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Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Back from a stressful vacation

We just came back home from what ended up being one of the most stressful holidays ever- at least for me. It started with the fact that I wasn’t at home, not really. I wrote how I feel at home everywhere, but this is not entirely true. We spent two weeks in Germany, at my parents-in-law’s place. And while I know my way around in Germany, and lived there for several years, you already see how I described this place: not my home. My parents-in-law’s.  And even though my husband and my children were there, too, when I heard: “Make yourself at home”, I didn’t feel at home. Instead, I felt pressure to feel well in a place where I can’t feel well.

My husband’s parents live in a beautiful little village in North Germany. It is surrounded by forests, trees, and it’s cute and cosy. However, to me, it feels imprisoning. Getting anywhere on my own is nearly impossible unless I want to take walks in the forest. And I am bored after a week of taking walks in the forest. I don’t drive, and am totally dependent on my parents-in-laws two cars. All this brings with it a huge amount of tension, and after only two days I was ready to go home.

On top of that, we took Klara to see an otolaryngologist. My husband was experiencing problems with his sinuses, and wanted to have them checked by a specialist. We took Klara with us, since we were worried about her heavy breathing during the day and snoring during the night. As it turns out, they both need surgery. Klara’s adenoid was too big, and the surgery was scheduled a week after the diagnosis. I was confused and angry, because just after I wrote my text on Dutch healthcare where I described my rather positive experiences with this system, it became obvious that Dutch doctors totally failed to diagnose this condition and react to it.

Klara’s surgery went well. She came back home on the same day, and was very miserable for a while. Hearing her cry out in pain is not something I want to experience again. But she was back to her usual happy self in a matter of hours, and it only took one dosage of pain relief (Paracetamol didn’t help, so for the first time, we gave her Ibuprofen) for her to calm down. The next day, nobody would have noticed that she had surgery. Such a relief!

My husband’s condition, however, is more complicated .He also needs surgery, but a longer one, as his condition is not very usual: first he has to get his nasal septum (it’s a wall in the nose) fixed (as it’s crooked and makes breathing difficult), and then there is something blocking his frontal sinus, which leads to headaches and infections. This has to be surgically removed, and it will be under general anaesthesia, and it will be a complicated operation, and my husband will have to stay in the hospital for 2-3 days.

We’re considering his surgery in October, and I am not very thrilled about going back where I can’t get the support I need. Because let’s face it, my parents-in-law, while they’re nice people, can’t support me, and I don’t expect it from them. However, the important thing is that my husband is in a place HE feels supported, and his childhood home might provide just that. I will survive.

It doesn’t help that October is usually the time we like to go on vacation. So, instead of taking a nice vacation away from chores and work, we’re going to have lots of stress, again. Not very excited.

OK, end of rant. “Real” blogging will resume soon!

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  1. I'm sorry all this happened to you. I hope Klara is ok now. Francesco had the same surgery a few years ago here in NL and all went very well (as you see: it all depends on personal experience...). However, I can also understand your feelings about your parent-in-law's. Especially with kids, you need to have more "action" or places to go - independently! - when you visit. I have this every time we go to my parents or my in-laws. After one/two days, I have to take a "break" and have some family-fun for a day (only with the kids and Rolf). I completely understand your frustration, I think it's one of the main problems when you visit family and have to stay quite long - as the distance is too big to leave after a weekend... It's great that you share. I hope you'll find a solution for October that helps you to cope with the situation. Maybe some friends could come to pick you up at your in-law's for a "uitstapje" or visits could be an option?

    1. Thank you, Ute for this kind comment. Klara is fine now, she went to daycare today. Yes, you are right. I did something with my husband only, and we did all kinds together with his extended family, but we didn't do anything just the 4 of us. Oh, we wanted to invite friends around, but it didn't work out, so maybe next time. Yes, I need more me-time, I need more family time, I need more space. I will consider this next time we go there.

  2. So sorry about all of this, just when you needed a break you have stress instead. I'm so glad to hear that Klara is well again.

    Is there any chance of taking some driving lessons before you go back? I understand that this can be daunting, not to mention expensive, but if you do manage to crack it, it could help you take a break from the woods when you are there.

    1. Tallulah, thank you for your kind comment. Actually, I have a driver's licence, but I don't drive. The reason for this is that I have a bad orientation, and am naturally clumsy- all of this makes driving extremely difficult, and I never sat behind the driving wheel after taking my exam. Also, even if I would drive, it wouldn't help me much- somebody always needs the car, and anyway, I feel more independent if I can just go to the store to do my grocery shopping instead of relying on the car. But yes, this would be a good advice for anybody else.

  3. I am sorry that this has all happened for your family. But at least you know what is wrong now and can get it fixed. Try to keep a positive attitude and will be thinking of you.

  4. i am sorry that all this is happening! take a deep breath and remember that God may have a different vacation time for you and all will be great then!! i'll keep you in prayer!

  5. Oh boy that certainly doesn't sound like a very happy holiday. I so glad to hear that your daughter is well and that your husband can get surgery for his problem. My husband has the same problem but has opted out of surgery as we don't have insurance to pay for it.
    I would take the time now to prepare for October. Pray first and ask for prayers from your family/friends. Maybe God will work out a friendship with someone who doesn't mind driving into town?

    1. Dear Countryfied Hicks, dear A Godly Homemaker, dear Sara! Thank you so much for your supportive, kind comments. While I am not a religious person, I appreciate all your thoughts and prayers. Thank you.


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