21 July 2009

Back on track

Back from Prague, it was tough to go back to rehab again. The pain had died down and I was worried about it starting again. The weather is pretty good though and while painting in the outdoors, I managed to keep it up for a whole 2,5 hours. I have started 2 new projects and have set myself a new goal.
I hope to make enough canvasses to be able to hold an exposition in the near future. I have quite a way to go, as I have about 5 canvasses now but I need about 20. My shoulders are much better now. It is a great strain on my shoulders to paint at the moment because it is hard to hold my arm up. The Trappenberg will be concocting special equipment for me so I can paint by leaning my arm on a movable surface. 2,5 hours is not bad at all though.
It goes to show that the physical therapy is paying off.

My leg on the other hand just does not seem to want to come along. I will be seeing the doctor of the Trappenberg this week. I wonder what he will come up with.

I seem to be having a harder time this time to keep up the moral. On the other hand, I have already completed more than a month of therapy and all in all I am getting along pretty fast. Just moving forward a day at a time.

12 July 2009

Prague's promise

Two months ago I decided that is was time to pull myself out of this bottomless pitt. It was time to set one of my impossible goals again. I thought that a trip with Marcus, while the kids were away with the exes might be just right for us. We decided on Prague but frankly, I had no idea how I was going to get around Prague. I remembered from my trip in I think it was 1993, with my mother, that Prague was a city of cobble stones and stone tiles. I booked anyway, knowing that I would be pushing myself through rehab with a goal as prestigious as this. For a moment it seemed like I might not make that goal as I got back-lagged by the last radiation session and the fall which the ambulance had caused. I was into my 3rd week at rehab when disaster struck. The pain in my left leg had gotten so bad that I had to stop exercising it. This is how the week in which I was supposed to leave started. The pain did not die down by Tuesday which was the day that we were off to an airport hotel for which I had won the stay on an online auction. I had been off my opiates for 5 weeks already and I was proud of it too. I reallized that if I did not give into using them, I would most certainly not have a good time in Prague. On drugs, I seemed to manage. We flew to Prague on the morning of the 8th of July. The flight was uneventful and we soon made it to Prague. Getting into town was easy and much cheaper than we had anticipated. Our reservations were fine and we were most suprised by the quality of the hotel which we had booked. We stayed at Andel's hotel, a design hotel not to far from the town's centre. It is situated in the Andel neighborhood, a modern neighborhood in the vicinity of Prague's largest shopping center Nový Smíchov . We spent the first afternoon there and left the site-seeing for the next day. We visited Prague Castle with tour and concluded it with a boat trip on the Moldau. We got tired of our guide who seemed to be in a tremendous rush, so we ditched the group after the boat trip and tipped the guide on the boat instead of her. Afterwards we headed to the old marketplace where we meant to watch the astronomical clock on the whole hour, but we had some time to kill and after shopping for crystal the rain caught up with us. Prague is a beautiful city with many building styles as the city was spared in the World Wars. It is most renown for the art deco style which provided us with some beautiful locations to have dinner at.

The food was good and inexpensive. A three course meal with drinks for two amounts up to about € 50 which is pretty cheap for us. It always feels good when you know your money is going to stretch a long way.

How did I get around? Well, mostly Marcus pushed me around in my wheelchair. An oddity in Prague which made us wonder where the invalids of the Czech republic reside. We bumped into just 2 wheelchairs, one of which was a Dutch lady, traveling just like us. And I think I saw maybe 6 or 7 people with crutches. People are very obviously not accustomed to wheelchairs as is it mostly tourists that know how to clear the way. The infrastructure is not adapted to the use of wheelchairs either and we ended up using the road to move around rather than the sidewalk. It seemed dodgey but people seemed to be OK with it. We even passed the odd cop or two and were not stopped. By the last day I was benefitting from the excellent bed in the hotel. My pain had diminished and I managed to get through the last day without opiates. We ended our stay by visiting a concert held at the national museum on the inner stairs. We chose a concert with arias from famous operas. The quality was pretty good, but not quite as good as the ballet which I saw years ago. We ended our stay with an Italian dinner which the people of Prague really seem to be into. Our trip home was just as smooth as on our way there. I had made it! I had gone to Prague and really enjoyed it.