Nicole, my physical therapist for most of August, went on semi-permanent leave last week, and my PT continued this week with Justin, who has just returned from an anniversary trip to Italy with his wife. I worked with Justin last fall after my hip replacement and David has worked with him too. Although I liked Nicole very much, I had requested Justin from the gitgo, but he was on medical leave having broken both wrists in a biking accident that happened on a charity bike-a-thon. After he recovered a bit, he left for a long-planned vacation in Italy with his wife.
Of course I had to know all the details of their travel down the west coast of Italy, from Cinque Terre to Perugia with stops in Florence and Rome. Justin’s wife is Italian and speaks the language, and he says they drove down the west coast, stopping in out-of-the-way places which was great except some of the roads were very scary.
As he poked, prodded and bent my leg, I quizzed him for the details.
I keep thinking I should start a bucket list and add Italy, but being a ‘life happens to me while I’m making other plans’ kind of person, I can always think of a reason to go somewhere else, or stay home. Meanwhile, I read books about Italy, watch Italian mysteries on TV and dream.
Last week while I waited for Nicole, an enormous man with limbs that looked like elephant legs entered the PT room. He clomped along on his swollen legs wearing make-shift flip-flops because his feet which fell in folds of flesh, were too huge for shoes. With the soles of he feet resembling hooves, he was a frightful sight, but hopeful too because as he walked ahead of me to therapy, he talked about dealing with the swelling so he could get new shoes. Nicole said he suffers with edema. Apparently, his heart is too weak to pump properly, and his blood vessels are too shrunken to move much fluid up and out of his body. Sometimes the kidneys are an issue. Sometimes its a genetic thing, sometimes its the result of life long smoking. There are other causes too apparently, like Elephantiasis.
This man reminded me of a line my mother used when I begged her for something she could not afford.
“I complained because I had no shoes, then I met a man who had no feet.”
I vowed then and there to stop complaining about my knee which is improving day by day. I still have some pain at night, but I can bend it into an acute angle of 90 – 68 = 22 degrees which means the swelling in the bone and muscles is greatly reduced. And I can cross my legs.
Sitting in the foyer waiting for David to retrieve me, I saw a family enter the front door…mother, father and two kids. As they walked along, every one of them was talking on his or her cell phone. Reminds me of visits with my daughter and granddaughters. I have WiFi in my home and they love it. Sometimes David sits with us and fiddles with his laptop. I haven’t made up my mind about the advisability of a wired nation. I keep thinking of a scene in the new Sherlock series where all the reporters attending a police briefing receive a simultaneous message from Sherlock with the word “wrong.” But I love my cell phone, iPad, and Mac. And I love being in contact with my granddaughters more than ever before. Just the other day, I received a photo of my granddaughter Rita with her beau.
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