Week 2: Poo to the devil…

Wow, that weekend at the spa was amazing. A nice massage, a facial, bubbling in the outdoor bubble bath, sauna, etc. The hotel was located in Ommen (somewhere in the middle of nowhere in the mid-north of the Netherlands) surrounded by a beautiful and green environment, and so my daughter and I decided to rent a bike for half a day. Apart from being pampered, a little extra movement wouldn’t hurt and even my physiotherapist said that I should move my foot a lot without putting pressure on it. Well, cycling seemed like the ideal form of exercise.


My physio was a bit annoyed with me. Apparently riding a bike doesn’t count as exercise without pressure. During the bike ride (a bit over 30km because we got totally lost), we finally arrived at a point called Lemelerberg. Well, I can tell you that if the word ‘berg’ is in a place name, then you probably have to cycle UPHILL. I went back from 7th to 1st gear in a nanosecond but it was still too heavy, so I had to walk instead (not good for the foot). Getting on and off the bike was also not 100% painless. Also, if you are already three quarters into the route, going back is not an option. Especially since we had to be back on time for the massage and, hey, it’s all about priorities, right? Anyway, after the weekend my physio had quite the job to make my foot a bit looser (except for my broken bone because that one is still quite loose ☹).

The hotel in Ommen had a good environment and a great opportunity to work on my future diet. All the food was so healthy. The chef was one of those chefs with a star, and everything he cooked was very natural and healthy with only seasonal and regional products. Also, the breakfast buffet was fantastic. During breakfast, I ate the most delicious “stand-yoghurt”* ever. Fresh from the farm and stuff, which you can certainly taste. I almost heard cow Bertha mooing in my ear.
*FUN FACT: In the Netherlands you have 2 types of yoghurt. “Stand-yoghurt” is just known as regular yoghurt in the English language, and is eaten in the rest of Europe (and the world?) which is thick and creamy in texture. We also have “roer-yoghurt” which is a more processed version that has been fermented at a lower temperature and is a lot thinner and more runny. Lesson #1.

Here a picture with the view from the top of that stupid “berg” (mountain)

The most difficult thing right now is having to eat regularly (6 food-moments) throughout the day. I’m never really hungry and very often I just forget to eat (I know, you didn’t expect that, right?). I can easily not eat for a whole day, which as a consequence causes me to eat too much during dinner. My body is therefore always in a kind of ‘stress mode’ and stores everything as fat because it never knows when food is coming in again*. I only have to look at a cookie and BOOM! I’ve gained a kilo.
*FUN FACT: This is a very real metabolic state and is called ‘starvation-mode’, which is when after a long period of fasting, your body stores all your nutrients as fat instead of converting it to energy, to protect your vital organs and as fuel for later, since it does not know when it will next be fed. Lesson #2.

Scheduling 6 food-moments per day is pretty difficult and I really have to set an alarm to remind myself. Meanwhile, there are also those pills to think about. Two weeks before the operation you must start with 2 calcium tablets in the morning, 1 calcium tablet in the evening and a vitamin bomb before bedtime. The latter is of course not really a bomb (duh!) but it’s a very large capsule. That capsule is one of those sticky ones that lingers in your throat as if it is afraid to fall down.
TRING! Snooze! TRING! Snooze! TRING! SH*T – out of bed
TRING! – breakfast
TRING! – 2 pills
TRING! – snack
4 alarms and by then it’s only 11 o’clock or so. I’d better go find a nice alarm tone. Mine sucks. And is very annoying. Very.

Oh, and of course we still have to train for the Camino. Like I said before, cycling was not a big success but normally I don’t cycle a lot anyway. The people who know me already know this, but for the new readers; 5 years ago, I had a horse-riding accident. I broke my tailbone (which is now very crooked) and heavily bruised my lower back (I now have a tilted SI joint). Cycling is therefore quite uncomfortable for me but for the beautiful surroundings of Ommen I made an exception (I did not know about that stupid mountain).
The only way to train for the Camino is walking, which is where the dreadful foot comes into play again. My physio has said that I have to start walking short distances (about 2km) and should build that up. Well, patience is not one of my best features so last Monday I walked a lot of short distances. First, I walked 2km with Muppet & Elmo (our Chihuahuas) through the forest and then in the afternoon I walked to my workplace.

Besides working in my own antique shop, I also work in a Chiropractic and Physiotherapy practice (that certainly has its advantages now). There is a practice in Zoetermeer and one in The Hague and Monday was my the Hague-day. According to Google Maps, home-to-practice is 2.1km so that works out perfectly. Once there, I worked for 5 hours, seated, and with my foot down. Another point that did not make my physio happy. Actually, he has said that after a walk, I have to take a short rest with my foot up, but of course that’s not possible behind a counter. During that time, my foot was hanging down, that thing filled up with fluid, it started to hurt and it became a very beautiful shade of purple. Five hours later the walk home became very painful, but I felt happy. 6km in 1 day! That was the largest distance walking since the beginning of October and I walked those 6 kilometers on my beautiful rock-solid dark brown leather slippers with laces, and oh well …. you have to start somewhere right?

It’s a very strange idea that I’ll have my surgery tomorrow. Not gonna lie, I’m a bit nervous. Tomorrow (Monday) I have to report myself at 10 am, but then I have to wait since I’m patient no. 4. That will probably be after the surgeon’s lunch and I desperately hope that the surgeon will not drink any wine during his lunch. Yesterday I ate out for dinner one final time (for the time being that is). This time with my youngest daughter, and I went for the Tajine with fish at Al Hayat. Tonight, I will not eat anything spicy or weird on request of the surgeon. He said that it can take up to 24hrs before any spice smells (garlic or something) disappear out of your stomach. Well, I’d rather obey him because I really would like to keep the surgeon as my friend!

Recently, someone told me that the devil is in the picture. By now, everyone knows that the Camino is an ancient religious pilgrimage and that is something the devil absolutely opposes and so he creates obstacles for me so that I cannot walk. Pff…well…you know… my mother and I have a ticket to Porto and a ticket back from Santiago so we have to go from one point to the other. We will try to do this by foot but if that doesn’t work, horse and carriage or hitchhiking will work too. We WILL follow that trail one way or another, so, as we say in Dutch… poo to the devil!


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