July 1

And So It Begins

This is a long post that took me quite some time to put together. Not every post while I’m in rehab will be that long. And I might not update the blog always on time. My schedule will get tighter starting next week and there will be less spare time. But even during spare times I might not feel like posting. Will be catching up at some point, as usual though, I’m sure.

For those who don’t want to  read through this whole thing… there will be a lot of pictures at the  end, so please scroll down.

And now let’s start.

Each day here at the facility begins with weighing. Before breakfast, of course. And always wearing the same / similar clothes.

Between 9:00h and 14.00h you have to check your blood pressure.

Weight and your blood pressure/pulse records must be written down in your accompanying booklet. That booklet you have to take with you at (almost) all times because whenever you undergo therapy or examination, the therapists/docs record that in your booklet. It’s not only to record your data though, but also to check whether you went to all your assigned therapies.

It’s on everyone’s own responsibility to a) take your meds on time, b) take your blood pressure and step on the scale on time, c) closely watch your itinerary and show up on time where you’re supposed to be. It’s not because they are too lazy here but because they WANT you to be very much aware of your body functions, the disease you’re dealing with and to be self-dependent.

Please mind that you’re never let alone with anything though. Those who NEED help GET help at all times.

Breakfast times are between 7:00h and 8:15h (Sun 7:30h-8:30h). From different kinds of bread/rolls to a variety of cold cuts/cheese, jam, quark, cereals, yoghurt, juice and fresh fruit, coffee and tea there’s everything you need.

The start of lunch depends on what table number you have. It’s somewhere between 11:45h and 12:15h. My table is #44 and for me and my other 3 table mates the meal is served at 12:10h. The staff is very well organized and perfectly on time. Each morning you can choose between three different meals for the next day (two regular, one vegetarian) which is then served at your table. There’s also always a starter (soup or salad) and a dessert.

All meals are low-salt and low-cholesterol. If that now might sound boring and meh… it isn’t. Someone had suggested to me to bring my own salt and secretly add something to my meal if needed. Wasn’t needed at all so far. However they do it – they manage to let everything taste very good! No complaints about the food.

Supper is served between 17:30h and 18:15h. Again you get varieties of bread, cold cuts and cheese, but also a nice selection of salads. And they all taste great. I usually leave out the bread altogether and only eat salad. The last days they also served fresh buttermilk. I’m not really fond of the buttermilk you can buy in supermarkets, but the one you get here tastes reeeeaaaally great. Very mild, not too sour. Love it!

As I said, I’m sitting at a table of four. With me is a lady from Bosnia-Herzegovina, a guy from Spain (who is VERY difficult to understand with his very heavy accent) and a German who’s the Chatty Cathy of the group. Of course there has to be one. Thank God it’s bearable though. He does the most talking and us three others are mostly listening and not talking that much. Also there’s no lingering at the table after everyone’s finished and no one has the need to bond and form a new circle of best friends ;-).

So my first day started with taking blood at 7:15h (which was of course done by the nurses, notby myself… just in case anyone’s wondering :-D).

When I came down to the breakfast table I found a note to come to the Diet-Assistant’s office at 8:10h. There I was asked by a friendly lady, whether I wanted to lose some weight and if I wanted assistance with that. Yes and yes! And so I got a list that included how many calories what food items have and a spreadsheet where I have to write down what I ate each day and to how many calories that adds up. If I want to lose weight, I am only allowed about 1400 kcal per day. And believe me, that goes FAST :-/. She asked me if a dessert was absolutely necessary. No, it’s absolutely NOT. And so I’m now not getting one served at lunch. I also always skip the starter (unless it’s salad because she told me that I don‘t have to count the salad calories. They are all VERY low and very fresh and healthy… I can eat as much of it as I like).

Next up at 9:00h was my first ergometer training. I was in a room with about 10 other people. They assign you to one of the ergometers, show you how to connect yourself to three cables (heartrate is being monitored and written down in your booklet later) and then the 20 minute training starts. And no, this is not to be confused with cardiac stress test!

My doc decided for me to start with 30 watts, which is of course very low, and then increase that slowly during the three weeks I’m here.

During these 20 minutes a therapist is closely watching the records of all patients. They are also playing some music and I made a point of trying to remember what was played. Training my body AND my brain, so to say ;-). Today’s playlist was

Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere – Nena & Kim Wilde
Keep Me Hanging On – Kim Wilde
Chandelier – Sia
Dein ist mein ganzes Herz – Heinz-Rudolf Kunze
Habits (Stay High) – Tove Lo

I can’t say I felt terribly exhausted afterwards but I was pretty sweaty.

Back to my room it was, and then at 10:00h I went for my blood pressure/pulse check.

At 10:30h it was time for the gymnastics group at the gym. I hate gymnastics and I hate gyms. Doesn’t help though, does it.

We were about 20 people and first off we all had to take our own pulse. Like: find it at your wrist or neck, count for 15 seconds and multiply by 4. Then the therapist asks everyone their number and writes it down in the booklets. After that followed some rather light training and 30 minutes later at the end we had to take our pulse again. (I started with 76 and ended with 80).

I hurried up to the room and took a quick shower, changed from workout- into regular clothes and went down to the auditorium for a lecture. In attendance were all new patients who had checked in during this week. Also the head physician of the facility, the head of the nurses, of the therapists and the housekeeping manager. Everyone gave us a warm welcome and provided is with important and useful information around our stay and therapy.

Most important information (for me, that is): cell phones are NOT prohibited (we all live in the 21st century after all) but we’re asked to switch them off/mute them during therapy or in the restaurant. Good. That means I don’t have to hide it or take sneaky photos 😀 (and isn’t this typical info from a cell phone/internet junkie hahaha!!!)

When I got up from my chair, I almost had to sit down again due to a sudden event of bad circulation. Made it back to the room though and laid down on the bed for a few minutes.

It was better after lunch (steamed fish in a light sauce with tagliatelle and veggies) but then I got tired. So. Bloody. TIRED. Had to lay down for a while. A while turned out to be full 2 hours before I felt halfway awake again. Man!! Was that the ergo and gym? Combined with low calories? Whatever. Got dressed again and went into town. Bought a new purse (my messenger bag is often too large and my tiny purse too tiny) and some other small things and on the way back I sat down on the patio of a café for some coffee and water. Because: they only serve coffee in the morning! During supper all you get is fucking tea… and the buttermilk. (I’m so thankful for that buttermilk, you have no idea!)

But I’m very much a coffee person and all you get is different coffee products from a vending machine. It’s drinkable but not the real deal, you know?

The rest of the day was supper, TV-watching, diary-writing (yes I’m keeping a diary here!) and that’s it.

Let’s get to the photos then.


Room #552 is mine.


One of the many hallways. Here’s e.g. my doc’s office.


There’s art at the walls everywhere. Many of the paintings are for sale.



There’s a lot of this kind of Charlie Chaplin art. Not for sale though.



At the café


That exact picture also hangs on S’s living room wall 🙂


My little office. Put table and chair so that I can watch TV while working 🙂





2 thoughts on “July 1

  1. The Intrepid Angeleno

    Being responsible for taking and logging your own meds, weight, and vitals sounds reasonable, but pleeeeeeease don’t make me take my own blood pressure! I’m terrified enough of it when the nurse does it! No way I can strap that thing on my arm and hit the button to inflate it. I can’t I can’t I can’t. I hate how it squeezes your arm until you think it’s going to explode.

    Glad to hear they know how to cook tasty things without salt, etc., although I thought the latest opinion from the medical community is that there is nothing wrong with a ton of salt (Lori is proof of that. Girl eats a cup of salt at every meal and is in perfect health) or fat and that now the only evil in the world is sugar. Lori would also be proof of that as she almost never eats any form of sugar except the occasional cookie.

    Anyway, they probably use a lot of herbs for flavor. Herbs, lemon…stuff like that.

    Are all your table mates there for cardiac rehab or does that rehab place serve other patients besides cardiac?

    “Also there’s no lingering at the table after everyone’s finished and no one has the need to bond and form a new circle of best friends” Hahahahah! Thank god for that.

    “So my first day started with taking blood at 7:15h (which was of course done by the nurses, notby myself… just in case anyone’s wondering :-D)” HEE HAW!!! Definitely thank god for THAT!!!

    Had no clue what an ergometer is so Googled it and the first article that popped up was called “Everybody hates the ergometer”. HA! Do you hate it? Seems to be a rowing machine. Says it’s good for strengthening your mind in addition to being a good, low impact aerobics.

    “That means I don’t have to hide it or take sneaky photos😀 (and isn’t this typical info from a cell phone/internet junkie hahaha!!!)” Yessssssss! LOL! So glad you don’t have to worry about how to get your fix.

    I love the Chaplin picture and the picture that you said Stefie has as well. .

    Your office looks nice. Hey, we both have a red mouse!!!!


  2. Heidisblog2016 Post author

    It’s all just cardiac here. That’s what Bad Oeynhausen is known for. They also have a big heart clinic here where they treat nothing but heart diseases. They have a VERY good reputation that’s why I wanted to come here. They know their stuff and I trust them with everything.

    I have never heard that it is ok to eat a ton of salt :-/

    Just because Lori can, doesn’t mean other people can. Or should. Lori didn’t have a heart attack and probably doesn’t have to deal with fucked up blood pressure. She’s a very active person. But IF you do, you should definitely watch your salt consumation.

    Also: there are people who have smoked their whole life and are completely healthy. There are people who have lived a healthy life and still get cancer, a heart disease or whatever. My boss is a terribly heavy smoker and she likes her liquor and wine. Walking more than 3 steps is already too much. Ex co-worker was slim, went walking regularly, ate very healthy, didn’t smoke and drink. Both developed colon cancer almost around the same time. Go figure.

    Guess it’s all in your genes. But in this facility, there are only ill people. And of course they would not serve meals that are a hazard to your already not perfect health.

    My boss, by the way, was back to her heavy smoking and fave liquor not long after her recovery :-/

    They also offer cooking classes here to learn how to cook healthy meals.

    When my rehab ends and I’m back home, I can choose to go back to my normal ways and eat as I used to and stay on the couch. That could be okay… or not and the next attack is inevitable. Do you think I would take a chance? As long as you’re healthy, you don’t worry about anything. Did I know that eating unhealthy stuff and being a no-sports person could be hazardous to my health? Yes of course. We all do. But as long as we’re healthy, do we change our habits? Most of us not. But once a problem occurs, you should think twice.

    One doc has misinterpreted test results and I went undiagnosed for 4 days. I’m still here and alive though and doing fairly well. I consider that GREAT luck (and my docs here consider that great luck, too!) and I’m inclined to listen to them when they tell me what I should and should not do, you know? 😉

    Overall though I think it’s great what can be achieved in these days and times. One of my table mates had open heart surgery. And they took a vein from his leg and planted it in his heart region. He was in hospital for 7 days only. And now he’s here and doing very well again.



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