I know...where the heck have I been? I'll give you the short and sweet version of the last week and promise to be better in the future.
Monday (a rainy one by the way) I got a message from a friend that she was in Rome and on her way to see me. I love company, even though it means running through the house like a madwoman wrestling the larger dust bunnies into the trrash and cleaning the toilet. We spent Monday, Tuesday and most of Wednesday walking everywhere in Florence. We both like to draw, so Kristine told me to decide where to go that would offer opportunities to draw. We walked miles each day and returned home in the early evenings to cook dinner and talk for hours. I'm proud to say that I pretty much walked this 23 year old flight attendant into the ground. With a cast.
On Wednesday we took the train to Assisi to see Leif and the group he was leading. We were very excited about this because the group was taking the same Art and Spiritualality course that Kristine and I had taken two years ago (and where I met Leif for those who don't know our history). It was wonderful to see the instructors again. They have both become good friends of mine in the last few years. We followed them for the day on Thursday and I led a yoga practice in an olive grove, yes with my cast. I am multi-talented.
Kristine left for Rome that evening to catch her flight home and I stayed in Assisi to hang out a little more with the class. OK, ya got me, staying with Leif was also pretty nice. Assisi is a town built on a hill. There are maybe two flat streets in town, every other street is definitely up or down. My one piece of advise for anyone staying in a town like this...no matter how daunting it may seem to have to climb to see everything, at the end of the day it is sheer heaven to walk down to your hotel. I also kept up with the 19 to 25 year-olds in the class. If it sounds like I'm bragging, I am.
I came home on Friday evening, and after five days of walking all day in the bright Italian sun I was tired and a little sunburned. Saturday I went to the market and took a nap. Yes, Saturday was an exciting day, wasn't it? I got a call Saturday evening from a man who had asked me earlier about babysitting his daughter when I got the cast off. He said he was in a tight spot and needed my help, cast and all. So I agreed to watch his daughter the next day. It could have been worse I suppose. He took me to the home of another friend with children and said that we could kind of tag-team the babysitting. She watched the two little girls most of the time while I watched the 8 month old. It was fun to play with someone who thought bouncing was hilarious. It was sweet to hold a baby again and watch him nestle in to fall asleep. It would have been an even better experience if my cast didn't weigh as much as the kid.
At 1pm the sunshine in Florence becomes brutal and my 40 minute walk there became an hour and fifteen minute walk home. Too tired to cook, I fell into bed for a much deserved nap. Yes I lead an exciting life. I woke up feeling not quite right, with a sore throat and runny nuse that was more than allergies. I did actually cook dinner and went to bed early. I kept waking up because my nose was stuffy, my throat was dry and I had to pee constantly because of the water I was drinking for my throat. It was a long night. At what I was certain must be 5 or 6 in the morning I looked at the clock...1:35. Seriously? I didn't think I could feel worse but when I woke up in the actual morning my breathing sounded like Darth Vador and I had little or no voice. My eyeballs were hot. Not a good start to one of the biggest days of my life here in Florence.
That's right, the day has finally arrived. The cast comes off, x-rays will be taken and hopefully no new cast will be put on. I can only imagine what I looked like walking to the hospital...red burning eyes barely open from lack of sleep, swinging my Popeye arm back and forth to keep myself moving and wiping my endlessly dripping nose with the other as I struggled to get enough air through my nose and throat to stay conscious. Luckily a friend agreed to meet me at the hospital to provide any translating I might need. She had to speak for me too sometimes.
I feel like there should be a drum roll, a fanfare, maybe some fireworks. This is a huge deal for me. If they leave the cast off I have my independence back. I really want this. The doctor sat at the desk while the nurse cut the cast off. He came over, asked if it hurt as he moved it around for, oh, 20 seconds and said I wouldn't need x-rays. They will leave the cast off. Just start with small movements and I'll be fine. And we left. Sorrt of anti-climactic, yes? My total cost for this adventure, without meds, was 22,60 Euro, or about $32.00. Bargain that it was I am going to do my best not to repeat this little escapade. A cast cramps my style, if I could be said to have one.
There you are, pretty much up to date. Oh, because of the train strike today in Umbria Leif won't be home tonight. In Italy unions don't have to announce an intent to strike, they can and do wake up one morning and say, let's just not go to work today because we want (insert request here). So no one to say "look, no cast" to, and no one to make sure I breathe all night. But I'm tough.