Walking Tall

November 18, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Posted in Family, Me | 24 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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??


Fluffy Bunnies in Romania:
Read the tales
See the photos.



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  1. Stacia, I am so happy that you are walking again. There is no sweeter word, is there? This is wonderful news. 🙂
    A few years ago I was not allowed to eat any food unless it went into the blender(because of TMJ) and when I could eat again, I was so happy. I felt human again. At the same time I wasn’t talking and I was walking around with a notebook to write everything. It took a few months for me to heal completely, and once in awhile I feel a sharp pain that gives me a warning to be careful.
    So happy for you, my friend.

  2. Congratulations. I am so very happy for you. Please keep on keeping on and even though you may get discouraged, try to be strong and hopeful. Wishing you the best.

    In August, I also did endoscopic surgery. For an entire 6 months of this year my nose was draining a yellow mucus like substance. At first they thought it was a sinus infection. They kept giving me antibiotics and kept upping the dosage. Nothing. Until they did an endoscopic exam and a biopsy and discovered a mass in my sinuses that was sinonasal papilloma. They said it was benign but could turn malignant. Surgery had to be done. It was the scariest thing of my life because I was soooooooo afraid of the anesthesia.

    Anyways long story short, after the surgery, and after I healed I began smelling again. I was unable to smell for the last 8months. Now I can smell better than ever. It’s not much when stacked against you not being able to walk but I wanted to share and say that we sometimes never appreciate the simple things we could do until we can’t do them any more.

  3. Oh, congratulations! Yes, there is more hard ahead, but it’s worth it, no? Can you see the light at the end of the tunnel? You’ll be there before you know it! Way to go!

  4. oh my goodness, i’m honestly in tears for you.
    you’re getting there… slowly but surely!


    Healing is such a tremendous process. I’m so glad you’ve had support and love through it all (and that husband of yours deserves something wonderful)!

    We all take walking for granted, don’t we?

  6. Kudos to amazing partners and two working/walking feet. “This too shall pass” Indeed it has. Glad the worst of it is over. Now back to holiday planning. OY! 😉

  7. Mama’s first steps! I’m glad you paused to document this important moment and grateful that you shared it with us.

    Sending all my best wishes for easier steps and much less pain – and a magically refilling jug of milk!


  8. P.S. Justine is nagging me because I still haven’t read Blue Jay’s Dance. It’s next on my list after I finish my current book club read, but I snuck in a bit of it last night and love it so far. Thanks again for such a special gift.

  9. So you and Bun will get steadier on your feet together.
    This is a great post to read! Glad you are well on your way to recovery.
    I remember the realization that morning (HA!) sickness had passed, and I looked forward to eating again. Certain post-baby things that came back — ease in the shower, reaching my toes again — that were a relief. Having a beer after abstaining for so long. Just little things.
    Laughing with my husband again — that was after we lost Gabriel, and the feeling of relief, that we could *do* this — was wonderfully freeing.

  10. Yay! Yay! Yay~!!!!

  11. High five girl! Now let’s get you running really soon too. Mobility is definitely a good good thing.

  12. Yeah!!!!!
    What a long road you have had. I am sure this wasn’t part of the Romanian adventure that you had planned. But, you have done so well. Hang in there.

  13. I can’t believe what you’ve gone through over the last 3 months, and in a second foreign country no less!! I can imagine you’ll never take for granted things like walking again. I tend to feel that way whenever I get over the flu or something, though it’s a very small thing in comparison. Congrats!!

  14. So happy you’re getting back on your feet again. Mommy can walk! Yay! ♥

  15. Hooray!!!

  16. Yippee! Happy for you!

  17. Way to go, Stacia! Back to enjoying your year abroad again; that is, really enjoying it. Wishing you a speedy return to normal walking. Loved that you had to go looking for your right shoe… makes sense!

  18. […] town in traffic and then a makeshift pedestrian crossing over under-construction tram tracks. On crutches. Needless to say, my holiday crafting projects have mostly been disappointments thus far. Until […]

  19. oh YEAH! What a joyful time for you – and right before the holidays! Enjoy your turkey with the other expats! It will be extra special this year!

    for the cabbage – it is quite simple – just slice up a cabbage, put in a pot with some chicken stock and whipping cream and butter – let steam until ready and finish off with a bit of salt and nutmeg (pepper if you like, I do not like pepper) it’s so simple!

  20. Oh my. That had to have been the longest 3 months of your life! And you’re finding a way to be cheery about pom poms! Way to go!

  21. […] Break your leg about three months before Thanksgiving. This guarantees the time you spend fixing plates, doing […]

  22. […] ago, barely knew me but quickly mobilized to bring food and comfort to my doorstep when they heard about my accident. Our nanny. Our neighbors. My physical therapist. The list is as long as our time here is short. As […]

  23. […] hug. Because there was nothing simple about it. I worked my muscles and my psyche into exhaustion for three long months to get here. To be able to stand, to bend, to balance, to scoop up my baby and pull him to me. To […]

  24. […] The worst part? Walking to, from, and between the various buses, trains, and trolleys. I’m newly back on two feet and still achy and slow. The kids take about twice as many steps as we do on their tiny little […]

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