Walking TallNovember 18, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Posted in Family, Me | 24 Comments
Tags: Challenges, Expats, Family, Health Care, Italy, Life, Perspectives, Relationships, Romania, Surgery
Three months ago today, an Italian nurse in Cheeto-colored scrubs wheeled me out of my room and down into the frigid depths of Ospedale San Giovanni di Dio — the surgery floor. The anesthesiologists administered my epidural, the surgeons hammered a titanium plate and five screws into my fractured tibia, and then they zapped in 32 staples. All in all, it took about three hours.
My fracture was repaired, but the hard part was just beginning — the pain, the swelling, the immobility, the iodine stains. The 1,094 stairs (or thereabouts) required to get me on a plane back to Romania. The hours of physical therapy. The hours of dreading physical therapy. And the plans. Oh, the plans. The keep-our-family-running-while-Mommy-spends-three-months-recovering plans. The back-up plans. The just-in-case-none-of-that-works plans. All of that? Became my husband’s responsibility.
Good thing he’s an engineer. Drafting plans (and implementing them efficiently) is his specialty. But that didn’t make it easy. Throw in a hurting, tearful, sometimes-pissed-off wife? And he’s had some good, good times in the last 90 days. I won’t even mention the number of blood-thinner injections he’s had to administer. Or the number of times he’s moved the deck chair to and from the shower. Or the number of late-night we’re-out-of-milk-again grocery store runs he’s had to make.
But we’re through the worst of it.
After scouring the apartment for my right tennis shoe — which I hadn’t seen since the paramedics took it off on the dusty Tuscan roadside — I took my first wobbly, knee-buckling steps this week. (Under the scrupulous eye of my physical therapist, don’t worry.) I still need two crutches for support. I still have to carry spoons and Kindles and bags of chips in my teeth. But I’m walking.
I don’t think I’ve ever written a sweeter word.
Can you believe it’s been three months? Have you ever rediscovered the joy of something simple like walking? And what’s the oddest thing you’ve ever carried in your teeth??