Posted by: Debra Kolkka | May 13, 2021

Ankle report

Yesterday I went to the hospital to have the screw/bolt taken out of my ankle. I arrived at 7.00am, had another covid test, answered lots of questions and waited.

I was wheeled off to theatre around midday, giving me lots of time to think about what was going to happen. My bed was wheeled through corridors to the same room as last time.

Once through the door my bed was put bedside a steel tray set into the wall. There was a large steel door which slides up and a tray was slid under me and pushed onto the tray and then onto a trolley on the other side and then I was wheeled into the theatre. I felt like a large salami being pushed onto a deli counter to be sliced up.

I was given a local anaesthetic and I could feel my foot being pushed and tugged. I heard the word cacciavite, Italian for screwdriver and tried to shut it out. This time there was no drifting off behind the waves in Noosa. Cacciavite kept repeating in my head with horrible accompanying visions.

Finally it was over and I was pushed back through the steel door and back to the room where I waited 4 hours to be allowed to go home. At last I was given prescriptions for medication and a brief list of what to do and Filippo brought me home.

I am hoping that when I go back in a couple of days to have the wound checked I can ask a few questions and be more sure of what I can and can’t do over the next few weeks. I’m pleased to have that bit of horror over. I doubt I will be touching a screwdriver any time soon.

The road to Casa Debbio will be closed next week while they dig it up so I will go to our apartment in Ponte a Serraglio for a while. It will be nice to have a change of scenery but I will miss the garden. As compensation I will be able to cross the bridge to have coffee and company at Bar Italia. Thank goodness bars and restaurants are open and we can move around again.

Here is the last of the wisteria. By this time last year the pergola was bursting with flowers. This year there are just a few and the leaves are already appearing.

The roses won’t be far off. We had torrential rain over the last day, which will be good for the new trees we planted just before I fell over. Now we need some sun to help them grow.

The ricotta plants on the terrace below are in full bloom and looking gorgeous.

On a recent sunny day I planted marigolds in pots around the house, one of the few gardening jobs I have been able to do.

Marigolds are hardy little plants that last all through summer. Geraniums have been a bit disappointing over the last couple of summers so I’m trying something else.

I hope I will be able to come back soon. I would hate to miss my peonies flowering. It is all about to happen.





  1. I think it’s always scarey being in a foreign hospital but from my own experience, Italian hospitals are very efficient. Must have been nerve wracking though. At least that pin is out and you are on the way to recovery
    and off to Bagni di Lucca. Enjoy.

    • My previous experiences with the Italian hospital have been good, but not this time. It was one particular nurse who had no idea what to do. That can obviously happen anywhere.
      I am pleased this last bit of surgery is over and I am moving towards mobility.

  2. Well, it was not that bad after all…. and it is never a pleasant experience to go to hospital.
    I am glad that you are moving back to the Ponte at this stage. You will have more social interaction and that is helpful.

    • Yesterday was one of my worst days and I am very happy to have it behind me. The surgical people have all been excellent, which is the most important thing. A couple of the ward nurses have been difficult to say the least, but that can happen anywhere.

  3. OH DEB what an experience you probably would rather forget. I had to laugh at your comment re feeling like a salami. Yes you need to ask questions. They always seem to duck off quickly. Strange the way seasons go, one year wisteria perfect & then disappoint. Love the colour of marigolds, the do make a bright spot in gardens. Hope weather improves.

    • It is an experience I didn’t want and hope never happens again!
      At least that bit is over and I should get better every day.

  4. Well done Deb. I know how relieved and happy you will be to have this final part of the ankle injury behind you.
    You have done well and as I said to you you have been a good patient with some great help from a couple of people – next stage moon boot then summer sandals.

    • I don’t know about the boot yet. Nobody seemed to know what to do with it. Perhaps I will find out more tomorrow.

  5. Too bad they could t have loaded you up with some good wine before that experience. Thankfully it’s done and you can continue healing up. Continued best wishes to you 💗

    • Thank you. Sometimes I think it is better if they knock you out. I am very pleased yesterday is over!

  6. The surgery people were all great, which is the important part. For the first time I had a truly incompetent nurse. It can happen anywhere.
    I am pleased that bit is over and I can move on.

  7. Your focus on nature is uplifting, especially when trying to push back these rough experiences. Here’s to sunny days ahead!

    • Wishing you a speedy recovery Deb. The memory of the procedure will possibly be the difficult part of healing. Enjoy Ponti.
      Cheers christine and Douglas

    • Yes, we need some sun and I need to be able to walk again.

  8. You have been brave and it is paying off but I can only imagine what that was like. I’m now in month number seven on an ortho walking boot for my own fractured heel and fibula, and it is not fun at all but nothing as complicated as your recovery. Wishing you smooth sailing and greater mobility in coming weeks and much less pain. Best, Babsje

    • Good grief! Seven months in a boot, you must have done some damage. It is no fun breaking an ankle. I hope I am now on the road to recovery. I have hated not being able to do the things I want to.

      • Many thanks for.your empathy! It has been that long in the boot because I refused surgery. Research showed that for my type of break, healing would take about a year with surgery.. And about a year without surgery. So I took the easy way. 😊 You were much braver and it sounds like very successful surgery for you. Good luck moving forward with healing. We can compare notes after Physical Therapy down the road. Best, Babsje

      • I didn’t have an option. The fibula was a clean break and I have a pin that will remain there. The ankle pin is now out and I have good movement there. It is stiff but that is to be expected. I hope to start physio soon. We can indeed compare injuries and recovery.

      • Great that you have good motion and that they could remove some of your hardware. I, too, have a surgical pin that is still in place (in my shoulder). I hope your pin settles down as comfortably as mine is – virtually no discomfort at all – and you don’t have any adventures getting through airport security (not that anyone is flying too much these days) Good luck with your PT. Looking forward to reading how it goes. Take care. Best, Babsje

  9. Wishing you a good, and fairly speedy, recovery…..enjoy the coming summer

    • Thank you. I look forward to doing normal things that we take for granted.

      • Indeed!

  10. So pleased that the wretched “pot” is off! Soon you will be moving around again and busying yourself in your wonderful garden. I will hopefully be able to return to my home in Umbria soon…. End of June I hope, fingers crossed.

    So many fond memories of the Bar Italia, I wish I had been able to find a small bolthole in your area, but alas, too expensive or completely inaccessible!

    Take care of that ankle, don’t do too much!

    • I am hoping I will be able to walk soon. I can’t wait to be back in my garden.
      I hope you can get back to beautiful Umbria soon.

  11. Debra I’m so sorry to hear that. Wishing you the fastest, safest recovery (sorry I’ve been offline away).

    • I am getting better every day. I can walk a bit now which is excellent.

  12. I’m glad to hear that yucky part is over for you. I remember being wheeled into the operating theatre (for my back) and seeing what looked like a giant rotisserie – it was for me – and i knew my bum was going to look big in it!

    • Having surgery is not pretty. I hope I never have to go through something like this again.

  13. Please take good care and don’t overdue it. It’s traumatic enough just reading about all you’ve been through! I think it must be terrible to be awake and aware of what they are doing to you.

    • I am pleased it is over. I can now walk in a boot and I am able to massage the foot with some moisturiser and it feels wonderful.

  14. Oh Debra – that sounded awful – poverina!!! What a huge feat – yeah of course you got through, but a pretty yucky memory anyway. Glad that there are always flowers!!

    • It wasn’t my best day, but I am glad to have it over with. I can walk a bit with my stormtrooper boot and it gets better every day.

  15. I broke my ankle in Budapest and it was a horrible experience. Make sure you don’t get an infection. I flew back to the US three days after my operation and my doctor put a heavy dose of antibiotics.

    • I am almost at the end of this. I was on antibiotics after both surgeries. The final stitches come out next week. Everything seems to be going well. I can now walk slowly and carefully and will begin physio soon.
      It has certainly been a very unpleasant experience and I am delighted that I am becoming mobile again.
      I hope your ankle is totally mended now.

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