Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Maeve's hospital adventure

See these two pictures? They were taken the Saturday before last. Scott and I went for a walk at County Farm Park. It was a gorgeous day. I felt great.

When I visit this park, I always take some time to admire the farm plots people have been carefully tending all summer. If my sister lived here, I'm sure she would have one of these plots - she has one in Glasgow!

Anyway - a lovely day. Never felt better.

That night, I got a head cold. The next morning, it was a chest cold. By nightfall, it had sunk into the chest. By the wee hours of the morning, I couldn't breathe. I was panting just trying to get air into my lungs. Finally, I gave up, and Scott took me to the hospital.

At the E.R., I inhaled the vaporized albuterol treatments until I was starting to feel better. But then, just as the main doctor on duty came by to check on me, my blood pressure fell to 55/33 and I passed out. With a steroid drip, of course, I came around tidily and was feeling just fine not too long thereafter. But concerns had been awakened at that point. And instead of being sent home, I was, to my astonishment, admitted to the hospital.

They wheeled me up to the eleventh floor, where the view was fabulous, and where I was soon informed that the chest x-ray left no doubt. I had pneumonia.

I got cosy in my super-adjustable hospital bed, and Scott brought me my electronic gadgetry and a favorite blanket.

Once I was off the drip, I spent a good amount of time in one of these comfortable chairs, gazing out at the green expanses below. Scott spent time there, too, preparing classwork and just keeping me company.

I had a delightful flat-screen TV to amuse me, too. I'm telling you, this was a luxury spa weekend! If I didn't have a hospital gown on and a variety of shots, drugs, breathing treatments, and drips being administered every hour or so, I would have considered it a vacation.

In fact, it sort of was. It was a very peaceful place, and I spent time watching clouds and birds of prey drifting in the sky outside my window. The nurses and techs could not have been more friendly. They were also very patient. Jacked up as I was on oxygen, albuterol, and steroids, I kept assertively informing them that I would be going to work the next day! They smiled and nodded and somehow resisted telling me to shut up and stop making uninformed medical decisions.

As it happened, even after I was sent home, the doctor wouldn't let me go back to work until the following Monday. I went home with drugs of various stripes and even my very own nebulizer - oooo! I feel as though I'm in a hookah bar when I use that.

But I'm fine now. Feeling good. Feeling grateful.

Oh, and I can taste and smell things like never before. Seriously. I must have had a good amount of gunk in there clogging things up, maybe for years! Scott made basil and garlic spinach, not something I would normally get particularly excited about - and the flavors amazed me. I bought a peanut cluster at Kilwin's Chocolates and it sent me spiralling into tastebud bliss! And as for the margherita pizza at Mani Osteria last night, where we went as a special treat to celebrate my recovery... there are no words.

So - all is well. The adventure is over. (Until the bills start arriving, but let's not think about that.) I wrote a thank-you note to the fabulous staff members of my hospital floor, and I will remember them and indeed the entire experience with gratitude.

Here's a health!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Gi'r du et knus?

It's been well over a year since I last posted. This is what happens when you have both an iPod Touch and an iPad. The idea of blogging drifts off into the corner of your brain, somehow, and there you are, gadget in hand, immersed in the Internet. It's hypnotic.

But - I'm back!

There's no point trying to summarize a year and a quarter, so I won't. I'm sure things will come up as I get back into the swing of things.

Instead, here's my current obsession. Let's just jump right in. And since you lucked out and missed my Eurovision mania this past May, let's have some nostalgic Eurovision mania in September instead!

When I was twelve years old, the Eurovision Song Contest changed the rules so that anyone could audition for inclusion in the national contests. Before that, they had to be invited by the judges. Well, this changed everything, of course, and applications streamed in American Idol-style competing for the 1983 Danish slot. Among these entries was a ridiculously peppy little song by two girls from a high-school chorus in Aalborg, an unpolished and enthusiastic duet calling themselves Snapshot. Their song was called Gi'r du et knus.

I was twelve. I was in a chorus, too, so I identified with them. The song burrowed into my brain. I danced around the living room singing it. I loved this thing! Well, most of Denmark did, really. It was all over the radio. When the time came, it didn't even win the Danish contest: some tone-deaf hottie did. But everyone was still singing Gi'r du et knus long after the hottie was forgotten.

I haven't thought about any of this in thirty years. But two nights ago, coming off a hospital stay for pneumonia (I'll get into that story someday soon), I was lying awake, tortured by insomnia. And out of the swirling mists of time came a melody. Then a hook. Then the whole peppy, happy, hoppy, poppy song. And it ran around my brain for the rest of the night, which became a special kind of torture. After being suppressed for thirty years, this song was damned if it was going to back off now! It stayed front and center all night.

Well, I've recovered from that, and now I just want to share it with you. It's still adorable, and it brings me right back to my home at Ved Volden 13 in Copenhagen during the spring of 1982. Click and behold!

And it seems fitting that my first blog post from my extended absence is called "Gi'r du et knus," because it means, "Would you give me a hug?" To all of you who have spoken to me over the past 15 months or so, lamenting about the fact that this blog was on hiatus, thanks for the hug! It's fun to be back.