So It Is A Goodbye to April!

April was supposed to be a busy month for me. It mostly was except for the last week of April when I got extremely sick yet again. It seems to be a tendency now – end of March, I could not get out of bed, and here with go with the end of April being even worse. Let’s start from the beginning!

Since I was sick at the end of March, my mom decided to send my uncle to help us out a bit. He spent a week with us helping to cook, take care of the house, and just chilled going for walks in the Netherlands. It was really helpful for us since I was still recovering from sickness and it was great to have an extra set of hands. I also took my uncle to a swimming pool one day – I usually go once a week and offered him to join me. It was fun to spend some adult quality time together except for my worst Dutch nightmare came true. We arrived at the swimming pool by bike and I locked both of them and took two sets of keys. As I swiped my card and entered the changing room, I realized I only have one set of keys left. I was pretty sure that I lost one of them somewhere and I could not really go out of the pool anymore because the reception was closed early in the morning so I would lose my swimming session. I went swimming and it was the only thing I could think about. I imagined all kinds of scenarios in my head with the worst one having to call Nicolas to come by car to pick up the bike and break the lock later. What did not help is that I did not know which key exactly I lost: one of the bikes was electric and costs about 2000 euros and I already imagined it being gone and stolen. Once I finished the swimming session, I told my uncle that I am going to go and look for the key while he is changing. But when I was exiting the pool through reception, I saw a random bike key there – I knew it was mine. I spoke to the receptionist and she confirmed that someone found it by the pool’s main entrance and brought it to reception. Crisis averted but I definitely had a scare!

While my uncle was there, we also went to visit Keukenhof. It is a very popular botanical garden in the Netherlands that has hundreds of different types of tulips and is open between the middle of March to middle May. We initially wanted to go there on Easter Monday but the tickets were sold out – a week later, it was possible though. The place was full of people, mostly French and German tourists, but was beautiful regardless. Sofia also really enjoyed the flowers and was walking for almost an hour all by herself! Once we got back from Keukenhof, we put her to bed and enjoyed a nice barbeque with my uncle.

Oh, and we also took my uncle to the beach one day: the weather was perfectly still although cloudy so there was no wind by the shore. I thought it would be a perfect day to go and so did many other people as there were so many folks there. Luckily, the beach stretches for kilometers so crowds are not a problem. Both Sofia and Sherlock loved it there.

After my uncle went back to the Czech Republic, I pretty much headed right away on a work trip to Barcelona. I joined a new team in March and it was the first time I saw them in person. I also have never been to Spain before so I was excited to go to a new place. I really enjoyed my team meetup – we had a good balance of work and rest and my team is really fantastic. I think devs tend to be on the more introverted side and can give the impression that they are not so social but my team is nothing like that. I felt very welcome and everyone was very supportive and very sweet.

I also really like Barcelona. I really like going on a meetup to a walkable city and the location of my hotel was really great to walk to different places. I mostly walked everywhere and maybe used a metro (also very good) a few times when I was running really late. I also tried to take advantage of the mornings before we had our work sessions started. I really like mornings in general and for me, it is a special “me” time. In Barcelona, I woke up early and either took a run to the beach (it was lovely, so many runners there), grabbed a croissant, and walked to the beach where I had it for breakfast, or just walked around the city exploring small streets and roads.

As for the activities with the team, we did an escape room which was very fun, and visited Sagrada di Familia. I think it was the first touristy landmark that I visited and thought was worth it. There was an app that you could download and listen to while walking around but I preferred just to look and then search after for the things that interested me. For example, on one of the doors, I noticed a lot of words but only some were highlighted in gold. I also noticed that the words were in Latin but I did not fully know the meaning. I found out later that they are meant to describe the last days of Christ. Similarly, by that same door, they was a riddle with numbers, and in whatever way you would add them – either by rows or columns – it comes to 33 which is the age of Jesus when he died. Interestingly, none of this was mentioned on the app.

The activity that I enjoyed perhaps the most with my team was paddle boarding in the ocean. The water was extra cold but it was fun – we paddle-boarded away from the shore, had a nice view of Barcelona, and chatted laying on the boards under the sun. It was a wonderful start to the day!

When I was in Barcelona, I started feeling not so well for the past few days that I was there but I was not alarmed. I got back home on Sunday and managed to work on Monday but on Tuesday morning, I was in a state when I could not get up from bed. I am going to spare the technical details of my sickness but let’s just mention sever food poisoning or itenstinal infection. I could not get up from the bed for about 8 days – literally. This was much worse than anything I had before in my entire adult life. I would take viral angina that I had last month any day over this. The worst part of this sickness were the cramps that I felt every 5-10 minutes – my days and nights became endless and blurred together. My mum came over from the Czech Republic because she thought I was dying. At some point, Nicolas called 112 – they said they did not send ambulance for my case as I was still breathing. After lots of confusion and calls, I finally was allowed to go to emergency (the Dutch system is very convoluted if you don’t have a family doctor). They took some samples and confirmed that the issue was not my kidneys but something itestinal. I gave some more samples the next day but still waiting for the results. The best thing is that the doctor gave me morphine for pain management and when it kicked in, I was on cloud nine. I was floating with relief after 10 days of cramps pretty much every hour of the day. Right now I am still on morphine and antibiotics and waiting for final results but at least I can get up and type on my laptop.

April 30 was my birthday – as you can guess, I spent it in bed with cramps. Nicolas got some flowers, bubbles and cake but the food will have to wait for later to be enjoyed. We were supposed to travel to France for a week with Sofia and Sherlock and stay on a farmhouse but we had to cancel AirBnB last minute. It is a pity as we were really looking forward to it but at least I am alive, right?


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