Sommer is coming. So they tell me. Coldest Maj in the last fifteen years. So they tell me. In Denmark, the official first day of summer is June 1st. June 2nd it rained the entire day here. Really RAINED. To be honest, for me, with no other basis for comparison, it has really just felt like the Mays and Junes that I am used to growing up in Oregon, where I’m “from.” A normal May and early June in Oregon, that is. As someone who grew up in the Pacific Northwest, I lived by the mantra that summer began on July 5th (one day after our National Holiday the 4th of July, if that date didn’t ring a bell for you). I spent many an American Independence Day holiday lighting sparklers and charcoal snakes and smoke bombs in the drizzle. (Yes – fireworks in Oregon suck and the selling and use of is highly regulated. It’s just because we do like our trees there.)
Thanks to modern social media keeping me in touch with the happenings and goings on and images back in my “from,” I have been privy to the inordinately WARM for Oregon spring and early sommer. Seriously? This is a great first transition year for our Australian renters expatriated to our Portland suburb, but not for me here in chilly grey Denmark. I know – cry me a river. I can hear your tiny violin all the way across the interwebs. You’re living abroad. You’re living in Denmark. Isn’t that the happiest place on earth? You get to explore and travel. You’re living a dream. Ok. But stop there for a second. Yes. We moved abroad to an (exotic?) European destination. Yes. We live in a cosmopolitan, urban center with access to art, culture, music, good food and history. But you have that too. You do. Do you know where to find it? And while it sounds very adventurous, exciting and maybe glamorous, here is the kicker. I wish it were a dream that I dislocated my ankle and have been on crutches in a 5th floor walk up for the past almost three months. (New to OregonGirl? Don’t know what happened? Read more here.)
Update on my ankle, I knew you were wondering. Here it is. It took me awhile, but I finally figured out how to contact the correct doctor for my follow-up. In Copenhagen, notifications from the state run agencies (including the library, København Kommune AND the hospital as well as others) all come via your digital E-boks. (E-box). In an attempt to cut down on needless paper mail, Denmark is quite progressive in this way. (Now if the MASSIVE amounts of promotional advertisements that jam my mailbox each week could do the same – we’d have some balance.) When you receive your sacred CPR # and card here, you probably received information (in Danish) on how to register for your personal E-boks. I will admit that I did not immediately go directly home and Google translate the instructions for setting it up when I initially received my card. And it was not until I was getting no contact from the hospital, what I understood was to happen when I left the second time, that I was forced to figure it out. After several weeks wondering how and when to return for stitches removal and calling the surgical ward that I had spent so much time in, did the nurse inform me that, in fact, they HAD notified me. Via E-boks. Do you know E-boks? Oh yeah. That thing. Um… yeah. I do know of it. Now where was that brochure about it that I received months ago? She couldn’t tell me what the notification said over the phone and told me to go find it online. Tak for det. Thanks for that.
Two hours later, I finally find the notice. Google translating my Danish brochure and then registering and confirming and proceeding through DEFCON level online security hoops – using my separately issued NEMid #’s personal to me and me only. I could show you what they look like, but then I’d have to… well, I just don’t want to go there.
And somewhere someone knows that I have used another NEMid code to access information that is very centrally located. (It does feel weird. I’m not going to lie. But being as I’m a pretty average citizen, I’m not too worried about setting off any red flags to anyone “watching.” Maybe my hideously harsh library fines (it was only 4 days late!) might highlight something, but other than that – I think I’m cool.) Hoops passed – I found the official notification from the hospital. Call this number to make an appointment. Ok thanks – couldn’t the original person have just told me over the phone? No? Ok. But I did set up my very important E-boks digital post. There was that.
Finally got ahold of someone to get my appointment from the correct department, which I did attend yesterday. After a wee bit of good old-fashioned Danish incredulity – why didn’t you call sooner? Uh… well, long story. Lost in translation perhaps? I’m here now. Yes, ok. We will take care of it the best we can. Ok. Tak for det. Thankfully, no issues and 8-week old stitches successfully removed and big black go-go boot cast aside. I am now allowed to wear shoes and an ankle wrap, but still not bear any weight unfortunately. Maybe it was my own fault that I had envisioned a version of myself as a young Forrest Gump running down his country estate driveway breaking away from his braces type of tossing my crutches aside and being free and mobile all of a sudden. Nope. Not yet. As it turns out, it is strongly encouraged here to remove the pins and plate before attempting any full weight-bearing and physiotherapy. Now I wasn’t planning on any marathons anytime soon (or ever?) but I would like to get on my bike that sits quietly in our courtyard or just be able to go on a photo walkabout. I am over these crutches. Me and my calloused farm hands. Seriously. Sommer will come one of these these days soon and I want to be ready for it!
Two more weeks. One more surgery. Sigh. So it is. I’m ok though. I wore shoes today! On both feet! Normal shoes. Summery shoes. And alas, I will have more stitches in a bit, for a bit. But, I can feel progress. Just as I can feel sommer progressing here too. It was deliciously sunny today. Not warm yet, but puffy white cloud blue blue blue skies sunny. And the light. Staying on sooo late. They told me that too. There is still lingering light outside nearing 11:00pm. It’s crazy. The kids’ internal clocks are not shutting down. It’s not time for bed! Oh yes, it is – school starts the same time tomorrow morning. Soon you can stay up. It’s coming. And friends and family visits are on the horizon to look forward to. And while I may not be toodling around on my bike in the bike-friendliest city in the world with them…YET. I will be. Soon. So I tell myself. Keep on keeping on. Taking my crutches and summer shoes on the road – to SWEDEN this weekend. Bring on sommer! Cheers from Denmark!