Day 80 to 84 - Surgery and so on
2 - 5 March 2022
Wake up early. Pack and hit the road before breakfast. 3 ½ hours to Rome. It is -4C. Everything is covered in ice. Smooth sailing all the way. As we make our way out of the mountains a deer crosses right in front of us. First, we have seen. Beautiful animal. I love venison and have missed breakfast. Hungry.
“It is fatal to look hungry. It makes people want to kick you.” ― George Orwell
We hit Roma Termini at 11.00 am. Hospital is 1.00 pm. We Uber home, drop our gear and I grab some pasta for lunch. Shell watches me eat. I feel bad that she has to fast for her surgery. Not bad enough that I fast with her.
We Uber to Salvator Mundi International Hospital and Shell is admitted. The insurance company came to the party late yesterday afternoon. Relieved, it all goes smoothly. I notice on Rachelle’s admission paperwork she has an Italian Fiscal number. This is the same number that prevented us from getting our booster shot the last few weeks. Now we have had our booster, it seems typical she has the number.
We are given a waiting room. Shell has a reclining seat that vibrates and is heated. The floor is padded. The staff is friendly. I head out to get groceries for dinner and breakfast tomorrow. Get back and the anaesthetist is talking Shell through the process.
I wait. I have framed the surgery as a small procedure. Fingers are small. The infection is persistent, yet small. The incision is small. Small. Four hours later and I realise I have no idea.
“I am here; and here is nowhere in particular.” ― William Golding
Shell is returned on a gurney. She was under full anesthetic. Shell immediately requests to be popped back in her heated vibrating reclining chair. I begin to reaslise just how much I have underestimated this procedure. I need a job. Just being there and helpless is me at my worst. There is nothing I can do but sit there.
Shell starts to come around and explains she had the full anesthetic treatment. Ultrasound and electropulses to kill the arm. Painful. Followed by being dropped into a light sleep. Try to listen, be supportive, but just sitting there not doing anything, unable to help irritates me. Will someone give me a job?
“Stress is magnified whenever the power to respond effectively to the social or physical environment is lacking or when the tested animal or human being feels helpless” ― Gabor Maté
We wait for Dr. Piperno, who appears on time, handsome and well dressed in tweed, of course, to go through our post-surgery schedule and discuss the procedure. The infection was encapsulated near the knuckle. The lack of blood flow prevented the antibiotics from having an impact. The infection was serious, as soon as the skin was lanced the infection burst. He seemed impressed with the extent of the infection. He removed it all and then washed it out with copious… stuff you wash out infections with. While he didn’t find the foreign body, he seemed confident in the process. A regime of antibiotics and pain killers. Finally, a job.
We get home late and I make some pasta. Shell is in good spirits. It is almost midnight when I head out to get her prescription filled.
It is good to have a job.
Thursday - Saturday
I am really just catching up here.
If I was not so lazy I could have easily put up a daily post.
My day drinking has taken a step forward with the introduction of a pre-lunch Aperol Spritz.
Shell’s recovery is going well. We are supplementing the antibiotics and paracetamol with more sensible pain killers; wine.
“Here's to alcohol, the rose colored glasses of life.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald
Rome is not a tough place to spend a few weeks in recovery.
Daily updates from now on.
Apologies to my readers for the lack of communication.