(click on pictures to enlarge)
I was practically helpless with my foot in a cast being unable to take care of most of the activities of daily living. My sister Florinda, kindly dropped all her commitments and flew here from Toronto to help me out but I was trapped at home for almost a whole week before she got here. My neighbours were absolutely wonderful even though I didn’t know them well before this happened. The lady across the landing would come every day to ask if I needed any groceries. Friends and acquaintances also rallied around. One friend dropped by every evening to give me a heparin injection to prevent blood clots forming in the leg in a cast. Another friend would come during the day to be here when I took a shower in case I should need help. When Florinda arrived, another friend went out and rented me a wheel chair so that we could go out.
Last Sunday was my first foray out of the apt in my wheelchair. We live on a hill and although we have an elevator in the building, there is a fairly long flight of stairs to get from the front door to the gate so it’s not an easy feat getting to the street. When I finally made it down the stairs, I realized that I had forgotten to bring my camera so I sent Florinda back up to get it. Well, she got a bit discombobulated while closing the door and did the same thing I had done when I arrived so there we were, locked out of the apt again. I had left my phone inside so I couldn’t call any friends or the locksmith who had come the first time though he likely wouldn’t have agreed to come out on a Sunday anyway. The building we live in is small with only about nine apartments. All are owned by members of the same family as the building was once a single house that was divided up into apartments which were bequeathed to the children. A couple of them are rented out which is how we have ours. Anyway, as soon as one neighbour came by and saw us locked out, the whole house was alerted to figure out what could be done. Finally, two of the fitter occupants scaled the balcony from the adjoining apartment (I still can’t figure out how they managed to do this!) and got onto our balcony. It was a nice day and luckily, we had left our balcony door open so they were able to enter our apartment and open the door. Whew! After this episode, we know everyone in the building personally. I think they think of me as ‘that unlucky widow on the third floor’ and any time I see them they tell me to just call on them if I have any problem or need anything at all.
Since Florinda came, we have made a few excursions, not without difficulty as Rome is not a city for the disabled with its hills, stairs and uneven cobbled streets. Yesterday, my cast was changed to a lighter one made of acrylic and now I have a canvas boot which enables me to put my foot on the ground. Only for balance though as I’m not yet allowed to put any weight on it so I’m still hopping around on my bastoni canadese. However, its a real pleasure to be able to go out and enjoy the sunshine and the smell of jasmine in the air. Poor Florinda is getting a good workout pushing me around as well as hefting bags of groceries up the hill.