That Time I Tried to Go to Oslo
Everything that could have gone wrong did. When we arrived at the Bozeman airport our flight to Chicago was canceled due to snow. We were re-routed to Denver, then to Frankfurt- instead of Amsterdam, then we would continue onto Oslo from Germany. That didn't happen.
As we were preparing to descend into Frankfurt Dylan fell ill. We were the last people off the plane, he was nearly unable to walk. Waiting for the wheelchair to arrive, the flight attendants gave us water and fresh fruit in hopes it would help. Wheelchair acquired, we made our way to customs, almost being denied entry into the EU. Our next flight was in concourse B- something that seemingly disappeared from the airport. By the time we found our gate he was much, much worse. I stole a roll of toilet paper from the bathroom, and bags from stores to get sick into. When our flight was boarding, we were in the airport clinic, seeking medical attention.
He was hooked up to an IV, and required a ECG. He was given painkillers, more fluids. I was told to contact the embassy. He needed an ambulance. We were going to the hospital. We were supposed to be preparing to land in Oslo had we made the flight.
While in the Ambulance he was still on an IV, and was issued a "not fit to fly" certificate. When we arrived at the hospital (not knowing which one we were at, and if they spoke English) he was rushed into the doctor- I was asked to wait in the waiting room. For roughly an hour I called family members, acquired food, and waited to be allowed in the back with him. My Aunt set up a hotel room for us, my mother relayed messages I couldn't get to everyone. My dad helped get emergency funds to me.
When I finally was allowed back he was writhing in pain still. The doctors spoke English, as we were at a University hospital. However, our English was different than theirs, and we still had a slight language barrier. You don't question your doctor in Germany, they run tests, do their work, and you are expected to comply and take it. He had blood work done, two more ECGs. More pain relief, IV still in. More bags, and more fear. Not feeling better, seven hours later. He was discharged without pain relief, in fear the doctors could have missed something, and having relief would keep us from coming back in case it was more serious. He left still feeling bad, fearing a stay overnight.
We caught a taxi from the hospital (with some help from the very freindly Info desk man- who tried his best to work around the language barrier!) to the hotel room my Aunt managed to secure for us. We arrive well into night, got unpacked, and Dylan finally fell into bed. I was on the phone until 3 am, talking to family members and the airports trying to find our lost luggage. During breaks from phone calls, I did some laundry, as we had no clothes but the ones on our backs.
As the sun rose, we found ourselves overlooking a forest. I went to find soft foods (applesauce, you are a hero food) and pastries for myself. I was in Germany, and they make hella good break/baked goods. Not going to miss that opportunity. Dylan rested for the day, slowly feeling better. As the day progressed he was able to have small amounts of applesauce, pretzel, and water. We bought train tickets for the next day to go to Munich, our return flight was out of there. But by night he was ill again, after trying to eat, and I was once again on the phone trying to frantically to secure flights to Chicago for the next day. I don't really want to go into detail about how bad of shape we was in. It was bad- very, very bad. I was scared, I almost asked my dad to fly over to help us. I spent a few hours crying in the airport unable to find flights for the next day within a reasonable price. (International flights aren't reasonable to begin with, and next day flights certainly are not.)
Dylan had a rough night sleeping- I didn't sleep.
Good news is our luggage was located, thanks to my mother and grandparents. (Who went to the Denver Airport, because that's where our luggage was supposedly being held.) They were in Frankfurt all along, I picked the luggage and crutches up around ten thirty at night. Our hotel was thankfully attached to the airport.
We woke up an hour before our train left, as we were also staying right above the distance train stations. Not even five minutes into the train ride I began to feel sick from lack of sleep. An old man gave up his seat for me, he got off two stops later- I still feel bad about him giving it to me. We traveled Two hundred and forty four miles in a little under three and a half hours. We got off the stop before the central station, boarded the S8 train to our hotel- once again attached to the airport. By afternoon we had settled down again, and Dylan was resting. I got more pretzels, the München (It's Munich... in German!) Airport had an actual convenience store where I could get food and other necessities, such as water, and chocolate. I have no shame in admitting I bought Birkenstocks in the Airport.
We slept in on Sunday. No stores are open, except for airport ones, and both of us were weak from exhaustions, and the other from sickness still. By the afternoon, Dylan still wasn't feeling great, but was determined to see part of München. We decided to walk across Marienplatz, so we could see a bunch of traditional Bavarian Architecture without having to travel far. Keeping Dylan close to a subway (which are all over apparently) was ideal. Google Maps walking directions lead us down the wrong path several times, and by the time we reached the Hofbrauhaus, we were tired, and didn't want to be in a loud, hot restaurant/brewery.
We ended up at The Ratskeller, a quiet, nineteenth century type restaurant. They happened to have Potato Pancakes and Applesauce as a dish, the only things Dylan could eat! I got Sauerbraten, and I even had a beer. It was huge, I forgot Germans love their beer. We walked around for a little more, admiring the winding streets, and quaint buildings. The Bavarian domes we certainly something to see. We then caught the train back to the hotel as dusk began to fall.
The next day we packed up, and went to the Airport, which was so much better than American ones. We breezed thru security, got to our gate, only to find out that our plane had a part malfunctions and we needed to rebook, and possibly spend the night in Chicago. After an hour of waiting, the plane ended up being fine, and we made our flight. We arrived in Chicago, took the train over to the next terminal. We had to go thru security again, and being in such a rush I forgot to empty a water bottle and got yelled at. We managed to get get to our gate without any other issues, I got my hot dogs, and we were finally Bozeman bound.
I'm sure Oslo is a lovely city, and Norway is a lovely country. I'll get there one day- maybe this summer after field school. Germany is an incredible country. Their hospitals are affordable, and they are incredibly efficient. I never doubted their care for Dylan, and would like to return under better circumstances.
Overall, it sucks to have your boyfriend nearly die in a foreign country.