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Saturday, November 16, 2013

What colour is your schmerzen? - Blog post by Miss Natasha Enquist

Photography by Philippe Deutsch


I feel like I've been punched in the uterus. Not figuratively.

I spent 4 nights in a German hospital. Wow, what an adventure.

10% of the nurses speak English, but luckily I had 2 roommates, (one at a time - I had a shared room for 2 patients) that both spoke a bit of English and helped me so much with translating.

As I was being introduced to the anesthesiologists, and they jabbed me at least 5 times to find my non-existent veins in my hands, they asked why I came to Berlin from Canada. How Canada is a place they all want to go, and "why Berlin!?". I usually get this question from people that aren't as close to the art/music/fashion scene in Berlin, and perhaps don't know what it is this city can offer.

As they began to administer the anesthetic, they told me to "Think of something nice..." as you usually are told to do. "Think about the Canadian Rockies!" he said to me, and I thought "Uhhh, no...." since that doesn't bring me any kind of peace, calmness, or happiness. He then said "Think about being somewhere nice and warm, like Florida!" and I was like "NO-AGAIN!" and thought how comical this situation was that he was suggesting places I've lived and have left, since he has no idea of my history.

So, there were 3 incisions for my laparoscopy surgery. I spare you all the details... but I had a 5cm sized tumor on my uterus removed and lost a bit of blood.

When I was waking up from my surgery, in the recovery room, I would get asked in German if I had "schmerzen" which means "to hurt" or "pain". I remember waking up and moaning and crying a bit, cradling my tummy - it hurt. I was able to say "Ich spreche ein bissen Deutsch" or something, and then I would get asked "What colour is your schmerzen? From eins to zehn?"

German nurses are great. Most acted like Mom's or good friends, and were always helpful and encouraging with any progress that was made. The German doctors were great too, very thorough and I loved how both the nurses and doctors would say my last name, "Enka-viiiiist!". I made two new friends, Martina who left after my first night, and then Andrea. Both were having cervical cancer surgery.

I had a few visitors, which was very nice, but otherwise felt so terrible that I didn't really want to be seen and sleep was my friend - except for in the middle of the night, when you're so tired of sleeping on your back and for some reason you are wide awake. Then your roommate is your friend, and you talk about anything together.

Breakfast and dinner was good, lunch was always gross. The frühstück buffet was lovely, as all food really is in Europe. Fresh rolls, croissants, meats, cheeses (not for me), apples, pears, tea, marmalade, hazelnuss creme.... mmmm :)​

​So, that's that. I can't be too active for 2 weeks, and should be great in 6 weeks. I'll most likely need and have help with having my accordion carried to any upcoming gigs for the next month, since I'm not supposed to do any heavy lifting. ​The healing process feels like something new every day, and as certain pains leave, new pains begin, but I know things are only getting better.

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