Pictures of My Trip to Spain

This is the view out our hotel balcony in Old Madrid. It is the Best Western Hotel Carlos V – it was a very nice hotel – not exactly handicap accessible – but the staff went out of their way to try and assist in every way conceivable.

The day we arrived – June 28, 2002 – it was early afternoon by the time we got settled in our hotel. We got into our room and opened the balcony doors and the sweet strains of Handel’s Water Music came floating in – a string quartet was on the street across the way from our room. It was beautiful.

This is a very commercial part of Madrid. LOTS of shoppers out. There’s a huge department store here called El Corte Ingles – I think they carry just about a little bit of everything under the sun.

Speaking of sun – it’s hot – like 100 degrees with humidity hot.

And… I kept wondering… have these people never seen a fat woman before? (Admittedly, there aren’t that many heavy people on the streets.) Or have they never seen a woman in a wheelchair? (Again, not many in wheelchairs out, either.) Or maybe it’s that they’ve never seen a fat woman in a wheelchair? Dunno. Definitely felt like people were not just staring – but were really unsure about how to handle seeing me. Wierd.

Oh – and if you could earn your salvation – my husband will have earned his – pushing this 365 pound woman in 100 degree heat up cobble stone, hilly streets in a foreign country and not uttering one word of regret or derision or anything to make me feel anything but cherished and loved. My oh my – what a blessed woman I am!

Dr. Baltasar was kind enough to arrange for a private taxi to meet us at our hotel in Madrid on Sunday to drive us to Alcoy.

When we arrived in Alcoy – which is about a 5 hour drive from Madrid – we went straight to the hospital.

Here’s the front door of Sanatorio San Jorge – we call it the Clinica. It’s really a small private hospital. Health care in Spain is socialized, so people who prefer to self-pay for their health care utilize small private hospitals like this one.

I thought the stairways – with all of the beautiful wood work and marble – were lovely.

Here’s the view from the balcony of my hospital room.

John took me out for a walk the day of my surgery. We went down to this bridge – which apparently is sort of famous! It is pretty.

After I was discharged from the hospital John and I went to Villajoyosa where we had rented an apartment through Spanish Holiday Rentals. Here’s a little plaque along the promenade that explains the ancient history of the town.

This is the street that our rental was on – see the chair on the sidewalk on the right? That’s adjacent to our door.
There I am hanging out in the little plaza across the way from our apartment. (See, the place with the tourquoise door with the chair near it? That’s our apartment.)

This is the view looking up from where I was sitting in the plaza. The town is terraced up the hill. We would hear people in the evenings as they gathered on their patios and shared a meal or simply talked and laughed together.

See the sign on the wall below? It says, in essence, that this wall is ancient (like goes back to Roman era!) and if you take stones from the area you could/would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Wild, huh?

At the end of our street you can turn right or left. To the right you go one block to the waterfront. If you turn to the left, you’d go around this castle (yes, it’s a real castle) and go up the hill toward the mercado (market) – which John had to do daily (in the heat!) to bring back each day’s groceries.

Here’s the beach at Villajoyosa.

I didn’t actually get to go out onto the beach – wheelchair and sand don’t mix well. But it was lovely what I did get to see of it.

So – that was our trip to Spain!

July 2002

July 2, 2002 I had my BPD/DS in Alcoy, Spain. Dr. Aniceto Baltasar is my surgeon. My surgery was open, included the DS, appendix and gallbladder removal, as well as liver biopsy – all in 80 minutes. 3 hours after surgery I was up walking to the potty. It was an incredibly positive experience, and I’m so thankful to God for providing a way for me to have surgery!

Here I am at 4 days post-op, on the balcony of my room at the Sanatorio San Jorge in Alcoy, Spain.

This was actually at two days post-op. I really wanted Dr. Baltasar to keep my stitches in a LONG time cause I was afraid! My c-section incision dehissed at six days post-op, so I thought keeping those stitches in as long as possible was the best option! (I’m so opinionated!) As it turned out, Dr. B removed the stitches on the third day post-op rather than the 2nd, as is his normal practice – just to humor me, and everything was hunkey dorey!