Sunday, 20 October 2019

Back at the Flat

We are finally back home at our little flat and I can't tell you how good it feels.  Especially knowing that our friends Mark and Megan are having to stay an extra day at the hospital due to Mark having to have revision surgery.  My thoughts and prayers are with you and my heart literally hurts so much for you Mark, knowing you have to go back into surgery.  I think it would have broken me, it says so much about who you are and how strong you are that you have come through it with a positive attitude.  Please know we are here for you both as much as we possibly can be.

My three new discs plus two screws left from SIJ Fusion
I realise now there was nothing I could have done to prepare myself mentally for this surgery.  It has been much harder than anything I had even vaguely imagined.  The pain has been the worst I have even endured and frankly I would preferred to have given birth.  It is the most relentless pain I have ever experienced.  




I also know that nothing Craig could have done would have prepared him for being my unwavering support throughout this.  I know at times I have frightened the absolute crap out of him and how he has kept it together for me is beyond my comprehension.  Craig has been my absolute rock throughout this and I could not have done this without him.  His strength and determination to see me through this has given me courage I didn't know I had.  If there were ever two people who belonged together, it's us. 


The SIJ revision pain is, I think, worse than anything else.  I am greatly saddened that only two of the four screws could be removed with my surgeon even breaking the screw driver head off in one of the screws, which will have to stay there forever now.  I am at least grateful that the screw that the previous surgeon had so carelessly screwed onto a nerve has gone and with it the intense pain it caused.  At the moment it's too early to know if that will improve the pain from an operation that was never needed in the first place and it's hard not to be angry at the original surgeon for his total disregard for whether it was a necessary operation or how carefully he actually performed it.

The new discs whilst bending

The pain from the 3 level artificial disc replacement is 'interesting'. It goes from being very intense to completely disappearing and then reappearing in my legs like the worst ache after doing a marathon, not that I have ever done a marathon!!!  I am not sure you can mentally get yourself ready for a big operation like this and talking to fellow patients at the hospital undergoing the same type of operation they agreed, no amount of preparation would have got me ready for this.



Being in Switzerland has definitely brought it's challenges but really I cannot praise Dr Rishcke and his team enough for their care and expertise. The nurses too were absolutely incredible, with the exception of one, who definitely needs to find a new career! I have to make special mention to nurse Ilir (pronounced Il-iya) who has only been a nurse for just two months but whose calling is definitely nursing. He was so nice to me at my lowest points and I can't thank him enough.  


I also have to say a very special thank you to Dr Elke Schweingruber (I hope I spelt it right!) who was my anesthetist and so much more.  She was amazing and tried so hard to help me with my pain, even at one point placing acupuncture needles in my ears and turning to other alternative remedies to help me.  It really is time for the rest of the world to look at how alternative and modern medicine can work in unison. So many countries discount alternative medicine as rubbish, but I now know first hand how incredibly powerful it can be when used in conjunction with each other.  

Make sure you watch this video, it's my favourite!!!

It hasn't all been tears and misery, Craig and I have managed to grab the odd giggle here and there that has made our situation easier.  Although I think maybe I was the only one giggling as Craig was told he had to inject me with a DVT injections for the next 14 days.  Last night as he stabbed me for the first time, he turned a horrible shade of grey.  But strangely the whole thing was still a lighthearted moment in what has been the toughest time of my life. 


Equally the visits we have received in hospital from family and friends lifted my spirits more than you will ever know.  I know at times I may have seemed like I was completely unconscious or out of it, I did know you were there and it meant so much to me.  During one visit with my 'Tilling family' I could hear everyone talking but couldn't find the will to even open my eyes, but as I felt Andrew slip his hand into mine I remember how happy I was that you were all there.  


Thank you so much to my Aunt who has visited numerous times, for sitting with me and even rubbing my sore legs.  To my Uncle Bob who came over from the UK, your visit meant so much to me and it was good to give you a hug after so long.  Last but certainly not least my beautiful sister who continues to support Craig and I, you mean the world to me. 



The support I have had from all of you at home has also been amazing, the emails, messages and texts have been beautiful.  I have been in contact with my wonderful folks and children most days and it has cheered me up every time I have spoken to them, even though I miss them more than I could have ever imagined.

To sum up, what I have learned so far on this journey is that everyone is different and everyone heals at a different speed.  Some are lucky and escape much of the pain whilst others feel everything.  The 'distraction' pain has been one of the hardest things to understand.  In my head I had decided that this only affected really fit people because their muscles were tight and toned, therefore the extra height they gain (and yes I am around 3cm taller!) and the subsequent muscle and ligament stretching was the reason behind the pain.  This doesn't appear to be the case as I am the least fit person I know and certainly don't have toned legs!! It just appears to be the luck of the draw.



Pain is really just a lottery, a roll of the dice as to whether you will get it or not.  It can't be predicted and it can't be deliberately avoided. If you are unlucky enough to get it, you just have to work through it.  If you are lucky enough to get away with it, then enjoy a walk around the lake and take in the sights!   

The day of the operation in my pre-operation gown

It would be easy to be put off ADR surgery reading this blog, but that truly isn't my intention.  At the end of the day I had no alternative open to me but this surgery, and I know each day will get easier and as I start physio I will start to see real progress.  I just want to be honest in my account of this journey so that others facing the same decisions as we did, go into this with their eyes wide open.  It is not an easy journey but one that many of us have to take because there is no other choice.  

Love Kate & Craig x

Ps Our Go Fund Me page is still up and running and if you can we would really appreciate your help!



 

Friday, 18 October 2019

Day 6 Post OP

I am sorry it has taken so many days to do an update but things have been pretty rough and it’s been a very hard few days. I really wanted to update everyday but I have been really very unwell for the last few days and just too poorly to update. Hopefully things are now improving.  I have had to have another day in hospital which really upset me but I am so happy to be going home to our little flat tomorrow as long as I don’t pass out again!

Love Craig and Kate x

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Day Three - Homesick


Today has been a really tough day. 


The pain has been awful and I have wished many times today that I have not  done this operation that it was all a terrible mistake!!





My beautiful husband has refused to leave my side and I don’t know what I would have done without him him here. I get really nervous and upset if he isn’t here. 


My sister is also here and I am so grateful to her it’s like having my Mum here or as close as possible.  My Aunt is also here and soon my Uncle too which will be so nice. At the me moment I just want to hide under a rock and not see anyone, I feel so ill. It’s very hard and I feel very down.




Monday, 14 October 2019

Day Two - too painful for words

I have used videos again today as it’s easier than writing at the moment.  Been a terrible day with more pain than I though I could take. There have been many times today where I was I haven’t don’t if!!  just have to keep your eye on the goal!




Got up again today and walked a little further. I felt really proud of myself but it was painful.



Kate xx

Saturday, 12 October 2019

On the Other Side

Day 1 Post Op

I am going to let the videos speak for themselves. Kate has been through so much today, more pain than any person should feel. It has been heartbreaking to watch but I am very proud of her. 


Despite all the pain she took her first steps. Really hard and very painful, there has been a lot of tears today. Just one day at a time my love.



It’s been a long day for Kate so if she hasn’t answered her messages please forgive her. I have confiscated her phone to make her rest so if you get a reply it’s from me!

Love. Craig and Kate x



While Kate's in surgery


Today’s blog is going to take a different perspective.  I’m going to give you my insight into the last 10-11 months from my vantage.[NB* as of posting this Kate is now out of surgery and apparently has been going mad with Facebook live!}

I have been on this journey with Kate from the moment she fell in the back yard at home.  That day seems like a distant memory, we have gone through so much since then, and yet the emotional pull from it feels like yesterday. I wasn’t home at the time the accident occurred; I was at Robina doing some shopping when I got panicked messages and a call from Charlotte that Kate had fallen and couldn’t get up.  



The Theory of Relativity suggests that the closer you travel to the speed of light, the slower time passes and I can tell you that although I made it home in record time, it felt like an eternity.  When I arrived, the ambulance was already there and I found Kate sprawled on the grass in the backyard screaming in pain.  Those screams have stayed with me ever since that day and will probably haunt me forever, I don’t think I have ever felt so much pain and fear vocalised with such intensity.    

The path that was laid before us from that day has seen it twist and turn and wind around in what seems like circles sometimes and as with many life changing events in one’s life, you constantly ask; why?  Or, what if?  That one event has triggered a Butterfly Effect that has seen every choice and decision made, both good and bad, lead us to here, Zurich.


The misdiagnosis of her condition and subsequent unnecessary surgery that Kate went through in January has by far been the darkest of the paths we have travelled.  The nerve pain she suffers from the botched surgery stays with her almost constantly, the sudden jumps from the electric shocks in her lower back and down her legs make me wince on her behalf!  She soldiers through it but, honestly, how much can one person take?  If I could take it all away, I would in a heartbeat.  If I could trade places with her I would without a second thought.  I hate seeing her go through so much pain, I just want to wrap her up in cotton wool, bubble wrap, and anything else that will protect her.

I say “we” throughout all of this, reference it as “our journey”, and although it is not me literally suffering through the pain she feels, believe me I feel everything she does.  When you spend so much time with someone you love, and we do - we are very rarely apart; you get inside each other’s heads and become a part of each other’s souls. Since that day I have effectively become Kate’s carer.  She has needed assistance with everything that requires movement.  From stairs, to getting into cars, to walking around the shops, to cooking, cleaning and after a fall in the shower several months ago, we now even do that together.  Just as well I built a large one in our renovations last year!

There hasn’t been a day go by when Kate hasn’t apologised to me at least a dozen times every day for everything she has “caused”.  Yes, she sees this as her fault and the guilt she carries over this breaks my heart.  The term “shit happens” falls on deaf ears and although this was originally an accident, she has taken on the guilt of every choice made since then. 

What this had done to her mental health has become clear to me. And, while she puts up a brave face for others around her and soldiers on, privately I am witness to the tears and anxieties that she feels because of this.  Sometimes it’s difficult for those “what if?” questions not to take a negative track; what if this is the best it will get? What if I can never walk properly again? What if something worse happens? She asks me these questions every day. I feel an overwhelming need to protect her at every moment, all I can do is reassure her that everything will work out fine as I hold her in my arms every night. I provide her comfort as best I can, but the one thing I wish I could do is impossible – take it all away.

If life is a series of consequences for our choices, then those choices have finally led us here.  From the initial accident, to misdiagnosis and botched surgery, to seeking new specialists, to second, third and fourth opinions, to our wonderfully deficient health care system not covering Kate’s needs, to seeking help outside Australia, to finding the best European surgeon in his field, to now sitting in the hospital cafeteria writing this blog as Kate is undergoing the operation that will resolve all this mess.  I wish we could have just skipped all the bad things and just jumped straight to this!

Being in a foreign country surround by an unfamiliar language is a bit like trying to tie your right shoe with your left hand; you admire the beauty of its execution but it feels completely uncoordinated trying to achieve it.

Switzerland is an amazing country. Everywhere you turn you are surrounded by history.  Zurich is a combination of old and new; the old town is so full of beautiful architecture and yet, just a short distance across the river to the west, large post-modern structures intermingle and rise to dwarf beautiful buildings that could tell so many stories.

The Pyramide Clinic sits on the eastern shore of the top end of Lake Zurich and looks like a cross between a Mayan temple and something out of Star Trek. For weeks we looked at pictures and studied maps but to be finally sitting here in this hospital seems totally surreal.



Our consultations with Dr. Rischke, both in Australia via Skype and now here in Zurich, have left us with enormous confidence and a true sense that the end of a very long and dark tunnel is nigh. He is confident that he will be able to revise the botched surgery and remove the screws that were supposed to fuse Kate’s sacroiliac joint.  Scans had indicated that no fusion had occurred, so the Professor was confident in their removal. He even has the specialists who invented them in there assisting him.

Once that operation is done, they will flip her over onto her back and then perform the three-level disc replacement.  This is done through the front, so once they “open her up” they have to move aside the contents to access the spine.   It’s a fascinating procedure, we watched one on YouTube a few months ago. 

As I sit here know we have just hit the five-hour mark.  It’s a complicated surgery but one that we are sure will give Kate her life back.  She is in for some horrific few weeks ahead with pain and so forth, but the long-term prognosis, hopefully, is bright. 

We are currently in the hands of our Swiss surgeon.  And, if he is half as good as everything else here, we’re in good hands.



Thank you again to everyone for your support, thoughts, donations and prayers.  We really do owe you all a great debt of gratitude.

By the time the next blog comes around I'm sure it will be Kate's view from the other side of surgery.

Cheers,
Craig.x


Friday, 11 October 2019


The time has arrived. We just want to thank everyone for your support, best wishes and donations to help get us here for this. It just got very real. Craig will post updates here as we go. See you soon. xx

Day Before the Operation



Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Meeting Dr Rischke

It has been a nail biting day as we waited to meet the world famous Dr Rischke.  We certainly were not disappointed, he was absolutely lovely.


The first thing he wanted to know even though we had talked via skype and email is what made the Australian surgeon do a bilateral SIJ fusion.  He told us that none of the scans taken in December last year showed any reason whatsoever for such aggressive surgery.  He has done many fusion of the sacro illiac joint himself but he said it is an absolute last resort.  He would need to see signs of arthritis or joint instability,  he told us my pictures showed no problems whatsoever.  



I felt a bit stupid really sitting there today, trying to explain why I let a surgeon operate on me, without seeking a second opinion. Why didn't I stop him from doing it?   Why didn't I shout louder or protest louder?  The Australian surgeon was so arrogant, so sure of himself, I suppose I felt small and insignificant, afterall what would I know, it's just my body.  I feel so angry with myself, I kept telling him it was my back, that the pain was coming from my back.  He was so sure of himself and had so little time to actually sit and listen to his patients, I never stood a chance.

Dr Rischke told me my discs are completely degenerate and that was and always has been the problem.  Had the proper tests been done it would have been quite clear what the problem was.  The doctor told me my use of crutches and my awkward walking is the fault of the SIJ fusion gone wrong and that when that screw is off my nerve things will be much better.  Plus having three new discs will help I imagine!

ESP Disc replacement


The next few days will be taken up with visiting the hospital, meeting the anesthesiologist and physiotherapist before checking in on Friday morning at 7am. I am first on the list at 8am, the operation should take around 4 plus hours.  So, a bit shorter than we expected.  Whilst laying on my stomach they will make four incision in my butt and hopefully remove all four screws, the holes left should eventually just heal by themselves.  Dr Rischke is bringing in specialists from the company that created the tools to perform the revision to assist him, so I really am in good hands.

Once he has finished with the revision of the SIJ fusion, they will flip me over and use a horizontal and vertical incision just below my belly button.  Carefully they will move everything out of the way and proceed to replace my three lowest discs with ESP discs.

Pyramide Hospital - Zurich

It all sounds pretty easy and straight forward I suppose! Afterwards I have to wear a back brace for eight weeks.  I will be in hospital for six days and seven nights.  Then we stay in Zurich for some rehabilitation, this is a little up in the air as unfortunately this was a little lost in translation and I think we will have to make a change to our plans as they are at the moment, but we shall see how it goes.

It's all go from here and suddenly what I had fooled myself into believing was a holiday is suddenly very real and just around the corner.



I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped me to get here.  Your generosity knows no bounds and I am eternally grateful to you all.  We didn't hit our target so without my Mum and Dad's help we wouldn't be here right now.  I don't know how I will ever pay them back. Knowing we are spending what little money they had put away for retirement on my back is absolutely mortifying but being the incredibly generous people they are, they wouldn't hear of anything else.  I will never be able to say thank you enough. You have always been there for me, and I know you are my folks but that doesn't mean I take it for granted.  I just wish you were here with me now, I miss you and the girls very much.  Knowing you won't be there when I wake up is a very hard thought but without you I wouldn't even be here, so thank you, thank you so very much.

Love Kate & Craig x

Ps If you would like to make a donation you still can, please visit our GO FUND ME PAGE

It's only been 11 years

Craig and I had a lot of fun today and managed to spend an entire day just not thinking about what this trip is really about.


My Auntie Magie and her husband Reuben live here in Switzerland and have done for the last, well a long time!  Yesterday we met up and it was wonderful, totally over emotional but what do you expect when you haven't seen a family member for 11 years!  I have to say she didn't really look any different, except that she was more like my Mum than I remember.  Craig said if he closed his eyes he would be convinced that it was Mum sitting there. 


We traveled by tram into the old town, which I have to say is fast becoming one of my favourite places on earth.  They took us to a gorgeous restaurant which felt more like a place for locals than tourists.  My Aunt wanted to take me to a place that was famous for it's rosti.  The restaurant was called Rheinfelder Beirhaus and sure enough the rosti was out of this world.  



 I have assumed whilst writing this blog that all my wonderful readers know what rosti is?  If you do not know I can only feel incredibly sad that you have lived your life without it, and you simply must go out and buy potatoes and follow a recipe and put this to rights.  Rosti is cooked potato that has been grated and then fried in copious amounts of real butter and frankly it is to die for (literally!).



After our meal we went on to another restaurant Cafe Schober to have dessert, even though I thought I couldn't have eaten another morsel!  This delightful old restaurant has to be one of the most beautiful places I have been to eat.  




We went upstairs to this small area filled with old chairs with red velvet inserts, with beautiful old beams above our heads and red velvet walls, it felt so decadent.  The desserts well, all I can say is I have never tasted a cheesecake like this in my entire existence, light, fluffy, sugary and just delicious.



We wandered a little further before jumping on the tram home, full and exhausted.  What a lovely day and so good to catch up with my Auntie after so long.  We look forward to spending more time with them during our trip, even if our other visits are not quite so active!

Love Kate & Craig x

Monday, 7 October 2019

An Unexpected Day


We were supposed to be at the hospital today, but it's been delayed till tomorrow at 3pm. We thought all our time would be taken up with scans and tests but this is not the case at all.  Although, that may change of course when I see the doctor, I didn't think of that. I know I have to see the anesthesiologist and the physio as well. Trying not to think about the operation, we haven't even had a walk to the hospital yet.


So, with an unexpected day in front of us we thought we would just stay home and rest. But, after a few hours sitting around we started to get bored. We decided we would go out for a short walk. 


Instead we ended up taking a tram going towards the old town.  We didn't really intend to get off but just sit on the tram and take in the scenery but it just looked so amazing!


We picked a random stop and got off and see what was there! We got off the tram and found ourselves standing outside of a beautiful building with a sign that read 'Kunsthaus'.




Our adventure had led us to an art gallery.  After a lot of persuasion on my part assuring Craig I would be alright to walk around for a bit, we went in.  I had read about the art gallery and knowing what a huge art fan Craig is I kind of hoped we might be able to go there.  So, finding ourselves standing outside the place, I decided it was a 'sign', and refusing to take any notice of Craig's protestations about whether I could manage, we went in.  

Claude Monet

 
Having a rest whilst enjoying pictures by Giovanni Segantini

I am so glad we did.  My favourite part of the whole day was watching Craig's reactions to seeing painters by such great masters like Vincent Van Gogh, Vuillard, Monet, Manet, Rembrandt, Van Dyke, Picasso, Canoletti, Warhol and more.   

Vincent Van Gogh

He was like a child in a sweet shop and it was an absolutely wonderful experience. I love art but really only like the old masters, the new contemporary stuff well, you can stick it.  


I'm sorry I can see the art in this!


I did realise I was tremendously gullible when Craig turned to me very seriously and said 'Look it's Rochefort's Escape by Manet, it depicts Charlie Chaplin escaping in a boat' and I said 'really?' staring most earnestly at the picture, at which point Craig almost fell on the floor laughing. It was painted in the 1881 so completely impossible, but it was so like Charlie Chaplin and he said it with such honesty.....totally caught, hook, line and sinker.

It does look like Charlie!

Upon leaving the gallery we decided to get back on the tram and head home but instead ended up going in the wrong direction ending up in the Old Town.  



My gosh I don't think I have ever seen anywhere so beautiful as this place.  The architecture is absolutely stunning, there isn't a single space that isn't stunning.  We wandered for a little until my body could take me no further.




We found ourselves at a restaurant called 'Adler's' .  Knowing we had to eat out today as we didn't realise all the shops were shut on a Sunday, we sat down at a table outside.  We were given great big rugs to put over our legs and two menus.  We ordered a big pot of bubbling cheese fondue and a plate of Raclette with meat.  It was just amazing.  


You can click on the video we made to see what it looked like, it was f***** amazing!!!!  


Craig actually looked drunk on cheese by the end.  




We found our way back onto the right tram and crawled back into our apartment where we both promptly fell asleep.  We woke up at midnight, changed into our pj's and slept through till 5am.  All this fresh Zurich air makes you tired.  I have to say though I struggled a bit in the night with pain, but it was totally worth it.



Apart from my wedding day, it will go down in both our books as the most perfect day ever, filled with laughter, love and adventure.  

Raclette toooooo good!

Today we are spending the day with my Aunt Magie and her husband Reuben. Craig has never met them so it will be a very special day to introduce them.  I didn't think we would get the chance to see them this side of the operation.  We are hoping to go out for lunch, they are taking us for the best Rosti in town.  If I told you I was excited it would be a gross understatement.  I could literally live on Rosti and never eat any other food!  Also spending time with family, well that's pretty special! It's been about 10 years I think since I last saw my Aunt.  Should be a good day!


Love 

Kate & Craig x

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Our Journey to Zurich

As I sit here with Craig propped up in a very comfortable bed at 6am, the last 57 hours feels like a blur.  


The trip to the airport was really easy with a guy called David picking us up at 5am.  We made it in record time to Brisbane airport and were taken straight to the lounge where we had a nice little breakfast.

We flew Singapore airlines and then Swiss Air for the second leg and the flights were amazing.  The staff on both flights were super helpful and kind, nothing was too much trouble.  The food on both flights was great but I preferred the Swiss flight with a gorgeous beef steak!


Physically it was as painful as both of us imagined, if anything a little worse.  The first journey not so bad but with hindsight a 7 hour layover in Singapore was not restful but a complete nightmare.  I wish I had realised that you could book into a transit hotel within the airport for a short snooze.  Sitting in a chair in the lounge was bloody awful and no amount of painkillers helped.  

We did have nice munchies at Changi airport although we decided to avoid the braised old yellow cucumber....giggle.  The airport itself is absolutely beautiful. We only went for a short walk as cramp had set into my SIJ joint but what we saw was lovely and so well taken care of.

 
The second leg of the journey on Swiss air was quite different from the first as it was a night flight. So following a huge meal upon boarding, (which we probably didn't need!! but ate anyway!!) everyone then snuggled down for as much sleep as they could get.  I was happy to see a very tired Craig crash beside me, exhausted.  I turned on the telly and got completely engrossed in 'Castle Rock' a Stephen King series I had never heard of.  I will have to look it up when I get back to Australia as I have left it half way through and I have been left on a cliffhanger!


I did eventually fall asleep and got about four hours I think.  I woke up stiff, sore and full of pain but a few painkillers and a stroll up and down the aisle sorted that.  It didn't seem long before they were announcing that we were landing in Zurich.

 


I knew it would be cold in Zurich and we brought our jackets but I hadn't realised how cold it would be.  Add to that freezing cold rain and it wasn't quite the welcome we hoped for!! However that first breath of cold air in our lungs felt amazing knowing we had made it all the way across the world in one piece, safe and sound.  We were met with a sign that said 'Mr & Mrs Craig Smith' which I have a feeling will never grow old 💖 and taken by car to our accommodation.  

 
We dropped our bags off at just gone 7am and then panicked, what an earth are we going to do till 3pm??  With hindsight I suddenly realised I should have booked from yesterday.  We spoke with the owners and they said they would try to get it ready as soon as possible but told us it would be 1.30 this afternoon at the earliest.  

I wanted to cry if I am honest, the idea of walking or even sitting any longer was awful.  Both of our backs were so painful and the pain killers were no longer coming anywhere close to helping.  However with no choice but to keep plodding on we once again braved the weather and searched for somewhere we could perhaps collapse for an hour.

We found a beautiful little cafe where we sat and ate freshly baked croissants and coffee which frankly were to die for.  Nothing like the croissants we get back home.  It reminded me of being a little girl, the smell and taste of 'real' croissants. The food and hot drink made both of us feel better and warmed us from the inside out.


We were a little shocked to get a bill for the equivalent of $40 for two drinks and two croissants though! When people said Zurich was expensive I didn't realise they meant that expensive! 

 




We wandered up the road in the rain, looking for a place to buy a sim card, something we hoped to do at the airport but alas all the shops were still closed.  It was getting colder and colder and I was reminded of winter mornings walking along the Leas in Folkestone, where your ears and nose start to ache in pain with cold. We decide to return to where we left our luggage and dig out hats and gloves! 
 
We find the supermarket opposite our accommodation to take cover from the weather and make a list of everything we will buy later today.  As many of you know I have an Aunt who married a Swiss man, so Switzerland isn't completely foreign to me and as a little girl my family used to import gravy powder over for our Sunday lunch.  The picture is of me rediscovering this wonderful gravy.  Mum you will be pleased to know that I have checked with customs and we absolutely can bring it home!  Of course I also found my beloved Rosti, which I cooked for Craig for dinner and much to my delight he fell in love with it; he really is my perfect man!!


We walked around the shops like a couple of kids, realising we didn't understand anything at all!! Even buying a pint of milk is hilarious, which is full fat, which is skimmed? We gave up trying to find a label that said lactose free.  


 




We laughed and giggled and had such a fun morning.  We were however incredibly relieved when they finally let us into our little room on the fifth floor of a delightful building right in the centre of everything and just a few minutes walk from the hospital.


We settled in and unpacked, then took off to the supermarket to buy our food.  When we got back 'home' we collapsed for two hours sleep, making sure we set the alarm!  We cooked a delicious dinner of Rosti and creamy chicken (although I bough the wrong cream!). By 7pm both of us were sound asleep and didn't wake up till 5am this morning!  



We both feel rested and our backs are far less sore.  I am glad to say it's one of the most comfortable beds I have ever slept in.  The pillows are a bit weird, sort of giant sized feather pillows with a smaller one that's not big enough for your head! We woke up this 


morning and had a delicious breakfast of bread and jams, we felt very continental. We intend to completely waste today and just rest up.  We have appointments and tests starting tomorrow so we have decided today is officially a rest day.

I have a feeling we are going to love Zurich, I just hope it stops raining soon!

Love Kate & Craig x