The journey actually starts the day before. Saturday we brought Ozzy, our dog, to my cousin. Quite scary because he has never been away from us for so long. Sunday, October 20, the time had come. At 9:00 we drove to the airport for the flight to Barcelona. The trunk with three suitcases and the walker. We had to be on time for the assistance at the airport. I requested this for both of them because they can’t stand that long. After we had reported to the assistance desk, we were waiting for the transport. We were loaded on an electric vehicle and passed the airport with constant squeaking, with the vehicle and all in elevators, after which we were delivered to the gate. We had to wait there until we could board. At a certain point the last call went off for our flight. This was the first time with assistance (at this airport) and we got a little stuffy. Fortunately I was able to talk to someone who assured us it would be alright. We were brought to the aircraft in a lift vehicle, whereupon the whole vehicle went up and we could get on in that way. Step one was taken. Upon arrival in Barcelona a similar scene to the exit where a taxi driver was waiting for us to take us to the hotel. We were in our hotel about 4:00 PM to 4:30 PM, near the hospital in the Sarriá district. Fortunately far from the demonstrations. Jane and I went to the nearest supermarket for dinner. Eating out was no longer an option for today. When we returned, Rosa was already in pajamas. After we had something to eat, we played a travel game and went to bed early.
We were expected on Monday at 12:00 for the examinations. After we woke up at ease and had something to eat we asked the reception to call a taxi for the ride to the hospital. She indicated that it is only a short walk, but that short walk is really impossible for the girls. We were there in good time and after a friendly welcome from Amy, Dr. Gilete’s assistant, hospital registration and a meeting with a couple from the UK who were with their daughter with the same condition, they became one by one one led in for the investigation, a DMX. After the investigation, Amy showed us where we had a consultation with Dr. Gilete the next day and headed for the hotel. To get some fresh air and because it was time to eat, we decided to try the short walk. After 5 minutes we stopped at a restaurant where we ate a sandwich and drank something. Then it was a 5 minute walk to the hotel. Once there, Rosa immediately put on her pajamas and went to bed. Her day was done. Jane and I took a short walk of about 20 minutes and saw a restaurant just around the corner from the hotel, about 20 meters away. At that time we had the idea to eat there in the evening, but when we got back to the hotel, Jane was also pretty tired and Rosa didn’t look well. She was really unable to leave the hotel. So the Deliveroo app downloaded on my phone and we had delivered food in. Restaurant might come tomorrow. Furthermore, the same ritual as the day before, playing a game and going to bed early.
Day 3, Tuesday, and the consultation with Dr. Gilete. Have the front desk call a taxi again, but because the weather was so bad, it was delayed. On the advice of the reception we stopped a taxi around the corner on the main road. Fortunately this worked out fairly quickly and we were in the hospital in time. The three of us went inside , Jane was first discussed. Jane’s neck had several problems, after discussing the DMX and the earlier Upright MRI, another physical examination followed. After the examination came the treatment advice and it confirmed what we had been told before, with the exception that her neck was in very bad condition and a complete fusion up to and including T1 is recommended. This means a complete restriction of the freedom of movement in the neck. Another option is to merge up to and including C4, where it is highly likely that it will have to be operated again within a few years to merge the lower part. A choice that needs to be carefully considered. With the last option, something of movement in the neck is still possible. Then it was Rosa’s turn. Her neck also showed quite a few abnormalities, but her problems can be solved with a shorter merger. Dr.Gilete explained very precisely what the consequences are of the operation and the improvement rates. He also clearly indicated that every patient with this condition responds differently and that you cannot say exactly how quickly the symptoms will get worse and where the next problems will occur. What he could say with certainty is that if nothing is done there will be no improvement in their current pattern of complaints and that they will only continue to deteriorate. And that in the current situation the proposed operation is the only possibility for recovery and improvement. He further indicated that the improvement percentages vary. That there is a group of patients that is 95% improving, but that there is also a group of patients that has improved 50%. And that the operation is very difficult and the recovery and rehabilitation afterwards is painful and long. But still, all this included it is the only option on recovery and / or improvement. The consultation lasted about 45 minutes for both Jane and Rosa each. We received the footage. The girls were pretty exhausted again and also quite upset after all this information. To let everything sink in a taxi was taken to the hotel room. Once there, Jane and Rosa went to the supermarket just around the corner. Upon her return, Rosa went back to bed and Jane and I took the metro to the center. Jane had quite a bit to process and needed some distraction. It was still raining so after a short walk we sat down at a place for a small lunch. Then we went back to the metro and headed for the hotel. In the meantime, I received an email that strikes had been announced and that we had to arrive at the airport in time. Jane fainted in the hotel room, it had really been enough. Because everyone was tired and upset, we decided to have food delivered in again. Then played a game and went to bed early. That night there was a huge storm in Barcelona with very loud thunderclap.
Day 4, return trip. Because the trip to London had been so tiring, I had booked everything for this trip in a way that there was enough time to rest. In retrospect, this would not have been necessary. No matter how the trip is planned, it is an attack on their energy level and condition. After waking up, the bags are packed and left at the reception. At our leisure we went for breakfast around the corner and upon our return we asked the reception to call a taxi for the trip to the airport. The taxi arrived in half an hour and we arrived at the airport 5 hours before departure. There was no question of any strike, we managed to get through everything fairly quickly and killed the time at the airport with drinks and snacks. Last night’s thunderstorm and heavy rainfall in the morning disrupted the entire air traffic. In the end our flight was delayed by more than an hour. Jane fainted again as he ascended. Her neck was quite sore afterwards and she felt tingling. After landing quickly to the car and home. Although we have learned more about their condition, the journey is a huge attack on their wellbeing. The next trip is for surgeries. They will have to undergo two further investigations to get a good picture of everything. It is better to do these two just before the operation, luckily because such an in-between trip is impossible to undertake again.