Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Things turned out differently than expected.....

One day before I had planned to leave for Zinnwald and the starting point of my trip through Eastern Europe it started rather inconspiciously with a mild stomach ache. I thought "no problem", delayed my trip for a couple of days and blamed it all on the Vietnamese take-away place around the corner. But instead of getting better things got much worse every day: I got a very high temperature! "No problem" I thought again and consulted my GP. She was worried but could not find the cause for my symptoms. She tested basically anything that could be tested and called me the next day.

"Pack your things and go to the emergency room of the closest hospital", she said. "You have a dangerous infection in your body and they have to find the cause." I first refused to face reality. I wanted to go hiking - and not be in a hospital, but eventually I relented and went. Doctors there were worried, too. I was not - I wanted to go hiking. "You will not go hiking anywhere in the near future", I was told when they eventually found the problem: a huge abscess in my abdomen. My heart sank. Two days I was in hospital under heavy antibiotic medication before they could operate me.

I had never been in hospital before - except when I was born - and I was scared shitless. When I woke up after surgery I was told how lucky I have been. "You would probably not have survived if this abscess had burst somewhere in the wilderness." I felt lucky indeed but my first question was: "When can I go hiking again?" The answer was depressing: Minimum reconvalescence: six week! My mind refused to accept this fact but my body forced me to: I felt plain miserably. For three more weeks I had to take heavy medication that made me feel so weak. Going to the supermarket next door became an adventure. I had to cling to the shopping cart because I felt so faint. Outside my room a hot and wonderful summer seemed to pass by wheras I could not do anything.

Eventually I was taken off medication - and then things improved rapidly. Last weekend I did my first test trip: hiking 33 km in two days - and I was worried if I could walk so much. Luckily I could! And now I am planning to go on a bigger hiking trip again - exactly six weeks after my surgery. My doctor advised against going to Easten Europe so shortly after surgery. "You want to be close to high-standard hospitals and doctors that speak your language", he told me. I believe him and don't want to take more risks than necessary. I do anything now to be able to hike again..... And therefore Eastern Europe is off for the near future. I'll have to do something in Germany.

And I do hope that things turn out like expected this time......


Anonymous said...

Hallo Christine,

ich finde es klasse, was du tust. Selbst beigeisterte Wanderin lese ich gerade dein Buch, das mir eine Freundin geschenkt hat, da ich leider zu Hause meinen operierten Fuß auskurieren muss - und bin absolut fasziniert von deinem Buch. Per google heute auch deinen Blog entdeckt und "folge" ab jetzt deinen weiteren Erzählungen. Weiterhin viel Spaß im "Draußen",
wünscht dir Natascha.

Anonymous said...

Wow ........... leaves me speechless ......

take care

robert - amsterdam

Marco said...

Hi Christine,
I´m so sorry to hear that. Hope you will get back too 100% soon. But don´t be sad. Germany is such a nice Country and there are still nice places to discover.
My wife and myself went on a nice hiking trip on the Bonifatius Route.
I really can recommend that nice little hike thrugh Hessen.
You walk from Mainz to Fulda. But the best thing is, to meet the lovley People off the area.Especially in the Vogelsberg. We had such a fun to talk to old People or to some very funny weirdos.
So, keep on hiking!
And keep writing about your hikes!
I really like your Posts.
Take care.

Mike said...


I'm so sorry to hear this, and so glad you found out before leaving.
Rest well and all the best for a full recovery, you're an inspiration.


Jörg Hollerbuhl said...

Dear Christine,

I read your book, found your blog and was wondering why you didn't publish any news from the trail.

Glad you got the diagnosis on time.

Get well soon and hike well.

Best regards

Jörg Hollerbuhl

Jay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dubrock said...

Get well soon.... you are young and strong!
All my best,

Jay said...

Thank goodness this didn't happen when you were 'out there' Christine. Its incidents such as this that make me wonder about purchasing a personal location beacon... Do you use one?

I empathise with your frustrations at not being able to carry out your hike just yet (I've had to abandon hikes due to health problems in the past) but I'm sure your six weeks convalescence will fly by!

Best wishes on your recovery

Mark A. said...

Hallo Christine,
ich hatte mich schon gewundert, warum du nichts mehr gepostet hast hier... Jetzt ist es klar. Ich finde du hast extremes Glück gehabt. Ist denn klar, wie es überhaupt zu dem Abszess gekommen ist? (Damit er nicht nochmal auftritt.)
Wir mussten auch schon eine Wanderung auf dem HW1 wegen einer Sehnenentzündung abbrechen, das war schmerzhaft und langwierig, wir haben dann eine Tour mit dem Fahrrad gemacht, weil das schon schneller wieder ging und nicht so belastend war.
Ich wünsche dir alles Gute und hoffe bald wieder positive Berichte von dir zu lesen!

Anonymous said...

Hallo Christine,

'ach du meine Güte und alles Gute!, Gute Restbesserung und so!!

zu deinem letzten Satz in deinem Blog "I'll have to do something in Germany" fällt mir ganz spontan und unreflektiert in 'GT-tauglicher Länge' eine Deutschland-Umrundung ein....

Schöne Grüße und Wege!
highfish/ Südheide

Klaus Gräbe said...

Hallo Christine,

ich wünsche Dir eine wirklich gute Genesung von Deiner Operation.

Auch wünsche ich Dir, Du hast die Geduld und Ruhe zum auskurieren.

"Gras wächst auch nicht schneller, wenn man dran zieht." (Verfasser nicht bekannt)

Der deutschsprachige Raum (D,A,CH) hat wundervolle, abwechslungsreiche und auch nicht so überlaufene Touren. Sie sind nicht so lang, wie Du es gewohnt bis. Aber vielleicht geht es genau darum ...

Nochmals alles, alles nur erdenklich Gute für Dein Wohlbefinden.

p.s.: Meine Erfahrung ist, dass solch ein Ereignis häufig ein Zeichen für Veränderung in meinen Leben war. Natürlich erkannte ich dass erst später...

Anonymous said...

Hallo Christine,
auch ich drücke dir die Daumen, dass du schnell wieder vollständig fit wirst!
Viele Grüße
(Wir kennen uns vom ODS-Treffen)

Anonymous said...

I am glad you have been very lucky Christine, and I'm sure your luck will continue. Looking forward to hiking news from you, love your stories.


Ron Haines said...

Glad you're on the mend.

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Unknown said...

Sorry to hear about the illness. I hope you get to explore Eastern Europe in the near future. I had the opportunity to do so and it was awesome. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Danke für den tollen Blog! Alles Gute weiterhin und hoffentlich bald wieder lange und interessante Wanderungen irgendwo auf dieser wunderbaren Welt!

Unknown said...

Hi Christine, hope you are soon up and healthy again. Let check your Vitamin D level. Your sister, you and I for sure have the same enterobacteria types. We love to eat those food bringing us to a better VitD, Adrenalin/Noradrenalin level :-). take care. Brigitte - ex-FO-citizen. Localization business woman meanwhile with Miss Marple look;-) - to set some of my managers / HR on the wrong track

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