The week started with news that the total number of cases of Corona reported in the world had exceeded 20 million, who would have thought that 8 months ago! On Monday 10th August there was 29 more cases in Vietnam and 1 more death. I had cheese for breakfast, chocolate for lunch (the healthy diet was going well) and then made my way downstairs to get picked up by Phuong for physio. My stomach was feeling a bit iffy and on the way I desperately needed the toilet. Phuong stopped at one place, a petrol station, but it had no toilets and was closed. I was a bit worried I wasn’t going to make it to Dong Hoi when we stopped at another small petrol station that also looked a bit unfinished or closed. To our surprise they had toilets, western style, that were fully functioning and clean. The only downside was I had to walk through a building site floor full of trip hazards and a kennel of at least 4 barking dogs to get there.
At physio Thuy was determined that I was going to have a straight leg by the end of the session and I thought I might cry from the pain – I didn’t! Phuong was able to pick me back up at 4.30pm and take me to the Nam Long Plus Hotel where I was early enough to order dinner from Tree Hugger, they are closed by the time I finish physio usually. I was hungry so ordered the beef and veg rice plate, a fruit salad, yoghurt and peach tea – all of which was delicious! The hotel still had problems with the WiFi and unfortunately if I wanted a bath (which I did) then room 201 was the only one available which was also suitable for my needs. I decided I could cope without the internet in the room and would use it in reception if I needed it. In my hotel room I managed to keep my leg straight enough to be able to stand up on 2 legs without crutches, a bit more progress! I started watching a great series on Netflix called What If (with Renée Zellweger) which was recommended by a lady in Dalyan, Turkey – I was getting in to it.

I had my usual pho bo breakfast at the Nam Long Plus Hotel on Tuesday 11th August and then checked the NCOVI app. There were 6 more cases, 4 deaths and 4 recoveries in the last day. It was definitely worrying to see deaths, even the low numbers compared to the UK (46,526) and Turkey (5,858). So far the deaths in Vietnam were still only in the Danang and Hoi An area and there had not been any recorded in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh.
I was feeling dehydrated so when I ordered my veggie spring rolls for lunch from Tree Hugger I ordered peach tea, pineapple juice and they brought me free herbal tea and an apple – they are excellent and really look after me!
My physio session was rather eventful and, after a good session of deep tissue manipulation/massage including the bum cheek and a smack of my arse from Thuy, I had to try some new exercises. She had me standing without crutches then sitting on a small plastic stool and standing again – this is difficult because I couldn’t do it without hands or help before the injury! At the end of the session instead of passing my crutches she asked me to hold her shoulder and walk without them. I managed about 5 steps and felt like I’d ran a marathon – it felt like I was finally getting to be able to walk!
Back at the hotel I had a lovely hot bath and ordered chicken and fried rice from 7th Heaven, another one of my favourite places where the food for delivery is as good as in the restaurant. Captain Caveman was back from Son Doong but I decided not to bother going back to Phong Nha as he had his next briefing that night and was going back in to the caves the next morning. I finished the night off with a drop of red wine and then slept very well.

While Captain Caveman, back in Phong Nha, headed off on his next trip I was eating a tasty pho bo for breakfast at the Nam Long Plus Hotel on Wednesday 12th August. There were 19 more virus cases recorded and another death, the first outside of Danang area and in Quang Tri (our next province). It seemed people were really feeling the tension and even where lockdown wasn’t imposed a lot of people were just staying at home and limiting interaction with others as much as possible.
I ordered a delicious chicken salad with peanuts from Tree Hugger for lunch and really enjoyed it. Physio was intense but we got fantastic results and I was so pleased to finally be able to walk a few steps unaided as well as go up and down my first set of stairs upright! Thuy had told me I would be able to walk by the end of the week and it was only Wednesday so I was thrilled. Also on Friday it will be 4 months since my accident so I had hoped to be mobile before then.
When I got back to the hotel I showed the receptionist, also called Thuy, that I could walk and she was also pleased for me. I headed up to the room to show off on Facebook but then realised I wanted Captain Caveman to see me do it in person before seeing it on social media, so I held off and didn’t tell anyone except a couple of people.
I messaged my Mom to ask what time Dad finished work so I could call them. I also got sent Thuy’s video of me walking so I would be able to show them after the call because the WiFi wasn’t working and I would have to call them without the camera on. It felt like ages to wait until 10pm but I had a bath, caught up on a few tasks and ordered pork ribs with sweet potato fries from 7th Heaven for dinner. I was on my second glass of red wine when I called the UK and my parents had assembled for what news I had. They were really pleased for me and I was finally relieved I was getting better. I went to sleep happy but exhausted.

For my breakfast on Thursday 13th August I had a Gastropulgite sachet for my stomach (which was still a bit out of sorts) and a banana which then meant I was able to tolerate gluten so I had cheese and ham toasties for lunch from Tree Hugger. I’ve not had a toastie for years and I didn’t realise the size of the portion so I had enough leftover for dinner – they tasted so good! At physio the therapist stood on my bum cheek and massaged my thigh with a foot which really helped with my sciatic nerve. There is a young boy, called Vu, going to physio who speaks English and is very polite and helpful, he’s now my door and floor monitor because he helps me by unlocking and opening the door when I arrive each day. He is also very good at moving the toys from the play area which I have to crutch through to get in to the heat room. Although I can walk a little without crutches I still needed to use them for balance and speed, as well as getting in and out of the entrances to buildings where there are steps without handrails. In the second part of my physio Thuy got me walking up the stairs again, just 10 of them, holding the wall on my left and the hand rail on my right. I went up ok and then coming down she told me to simply go back down in reverse rather than turning round and I was able to do it – 3 times in fact. When we finished Thuy gave me a gift of Banh Loc which is a Vietnamese snack made from cassava flour, prawns and pork – it was such a kind gesture and is one of her favourite foods. I’d just got back to the hotel when it rained and so the air cooled down a lot. I had a chilled evening, catching up with some language lessons, blogging and Netflix before bed. Despite the rain cooling the air a bit and the air con being on, I woke up at midnight feeling really hot!

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