anecdotes, Health

Princess knotty gets a boost…

This post is probably going to contain a lot of crankiness, profanity, perimenopausal TMI… proceed at your own risk.

The day I’ve been waiting for has finally arrived. I just got my Moderna booster shot, seven months after my second shot last June. I lived to tell the tale, too… at least so far, anyway.

Bill made me an appointment over a month ago. I would have tried to have gotten in sooner, but the rules were that we had to have been at least six months past our last shot. All of the earlier time slots were full. Bill got his boost on December 1, 2021, and it knocked him on his ass. We’ll see how I react. When I had the first two shots, I didn’t react much at all. Just had a sore arm and a blotch. This time, I don’t yet have a blotch, but the area where I got the shot is a little itchy. The lady went higher on my left shoulder this time.

I should have realized we’d be early for the vaccine appointment, since I am married to “Johnny on the Spot”. He’s always early. I often am, too, but not like Bill is. Bill got home from work at 11:30am. I figured that was kind of generous lead time for my appointment, which I thought was at 1:30. But, he was telling me we needed to go way sooner than that. So then I thought maybe the appointment was at 1:00pm.

We arrived at the vaccination center at about 12:30 or so– too early. But again, I thought I had the time wrong. I was suddenly really glad I had decided to wear my down parka instead of my trusty wool “coatigan”. The vaccination center is on a windy hilltop and I’ve never not been cold there, even in the warm months. I also wore my favorite blue sweater, which was made in Scotland and purchased at a Scottish shop in Rothenburg ob der Tauber a few years ago. I was going to wear a different sweater, but then I realized it was too bulky to get my sleeve up high enough. It turned out that changing sweaters was a good idea, since the nurse injected so high up on my shoulder.

It was cloudy and chilly today, but at least there wasn’t any rain, which we had all day yesterday. I was feeling a little icky, not because of a respiratory illness, but because after a four month hiatus, my ovaries woke up and I got my period, complete with cramps. Naturally, that made me a little grouchy, along with the chilly wind that blew across the hill where the depressing abandoned strip mall on post has been turned into a vaccination center. We all wore masks and filled out a government form, then stood around waiting for the show to get on the road.

As I was thinking about the appointment, I wondered why I didn’t just drive myself. I do have a car. I’m out of practice, though, and it’s been ages since I last drove my car. Besides, Bill likes to take care of me… hence today’s facetious post title. In retrospect, maybe I should have handled this chore myself.

So there I was, cold and crabby, thinking that I had a 1:00pm appointment, since we were there so early. Bill had made the appointment for me, so I didn’t know for sure. A guy finally came out to explain how the process would work. I turned to Bill and said, “What time was my appointment?”

He grinned and said, “1:30.”

Then I said, probably louder than I meant to, “WHY did you bring me here so early?”

He started to explain, and a kind looking lady, also with her husband turned to tell me, “If you have an appointment, you’ll be seen for sure.”

I said, “Yes, I heard him….” then I noticed the look in her eye (I couldn’t see the rest of her expression), and said reassuringly, “I’m just bitching at him…”

She and her husband laughed. I wondered what made her feel the need to intervene. Did I really sound that irritable? I probably did… Suddenly, I felt a little ashamed and embarrassed. The couple laughed and said, “She’s just being a wife.”

“I don’t want to stand in the cold.” I added, realizing that my social skills have eroded further than I realized. The lady and her husband agreed and that little intervention passed.

Then another lady asked me if I was in line. I told her to go ahead and Bill, apparently thinking I was talking to him, said “What?”

“I wasn’t talking to you.” I snapped. Yeah… cranky, chilled, and crampy… that makes me decidedly crotchety. The lady flashed me a look of surprise. I probably seemed really bitchy and entitled.

“Why don’t you go wait in the car.” Bill suggested. “I’ll wait for the announcement.”

“That’s a good idea.” I agreed. My toes were chilled, as were my hands. My lower back ached. My abdomen twitched with Aunt Flow’s tardy arrival. Yeah… I was definitely not fit for human company.

Bill unlocked the Volvo for me. I sat there and watched more people show up… it was a little slice of Americana, with all sorts of people in all sorts of clothes showing up for their shots. It always amazes me to see how people dress on military installations.

Finally, at about 1:25pm, I noticed Bill heading toward me. I got out of the car and got back in line. Two chatty ladies, obviously friends, were talking about how much of a pain it is to deal with traveling and having kids, especially during the COVID era. The taller one, who appeared to be a bit more experienced, was telling the other one about the wonders of Germany’s train system.

“You can book your own car… and drink!” the taller lady said. “And the kids can have their own spaces.”

Between them, they had five kids, not all of whom could be vaccinated. As they were describing what a pain it is to travel during the COVID era with kids, I realized I am glad that dealing with kids and vaccines isn’t one of my problems.

“I hate driving here.” the younger one said in a charming southern accent.

Me too… I thought to myself.

Finally, it was my turn to enter the building, where the familiar stations were laid out just as I remembered them. It was nice to be out of the cold. Another friendly lady complimented me on my pink and blue tweed tartan purse, which I bought on the Isle of Harris in Scotland. Harris Tweed– don’tcha know? And it matched my outfit, too. She asked it it was my family tartan. It’s not… although it kind of looks like the County Donegal tartan, which is bogus, since Ireland doesn’t really have tartans. That would be a gimmick. But Bill’s kilt is the County Donegal tartan, since that’s where the Crossens are from.

I put the wrong number as my ID number. They did away with using Social Security numbers for security reasons. So now I never know which one to use– mine or Bill’s… or my Social Security number, which I know by heart.

An elderly Black man with two canes was in front of me. I was touched by how attentive the staff was to him. The female half of the couple next to me knew the guy. I got the sense that he was someone well known on the Wiesbaden installations.

The shot stung this time. I was right to wear my sweater with looser arms, as the nurse wanted access to the “meatier” part of my arm. Um… it’s all meaty! The platinum blonde woman who administered the shot said, “You’re a bleeder!” as she slapped a Band-Aid on my shoulder.

In more ways than one… I thought to myself as another wave of menstrual cramps hit me.

After I got my paperwork and rested for ten minutes… which was probably shorter than that, Bill spirited me back to the car. He handed me Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and said, “For your trouble. Why don’t we just go home, instead of messing with getting COV-Pass certificates from the Apotheke?”

“Nah, let’s just get it over with, since I now have to go in there with you.” I said. Apparently, the rules changed since last summer, and I had to bring my passport and sign paperwork. That wasn’t true last summer.

We went to the Globus, where a friendly pharmacist quickly and efficiently got us new QR codes for our COVID apps. A lot of places no longer accept paper certificates as proof of vaccination, since they can be faked somewhat easily. It’s getting to the point at which you have to have a phone, just so you can eat at a restaurant. That was my first visit to Globus since March 2020.

When we got home, Arran and Noyzi were delighted. And they showed Bill in a delightful way.

I’m just glad to be boosted. We’ll see how long it lasts. Maybe next time, I won’t be so cranky, chilly, or crampy. All in all, it wasn’t so bad today. At least the process was basically efficient, and the staff was friendly. Friendlier than I was, earlier today, anyway. My arm is starting to hurt more now, so I think I’m going to go sit on my can. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow, but since Aunt Flow is here, I have a feeling that either way, I’ll still be feelin’ kinda bitchy.

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Welcome back to Stuttgart… part 3– clean teeth, The Gardener’s Nosh, and kids who can’t tell time

Friday morning, Bill and I had appointments to see our dentist.  We got up and enjoyed Waldhotel’s buffet breakfast.  It costs extra, but I booked it with the room.  At about 10:00am, we headed for the U-bahn (Waldau stop) and made our way to Stuttgart Mitte. (ETA: My German friend says that Stuttgart has no “U-bahn” as in “underground”.  The U stands for unabhängig– “independent”.  Stuttgart’s trains are all technically “Stadtbahns”.)  I had a big bag of wine corks to be delivered.  It so happened that the lady who was taking them for her crafting projects had an appointment in Stuttgart, too.

I really like Dr. Blair.  We started seeing him in January 2015, after I read many good reviews of his work in local Facebook groups and on Toytown Germany.  When we first started using his services, I had an upper baby tooth that had abscessed, and needed to be pulled and replaced with an implant.  I was very nervous about the whole experience, but he did a tremendous job.  I’ve had my implant for three years and it feels and behaves just like a natural tooth.  I still have another baby tooth that will probably need an implant.  If we’re still in Germany when the work needs to be done, I’ll probably have him do it.  If you’re interested in the whole implant saga, you can read about it in this blog.  I got the tooth pulled in September 2015 and the implant was finished in June 2016.

Dr. Blair was having a hard time on Friday.  He was working on a little girl who was wearing braces that had been applied with extremely strong cement.  The poor girl was crying as he was trying to remove one of the appliances.  How do I know this?  Well, I could hear it… but he also told me about it.  It’s always interesting to me how the concept of patient privacy differs in Germany than it does in the United States.  Germany is very big on privacy in general, but I guess, not when it comes to healthcare.

I heard Dr. Blair apologize to the girl’s mom as they were leaving.  I also heard him rather sternly tell the little girl that the trauma “wasn’t his fault.”  I guess it technically wasn’t, since he didn’t use that super strong glue on her braces, but she was still pretty upset.  This seemed like another incidence of “blame shifting” and “fault claiming” that appears to be a cultural thing here in Germany.  I notice that as a whole, many Germans seem to be very averse to accepting fault and/or blame when things go wrong.  I’ve written about it before, because as an American, it’s interesting to me to observe the differences.  This isn’t to say that Americans are any more willing to accept fault or blame– just that German culture seems especially against it.  Maybe that’s why lawsuits are so prevalent here.

After our teeth were cleaned and the wine corks were delivered, we decided to have lunch at The Gardener’s Nosh.  This is a restaurant on Calwer Strasse that I heard about in the food and wine Facebook group I run.  I wanted to try it when we were still living near Stuttgart, but never got the opportunity.  I think they recently expanded their hours.  I seem to remember the reason we couldn’t try it was because they closed in the afternoons and we were always in Stuttgart too late.  Now, I see they serve dinner, although the restaurant focuses on healthy breakfast items served all day.

Nice to finally try this place.
 
 

Breakfast all day.

We happened to get there right after a hen party had departed.  I think a couple of the “hens” remained.  I noticed that the noise level in the restaurant was rather energetic.  We might have sat outside, but the weather was kind of iffy– we’d have a few minutes of sun, then the rain would start.  It was also surprisingly chilly outside.

Delicious mint tea!

 

Pretty Eggs Hemingway!  Next time, I might try the French toast.

 

Bill’s turkey bacon and cheese sandwich.  I liked the avocado creme around the plate.

 

A nice spot for lunch downtown!

I decided to have Eggs Hemingway, which consisted of poached eggs, fresh spinach, Hollandaise Sauce, and smoked salmon on bread.  You get your choice of breads– toasted Brioche, “farm” bread, or whole wheat.  I chose the “Bauern” bread.  I wish I had chosen Brioche instead, but other than that, I really liked the dish.  It was almost too pretty to eat!  I also had Moroccan mint tea, which was served in a fancy golden pot.

Bill had a grilled turkey bacon and cheese sandwich.  I think I might have liked his sandwich even more than I did my Eggs Hemingway.  They used a mild cheese, kind of reminiscent of Swiss, on hearty farm bread.  He paired it with iced tea with fruit.

We used public transportation to get to and from the dentist’s office.  Getting back to the hotel was kind of exhausting, since we got turned around in the train station.  I spend a lot of time alone these days, so being around so many people kind of wore me out.  We had plans to visit the Frühlingsfest, but by the time we got back to the hotel, I wasn’t sure I still wanted to go.  It was cold and rainy.

But I gamely got dressed anyway…

And Bill liked it.  I think the dirndl brings out the animal in him.

Since we were going to the concert on Saturday, Bill preferred to go to the Fest on Friday afternoon.  I relented and put on my dirndl.  While I was getting dressed, a Waldhotel staffer dropped by to give us a gift because I left positive feedback on Expedia about our check in.

Should be interesting to try this!  It has Jalapeno Chilis in it.  Seems dangerous for German tastes!

We took public transportation back to Bad Cannstatt, where it promptly started raining.  By the time we got to the tent, I looked like a drowned rat.

Not the best look for me.  Glad I didn’t waste time fixing my hair.

Our one and only Krugs, thanks to the inconsideration of kids who can’t tell time.

We sat at a table that was reserved for 6:00pm.  It was about 3:30 when we arrived, and the table was completely empty.  There was no music, and we were too late for lunch, although we didn’t really want to eat, anyway.  I took some photos and we started enjoying our first Maßkrugs.  At about 4:00pm, a large group of kids showed up and took over the table.  After about thirty minutes, before we were finished with our beers, one of the “kids” asked us to move.  The guy said they had a reservation.

Bill was way too nice to the boy, who was admittedly asking us nicely, but still being a self-centered little shit.  The kid suggested that we sit at one of the other tables, all of which were also reserved, and mostly for times earlier than 6:00pm.  I was really pissed, though.  I looked at the kid and said in a really bitchy tone of voice, “It’s not six o’clock yet.”

The kid looked rather horrified at Bill, who then looked at him sternly.  I probably looked like I wanted to kill him.  I have one of those faces that says a lot more than what comes out verbally.

I probably looked even meaner than this.

In retrospect, maybe I should have said, “Young man, you can wait ten minutes while I finish my beer.  Your reservation starts at 6:00pm.  If you needed the table sooner, you should have reserved it for earlier than 6:00pm.  You don’t get to claim the table for all day.  Didn’t your parents teach you how to tell time?  And didn’t they teach you basic manners?”

But I could tell Bill didn’t want me to make a scene, and I knew that if I did, it would ruin the Fest for all of us.  So we moved to another table.  I finished the beer and we left the tent to frequent some of the outdoor Biergartens we usually miss at the Fests.  I think I’m getting too old for the Fests, anyway, but I wanted to get more use out of my pretty dirndl.  I don’t think they wear them up here in Hesse.  Germany is definitely wearing off on me.  I’m not as laid back as I used to be… not that I’ve ever been laid back, but I’m even more uptight now.  Just wait until I go through “the change”.

I should have tried this.  It might have improved my mood.

 

Germans are serious about their rides.  I probably would have liked to try this twenty years ago.  Bill doesn’t like rides, though, so I was content to watch.  

Interesting sign…  I think I took this after I used the WC, where the Klofrau beamed at me for leaving a euro instead of 50 cents.

We eventually switched to wine.  I think when it comes to the Fests, the wine tents are more my speed.  Unfortunately, they weren’t running one at the Frühlingsfest like they do in the fall.

We should have just gone to this place instead of trying to hit the beer tents.  You can see the ambulance passing… probably to go pick up one of the little Scheissers at the Wasen.

It’s amazing how it wasn’t as crowded on Friday afternoon as it always is during the fall and yet, thanks to some obnoxiously self-centered kids, I had a worse time.  Well, it wasn’t all bad… At least I didn’t end up kissing anyone, like I did a few years ago.  We took a cab back to the hotel, visited Angelo at the bar, and then retired to our fancy suite and tried out the humongous bathtub behind the bed.  That experience saved the evening!

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