pills, pals and the introvert challenge
All the little things I had to do last week sucked every last bit of energy out of me and I spent the weekend recharging my batteries. That's what happens when you're an introvert. More about that later.
Last Monday saw me getting up at 5:45 a.m. to get myself and everyone else ready and out the door so I could be on time for my annual thyroid check in downtown Hannover. I really like my doctor, well, as much as you can like someone you only see for 15 minutes once a year. I've been going to her since I moved to Germany and she takes her time and seems to listen to what I have to say, most of the time anyway.
First came the blood test and then a bit of a wait to see the doctor because she is always Very Very Busy. About 5 minutes into my appointment her cell phone rang. She excused herself to answer it and started giving instructions to some unidentified person about where to find the frozen cakes (top shelf of the downstairs freezer if she recalled correctly) and how to set the table for the afternoon (definitely something flowery) and so on and so forth and no, no, she'd hop off the train on the way home from work and attend to that herself. When she finally hung up, I raised my eybrows and give her a bit of a look and she said "Heh. So sorry. It's my birthday today." Wow, doctors are human too! Let's get on with my appointment, shall we?
Doc: Sooooo, how have you been feeling? Your thyroid numbers are fabulous. Every patient's dream, in fact.
Me: Eh, not that great, actually. I recently got diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia and it's going to take many months of supplements to get that back on track. I'm dead on my feet.
Doc: Oh yes, not nice at all, and I'm sure you've read that anemia symptoms can mimic those of hypothyroidism. But I'm pretty positive it's just the anemia that's bothering you right now.
Me: I don't know about that. There are a couple of other things...
Doc: [does ultrasound while I whimper quietly to myself] Hmm, OK, things are looking fine here. [I whine a bit more] Oh, all right! I'll let you increase your medication just a teeeeensy bit. You'll need to get another blood test in 6 weeks at your regular doctor's and we'll see each other next year, OK? And hey, did I mention that it's my birthday? Heeee!
So except for the tiny prick of the needle (I'm one of those people who actually doesn't mind having blood taken - I like to watch!) it was fairly painless and I was out of there in under an hour.
But I had a much more pleasurable reason to be in Hannover that day.
About a month ago I got an e mail from an old friend of mine in Vancouver who I went through high school with. We don't really keep in touch but see each other every two years at the "girls' lunch" my very best friend in West Van always hosts when I'm in town. Then it's just like old times and we catch up on the news. M told me she was coming to Hannover for a few days because her partner has relatives there and she asked if we could possibly get together.
She got into Hannover on the previous Saturday and after a bit of telephone tag which involved a hotel register mix-up and talking to three different people none of whose mother tongue was German or English, we got things all sorted out and arranged to meet downtown around lunchtime on Monday. I talked to her on Sunday and asked her how her first night in her hotel room was.
Her: Well, I HAD planned on sleeping in but got woken up by a marching band going past my window at 4:30 a.m.
Me: Welcome to Germany!
Because she and her partner were coming to Europe anyway, they decided to see a bit more than just Hannover and had spent the first three weeks of their trip touring Italy. Unfortunately they ran into some pretty rude hotel staff and a couple of rip-off artist taxi drivers who made their stay less than enjoyable.
Her: Wow! I LOVE Germany! It's so clean and the people are so friendly. Compared to Italy this is paradise!!
Me: Heh. Well if you say so, but remember, you've only seen about 5 square blocks of the place so far.
M said that after eating Wienerschnitzel at the hotel for a couple of days she was kind of sick of stodgy German food already so we trotted off to Henry's, the old standby which turned out to be exactly the right choice. She took one look at the menu and said "Oh yeah, after all that Italian food a cheeseburger and fries will do me JUST fine!" Nope, nothin' stodgy 'bout that! We Canadians are simple folk.
We filled each other in on what was new and reminisced a bit about the good old days in high school - navy blue crested blazers, knee socks, tartan skirts and all that went along with that. "We are NOT a beach!" our Scottish headmistress used to say when we hitched up those skirts a little too high trying to catch a few rays during lunch break. Ahh, those were the days!
After the required four hours of non-stop gabbing we parted ways and I went home to conk out on the sofa. She still had trips to Hamburg and Amsterdam planned for the week and was eager to absorb as much European culture as possible. I sure hope the Dutch treated her well.
Tuesday I had a hair appointment (small talk and chit chat) and my final class for the year with the little monkeys at the school library (yelling and shushing).
Wednesday was a day of rest for me, thank goodness, although I did have to clean the damn house. My boys all headed off to the Schützenfest in the afternoon and brought back this photo of themselves having just tons of fun. Mr. M has repeatedly told me that he doesn't want his picture plastered all over the internet so I must respect his wishes.
Thursday morning the elementary school principal hosted a two hour "thank you" breakfast for the library volunteers. 15 people, lots of small talk and chit chat.
Thursday evening we attended a birthday dinner for Mr. M's 17 yr old goddaughter. 20 people, even more small talk and chit chat.
Friday afternoon was a three hour end-of-year potluck buffet for Boy11's class. Students, parents and teacher included. Masses of people, small talk and chit chat like you wouldn't believe. Gahhhhhh.
So here comes the introverted part - by Friday evening I was sooooo tired of small talking and chit chatting that all I wanted to do was take to my bed and sleep for three days.
It's not that I don't like people, I really do. They just exhaust me, that's all. Even if I think you're the cat's pyjamas, you STILL might exhaust me. Don't take it personally. It's not you, it's me. I'm an introvert.
Here's an informative article entitled Caring for Your Introvert. Read it and you'll understand where I'm coming from.
This week I have nothing going on. Nix. Null. Nada. And that suits me JUST FINE, thank you very much.