There was so much riding on Day 16: I was going to have my stitches out. I was going to track down, buy and wear a CAM walker boot. I was going to wobbly-walk my talk about getting back to full mobility by mid-September and join the (partial) weight bearing masses once again. And I was going to do all this in Spanish, in Málaga, in August.
My worst-case scenario was: they don’t take out the stitches, they don’t advise the boot, I re-enter the flat no more mobile than when I limped out. My best case was: they take the stitches out; somewhere in Málaga I find the right boot to buy. I return able to navigate our apartment on one and a half feet, and go out for an hour a day.
And today, life obliged. Not without a certain evil twin personality change on my part, but still. You see, Sanitas, my health insurer, paid for the surgery and two nights at their clinic. But (as I’ve heard said before) aftercare advice was minimal to nil.
One day after surgery, I barely managed to commandeer a wheelchair to get me from reception to the cab. No-one explained how I should give myself the delightful anti-coagulant injection in my stomach every day. I have had to be proactive while prone, chasing the clinic, ensuring that things happen as dictated by the surgeon in my ‘alta’ or discharge note. I had to find my inner bitch, and I did.
I raised my voice and talked over the nurse and receptionist who were interrupting me. I asked them every question on my obsessive list, and poured bad Spanish into their ears at high decibels. I still didn’t get to see a doctor or get an x-ray, but felt better anyway. The nurse got her revenge by unstapling my surgery wound with a firm hand. Then I guilted her into adjusting my crutches three or four times until they were right.
Fred and I celebrated with my first outdoor café con leche and pitufo roll in two weeks, then took a cab to the huge ‘orthopaedic pharmacy’ in Alameda Principal. Where again, I had to stare down the indifferent assistants, loudly make my requests, and beat a queue-jumper to get to the technician who would adjust the boot. I Just Did It.
Leave aside the fact that I shouldn’t have been allowed to buy the boot at all; that no doctor saw me or pronounced me fit to go that stage, that the boot cost me €130, that it weighs a ton and hurts a bit. I clomped out of that infirmacy feeling like Six Million Dollars (does anyone remember that epic series)?
Now I am dizzy with possibilities. Get my hair and nails done at my lovely Aveda salon round the corner; go to Carrefour supermarket with Fred tomorrow and CHOOSE stuff; plonk down at the nearest café with a friend. Can’t wait.
Will report back on real life en la calle soon. What about you? Do you have simple pleasures that you take for granted – what would you miss most? Hope to hear from you!