(click on pictures to enlarge)
And now I have a confession to make (my sister who is a teacher of English as a second language will cringe when she sees a sentence beginning with ‘and’, never mind a paragraph!). Anyhow, without further ado, I must tell you that Fidz’s real name is Loris. When I started this blog, I didn’t want to give any personal details so I referred to him as Fidz for reasons which become clear if you read the (now out of date) ‘About Me’ section. About a year later, my blog was listed on a website called Italian Reflections, an online daily newspaper for expats and lovers of Italy. I had to give a brief bio which included my name so that was the end of keeping personal details off the internet. By this time, it was simpler to just continue calling Loris ‘Fidz’. Loris is an unusual name in Italy and is not gender specific which is even more unusual for an Italian name. So, now you know. The photo on the left shows him perhaps around the age of 6 or 7 judging by the lack of front teeth. The one above shows him at the age of around 10 or so with his younger brother and only sibling. They grew up in the Appenine mountains just below Parma and as kids would ski and toboggan down the hills close to their house. I love the homemade toboggan and Loris wearing short pants in the snow.
Last week, his brother and nephew were here for a week. Loris was in a lot of pain and not doing well so it was an emotional and sad time. However, he did have some good periods when they were able to reminisce and talk about old times. His nephew had scanned some old family photographs onto his phone and it was nice to see Loris and his brother when they were children. That is how I came to see the photos here.
While they were here, Loris was put on a drug called ketamine which is often used as a veterinary anesthetic or as a recreational drug sometimes referred to as the ‘date rape’ drug. However, in this context and at low doses, it has the capacity to reset pain receptors that become desensitized to opiod drugs. Treatment is carried out for about 5 days and has to be closely monitored. It is not effective in all people but it worked for Loris and his pain has decreased to tolerable levels. He was discharged from hospital but sadly, he has become very weak and I am not able to give him the care he needs at home. He was transferred from the hospital to a hospice which is the next best thing to being at home in this situation.