Hi Teammates!

Originally, I was not going to write about my hospital stay, but of course, while I have so much free time, I decided to do something constructive, which is to write. I am currently laying in a hospital bed in my home city in Braunschweig, Germany. Yesterday I had decompression surgery to alleviate the pressure that two parts of my spine was putting on a nerve. I had been having pain and other problems for over a year and the doctors tried everything to avoid surgery, but to no avail. I had physical therapy, acupuncture, shots, and all kinds of stuff. Nothing worked. In the end, the doctor said my condition will only get worse over time so I reluctantly agreed to the surgery. The surgery went well yesterday and I was able to stand and take my first steps six hours after the surgery. Today I took a walk around the hospital. Luckily, I am pretty much pain-free and in no need of pain medicine (I hate taking pills). I am a bit stiff but I guess that is to be expected.

Me being a former professional athlete, I do not like to think of my body breaking down on me, but I cannot deny that I am getting older and with that, the wear and tear of all the years of playing on concrete playgrounds and gyms all over the world are starting to take its toll. Father time is undefeated. There was a guy around my age in the bed next to mine that had a similar surgery. He had been here five days and I marveled at how well he was walking. If you know me, you know that I am extremely ambitious and competitive. I took it upon myself to use the guy next to me as motivation. I wanted, or needed, to be able to walk out of the hospital better than him. When I walked six hours after the surgery, I was surprised at how well it went. The man even told me I walked better than he did. I know it’s stupid, but I felt a sense of achievement. And after the therapist came this morning, I wanted to prove to her that I was in good shape considering I just had surgery. She was also pleased but gave me a stern warning when she felt I was overdoing it. That will be a challenge for me these next weeks.

I will probably be written off from work until early December with strict orders not to lift anything or do too much besides going to therapy. I am impatient by nature so I have to make sure not to override common sense. My whole life I have been a quick healer, but besides my broken leg, I haven’t had to deal with surgery and longer rehab periods. My common saying is that I am tougher than I look, which is true, but now I have to be smarter than I look haha. Let’s hope I can do that. In part two of this blog post, I will discuss the health care system here in Germany which is one of the reasons why I made the decision not to live in America again (unless I hit the lottery lol).

Thank you for taking the time to read my words!


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