Comets are named after their discoverers, up to three of them, and their names are hyphenated together, if possible with dashes between them. So who is NEOWISE?

This week was about learning and remembering. Learning new names like Firbrotomia, Myotomy, Fasciotomy, Myofasziotomy, Angulation Osteotomy, Girdlestone, and medication like Mydocalm and Dronabinol. Remembering how some doctors view their patients: as ‘issues’ or ‘ailments’, rather than persons with a history, a personality, a social context, and so much more. I had to think of the garages that Pádraig’s car spent so much time in this year. Cylinder head, air conditioning, tyres, turbo charger. On second thoughts, the mechanics spent a lot of time checking the whole car out, its condition, its age, the way it was used and what it was used for. Lots of things to consider to get it right.

We went to the  Heidelberg University Orthopaedic Clinic on Monday, a little more than an hour from Pforzheim.

It’s in the most beautiful location, just outside Heidelberg, in brilliant, old but meticulously kept buildings. We had to fill in a COVID19 tracker form, wear masks and keep our distance, apart from that it was business as usual for a busy and, in some cases life-saving, facility – complete with a helicopter pad.

The visit was very useful, if at times a bit sobering, and it prepared us for our next meeting tomorrow in Munich. We’ll leave in the morning, see the consultant in the early afternoon and then drive on to Burgau to see a neurologist and therapist on Tuesday. After that, it’ll be decision time.

It’s a busy time. Above all it’s a time packed with deep emotions and situations beyond stress. A friend once told me “you can only do what you can do”. At the time I though “how obvious is that?”.

It is a stark realisation that you can try and try and achieve a lot – those who keep trying get lucky – but that there are times when the world keeps spinning its own way.

You might have heard that the police was chasing a man in the Schwarzwald for five days because he had disarmed four police when they wanted to check him out for whatever reasons. They captured him eventually close to his local pub – not somewhere in the midst of the forest – with his hands in the air and the four guns he had taken from the police in front of him. Doesn’t sound like the dangerous “Schwarzwald Rambo” the media had hysterically reported about for nearly a week.

If you are old enough you will remember the great opening line of Patty Smith’s debut album: “Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine.” One of the best opening lines of any song ever. Not passing the buck. Taking responsibility. Full of life, action, and energy. Bring it on.  After the release of Horses, she sang it in 1976 on Saturday Night Live and, apparently, shocked the nation. Good. In 2014, Pope Francis who obviously has an immaculate taste for music, invited her to take part in festivities in the Auditorium Conciliazione just before Christmas. She must have rocked the Cathedral.

Jesus died, I think there isn’t much doubt about it, because he was human. He died the way he did because he upset the system quite a bit. There is an inevitability because of our human nature. In the meantime, we have to live our life and give it meaning, not taking too much direction, especially when it doesn’t make sense, but taking responsibility and affect change where change is needed. Someone during the week said that we should ask ourselves from time to time: What would the world be without me? Is it different because I am around?

In case you haven’t looked it up in the meantime:) – the comet NEOWISE you can see on the night skies these days was not discovered by a human, but by the “Near Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer”, or NEOWISE, launched by NASA in 2009.