Bill and I just enjoyed a 24 hour adventure in Landstuhl at the Army’s Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, the biggest U.S. military medical facility outside of the United States. As an Air Force brat and Army wife, I had heard about this place many times. A few of my friends were born at Landstuhl, as well as Bill’s former stepson, and a few children of friends. Today’s experience was the first time I had ever been there myself. I must say, I was rather impressed with it. For a military hospital, it’s pretty damned nice.
Anyway, as is my habit, I’ve decided to write up this tale, since we did stay in a very no frills hotel near the installation. I came along with Bill to drive him home, since he’s currently under the influence of sedatives and muscle relaxants. I drove our new Volvo for the first time yesterday, even though we’ve had it since July. I am proud to say that I managed to drive it home with ease today, too. Actually, it drives like a dream. Makes me think it might be time to trade in my Mini. I might even drive more often if I had a car like that.
Landstuhl is maybe a 90 minute drive from Wiesbaden. I kind of like it out that way. It’s pretty, and reminds me a little of Baden-Württemberg, minus the hellacious Staus. Because I had never driven the Volvo before, Bill drove part of the way and then I got a test drive. I finally understand, now, when Bill talks about the view he gets on the windshield, which shows his speed and the speed limit. As a passenger, I can’t see it, but it’s easy to see in the driver’s seat. Of course, I still found myself speeding a lot, since that car drives as smoothly as silk. It’s like driving your living room. We pulled over at Burger King so I could eat. Bill wasn’t allowed to. While we were there, I noticed that they were selling burgers with some kind of truffle sauce. I hate truffles, but even if I liked them, what in the hell would possess me to buy anything with truffles on them at Burger King or any other fast food joint? Seems kind of crazy to me. I also noticed they were selling the dreaded lava cakes.
We got to Landstuhl during the afternoon and stopped by the hospital so Bill could check in. I was surprised by how quiet it was, as well as how large the installation is. Bill got a number from the automated machine, but it wasn’t really necessary. No one else was there.
Because we had to be at the hospital early, Bill was advised to book a room. He chose the Hotel Pfeffermühle & Flammerie, a very simple, very German hotel with a restaurant that only serves Flammkuechen, otherwise known as Alsatian pizza. Because we were there on a Sunday and the restaurant is only open on weeknights, we didn’t get to try the pizza. In fact, we had to call the proprietor to come open the door for us so we could check in.
Our room was pretty small, but immaculately clean, and a good deal at 80 euros for the night. I noticed all of the rooms were named after local towns, which seemed an interesting touch, given how no frills the hotel was. I’m sure they get a lot of business from people like Bill, who live in Germany but need local lodging to access the hospital on the Army post. I think we might have gotten one of the better rooms. It had a shared balcony that overlooked the street in front of it and the generous parking lot, where there is free parking for guests.
We had a little time before the witching hour of 6:00pm, when Bill was to start drinking his GoLYTELY. Because he’s a sweetheart, he went out and got me snacks, wine, and beer. We brought most of it home, although the Cheetos came in handy while I watched TLC reality TV programs dubbed into German. Later, he realized that the two rolls of toilet paper provided by the hotel would also be insufficient. He went out to get some more. It turned out to be Charmin, and we also had leftovers of that. However, I think this house can handle Charmin, while our last house could not.
Bill had to drink half of that jug at 6:00pm and the rest at 3:00am. He said it didn’t actually taste that bad. It was kind of chemically with a salty aftertaste. He chilled it, added Crystal Light, and drank quickly. I’m proud to say that he managed to finish the whole thing without throwing up. And I don’t think things were that “explosive”, either. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, anyway. He brought a book and his iPad, but I don’t think he had to camp out on the toilet. In fact, aside from getting chilled, he was even able to sleep.
I had the usual German breakfast of cold cuts, Brotchen, and a boiled egg, washed down with juice and peppermint tea. Bill watched.
We showed up at the clinic at about 8:00am. A cheerful nurse greeted Bill quickly and he was went on with the procedure. I ended up chatting with a lady who had accompanied her friend, who works at Ramstein and is about to retire. A few other unlucky folks showed up… I’m assuming most of them were there for the same reason.
Two hours after our arrival, Bill was done. A very kind looking nurse gave me the post op instructions, as well as a detailed printout of what happened during the procedure and full color pictures of Bill’s colon. I signed the form indicating that I’d be responsible for getting Bill home, and off we went. Aside from some confusion as to how to get on the Autobahn and a couple of impatient parking space lurkers, it went off without a hitch. Bill’s scope was clean; he doesn’t need to have another done for ten years; and he’s now sound asleep. I think I’ll join him.
Will I have myself scoped? Probably not. Bill says he’ll make me go, but I kind of doubt it. Should I have it done? Probably… but I can’t be arsed.