Rehab Alland, Day Six Outing

The place I’m at isn’t exactly a hospital, but it comes close. The main difference is that they only treat chronic cases here instead of emergencies. This gives the medical staff a lot more time for each patient and allows for therapies that wouldn’t be possible in a regular hospital.

SKA Alland Grounds
SKA Alland Grounds
However, about the same rules apply. While you’re here, you’re on sick leave from work. The house has a certain responsibility for your well-being and therefore imposes a number of rules we have to follow.
Most importantly, we are supposed to be present at meals and are not allowed to leave the premises at all. (Well, technically, but we must not stray too far.) The house will be locked down at 10 PM every day, so you better be inside by that time.
Weekends are the exception from the rule. If your responsible physician agrees, you are allowed to skip a meal or two and go out.
I took the opportunity and went home today. There is a washer and a dryer patients can use, but I strongly prefer doing my laundry at home. That way, I could get rid of some stuff and bring a few things I had left at home the first time. And I could see a dear friend. Luckily I hadn’t been here long enough to be overwhelmed by the sounds and hectic life of the big city, so I enjoyed the day. I still tried not to eat too much, although it was a little more than I get here. We compensated by taking a pleasant walk through the city centre, so that’s all right, I hope.

Rehab Alland, Day Five Ignorance

SKA Alland
SKA Alland

Part of the therapy we’re getting here are all kinds of lessons that are somehow related to obesity or metabolic disorders. Today, for example, we had one about nutrition and one about the effects a large amount of body fat has on the organism.
The “teachers”, mostly physicians or other specialists they have on the staff, are doing their very best to make the time entertaining as well as educational, and I’m happy to say they are doing a pretty good job. Unfortunately, they need to start on a very low level in order to reach out to most of the people here.
I have a very low tolerance for ignorance. Not in the sense that someone fails to be in possession of a certain bit of information. No one knows everything there is to know, and everybody’s education is necessarily full of huge gaps. I’m aware of that. But how can people be morbidly obese for decades no one gets it surprisingly overnight and not have the faintest idea of what they’re doing to themselves and how?*
There are people here who need it explained what the basic food groups are! Or why a healthy metabolism is necessary for a healthy body. After all, a high glucose level or blood pressure doesn’t hurt. Neither can they tell, approximately how many calories a bar of chocolate has.
If you’re healthy and don’t know the answers to those questions, don’t worry. In fact, be glad that you never had to learn them. But it’s another thing entirely to remain ignorant of these things while this very ignorance is slowly killing you, or contributing to it. And it’s not even a head-in-the-sand thing. Instead, you hear things like “My wife does all the cooking.” I’m sorry, I didn’t know guns were dangerous. My wife does all the shooting.

On a happier note, I got a visit from my lovely big sister today. We went to the nearby town of Mdling and even ventured into the dangerous halls of a restaurant, the Casita. I had saved up some 500 calories from my diet over the week and it’s a tapas bar, so the portion sizes fitted my needs. I had three delicious meatballs and some alioli, and I’m certainly going to re-visit when I can actually have a real dinner.

* Maybe at a later date I’ll do a post on habits and addictions and explain why knowing isn’t the same as stopping.

Rehab Alland, Day Four The Big Boss

On Friday I was surprisingly called in to see the head physician. Dr. Mario Francesconi appears to be somewhat of an authority when it comes to metabolic disorders, so I was quite thrilled to the the opportunity and meet the man.
Apparently my case is one of the more promising ones, so he made himself available personally to discuss my options. He was very direct as to the chances I have of losing all the excess weight I’m carrying around, which are about zero. I knew that already, although not physician has ever told me that clearly. We had a rather satisfying talk, touching on topics from medication to surgery, as well as the chances and dangers. I’ve been summoned back for a second talk the day before I leave, when we will decide on further measures I could take after I get home.

SKA Alland
SKA Alland

As to therapy, I had half an hour of ergometer training. It showed that I’m used to riding a bike, as I could work with a much stronger resistance than the rest of my group. Seeing others struggle where I’m doing fine helps me seeing myself differently. I’m not the complete wreck I sometimes think I am. Things could be much worse.
One thing I find irritating is that the staff automatically assumes that you have done this before. Even if you ask, you get very little in the way of explanation or introduction. Of course, I keep insisting.