Christina's Travel Blog

An outlook on travel from an Italian American on a quest to experience the countryside, food and wine of Italy and places beyond – as an adventurer

2016 – For Better or Worse

Our adventure begins Friday evening with was an unexpected detour to our plans. My medical office called to tell me that my tumble on Labor Day created an acute L4 compression fracture and to get to urgent care for an evaluation and back brace. Well to be blunt – that sucked. And I’ll bet you don’t need a medical degree to diagnose the outcome – no travel. Shoot me now! In less than 24 hours we would have been boarding a plane.  But there is a good thing, I don’t have osteoporosis (one advantage to being overweight I learned. Makes you want to chow down on a crème pie, right?).

Sad doesn’t describe how we felt – after all the preparation and anticipation of the adventures. Not to mention there have been months of conditioning for this trip. Besides walking and swimming every day, one of my conditioning tactics was to sleep sitting up to practice sleeping on the plane. I knew there would be sleeping in the plane at some point of the 12 hour flight. I’ll tell you my tip in case you need it: as soon as Dick would turn on football (or sports in general) I would just close my eyes and be off to dream world. It was a win-win really because Dick could be doing something he loves (especially at this time of year), we could be together, and I could be tolerating all the excitement on TV with my eyes closed. You might have guessed that I’m not a sports fan – my apologies to our many friends who are. I’m certain that’s why he has weekly “sports” call with his friend Bill so he could talk with someone who knows about it and is interested.

So as a result, I have the sleep sitting up thing down very well. Last night when we returned from urgent care I decided to sleep (term loosely used here) on the couch so I could support my back. I laid on my left, no that wasn’t going to work. I laid on my right, ditto! So I sat up in a semi-stooper exhausted, medicated, and trying to figure out what to do, with my trusty dog laying cheek to cheek with me. (that’s butt cheek for those that need an interpretation and don’t know our dog Cuffy). There I am late at night thinking about which position would bring on the sleep fairy and the next thing I knew it was morning. Well 4:00 am to most is not morning, but that’s an average time for me to get up. When I woke up I was a little surprised to find that I was still sitting. Bright side: even though we don’t get to take our trip I am a champion sleeper sitting up. Bring on the football games!

Today is the day our plane is leaving for Italy without us, I am trying to manage my pain and sorrow. Don’t feel sorry for me though, because I’m getting around – picture a 90+ year old using a walker, slowly navigating down the halls of a nursing home. Yes, I’m using a walker left over from my foot surgery last year. I think I must have a short “shelf life” as body parts have been deteriorating at an alarming pace lately.

But wait! I have the added bonus of my beautiful back brace that is actually located on the front of the body. This is a particularly stylish addition to my wardrobe. Getting fitted for the brace was even exciting as the technician warned me he would be pushing on my pelvic bone to get the right adjustment. If only Dick wasn’t hovering…. Then he gave me tips on wearing this metal device and said the best thing to wear under it is a tight t-shirt to prevent slipping. So Dick gets a look in his eye…. well enough said. I, of course, asked if there was a Zena the Warrior Princess model since my boobs are sticking out of this contraption in an un-natural manner. But no, it only comes in geriatric white.

Goodchris-back-brace thing I just bought new jammies for our trip. I’m wearing them in the picture. They are really comfortable. I told Dick when I bought them that they were so comfortable I could wear them day and night. Little did I know I would be!

And if anyone could picture a human energizer bunny – it would be Dick. He has fetched, carried, maneuvered me in and out of cars, cooked, cleaned the house, and the list goes on. He deserves a Husband of The Year Award for all his efforts. I’ll bet right now he wishes he could be cloned so he could get some rest. Bravo mighty Ricardo for taking your marriage vows seriously – “for better and for worse”.

Now that I think about it, he has been taking care of me even before we got married. About six weeks prior to getting married I fell down a flight of stairs and broke my arm. (That should have clued him in to my clumsiness.) He drove me to the hospital for treatment, and loaned me his car afterwards so I could get around.  I drove a Toyota stick shift and with a cast up to my armpit wasn’t able to drive it. However, he drove a GTO. Yep, you car buffs out there might think I was attracted to him because of his car. After 44 years of marriage, I guess I was attracted this kind and gentle man for all his wonderful qualities, and overlooked the fact that he was an engineer. Those with engineer husbands or wives will understand.

Tonight, instead of dining in a piazza of Florence, sipping wine, and basking in the ambiance, we’ll be enjoying a sausage and rigatoni dinner on the back deck compliments of Ricardo the Chef. Damn right we were going to have an Italian dinner!

Thanks to our very dear friends The Brecker family who were going to take care of Cuffy. Sorry to disappoint the girls, we’ll schedule a playdate in a few weeks. And a shout out to MaryLou who was going to take care of the house and vegetable garden. By the way MaryLou, I want my vegetables back! (Just kidding).

Well friends, I’m sorry you won’t be getting any travel blogs from me for a while. We’ll see what the surgeon’s recommendation is next week. We’re hoping we can make it to Italy in the spring. The good news is, Dick is not going to miss any football! There’s always a bright side, right?




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