11 March 2017


It was clear to us last October, when we had to abandon our inner German border hike, that Alan would need something drastic done to his right knee if ever we were to walk another Camino.

Alan had some arthroscopy done in November which proved that there was no cartilage on the inside of the right knee, and so a date was fixed to have a partial knee replacement surgery done! On 1 March Alan had this done in the Städtischeskrankenhaus Nettetal by a Doctor Farag, who as luck would have it, is an Egyptian. 

Something similar to what you see here, but without the gold was consequently put in.

Alan has said that stapling must have been invented by a surgeon with poor needle and thread skills!

It was clear to us Bear's of little brain, that this whole procedure was painful.

But we were there in the hospital to administer TLC when needed.

To all our delight we were visited by many friends and realatives. Monika T, who kindly delivered us to and later collected us from hospital, was the first visitor followed a day later by George and his wife Petra. This was a wonderful surprise for we all know how much George hates hospitals, and with good reason. 

On the Saturday Petra brought Monica and Christopher and of course little Vincent. We all had a wonderful afternoon being chased round the garden by Petra.

Hardly had this fun group departed when we were surprised by Natalie and Heiner visiting. Heiner had just returned from Mexico and brought us Bears a nice little Sombrero which now adorns the head of Sandra's little bear that lives with us!
While Natalie brought some of our favourite chocolates!

Alex visited too and he was doubly welcome as he brought Alan a G+T and the Sun newspaper!

The last couple of visitors were then Alistair and Karin C on the Sunday. In such a manner the time in hospital flew by.

After only six days we were sent home and here too we were inundated with offers of help and visitors.

Alan had the opportunity of going out for a meal with Karin and Alistair C on one evening.

Vincent dragged Petra round to see us and had great fun reorganising everything he could lay his hands on.

Anja and Karoline came round too, just to have a chat.

Then on Friday 10 March we were collected by a minibus which already had two female cripples in it. We drove via Düren where we collected a third female and this made a two hour journey a four and a half hour one!

Alan was in some pain when we got here, but had to wait until late in the evening before he could see the duty doctor to get some painkillers!

Where the light is on the second floor is where our room is!

In the dining room Alan was allocated a place at a table with three other men. Two were coming to the end of their time here and are a talkative couple, Alan says more like old women for it's inconsequential rubbish that they say!

It's a considerable culture shock being here too. The majority are clearly OAPs, though there are some younger patients too, but they are all so old in the head! At least one poor soul is mentally challenged and two females and one male are Turkish Muslims! Many seem to have a poor attitude to the requirements to work hard in the Physiotherapy sessions too. 

After our first session this morning we went for a walk round town and after lunch we walked along a Camino path to an elves grotto!

When we returned from these outings we found Alan's plan for the week.

Early starts will mean early to bed but we are told it makes a man healthy wealthy and wise!

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