After much consideration, and a little soul searching, I came to the decision to put off my trip to Italy this year. I feel that it is the best course of action for me at this time. It wasn’t an easy decision by any means. And yet? I felt OK with my decision. Too OK in fact. This really bothered me. It gnawed at me continually. I actually felt guilty. I actually felt as though I were betraying this country that has had such a profound impact on me. I felt as though something had changed. I felt as though I had somehow changed.
The reason for all of this came about after a fall I took on some black ice in January resulting in my having knee surgery on my left knee. I will have surgery on the right one in another month or so. The fall only compounded issues that were already there for a very, very long time. I have had knee problems since I was quite young. I had surgery on the left knee over 40 years ago.
The time frame for both surgeries and rehab, and other considerations, caused me to cancel the reservations I’d already made with apartments for this year. Thankfully, I had not purchased airline tickets yet.
I am looking at this as a blessing in disguise if you will. Things have been difficult for a long time because of my knees, and the problems with the MS only compounded these difficulties over time. My idea of a good time when I am on vacation, is being able to walk every where all day long. Walking 10 or more miles a day was the norm for me. That had decreased quite a bit in the last few years. Stairs and inclines became quite difficult. Needless to say, my time in Italy last year, was difficult at times and I wasn’t able to do as much as I’d have liked.
However, that is not going to be the case any longer. I am only 3 visits into my rehab and the therapists are very impressed with my progress so soon. I am beyond excited and ecstatic. I am doing some things that I have not been able to do for a long time. I am looking forward to the second surgery. I wish I had this all done years ago. A blessing in disguise? You bet!! I am using this time to not only get the (proper) function of my knees back, but also the strength and the strength in the muscles. Notice I say proper…..
I am an inpatient person to say the least – especially with myself. I have never done what I should do when it comes to recovering from injuries or surgeries. The knee, 3 broken ankles one with reconstructive surgery ……as soon as it didn’t hurt anymore? That meant I was good to go and didn’t need to ‘waste time’ with rehab. That is not going to happen this time. I am going to do it all and then some. I have things to do. I have places to go! I wrote off the Amalfi Coast, the Cinque Terre and similar places in Italy because I knew that I couldn’t walk those hills or do all those stairs. I resolved to enjoying these places through the photos of others or specials on TV.
No more! I am OK with my decision now. I am going to have a new lease on life in a way. I will be able to enjoy Italy, and other destinations, much more. I am going to do away with hopefully all of the physical pain at least that my knees caused. I will be more confident in stairs and hills because I won’t have that nagging, ‘Will my knee collapse on me?’ feeling. So while I am going to miss Italy immensely this year, it is going to be for the good that I stay home. It is a smart decision. Nothing has changed in how I feel. It’s OK.
Italia, I will see you again in 2017 and years to come I hope. I will walk your streets with a new found bounce in my step. Venice, I will not struggle as much crossing your bridges. I will walk down to the waters edge, and back up, in Positano. I will travel to all the places that I have longed to. In the meantime? I will visit places here in the US this year and get some practice in walking all day again.
To read about how things are progressing now that the 2nd surgery has been done,