May 18 Update
This is just a quick update. I’m nearing 2 weeks post-up, and am nearing 4 weeks since the accident. The days are getting better, my mind is less foggy now that my pain meds have been significantly reduced, and each day contains small victories. I’m slowing down, learning to find meaning and joy in the moments that might otherwise feel like nothing more than a string of boring seconds assembling themselves into boring minutes and unending hours. The image above is my recent set of scans. Feels like one of my surgeons finally found a place for all those left over bits from the IKEA boxes and just dumped them in.
Corwin flew out on Monday and we’re spending the days working and talking and catching him up to speed on my new dreams – really old dreams that have had to become somewhat more flexible than I imagined.
Flowers and cards, books and videos keep showing up, gifts from people, many of whom I really don’t know and as my feet heal I feel my heart changing too. Still overwhelmed, it’s stretching to accomodate the surplus. For all the unexpectedness of this, the setbacks, the change of plans, and the pain, I wouldn’t do this differently. I’m losing weight in ways I’d rather not, my hair is shaggy, and I’ve long stretches of boredom. I’m limited to cafeteria food. I still pee in a bottle and wrestle with a bedpan most of the time. But I’m also truly and unexpectedly happy.
One of the most unexpected aspects of this entire thing was my evacuation from Italy. Since I started travelling I’ve held a much-valued membership with MedJet Assist. I pay something like $200/year for my policy and it’s beautifully simple: if I am hospitalized over 150 miles from my home, they come get me and fly me to any hospital in the world. No fine print. So on the eve of day 4, when my two pilots and my nurses, Tiffany and James, came into my room I don’t think I’ve ever been happier to see anyone. That was at midnight. They assessed me, medicated me, and said goodnight to me. 6 hours later I was on my way to a Leer jet at Pisa airport. They were incredible. Gentle, professional, extremely capable, and – for the first time since I fell – I was in the care of people who spoke English, kept me in the loop, managed my pain and laughed with me. They are my new heroes, and when I last saw them they were leaving me at the Ottawa Civic Hospital and giving my mother a hug. I don’t know how I might otherwise have traveled home. I can’t imagine what it might have cost me. If you travel at all, let me put in my strong recommendation that you make a MedJet Assist evacuation policy a non-negotiable necessity. I always imagined I’d never use it, and if I did it would be from some near fatal gastro disease picked up in the Congo or something. I never imagined I’d call them to pick my broken body up in Tuscany. MedJet Assist is one of the most positive customer-service experiences of my life and I’m deeply grateful to them. If I could buy a lifetime membership right now I would.
More information on MedJet Assist HERE.