Dr. Susanne Bach, our wonderful house doctor calls me back in the evening of June 8th. She confirms that I can be transferred to the private clinic of Döbling and that Dr. Andreas Janousek accepts to operate me. It is very good news. I know, that from now on I will be in trusted hands. Janousek is among others a medical team member of the National Austrian Ski team and a very skilled knee surgeon.
The following day at 13h00 a Red Cross Ambulance takes me to Döbling. The hospital staff is fantastic and up to its reputation. I am transferred in a private room. Everything is done to make me feel like in a hotel.
I feel safe and wait for the doctors to tell me what will be next. Dr. Janousek tells it to me straight in the face. It is a severe injury, he can only operate in 10 days due to the commotion and the wounds. The rehab is going to last for an eternity…plus a little bit. At least I know. And I am grateful for the straightforward talk.
The waiting starts. I get bored, nailed in my bed, but at the same time, I feel so weak and empty that there is nothing I can do. The first visits: Michael Roberts and his son bring a PlayStation2!!!, Susanne and Maria, Isa, Manon, Zoe, Gerhard, Joanne, Daniel, Eva, etc… all come to get some news and bring some news. The pain get less and I am now only a few days before surgery. I start to get very anxious. It is the first time in my life that someone is going to cut me open.
Dr.Janousek assures me that he has put an A-Team together, the anesthetist tries to re-assure me. But all-in-all, I hate the idea to have a tube shoved down my throat for helping me breathing and I hate the idea of letting other take control over my body and open it up. But when the day comes, I get very quiet. I don’t realise that I am already gone. I wake up 7 hours after the injection. The drugs are very powerful, but I still feel the pain. I feel terrible in the recovery room and the following 60 hours are among the worst in my life. I am drugged up to the brim, I want to avoid any more painkillers but when the pain comes I immediately press on the button and get some more shoved into my veins. The morale is very low although all went perfectly well. The x-rays show a perfect reconstructed knee. It was done with 7 screws, 1 tibial plate and the equivalent of 4 fingers of bone masses taken from the hip. (The hip scar is the most painful). The pains starts to fade after the third day. It is now June 21st. 2 weeks have passed since the crash. Gerhard, Joanna & Daniel come to visit me. We decide to have coffee on the terrace of my room. Gerhard help me get on my foot and slowly, with the crutches, I manage for the first time in 15 days to get out, feel the fresh air and watch the sun. I am staying in the hospital until the 28th. During this period, Isa, Manon & Zoe visit me every day. It is the best moral support for me. They paint, pin their art against the walls of my room, they sit together with me in the bed, they walk along the corridor with me, they have dinner with me. It is very touching.
28th of June is a day to remember. I am leaving the hospital and the wonderful team that took care of me. Isabel has come to pick me up. I am in the car going home! A full length cast is on my left leg for another 3 weeks, than an orthosis for 3 weeks and then I can start walking again!!!