Thursday, December 22, 2011

To Røros hospital

During our first stay in Norway back in 2007, Pam fell and broke her femur. She's carried the hardware in her for 4 years without trouble, but this last year it began to ache and give her troubles. She's been on the waiting list at two hospitals to have the screws removed, at Trondheim's big hospital St. Olav's and also at a smaller hospital in charming Røros about 2 hours south of here.

The Røros hospital came through first, as expected, so today we went for a one-day medical adventure. The taxi picked us up at 5:15 a.m., and off we went to catch the 5:45 train, arriving in Røros at 8:00. We weren't due to check into the hospital until 11:00, so we had time to find a place for breakfast.

Røros is a charming and scenic historic town. Every time we've visited it's been crowded with visitors. Now we got to see Røros in a whole new light. Literally. At 8:00 it's quite dark this time of year. In fact, it's the darkest time of the year right now. The streets of Røros were empty and large fluffy flakes fell gently in the darkness. It felt like some kind of magical Christmas scene as we walked slowly through the streets. We left temperatures well above freezing in Trondheim, but in Røros this morning the mercury stood at -13°C.

On the main street, we found a bakery/coffee shop that was open. The kids and I had delicious pastries and settled in a table just before a crowd of public works workers came in for coffee. The newspaper had an article proclaiming this winter's coldest night was in Røros last night, with the temperature reaching -23.9°C. Brrrr! We were glad it wasn't that cold this morning. We played word games and leisurely woke up over breakfast, then took a short walk over to the hospital.

The hospital is built into what looks like a farmhouse and stable. "I'm not getting my operation in a stable," Pam said. Inside the hospital was decked out with artwork very much in line with Røros' reputation as an arts and crafts center.

Once we were all checked in, visits with the doctors done, and then Pam was off for surgery, the kids and went to do some shopping and find some lunch. Along the way, we passed many people on sparks, a kind of kick-sled with long blades to glide over ice and snow. Outside of the shopping center a dozen of these were parked, showing how popular this form of transport is here in Røros.

Maggie wanted to eat at the soup shop, Suppestasjon, so soup it was. The kids got Danish potato soup (with free refills!) and I got French onion. Mine came with a cheesy biscuit floating on top – I took a picture of it because the biscuit was smiling at me.

Pam awoke from her surgery at 3:00, but wasn't steady enough for us to catch the 3:42 train back to Trondheim, so we stayed on at the hospital for more hours. I couldn't believe the amount of hardware that came out of her hip: two small screws, two HUGE screws with wicked looking boring ends, and a bracket that looks like a flag holder. In fact, I may just screw this on the living room wall to hold a small flag.

Finally, we edged our way back to the train station, just two blocks from the hospital. We had to stop several times to let Pam rest. The doctors said the walk would be okay, but Pam was still sore and will be for a few days. We caught the 7:42 train in good time and were back in Trondheim at 10 pm.

It was a long day, we arrive home very tired but pleased that today was a big success.

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