Wednesday, 11 June 2008

bokito and the elephant's arse

I had to go to the hospital this morning to get the results of the tests which were done on my bloodvessels two weeks ago. I reported at the surgeon's desk and saw the waiting time was zero minutes. I was called after 15 minutes…

waiting time zero minutes

I was seen by a very nice co-assistant who took her time asking me questions and writing down the answers. After she gave my legs a short examination, she called in the surgeon who then did the examination again. We discussed the complaints I had reported to my GP and the surgeon didn't think there was anything wrong with my bloodvessels. The tests had come out all OK.

He did, however, worry a bit about the condition of my left ankle and foot, the one that was mangled in 1996, so he ordered X-rays taken. I wandered off to the X-ray department where I had to wait only 5 minutes before they called me in. Photos were taken and I walked back to the surgeon's office, where the digitized X-rays were already on-screen. I had seen my X-rays from 12 years ago, and even I could see the difference between then and now.

The surgeon wondered not that I complained about pain after walking for about 4 km, but about the fact that I could walk at all. Severe secondary osteoarthritis he called it. The cartilage on my ankle joints is completely gone. The causes of osteoarthritis are —amongst others— diabetes, obesity and injury. All of which factor in my Kees.

When I asked for 'the cure' he didn't offer me a whiskey, but said he could screw the whole ankle together in such a way that the joints couldn't move anymore and so couldn't cause pain. I asked him if I could walk with a locked down ankle. "With difficulty," he said. Screw that, but not my ankle…

So my choice at the moment is a) walk with pain, but loose weight which is benificial for my diabetes, or b) screw the ankle tight, stop walking, have no pain and die of diabetic complications in a few years.

Insider trade alert: buy stock in farmaceutical companies that produce ibuprofen, since that is what I'm going to swallow by the truckload. Ibuprofen keeps the pain and the inflammation down and allows me to walk with little enough pain that it is bearable. No pain, no gain.

black clouds over beukenplein

I walked home and the sky over Beukenplein was looking like rain could fall any moment. It stayed dry all day, however. The little greengrocer on Beukenweg was looking very colourful. I like the 1970s look of his 'Quality' sign. I hope his produce is fresher.

1970s greengrocer

After lunch at home I walked to the Zoo. By the time I got there the sun had started shining again and most of the black clouds were gone. The lions were sunning themselves.

lazy lioness

I wanted to walk past the big cat gallery to the "Two Cheetahs" for a cup of coffee, but the road was closed for works. I don't know what it is they were doing, but I did see a caged orange animal in a cement bucket. I hope they weren't giving the panthers concrete shoes.

behind bars, but that's OK: he's orange

After a detour I had my coffee and then walked zig and zag through the zoo. I spied a Red Panda, the nearest relative to the Giant Panda. Red Pandas are pretty small and live in trees. This fellow was just waking up and a few minutes later started to munch away on a stalk of bamboo.

red panda

I can't help but stop at the vultures. They love to hang out near the mesh of their airy, which makes it easy to get good close-up photos of them.

griffon vulture

The petting farm has two baby cows. This one was very interested in how many megapixels my camera has.


I took the heron photo top-down from a bridge, hence the reflection of clouds.


When you sit down for a while you hear the same errors made time and again, as well as the same questions. At the gorilla enclosure every gorilla is named Bokito. Never mind that Bokito lives in Rotterdam. At the elephant enclosure all the kids shriek "He's got a star on his arse!" Never mind that its a she. The star is there because she was a working elephant in Burma, and the star plus number is her 'license plate'. If I worked in the Artis PR departement I would have signs made which explain these facts to the young and ignorant.



elephant's arse

I walked home through the Oosterpark, where they had put down rubber mats for the festival this weekend. I guess they don't want the grass to be completely plowed under by the crowds.


I got a fruitsalad from AH for dinner. Not a bad one, either.


Renate said...

about the ankle - bummer! Maybe you need some secondary exercise that doesn't include your ankle... if you want, I can ask Gerard about that...

about the zoo's visitors: seems they don't much differ from those in the Viking museums... "look, that lady is knitting" - when I'm needlebinding. Or "look at that plastic needle" when Schatz is carving a bone needle... *shiver*

Vincent said...

Da's slecht nieuws man. Keuze lijkt moeilijk maar volgens mij maak je de goede. Bestaan er geen kunst enkels? net zoals kunst knieen?

Kees said...

@Renate: If it is getting too painful I'll consider going to the gym. For the moment it is bearable; after all it has been feeling more or less the same for the last 12 years...

@Vincent: I don't think there's such a thing as an artificial ankle. The bones they need to replace are probably too small. Hip bones and knee bones are much bigger than the bones in your feet.