We thought we would take the opportunity to go and do some sight seeing and get out for the day. Heading into Naila which is only 7 kms away was our first stop, its a quaint little town with a few shops and a cafe but definitely worth the walk around, if you like architecture then check out all the old buildings they are simply remarkable.

LovelifelipoedemaDay7C

Naila

From there we headed into Hof, which is the larger town in the area, its 25kms (20 min) from Schwarzenbach an Wald and it was fantastic, so many shops and eateries it was fantastic, exactly what I needed to get a little cosmopolitan feel happening. They are more inclined to know English in Hof and are happy to have a little conversation or help you so don’t be afraid to ask if they speak English! Lunch was approaching fast and on the recommendation of Alex and Pat we decided to look for a place called the Gourmet Palast, its out of Hof so don’t be surprised, follow the signs to McDonalds, approx 1 km out of town, I was getting worried that we might not find it but there on the horizon the big M appeared and next to it was the restaurant. WOW is all i can say about this place, again they have wait staff that can speak English so don’t hesitate to ask! The food was amazing and plentiful an all you can eat buffet of Chinese delicacy! After eating just about everything I was not supposed to we rolled out of the restaurant and decided a nap before dinner was probably a good idea. For those of you that are interested in trying this place here is link to their website! www.gourmetpalasthof.de

 

LovelifelipoedemaDay7DToday I noticed that the bottom of my foot was incredibly bruised and tender. I am assuming this is from all the digging around in the inside of my calf down to my ankle. It is sore, and apparently normal but it looks terrible and upset me but I guess we need to take all of this in and understand that our bodies are amazing organs that do what they need to!

 

Tonight was a planned catch up for all the girls that were having their ops with Dr Stutz, a little meet and greet! Dinner was booked at the Relaxa hotel a beautiful establishment in Bad Steben. This was our first trip into Bad Steben and I didn’t realise that it was a lot closer than I originally anticipated. The map can be a little deceiving, so don’t be afraid to get into the car and have a drive around. On arrival into Bad Steben we noticed that there were a lot of stalls and market type trailers littered all over the streets packed up, we found out that this was to be a lovely street market tomorrow which we decided to head to in the morning. The celebration was for May Day or the 1st day of spring. Well tonight was our first meeting with two couples, Nancy & Joe and Sandra & Scott. Dinner was fantastic the laughing and companionship was more than I can put into words. There is a real comfort taken with people who actually get what you are going through, not only with understanding of the condition but the pain and healing process of the surgeries themselves. The night ended quite late we were the last ones in the dining area of the hotel but it felt like we had been there for 5 mins. great night and great laughs.

Lovelifelipoedemasignoff

LovelifelipoedemaDay8Today is market day, we decided to take the morning easy so that I wasn’t too worn out for all the walking at the market, we had decided to all meetup at the market as a group but unfortunately with limited telephone services we only managed to find Scott and Sandra. Spending the afternoon wandering the streets in the sun was just what the doctor ordered, yes their were so many people that it was a little crazy but still even through the chaos there was so much to take in. The smell of food being cooked, the beer being consumed and the sweets OMG the sweets were something else! There were nick nack stores galore; but we had to try the food so for lunch it was time for a fresh bbq bratwurst sausages in a fresh crunchy roll with mustard. To say it was mouth water is an understatement, it was a flavour explosion in my mouth.

LovelifelipoedemaDay8A

Myself and Sandra

More walking was in order to get that lunch out of our system. This market only happens twice a year we found from a local once in May and again in October so we were really happy that we caught this one. There were hand made items, clothes, scarfs, shoes, tools, smoked and cured meats, hand creams, and local produce. The live entertainment was also fantastic, the funny part we found was that they were singing the songs in English with English lyrics but then talking in German, I found that most people could understand English at the market stalls but some of the older population looked at us blankly, this required our terrible German pronunciation to come out LOL!!!!!

Finally we embarked on the finding of something sweet to eat, the bakery that I stopped at was called Reidels there was a plethora of cakes and slices its only a shame I couldn’t get a photograph for you as the line to be served was 4 deep and 15 people across, this was by the looks of it the place to eat cake! I ordered a raspberry slice that was raspberry jelly with fresh raspberries and a yummy crumbly cake bottom. Sitting on communal benches was a fantastic way to surround ourselves with the conversations, sights and sounds of the market. A very beautiful young lady sat down next to me with a dessert that made us all stop dead in our tracks, it was know as the Dampf Nudel, a light fluffy cake pastry filled with a raspberry jam almost like a jam Berliner covered with vanilla custardLovelifelipoedemaDay8D and more raspberry coulis. Heaven in a dessert you could not find anywhere else, we thanked the young lady who spoke very good English for recommending it to us.  It was finally time to head back to the car with an exploration of the beautiful gardens of the Therme, which are the thermal ponds in Bad Steben, the architecture and garden plantings were breathtaking, no pictures unfortunately could do it justice! I have attached some to the blog post to give you an idea of the beauty! It was time to wind down for the night and let all that food settle!

 

Lovelifelipoedemasignoff

LovelifelipoedemaDay9C

Monday brought the swing of normality back with Endemologie scheduled for everyone, the Stutz crew were in New York for the first four days of this week so we had the lovely Isabella to do our Endemologie. Our appointment was at 10 so we proceeded down the hill, on our arrival we found that there was a little scuffle going on with another patient being incredibly rude and very pushy about a compression garment.

Something glaringly obvious has occurred to me, that we are a very passionate lot! Sometimes this can be a good thing especially on our quest to find a cure for this disease, but it can also turn people completely crazy! After seeing the care, attention and time taken by the Stutz practice it infuriated me that self absorbed individuals who place their own insignificant priorities before their own healing process should simply be quiet. If you are going to be making the journey to the other side of the world to help yourself, then give yourself the time and attention that you deserve. This is a massive decision and one that not many people take lightly, allow the time necessary for things to happen! Garments are an absolute must have after surgery, and if your surgeon is not getting you into them then you need to take the initiative yourself. Dr Stutz is insistent on wearing your garments 24 hours a day for 14 days, this is to help with swelling of the limbs, helps the connective tissue in your limbs to reconnect after surgery and generally keeps everything together. So please do yourself a favour and make sure this is a priority on your list!.

After our consult we decided to walk up to the shops to one get some exercise and enjoy the fresh air. On our trip back from the grocery store we were wolf whistled by a very pretty lady, it was the fabulous Nancy and Joe. They were heading to their appointment and we decided that would catch up after their appointment as we had missed them at the festival yesterday. We headed home LovelifelipoedemaDay9Aand relaxed, the pain for me has been intensifying and to be honest the bruising is crazy bad on my feet and ankles, they say that you get to day 5 and 6 and it seems to really get sore. Trust me it has! Day 5/6 also brings the emotional roller coaster from hell! I cant tell you why or how, but the Jekyll and Hyde transformation in emotions is really tough. I am feeling like I have finally done something about this condition, albeit its not a cure, but I am sore, sad and moved that I had the strength to do this! I am normally a very outgoing individual but this has certainly kicked me in the pants with me preferring to spend lots of time curled up on the couch!

Everyone’s appointment’s had been finalised so Pat/Alex and Nancy/Joe headed up to our apartment to say hello, we sat out in the sun on the wall of the path and talked for hours, it was so good and so much laughter, laughter they say is the best medicine and I am really finding the good times helps me to forget the pain of healing. It was discussed that we head out for dinner together as group to farewell Nancy and Joe as it was possibly the last night we would all be together as different people had different commitments. We would head into Bad Steben to La Piazzetta for dinner; the food was amazing again and the size of the serves were massive. I guess you don’t come to Germany not to get fed hahaha. I had a wonderful rump steak with artichokes, mushrooms and onions on top in a creamy sauce, oh you can throw your rad diets out the window when you come to Germany too there is just no way you an continue the healthy eating that hopefully you are used too!  A sneaky glass of rose always helps the food go down. With more great company many more laughs and the need to move our full bellies we decided that ice cream was the order of the day (the irony of that as i write it is crazy!)  Joe has become the local information guide on the best places to eat while in Bad Steben, so he suggests his favourite ice cream bar which is only a short walk away. I ordered the amazing ice cream spaghetti which was actually made from yoghurt with fresh berries and syrup.LovelifelipoedemaDay9

Food is something that I am passionate about, from all accounts, growing, storing and cooking. Its the fuel that keeps our bodies going and the key for many of us in managing our lipoedema. Emotional eating is one of our biggest problems, we can all agree that we have tried everything and when everything doesn’t work we decide to say “Stuff it” and eat! I’m not sure if I have already mentioned it but eating bread, rice and pasta here in Germany has been a real treat. Normally I stick to a very strict diet of no “White Poison” which is bread, rice, pasta, potatoes and sugar but I have noticed here in Germany that I don’t get the inflammation, pain and headaches! Food standards in Germany are very different to here in Australia and probably the USA too, they are a lot stricter on their use of pesticides and chemicals in general. I wish I could stay here in my little food coma forever!. 

 

 

Lovelifelipoedemasignoff