Screwed! But Sparky and Esteban Save the Day

My burro Sparky

Meet Sparky.

He's my new bed and blanket companion. Looking at him makes me smile. After the fall- there's an awful lot of imagery, sensation and emotion refracting inside this more-than-slightly addled post hip surgery brain of mine (this is a thinly veiled mea culpa for any bad writing that follows) but I wanted to send out a heartfelt thanks- lickity split!- to all of you, for your kind notes and sweet messages. I cherish every one.

My world has been whittled down to a queen size bed and some 800 square feet of floor space. I must keep- totally- off my left leg for a minimum of eight weeks to give my fractured femoral neck (screwed back together with three titanium screws) a fighting chance.

If you're a betting soul, here are the odds of me keeping my own hip: 50/50.

If we can keep the bone alive- we're golden. Which means, Babycakes, no funny stuff. Which means I have to be willing and compliant and allow others to do for me. Meh. Which means I have to practice patience (I'm not particularly gifted). I must also practice the art of surrender (I'm modestly better at surrender; pregnancy and giving birth seeds that particular gift).

Most of all I must learn to simply and consciously wait.

All this because celiac disease weakens bone integrity (not exactly a minor side effect, I'm finding out at the tender age of 53). How did this happen? A certain individual thought placing two small audio system speakers on the floor would improve the dialogue clarity on an older Richard Gere DVD. Yup. Not an obviously terrible idea, exactly.

Until said individual decided to hop up and make a mug of tea in the middle of the movie and snagged the sneaky speaker wire with her cotton socked foot which sent her careening sideways into the kitchen with alarming speed, smacking the saltillo tile floor with her left hip joint. An impressive dead fall any stunt woman would appreciate. There was, indeed, a distinct sensation upon impact- somewhere between snap, crackle and pop.

And my surprised husband?

As screenwriter Paul Weitz wrote about marriage, you just pick the right one to be in the foxhole with. And if you're lucky, Dear Reader, he will make you a meatloaf pie with roasted garlic and dill smashed potatoes on your first day home from the hospital. And he will buy you butter-soft yoga pants and a tube of your favorite vanilla hand lotion and an adjustable height commode to keep your hip from hurting when you lower and perch on one leg to pee.

He will tell you how beautiful you are when your unwashed hair is stuck like a squirrel to your head. He will pat your bare ass as you lean on crutches at the bathroom sink wearing nothing but a stinky Buddha t-shirt, brushing your teeth in codeine induced slow motion. And you will smile.

Because love isn't grandiose. It isn't purple tinged prose. Or self-inflated misty-eyed sentiment. Love is someone who gets you, first of all. Someone who sees you for who you are with all your oddities and little fears and still thinks you're sexy even when you're broken and injecting your cesarean-scarred abdomen with Lovenox and wondering out loud, Can we bake some molasses cookies today?

That person- the one opening the pantry to look for molasses?

He is love.


Kleja said...

Karina, I'm so glad that you're home and starting to recover - I hope for lots of good bone healing in your future. I want to say that I love the part about love - it's so true!

celticjig said...

Wow, let them help you heal! I did something similar to my knee years ago and still have 3 screws in there, it takes a long time to heal and you will definitely come out the other end having a very deep appreciation for your good friends that are there for you, no matter what.
Here's a quick, easy Spanish style soup recipe for your hubby to whip up. Sautee onions and garlic, toss in some fennel seeds and smoked paprika (or chipotle powder since you live in the lovely Santa Fe area), add a jar or two of tomatoes (or one jar tomatoes and one can of broth of your choice to deepen flavor) and slice some potatoes in little rounds and add those. If you can, add sausage of some sort - you never mention using pork, so that may be off your list, but if you can find a chorizo (Spanish style) or some other spicy sausage made with beef, add that too. Actually if you use sausage, sautée that first and then add onion and garlic. Salt to taste and cook until the potatoes are finished. Nice and simple and full of flavor from the smoked paprika. Hum, that is a pepper, I hope you can use dried chiles! Well, happy healing and take those calcium pills!

Heather said...

Karina: I am so sorry to read about your fall, but happy that you have such a wonderful husband to care for you now.

Sending good healing vibes your way!

Anonymous said...


Holy smokes, so sorry to hear about your are such a great support to so many people, I'm glad to hear that you have some really special people there with you. Steve sounds like a gem (and Sparky is pretty cute). Seconding the healing vibes, I'm sending them your way!


ChupieandJ'smama said...

Hoping you have a quick and painless recuperation! The part you wrote about Steve brought tears to my eyes. It sounds like you are in good hands, so you should be well in no time.

ByTheBay said...

Oh sweetie I am so sorry to hear about this! I missed your original post because I was out of town without my computer. What a bummer. But how lucky to have such a loving partner in crime to take good care of you. Sending cyber-hugs your way. If you ever want to vent, send an e-mail my way.

SusanV said...

Steve is amazing and so are you. To be able to write with such honesty, emotion, and precision while going through so much (and on drugs too!) ;-) It totally sucks that this happened to you, but I'm glad you've got such a wonderful partner to go through it with you. Now just MEND!

Gluti Girl said...

I'm glad you have a cuddly friend there and such a good man to care for you. Now, no funny business. Be a good girl and stay in that bed to heal! Let that man wait on you and cook you yummy food. He's a keeper! Get well!

Fab Grandma said...

Love is the way someone cares for you when you can't do it yourself. When I had my hysterectomy and they "accidently sewed the catheter to me" and I had to wear the dang thing for three weeks waiting for an operating room appointment to get it taken out, and because of other complications I couldn't even wipe my own behind, and Jim had to do it, and even though we had been married for 10 years and I was embarrassed by that, he just hugged and kissed me and told me that was why he was there, to do it for me when I couldn't...Well, it just made me love him more.

I hope you listen to your doctors and your Steve, and stay off your feet, just heal and get better. Can't wait to have you doing your thing again soon.

Kalyn said...

Please, be very, very careful to stay in bed and let the hip heal will you please! (I said please twice.) And that Steve, he's a keeper. Thinking good bone-mending thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Oh, it' great to hear you still have your humor and quite a talent for writing. I was laughing out loud and then almost crying at how sweet Steve is! You rest, take care and let your hip heal!

On another note, I made your Brown Sugar Pumpkin squares today and was in HEAVEN!!! My family loved them too! Being new to this whole Celiac thing, you gave me hope that I can still make and eat yummy, delicious food! Thank you!

Melissa said...

Well sweet girl, that was a lovely post for someone in such a bind. You have a wonderful attitude and a charming sense of humor, so you have a head start on mending. I used to live in Taos -- if I head down that way for a visit (from Golden, CO), I'll bring some GF/allergen-free treats your way. And maybe a nice Pinot Noir.

Hang in there. Sending good energy your way!

Nina said...

" ...your unwashed hair is stuck like a squirrel to your head."
Now that's laugh-out-loud funny.
And that Sparky is adorable. And Steve sounds pretty good too.

CeliacChick said...

Well, it can only get better from here on out, eh? And as you mentioned the flip side of these not so pretty situations in life really shows us the truth about our relationships. I'm glad there is so much good for you to see in order to ease some of your pain. Take care! Remember not to bite the hand that feeds you. :)

Jess said...

So glad that you are home and your spirits are up!!! Boy are you lucky to have such a great husband. Have a speedy recovery!

JLHesse said...

I was so sad to read the news of your accident, but I wanted to send my get well wishes for a speedy recovery! Thanks for the beautiful post about your man. :-) I hope you will find "forced rest" refreshing and empowering!

Sea said...

Awww... welcome back! Nothin' beats a great guy when you're down and out- I am grateful for mine each and every day. Stay off your feet, even if it drives you bonkers, and well, maybe this is the time to start a new hobby... needlepoint? knitting? or how about some sappy Japanese drama series? (I can point you in the direction of some entertaining ones).

Hugs and get better soon- and by the way- where in the world are you now? Ca???


Alisa said...

Goodness, I leave town for a few days and so many things happen! Karina, I am so sorry you have hurt yourself! So wonderful that you have a loving family (and husband) there for you. Rest up and stay off that leg!

Alanna said...

OH MY Karina - I saw the note the other day but for some reason entirely missed the fact that it was YOU (I thought it was YOUR mother!) and so now I'm falling over (watching my hip) in shock. Here's wishing you a patient recovery ...

Suzanne said...

Karina ... I was so sorry to read of your fracture. My mom (no doubt undiagnosed celiac) broke so many bones, and it makes me shake in my boots.

I loved your post and am sending it to my husband. A dozen years ago, I cared for him through a stroke. Earlier this year, he for me, as I had a brain tumor removed. We learned early on how important it is to "get" one another. We would never had survived all of this.

Keep on keeping on. Be strong, and be glad that you are surrounded by love. :-)

Dee Nash said...

Awww, that was wonderful. I'm giving it to my beloved in case I ever need help again.

Hang in there and be well . . . we're glad you're back.

Sheltie Girl said...

Karina - Our gluten problem strikes again...with our bones. I'm very sorry that you fell and broke your hip, but I'm thrilled you have such wonderful and caring loved ones to help you get through this together.

I wish you the very best for a healthy recovery.

Sheltie Girl

Karen said...

A young Richard Gere is pretty darn cute, but I'm not sure he's worth your hip :-) Besides, you've got it pretty good with Steve and your cuddly friend, too. Take care and think healing thoughts.

Slacker Mom (aka Mrs. GF) said...

Argh!!! What a pain! And yes, we have to make do, and pick ourselves up (or lie in bed for 8 weeks), and get on. But that stinks.

I will pray for you that you keep your hip, that you are patient, you will heal fast, and that your spirits remain bright for the duration of your healing. and I will also pray for Steve, he is being such a great support to you. It sounds like he gets it. wonderful.

Keep your chin up girl!

Love Slacker Mom

Anonymous said...

I can't thank you enough for all the GF goodness you've added to our kitchen. I'm so sorry to hear about your hip on top of all of the dietary really doesn't seem fair. Keep fighting the good fight! You're in our thoughts back here in Boston.


Lisa said...

Hi Karina,

So sorry to hear about your fall but glad you're on the mend.
Even though I don't know you I think I can safely say that Steve is likely so willing to do for you because he knows he's lucky and he probably knows you would absolutely do the same for him. Savour every bite he makes you with the knowledge that you totally deserve it. You do, after all, nurture so many, it's now your turn.

Dianne said...

Oh Gosh! So sorry to hear about your accident, and glad to hear that Steve is coming up trumps again - doesnt he always!

I'm currently going through bone screening myself ... I'll definately follow medical advice now!

Get well soon!

D x

Carrie said...

Karina, I am so glad you married such a wonderful man! I hope you recover quickly! I love this post! Love is so much more... ;-) We are so blessed when we find such a good match, who loves us just as. Thanks for sharing this!!

Kristen said...

glad to hear you are surrounded by loved ones during your recovery. i hope the next few weeks pass quickly for you.

An artist name... Danielle said...


You sure don't live a dull life-may you heal quickly and embrace the care and love that you deserve. I broke three ribs from falling out of my attic...thank heavens to whom ever designed the recliner. I slept in that chair for 3 months!
By 6 months I was feeling back to normal, but I wish I would of followed through with physical therapy. Keep up with your incredible least it doesn't hurt to enjoy the greater things in life.

Many blessings to a speedy...yet, painless recovery.

GrewUpRural said...

I am so glad you are home. I too would have difficulty staying off my feet for eight weeks. Thank goodness Steve can cook !

Anonymous said...

This is my first time to your blog, and wow! I am so sorry for you, but happy for you that you have that love to sustain you. Being a celiac myself with a loving husband, I sympathize and empathize!


Lulu and Phoebe said...

I've been a lurker for a long time, and really enjoy the blog. I am really sorry about your hip. I know (second hand) about celiac and bones. Hubby one day long back fractured both elbows for no good reason. Osteoporosis, way too young. Turns out, that is how he found out he was a celiac. Wishing you a very speedy recovery and hope you can be comfortable. Feel better! And if you are very bored, our blog might amuse you -Lulu and Phoebe in Paris -(two Bostons and us). Try eating gluten free in Paris, lol! Strangely, the type of flour they use caused a slower reaction so he was a little piggy for a week or so (and paid dearly) but found he could manage France gluten free pretty well. Take good care - your blog is pretty special! Lisa

lucette said...

So sorry to hear about this--staying off your feet sounds like rest, but it probably feels like prison.

La Tea Dah said...

I'm glad you are home --- you did a great job capturing your experience with this post. My mother broke her hip when hiking with us at our cabin. A very difficult journey down the mountain resulted in a similar surgery as you described. May you heal well and quickly!

Best wishes for a successful recovery!

Laura said...

Oh no! I am so sorry this happened to you! I am glad you have the right man in the foxhole!
I hope you are feeling better soon and I wish you strong bones and quick recovery!
Much love and blessings, and warm wishes for wellness to you sweetie!!!

Shauna said...


I'm so sorry that this has happened to you, and for the pain you must be suffering. But with a love like that, and your incredible attitude, you're going to be more than healed by this in the end. You are right - love is in action, in gestures without words, and in the real moments of the foxhole. you have a good one there. so does he.

Sally Parrott Ashbrook said...

That made me teary-eyed.

funwithyourfood said...

it sounds like you've got someone wonderful taking care of you and that's what you need most right now. well that and wonderful food.. :)


mary said...

sending you prayers of healing....

Andrea said...

Sounds like you have a keeper. Sending lots of healing wishes your way.

cyberprof said...

Karina, just stunning news. I know that all of your many readers' good thoughts will find their way through the world and focus all of its healing power on your hip. I hope your recuperation is fast and painless.

I just found that I have osteopenia so I am being extra deligent in the calcium, exercise and weight-lifting in hopes of not developing celiac-caused osteoporosis.


Anonymous said...

hi Katrina,

i stumbled across your blog - the painter's kitchen whilst searching for other bloggers who like the movie Fur .... why was I doing this search? i'm not sure, i just realized that blogger had this function of clicking on your profile likes and dislikes ...

and i found you who amazingly seems to have much in common interest wise with me .....

so hello new friend. i'll be dropping by now and again. in the meantime, i'm linking your painter's blog - it is so beautiful. and i love words, poetry as well ....

here's to a speedy recovery (I just had cancer surgery myself - nothing serious, just a big lump on my right cheekbone !) strange how life performs these circles ....

red dirt girl

jerseyshore said...

Hope all is well-checking every day to see how your doing.You are very blessed to have such a nice husband.
Wishing you a speedy recovery.Wish I could be more helpful.

Jolene said...

Oh... Katrina! So sorry to hear of your mishap. Please take good care and get lotza rest and rubs. Do ankle pumps too - in addition to the medicine - to prevent complications with clots. You can do mini squats with the good leg (maybe up on a step - with help!) too - that will help strengthen the hurt leg (I know it's unsolicited advice, I'm a PT). A friend of mine just had a total knee and developed a clot - you don't want that. Thinking about you and sending you warmth and virtual {{{hugs}}}

Karina said...

Thank you- each and every one of you- for your kind wishes. Your messages have been a big beautiful boost to my days.

Recovery is going well- with so much healing energy coming my way, how can it not?

Yours in humble gratitude,


70% cocoa said...

What great writing! He is such a keeper! just found you from a link on Shauna's gluten free girl.

I'm a coeliac too and homeopath. If you are open to using homeopathic remedies they can really speed up bone healing and density. I have had great sucesses with elderly patients with osteporosis following falls, both in terms of pain releif and healing. Homeopathic remedies do not interact with other medication.

To encourage your body to take up the calcium from your diet and lay it down in your bones, take homeopathic Calc Fluor 6x three times daily for at least two months.

To speed bone healing and ease pain take symphytum 6c three times daily until the pain has gone.

Arnica is always a good idea after a shock, fall and for bruising. Take Arnica 30c twice a day for a week.

I hope you heal quickly. I'll be back for more gluten free inspiration soon.

The Sensitive said...

Oh, Karina, Bubbe, so many healing thoughts going out in your direction, from me too. Bed fever must be setting in by now, but don't try to go too fast!!
And yet, in the midst of it all, your words about marriage and love moved me. You have such a beautiful attitude toward life; I learn so much every time I visit your blog -- Thank you.
Just get better!!

Karina said...

Hey Cocoa!

Thanks for your thoughts- and tips. Right now the only medication I'm on is Tylenol- as needed- basic vitamins, and calcium-mag with D. I'm not a medicine person- even natural medicines usually don't agree with me.

Hola, Sensitive! Thanks, Bubbe! Much appreciated. What a month this has been. ;)



70% cocoa said...

Karina - you're right to respect your body's natural tendency to over react! We all know how something minute - like a crumb of bread, can cause so much trouble!

Not that I want to push homeopathy too hard, but it is great for folks who over react to herbal and orthodox medication. We treat a lot of allergy sufferers for that reason.

Sending healing thoughts to your bones anyway.......

x x x

Karina said...

Hi Cocoa!

Thank you for using the word respect- as soon as I read it I realized how few times I've heard it from a health practitioner/doctor. My body has always over-reacted- even to vitamins. I was always made to feel that somehow *I* was the problem- not the food/vitamin/medicine.

I will definitely consider your thoughts.

Thank you- and be well!


cassio said...

Sorry to learn of your tumble and bad break. I can sympathize somewhat as 2 yrs. ago I had a dbl. fracture of my right ankle and have a metal plate & 7 screws now. I found the hardest part of recovery was being dependent! Plus not being able to drive! A hip fracture has got to be much worse. Hang in there, Karina. It will get better. I sent caring thoughts, images & words to my broken bones, like thanking them for taking me this far, sorry for the pain, you will be better and to heal, heal. I visualized the bones knitting together. Acupuncture seemed to help with the healing, too. I am enjoying your blog and exploring the G-F recipes. Thanks for a wonderful site. May you mend fast.

jacobithegreat said...

I hope your recovery goes well,
and I hope I find someone like your Steve.

Karina said...

Dear Cassio- Ouch! That must have been so painful. (Hugs)

I also totally agree with your feelings regarding independence. For me the dependency has been (by far!) the most difficult aspect of this. I hate it! So thanks for that validation.

And yes- sending happy bone-knitting thoughts to my hip daily. ;)

Take care- and warm wishes for health and safety for you---


Karina said...

Hey Jacobithegreat!

Aw. You will if you believe you deserve it (that part took me awhile).



laura said...

I came late to this post--beautiful and honest. If only people would get it and appreciate it sooner. I wasted a lot of years not "getting it".

Lauren said...

Beautiful! This brought tears to my eyes, and not from the memories of my recently-broken pelvis!

I'm so glad your husband is such a wonderful and lovable caretaker. My accident brought my boyfriend and I closer together, as he was just unbelievably sweet and giving through the whole process. Good food and good spirits go a LONG way toward speeding up the recovery process, too!

Best of love and luck--I hope your recovery is swifter and more complete than anyone thought possible! I've been reading your blog for a long time, as my mother and I have several grain allergies, and I'm going to try the Chocolate Chip Banana Bread today. Wish us luck! If I knew where you were holed up, I'd bake an extra batch and send it your way.

Heck, you could have my walker, too. Those things are awesome. Also awesome? Rentable wheelchairs at the mall and 9-month-pregnant friends who do all the pushing, as quickly as possible and sometimes against foot traffic. Love sometimes looks utterly ridiculous.

It sounds clinically insane, but I actually have good memories of my recovery. I'd wish you the same, but I suspect you're already making them: you're in wonderful hands!

Lisa said...

Karina! I'm a newbie and a quick fan! Your recipes look scrumptious... and easy! I read them and already have the ingredients in my pantry - LOVE that! Stumbled across your "fall" post and was reminded of my own fall just over a year ago! I fainted (newly diagnosed with celiac and clearly lacking nutrients) and fell flat on my chin, causing my condyle bone (jaw) to puncture my ear canal! I was "shut" for 8 weeks and had my share of fun trying liquefy my new found gluten-free diet! Anyways... wasn't aware of the link between celiac and fragile bones. My husband has often called me his glass wife... maybe he was on to something? I will go back and try to find how your recovery went as I'm assuming this an older post? Blessings to you as you continue to provide us with ways to "make today delicious!"

Denise Jacobs said...

Hi Karina -

I just found your blog and I love the recipes. But this post really struck a cord in me. I am at the point in my life when I am ready to meet the love of my life, and the beautiful words of this post have really given me hope that he exists for me and that I will, in fact meet him. I want a big love too -- a big love that is based on the smallest of gestures, the simplest of moments, the trueness of feeling. Thank you for painting such a clear and wonderful picture of what love can be. I can't wait to experience it myself.

I am happy that you are sharing your writing with the world. You are truly a gift.

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