Look Up, Look Down – Paris

Every Thursday, Travel With Intent posts a photo to go with the theme Look Up, Look Down and invites readers to do the same.
For this week’s entry, I’ve chosen another old photo. Jan and I went to Paris in April 2009 to meet up with my family. My mam and my aunt had said they would take my Grandma to Paris for her 80th birthday. What she didn’t realise was that it wasn’t only the three of them going… most of her children (including my aunt who lives in New Zealand) and a few of the grandchildren had gathered there to surprise her.

My first photo was taken from the top of the Arc de Triomphe.

Paris from above
Paris from above

As you can see, the weather wasn’t exactly brilliant! But Jan wanted to go ahead and climb the thing anyway, so we did.

Here’s another photo from the same occasion:

Spiral staircase at the Arc de Triomphe
Spiral staircase at the Arc de Triomphe

The spiral staircase is the route back down to street level. I had to wait quite a while before the crowds of people going down died down enough for me to get a photo!

To see how other people have interpreted the theme and post your own entry, check out Travel With Intent’s blog post.

The wisdom tooth story so far

**Warning: If you have a problem with reading about blood and pain, now would be a good time to stop! You can come back another day when I write about less gory topics. Also, this is going to be a summary of 3.5 days, so it may get rather long. Now no saying I didn’t warn you!**

Day 1 (surgery day)

I got up bright and early to eat a bowl of Fruit & Nut Weetabix… who knew when I would feel like eating again? I wasn’t sure whether I would actually be able to finish the bowl, but at this point I wasn’t too nervous (surprisingly) and I actually managed to eat them all. I also drank two glasses of water – I was thirsty! Jan had taken the morning off so I wouldn’t have to come home from my appointment alone, so we set off together. The waiting room was much less full than it had been when I went for the consultation (probably because it was so early!) and my turn came fairly soon.

Jan came in with me for the initial “do you have any questions?” to make sure I understood everything, then left while they did the actual surgery. I had taken my earphones along so I could listen to music while the teeth were being removed, but I totally forgot to get my BlackBerry out of my bag. However, to be honest I don’t think I’d even have been able to hear the music over the sound of the implements. One tooth was almost completely sideways ad the other was slightly angled so this was not a case of simple pulling. There was cutting and loud, loud drilling. Not pleasant! It was over fairly quickly though.

Once the operation was done, the dentist shoved a piece of gauze on each wound and told me to bite down on them… except I couldn’t because my mouth was completely numb and I had no idea whether I was biting down or not! My bottom lip felt like it was huge and possibly made of rubber! Totally bizarre. I was given two cold gel packs and taken for an x-ray, then sent to wait for a bit while my prescription and things were prepared. After a few minutes, my name was called and I was given a sick note for two days (after that was the weekend), a prescription for Ibuprofen and a follow-up appointment so the surgeon could check the wounds. Then we were on our way. Even though I’d only had a local anaesthetic and no sedatives or anything, I felt kind of out of it (I guess not being able to feel half your face will do that?) so I was very glad Jan was with me. I also couldn’t talk at all… partly because my mouth was full of gauze, but also because I had no control over my numb tongue.

I had been told I could take the gauze out when I got home, so I did. It turned out I was still bleeding though (my top became a victim of the great wisdom tooth removal of 2012 when I drooled blood all over it without realizing), so Jan went to the chemist and bought me more gauze. I spent the next few hours biting down on that without the bleeding stopping then half an hour without any gauze to see if the bleeding would stop by itself. I then tried more gauze, leaving it in for about 2 hours then finally gave up and decided to let it bleed. The sheet I was given told me to contact the surgery if the bleeding didn’t stop or was very strong (which it wasn’t) but didn’t say at which point it would be considered “not stopping”, so I turned to Dr. Google, which seemed to think I should contact my dentist if I was still bleeding after 24 hours. Since I had my follow-up appointment the next day, I decidednot to worry too much. The bleeding seemed to have pretty much stopped by 10 p.m.

I was told not to eat or drink anything until the anaesthetic had worn off, but the sides of my mouth started to hurt a lot before the feeling was totally back in my lips, so I decided to ignore that and have a painkiller – which involved drinking water. Swallowing hurt!! Between that and the yukky taste of blood, I really didn’t feel like eating or drinking that day. I tried to take the occasionally mouthful of water (accompanied by cries of ow, ow, ow!) and basically spent the entire day wrapped in a blanket in front of the TV with either a cool gel pad or an ice pack wrapped in a t-shirt shoved on the side of my face. After Jan came home, I wanted to take another pain killer but decided I’d better at least try to get something in my stomach first. I sipped a smoothie and managed to drink the equivalent of about a mouthful… in 20 minutes! Then I took my painkiller. The instructions from the surgery said to resume oral hygiene as soon as possible, so before bed I tried to brush my teeth… very difficult considering I could barely open my mouth! I also wasn’t supposed to spit, so I had to kind of let stuff trickle out into the sink. Rinsing the extraction sites was off the cards for 24 hours too, so I made sure my rinsing water only hit the teeth. Not easy! Between my painkiller and an icepack, I was able to sleep for about half an hour, then Jan came in with two gel pads and a teatowel, which he proceeded to use to strap the gel pads to my face. I then fell alseep for 2 hours, until a mixture of pain and the teatowel falling off woke me at 5 a.m. I went and fetched a cold ice pack and after a while drifted off again.

Day 2

Hamster duitama
At least hamsters are cute! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If I hadn’t had my follow-up appointment, I probably wouldn’t have bothered getting dressed at all on Friday. But I did have the appointment, so I was up, showered and dressed bright and early (8 am appointment). By this stage, I looked like a hamster and it seemed something had started bleeding again overnight. Needless to say, I did not feel like eating! My appointment was at 8 and I was out of the surgery by 10 past! I told the doctor about the bleeding, and he said it was normally for some blood to seep through for the first few days. He then had a look in my mouth and said he could see it really was just seeping and not proper bleeding, so all was good. Also the wounds looked to be healing well. I was told to keep cooling, make an appointment for next Thursday to get the stitches out and sent on my way.

Back home I changed back into my pyjamas and went to lie down for a bit. I hadn’t picked up my prescription the day before because we had non-prescription Ibuprofen at home and had decided I should try with that first (Jan didn’t want even more medicines lying around), but now I decided I wanted the stronger one so I hopefully wouldn’t have to take pills as often (swallowing still hurt!). Once the chemist’s opened, Jan went and picked up my new painkillers for me then went to work. I managed to sleep for about half an hour then, during a roughly ten minute period where swallowing was merely uncomfortable, I ate two or three spoonfuls of icecream… my first food in over 4 hours! After the icecream, I took the advice of the Internet and my mother and did a warm salt water rinse. I wasn’t sure whether I was allowed to rinse properly yet, so I did it very gently, tilting my head to the sides to get water into the corners where it was needed. I’m still not sure how much salt water actually made it to the wounds, but I tried! Later, after lots more TV watching, I tried some more ice cream and when Jan came home he made pumpkin soup (from a packet). I had to request a teaspoon in place of the normal one he had given me and the wound on the left still killed with every swallow, but I managed half the bowl before given up. Shortly after, I went and brushed my teeth and went to bed – eating was exhausting!

Day 3

Curried carrot and bean soup (not from this week!)
Curried carrot and bean soup (not from this week!)

I was woken up by pain at around 8, so I took a painkiller and pressed an ice pack to my face while I waited for it to work. Jan had an extra choir practice in preparation for today’s concert, so he went out fairly early, after bringing me a fresh ice pack and a glass of water. I didn’t manage to fall back to sleep, but stayed in bed for a while reading. Eventually I found the energy to go to the kitchen and fecth some ice cream – the one bright side of this whole ordeal is that nobody can judge me for having ice cream for breakfast! By now the bleeding had stopped completely and I was able to enjoy my food without the taste of blood. Well, as much as one can enjoy food while swallowing still hurts! Today, it was the wound on the right that hurt when I swallowed. I was also convinced that every swallow pulled the wound apart again, which made me even more terrified to try. But I discovered that by holding either a gel pad or flannel to that cheek, I was able to ease the pain somewhat. I watched two episodes of How I Met Your Mother then read some of my book. Jan came home at around 12 and made more soup. This time I maanged to finish the bowl! Woo hoo! The afternoon was spent watching TV, following the live text for the Newcastle match (we won!) and reading – all while holding cold things to my cheeks. At 6 the pain was bad again, so I took another Ibuprofen. Later, Jan made more soup, this time cream of tomato from a tin. He put a few small pieces of bread in it, and I managed to eat both them and half the soup before giving up and letting Jan have the rest. It was just too painful! When it came to brushing my teeth, I realised the swelling must have gone down because getting the toothbrush in was much easier! I also had a bright idea… on the sheet from the dentist, it said I could brush with a soft toothbrush or use a “Q-Tip” (they actually wrote that… in a German sentence?!) with disifectant to clean my teeth. So I decided to soak a cotton bud (“Q-Tip”) in mouth wash and use that to rub those teeth I could reach. The bud came back with dried blood on it, so it must have worked at least somewhat. It hadn’t been enough hours since my last Ibuprofen to take another strong one, so before bed Jan gave me one of the 400 mg (non-prescription) ones that I had bought from the chemist when I originally had toothache. I managed four hours of sleep in a row for the first time since this whole ordeal started (including the toothache days before the op)!

Day 4 – today

I woke up at 8 am in pain and ended up getting up at 8:30 because it would not go away! Tried a saltwater rinse, which helped a little, but at 9 I resorted to painkillers. The good news is that today I’m back to toothache levels of pain instead of the post-op, death by wisdom teeth pain. Swallowing still hutst on the left and I still feel like the wound is going to reopen, but I’m probably just being paranoid. Three spoonfuls is still the most I can manage before I think “I need to stop eating right now before the entire left-hand side of my face splits open!), but it’s better than nothing. I’m still swollen, but nowhere near as much and I can open my mouth wider than I could last night. So now my plan is to have a shower and actually get out of my PJs while the painkillers are still doing their job! Officially, I’m back at work tomorrow. We’ll see how today goes.

And if you’ve actually read this far, you deserve a reward! So here are some photos of me looking like a hamster(/squirrel/chipmunk… feel free to insert your favourite big-cheeked animal). Please excuse the quality of the pictures – they were taken with my BlackBerry!

Day 2
Day 2
Day 3
Day 3

Look Up, Look Down – Luzern

For the past two weeks, my photo for Travel With Intent’s Look Up, Look Down challenge have involved looking up, so this time I decided to go with the opposite. The following photos were taken in Luzern, Switzerland (or Lucerne, if you prefer the English spelling):

 Luzern 1

Luzern

As you can see, both photos show the city from above. A large section of Luzern’s city walls is still intact, complete with towers, and you can walk along the walls for an amazing view of the city below. And for a bonus picture, here you have me looking down from Luzern’s city walls.

Luzern 3

To see how other people have interpreted the Look Up, Look Down theme and to join in yourself, check out Travel With Intent’s blog post.

-Filler post-

Today’s post was supposed to be about a baking fail, but the photos I need for it are still on Jan’s phone (which is currently at work with him and will be until at least 8:30 pm!). Plus a planning mix-up at work has resulted in me being given 18 and a half hours of translation to do despite the fact that I have Thursday and Friday off this week. 18.5 hours of work in a 16-hour working week = overtime, which doesn’t leave much time for blogging!

Luckily, I still have hundreds of photos on my computer that you – my readers – have never seen, so I thought I’d pick a random one to upload for you.
I went into my “Photos” folder and chose the 13th sub-folder from within it (because 13 is my favourite number). Within that sub-folder, I then selected photo number 13. And that photo is…

Botanische Garten KA

The botanic garden in Karlsruhe! This was taken in August 2008, when my mum and brother had come to visit for a few days. They were actually staying with my uncle in Munich, but decided to make the journey down to Karlsruhe to see where I lived. For the two days they were here, we had perfect weather and I was able to show them everything there is to see in Karlsruhe (which admittedly isn’t much – if they’d been here any longer we’d have had to start taking day trips!).

Autumn days

I’ve been meaning to show you some of the photos I’ve taken recently, but somehow time has been getting away from me and other topics to post about kept cropping up, leaving my poor blog devoid of autumn colours (and now winter is approaching!).

Here are some of the photos I’ve taken over the past few months.
Home made beef and pumpkin stew. There’s nothing like it on a rainy autumn day!


An autumny tree in Mannheim.


The sun goes down so early these days.


I love how there’s just a little bit of red in amongst all the green.


Penguins at Karlsruhe zoo.


Beautiful leaves!

That’s all. I hope you like them.

Yawn

I am still alive, just currently too tired to even string together a coherent sentence let alone a blog post.
This week has mainly consisted of overtime, overtime and more overtime – and today is only Wednesday!Combine that with very little sleep and you have Zombie Bevchen on your hands.

Last week I had a visit from two people who were my house mates at uni. One of them actually lived with my twice – the second time voluntarily! I hadn’t seen them for 7 years, so it was about time we met up! It was nice to show them around where I live.

Too tired to write more, so here  are some photos of Ettlingen – which is about 10 minutes tram ride from Karlsruhe – where I took my guests last Monday.

Ettlingen Town Hall
River Alb
Ettlingen Market Place with St George’s Fountain

(It has seriously just taken me half an hour to write this tiny little post, and I had to go back and rewite half of it because almost every word had a typo in it. I really must get some sleep! But not til after the Germany match…)

Introducing Clive, the sofa skunk

I mentioned ages ago that Jan had bought me a stuffed skunk who was now living on my sofa. I named him Clive… a great name for a skunk, no? I believe it was Stephanie from Please, Stop Bouncing (which I just misspelled as please stop pouncing!) who requested photos of him. And now, slightly belatedly, here they are.

How cute is that little face?And just look at that soft, strokeable tail!

Clive rocks! 🙂

A room for living in

It is only Tuesday, right? I ask because this level of tiredness should not be occurring so early in the week, especially not this early in the week after a week off. This is at least Thursday level of tiredness. In fact, I’m so tired that even the thought of getting up to make something for tea makes me want to weep, so instead I’m sitting in front of the computer like some pitiful couch potato (Internet potato?) hoping Jan will get home soon, take pity on me and volunteer to cook instead. And since I’m here I thought it was about time I made good on my promise to show you more photos of the flat. So I present to you living room furniture…

Exhibit A is the sofa (what? I like stating the obvious, ok!). This picture was actually taken last week. Things look quite different now. For a start there’s a lot more stuff in that corner. (Stuff that shouldn’t be in that corner I might add!). And a stuffed skunk has found a home on the back of the sofa. Yes, I have a stuffed skunk! How amazingly cool is that? He’s amazingly cute and very, very soft and his name is Clive. Errm, anyway… moving swiftly on…

Here’s some living room furniture. The middle thing and the bit on the right are actually part of a set of three. The third part is on the other side of the room. I actually have a photo of that too, but I took it after Jan uploaded my photos so now it’s stuck on my camera until I can get him to do it again. I’m still having issues with doing it myself… simply plugging it into its cable doesn’t seem to work on this computer. Mostly it just causes everything to just freeze. It will only respond if Jan does computer scientisty things to it (types strange looking commands into a black box). So two photos is all your getting for now. I’m too tired for more anyway. I keep having to delete things after realising I’m typing nonsense – like two sentences ago I originally wrote “mostly it just causes everything to receive”. Receive what is beyond me. Definitely time to log off though!

A work in progress

Thank you all for the lovely comments on my last post. I bet you thought now my dissertation is over I would have time for my blog again. Yeah, me too. But once the dreaded dissertation was handed in the whole moving thing took over every single minute that I wasn’t at work. The new flat is very much still a work in progress, but we’ve got the bedroom finished-ish (painted, skirting boards put on, bed put together) and today is official moving day. This will be my last post for a while. Once the computer is unplugged and taken away I will no longer be able to access the Internet. I’ve arranged for my contract to be transferred to the new place as of tomorrow, but as far as we can tell the connections in the flat are all wrong so somebody is going to have to come out and provide us with something to attach the modem to. No idea when that will happen. I will be back then anyway, whenever ‘then’ turns out to be.

For now I shall leave you with some photos of the bedroom, the island of calm admidst the chaos. (Trust me, you don’t want to see what the other rooms look like… furniture and boxes piled in every bit of the living room and dust sheets all over the place to catch falling bits of paint! We shall have our wrk to cut out to get everything looking semi-decent before my visitor comes on the 31st…)

Freshly painted and with skirting boards
Furniture!
Where I shall be sleeping from now on...

Furniture and things

First things first… some photographs for those who requested them (or actually just answered my question with a yes, but you know what I mean…).
We’ll start in the bedroom, just because those are the photos that appear first in the folder…
Photo one is the chest of drawers (well, duh! Talk about stating the obvious!). Currently looking very neat and tidy, but I’m sure it won’t be long before the same chaos that reigns on every other sufrace in the flat has made it on to there to. *sigh*. That cardboard box you see to the left of the drawers contains the bedside table. It was only put up yesterday and I was working on my dissertation all day so no photo yet I’m afraid.

Moving on, and the chest of drawers has been joined by a wardrobe. Just a small one for now – we only really needed somehwere to hang stuff up since the drawers will do just fine fo things that can be folded. Eventually we’ll get a bigger (and probably slightly more expensive) wardrobe for our room in the new flat, but that wasn’t the purpose of this weekend’s mission.

And now let’s take a trip to the livign room…
Here you see Detolf, the cabinet. I am so overjoyed to finally have some storage space! Those plates you see at the bottom had been living on on the floor gathering dust up to now. Finally, after a little more than a year, I’ve managed to find them a home…

And that brings us to my final photo.
It’s a lamp! Eventually it’s place will be next to the sofa – which Jan will be bring with him from his flat. I actually can’t wait to have a sofa to snuggle up on! For now, though, the lamp has to be content with standing to one side of my living room, looking slightly lonely and out of place.
And that, my friends, is that. Not bad for an afternoon’s shopping.

And in other news, we had an appointment to look at another flat today. It was at 9:15 this morning, so I arranged to work from home today instaed of taking a half day and not starting til around 12 pm (and before you ask yes I did actually do work!). The flat was nice but would need a fair amount doing to it – like a proper kitchen putting in for one! – which of course would be expensive. Once again it all comes down to the money factor! We’l discuss it tonight though and I’m hoping a decision will have been made by Thursday at the latest. Stay tuned!