Monday, March 03, 2008

Ospitale Hospitality

It’s been an interesting few weeks – my first experience in the Italian Medical System. Now I have to admit that I’m not in the over-crowded, over-worked, over-loaded public system but in the care of a private clinic where the service level is very high – but then so is the price tag.

A few things I’ve learned over the past few weeks:

• The family doctor expects cash payment – no credit cards - if you are not covered by the government health plan. I’ve never seen a bill back home. So when our family doctor asked for E90 (CAD120.00) for my first visit I was surprised but had enough to cover it.
• Same applies for tests – cash on the table and no credit cards. Again I’ve never paid for a test in my life.
• Same applies for specialists – the appointments are scheduled quickly but again its cash on the barrelhead. This time I was prepared with the E200 (CAD265.00.)
• The patient is responsible for safe-guarding their test results and the written diagnosis - the doctor doesn’t hold them on file. This explains the number of patients in waiting rooms holding on to bulky file folders.

I won’t go into gory details but I have been experiencing abdominal pains the past few weeks – sometimes just annoying, at other times – such as this weekend in Spoleto – bloody painful. Previous tests had ruled out appendix and a few other possibilities so the specialist had already scheduled tests for this Wednesday. Again I won’t go into it but let’s just say that they will be using endoscopes and I’m going to make sure I’m well doped up before they put them anywhere. The weekend had not been pleasant and a quick visit to the Specialist was in order this morning (Monday.) He felt it would be best if we got some of the tests out of the way immediately – so here I am in the hospital.

I’ve been drained of blood – a very good technician she got the intravenous plug in on the first try - x-rayed and TACd – and nulla, neinte, nothing! A few more tests tomorrow and a very restricted diet – tonight it was chicken broth with pearl pasta and two bottles of fruit juice. I have a feeling I’ll leave here Wednesday a few pounds lighter.

As I said this is a private clinic – I think it may have been an apartment building or hotel at one point, my room has a balcony. The staff is extremely pleasant and professional and language has not been a major problem. Between my limited Italian and some pantomime – thank god for my ability to talk with my hands – we’ve got through all the tests just fine. Though you probably wouldn’t want to see how the request for samples was accomplished. Or given the perverse nature of a few people I know maybe some of you would.

Tomorrow the bland diet continues plus what Dr Sannino, with an apologetic smile, referred to as “English Salts.” Yep got a feeling I’m going to be losing some weight.

Wireless connections are not the best here so I may not be posting for a few days – I may have to actually read that David Hewson novel that’s been sitting in the den.

04 marzo - San Casmiro


Anonymous said...

Aw, shucks ... being sick ain't fun, nor is paying for all the visits and tests and stuff ... sorry to hear that you're under the weather, but hopefully everything will turn out ok for you, my friend ... eat something spicy, followed up by some JD ... that'll clean you out! :D

take care out there ... here's hoping you're home soon and getting better ...

Dave Smith
2 dogs

sageweb said...

Oh Willym get better...dammit...I hope they give you something good for any pain. Thinking of you. And one big HUG!

Elizabeth said...

Just stopped by to see how you're doing, and it's hospitals over here too! Oh dear. Hope the tests find out what's going on and that it's treatable and not dire.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you and praying for you. Hate to say it, but perhaps I need one of those private clinics as well to shed a few of these well-earned but much-hated all carbohydrate diet pounds...:) Maybe our Kev will head your way soon to help you with recuperation ... And you can help with his...

DoraLong said...

Poor dear! Somehow I knew it would come to this..

Look at it this way, at least you're in a pleasant facility? I know, didn't help. Well I'm sure Laurent is worried sick, bless his heart.

Concentrate on getting past the fun and games and out of there. Sending all good and loving thoughts your way sugar! Drop a little line when you're up to it sos I don't fret too much!

Anonymous said...

It's the pits being sick in a strange place!
The sedative for scopes here is very effective - hope they use a good one!!
Thoughts and prayers going your way!

SubtleKnife said...

Who are you calling a pervert?!

Hope the "English Salts" do their job and that's all there's to it...

Sling said...

Wow dude,sorry to hear you're not feeling well.
Stomach pains are particularly sucky.

more cowbell said...

oh no. bland food on top of stomach pain? And then having to throw up cold hard cash for the privilege of being scoped? After suggestive pantomimes?

Well. At least there are drugs. There's that.

hang in there. keep us posted.