So, I’m sitting here at my desk at Die Welt a few minutes ago and my neighbor’s phone rings. This happens often. But then I notice that she’s leaning over, looking at my phone, and reading off my phone number. She hung up and told me it was a secretary, and shrugged – she didn’t know what it was about.
The secretary calls and says, “Frau Fields? Do you speak German?” And I said, “More or less.” She said, “I have a reader on the line, I’ll transfer you.” And I was like, uhh, uhh, and there he was. Yesterday the 19-year-old intern and I co-wrote a story about chronic kidney disease and kidney failure. (Really, it was mostly her – she’s young, but she’s good. Also, she speaks German and can interview people.)
The nice man told me he’d read my article in today’s paper about kidney disease, and I’d mentioned a test to detect protein in the urine. Well, yesterday his wife had a blood test at the hospital, and he had the test results, and could I tell him what the line about protein meant?
Uhhhhh….no. No, I could not tell him that. We chatted a bit about tests for kidney function, agreed that it was best to talk to the doctor (he relayed this to his wife) and he thanked me for such an informative article and told me to keep up the good work.
I pretty much feel like now I am a German superstar, although I didn’t understand everything he said, I stumbled a bit while talking, and, yeah, I totally couldn’t answer his question. Man, I haven’t gotten a call from a reader in forever. It’s the last day of my fellowship – not a bad way to end.