that I’m a Wimp.  Yes, that’s with a capital “W”.

I appreciate that I’m very lucky to be living in this day and age, since the stupid accident missing one single stair way back in November and the rare damage I inflicted on myself is only repairable back to normal use with modern day specialist surgical methods.  I’m very grateful to have not only had that surgery, but to have had it within 24 hours of rearranging myself into an unhappy mess.

I understand completely that all the work they have done is completely necessary but it’s still a source of frustration that some parts of recovery are still mind-boggling slow going. Mostly means the healing process, and I have to take one hundred percent responsibility for that one LOL, so Yes, I’m annoyed with myself.

When we visited the hospital just over two weeks ago, after a month in various plaster casts the Doctor announced that hopefully the pins in my “Franken-Foot” can come out next visit. ( I called it that by the way, not him) OK,  Just two weeks more. No worries. I’m cool. Two weeks is ages yet. All  in good time. Right?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Wrong. The first week was cool, I thought happy thoughts, but at the start of the second week I started to worry. In the middle of the second week I started to sweat.  Himself noticed and told me not to worry. By the morning of the appointment he assured me that he would take the Dr aside and explain in no uncertain terms that pain and I didn’t get along well at all and ask for a local anesthetic to be put in before the pins came out.

He did, They wouldn’t.

The pins are embedded in the bones. and bones can’t be anesthetised, there  is such a small depth of skin that any injection would hurt like crazy and be useless. The Pink plaster cast is cut off. It’s grin-and-bare-it time.

I bore it, I didn’t grin.

I’m not squeamish and can watch any operation on TV etc, but this time I didn’t look. Himself said that they used a special tool around the pins and then just got a good grip and pulled very very hard. Yep, to say I felt it was an understatement.  I gripped Himself’s hand very hard indeed. He literally suffers being married to me sometimes. Sorry Darling, I promise to wipe your butt if you get old and incontinent.

The last pin was definitely the worst. The whole room figured that out, no doubt about it. I tried to be brave … and failed.  It bled like crazy too and the assistant pressed the swab really hard, as soon as the stars cleared I begged to do that myself.  Stupidly my brain said that if I pressed it hard myself it might hurt less. The intelligence of Brains is over-rated.

After the pins were out it was straight back into plaster. Cast number 5. I chose fluorescent yellow because it looked more cheerful than I did and I needed some of that to rub off.  I also scored a black rubbery sole that fits underneath it so I can try standing and walking soon, still with crutches but a start.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

They put the pins in a little bag for us to take home as a souvenir,  but the little sods are so sharp at the ends that one of them sawed a little hole in the bag and escaped.

I’m keeping the other two because Murphy’s Law says that if you have your own tools from the operation then likely you will never need them ever ever ever again. I’m not superstitious but well, may as well hedge my bets.

So here I am at the start of week seven in plaster and hopefully by the end of week eight I will have stopped supporting the plaster-of-paris industry. Today I have a severe case of cabin fever, since the only times I have been outside in the last six weeks have been for hospital visits.

It’s not just the crutches that are the biggest hassle, it’s more the two staircases I need to get up to get inside home, one stone and one semi-spiral, with triangular steps at the bottom, very crutch friendly (Not).

Staircase handrails have inherent design failure in that they end slightly before the last stair, or in the case of the lower staircase, three steps before the lower stairs so this makes every trip downstairs a potential accident waiting to happen. You know I’m accident prone don’t you? Best stay upstairs once I’m there and keep out of trouble.

I know that Cabin Fever isn’t terminal, I have more than most  to be Thankful for and I’m mending. Thanks for letting me rant, it certainly helps.

.. and if you are about to jump up from your computer to get yourself a cuppa,  (or throw up because of the photos) say a big “Thank You” for your mobility, you won’t appreciate it nearly enough unless you loose it.

I certainly didn’t.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There are photos because  Kiwi Daughter was desperate to know what was going on under the cast (future medic?) The Photo above is the “Christmas Special” …  then  after some larking around, came the Hot Pink…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

…and my latest accessory, the sunshine Fluro Yellow delight… sans these little blighters.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

.. but with detachable foot ensemble for my first steps…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I must Thank both the Gijpsmeesters  (Plaster cast specialists) at the hospital, as they are experts in getting the five casts on and off with the least amount of pain possible and that’s much appreciated.  They also loved the photo taking procedure and got themselves into the photos pronto. They clearly have a great deal of job satisfaction. Bravo!

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