I can’t believe that I’ve been back home with Stefano and our kitties since June 5 and haven’t written a post, not even a tiny post about…ANYTHING AT ALL!!! Well, a lot has been going on, and I’ve also been trying to get back into a normal routine = almost impossible right now, as you will see in a minute…
Let’s jump right in. The day after I got back to Florence (I left Cape Cod on Wednesday, June 4, arriving in Florence the following day), I found out that my Mom had been taken to Cape Cod hospital. To make a very long story short, she had sustained a new vertebral fracture (= spinal compression fracture–she suffers from osteoporosis, you see)…incredibly, unbearably painful.
The pain had begun, in fact, a couple of days before I left for Italy. Odd thing: it wasn’t located in her back, but in her rib cage area, and her main symptoms, as far as I could tell, were occasional but very painful spasms. And she couldn’t take deep breaths. Thinking that she might have bruised or even fractured a rib, I insisted on taking her to the emergency room, but she refused. And let me tell ya, when my Mom refuses to do something, she is impossible to deal with. The adjective “stubborn” doesn’t even cover it. However, since she was still moving around in the house, we all let her be stubborn…and I left for Italy as planned…
By Friday, however, the pain had gotten so intense that she finally agreed to go to the hospital. And that’s where they found the new compression fracture.
She spent several days at Cape Cod Hospital, where, after a few days, she had kyphoplasty (= basically, a procedure designed to lessen or even eliminate pain caused by compression fractures and also prevent them from worsening…a very common procedure for myeloma patients, by the way, and that’s how I knew all about it = a fact that impressed Mom’s doctor, whom I spoke with by phone, in fact…), which gradually diminished her pain to a semi-tolerable level. She is still in a certain amount of pain, unfortunately…but it’s certainly not like it was before…
A few days after the kyphoplasty procedure, just as the hospital was getting ready to discharge her and send her off to the same rehab center where my Dad spent three weeks after his stroke, a nurse noticed that Mom’s left leg was swollen and purple. And that is how they discovered she had a blood clot. So they kept her in the hospital a few more days…Sheesh!!!
The good news is that she is now in the rehab center and will probably go home soon. Boyohboy, though, it’s been really tough to be so far away from my parents. I felt and feel completely helpless…unable to do anything but speak by phone with my parents and their caregiver and, of course, with my sister, who is in Arizona. Such a drag.
In spite of all the worry, though, life goes on. It has to. I’m working, of course, though I still haven’t caught up with my backlog, sigh…I’ve met up with a number of close friends…And Stefano and I are about to take off on a couple of trips that we’d planned (and paid for!) months ago.
Our first trip will be to Amsterdam, a city that neither of us has visited before. We’re leaving tomorrow, actually, and will be gone until next Tuesday (Stefano’s cousin, and the cousin’s girlfriend, will be moving in with and taking care of our cats). Like many other Florentines, we’re taking advantage of the fact that next Tuesday is a holiday here in Florence: it’s the city’s patron saint’s birthday…St. John the Baptist, to be precise. This gives us a four-day holiday…perfect for visiting a European city (if you live in Europe, that is! ).
(Fascinating fact: did you know that Amsterdam has MORE canals than Venice? I’d have never guessed! And no, no way, I’m not going to count them! )
And then, in early July, Stefano and I are flying to the UK to meet up with our fabulous British friend Paul (whom we met via my blog several years ago, in fact). The three of us are going together to Skokholm island (Wales, UK) for four full days, mainly to see our beloved puffins. (We won’t, er, mention the fact that Italy beat England 2-0 last week in the 2014 FIFA World Cup… ).
Then Stefano and I are flying back to the States to visit my parents in early August…
So, as you can see, I’ve got a lot on my plate right now.
I would like to add that, since I returned to Italy, I’ve answered as many blog reader queries as possible, but please don’t be too upset with me if I haven’t gotten to yours…yet. Just to give you an idea, when I got home I found 2400 unread messages in my inbox. No kidding. True, I’d already read many of them while I was in the U.S., but there were still quite a few that I hope to have the time to read at some point soon = this will be a slow process, though. As you can imagine, right now I have to give priority to my own (paid!) work AND, of course!!!, to the messages I get from my family.
If you have an urgent query, though, try writing to me again, or contact me on Facebook. But not until next week, after we get back from Amsterdam. Thanks!
Please note that if your question has already been answered somewhere in the blog, or if it is an impossible-for-me-to-answer question, I might not answer it at all. Try using the “Search” box option…it’s so handy that I use it myself!
Finally, let me mention that I really REALLY appreciate the kind comments I’ve received in this period. I probably won’t get to answering those, either, due to lack of time, but I wanted you to know that they make me feel so much better. So thanks and double thanks for taking the time to write comments and/or send me private messages. Much appreciated! :-)
Okay…that’s it. Take care, everyone!!! Ciao…or rather, tot ziens!!! See you next week!