Saturday, May 14, 2011

A family that shares

When it rains it pours... I am not sure if it started with my daughter or my son, but to be honest they have been playing 'pass the loogie' for the last month or so.  As soon as one wakes up perfectly healthy, it appears that the snot wipe and snail trail accross the cheek will be found on the other sibling by that same afternoon.  We finally bit the bullet and took princes to the doctors on Monday when she was awake most of the night complaining of an ear ache. (One of the advantages of the child being able to communicate with words, we no longer have the charades guessing game when it comes to their ailments.)  So after a visit to her assigned doctor, we left with a prescription of antibiotics to clear her ear infection.

In our health relay, the baton is now passsed to my husband, who after 2 consecutive late nights at work, has crashed and burned.  He too went to the doctors to receive anti biotics for severe tonsilitis, which did not appear to help with the over 40 degree temperatures he was having 2 nights ago. The poor thing suffered shivers, hot sweats and performing the rigid movement of initial kung fu moves everytime he went to swallow.  But 48 hours later, he appears less deathly and the horse tablets mixed with asprin for the body aches, nurofen and panadol for the temperature, throat gargle for the pain of swallowing and gelati for the thighs, all seems to have helped. I do not understand how it is not safe to swallow a chicken bone but it is perfectly safe to take a tablet of similar size, especially when tonsilitis means swallowing seems to be the problem in the first place?!?

And so the relay continues; last night I felt like a hooker on New Years Eve jumping from bed to bed for a solid 4 hours; giving drinks, wiping faces with wet clothes and assuring  everyone that "it will all be ok in the morning".  So this morning, exhausted.  And my throat is sore, damn my husband for handing me the unhealthy baton!  Usually I live in denial about illness, afterall, you can not all be sick at the same time, the rule is that there must always be one able bodied person to support the family in time of need.  At this particular time, my son is next abled body in line, and under the age of two, perhaps administering medecine would be a little inappropriate.  I have the baton, and my husband makes me a doctors appointment.

The Italian health care system is a welfare system, meaning everyone is covered and doctor visits etc are covered by the State, which is great once you are finally assigned a doctor, then the next trick is trying to get an available appointment.  I think it may be a universal problem, but it always makes me laugh that when you call to make an appointment at the doctors, you are quite often told, "Not a problem, how does fortnight from Tuesday sound?"  Ummm, not to convenient considering I will be either better or dead by then!  In this particular instance, it was in 15 minutes or 4 days.  So I grabbed my bag and ran out the door.

Most businesses are found in the lower level of residences in Milan, so I enter a lovely apartment building and take a seat in the waiting room; this is where I practise my ailments in mime as best as possible, (just in case the doctor does not speak any english).  "Signora Gonzalez" is called so I stand and make my way into the doctors office, which has wooden floors, beautiful high ceilings and decorated as I presume a barristers office would be, (model sailing boats, wooden world globe and lots of leather bound books).  There is some confusion over my first name.  I apologise for not speaking italian, so in return he apologises for not speaking english.  I try my best to explain that my throat is sore (with out looking like I am trying to choke myself), and he looks at my throat and says "Rosso" (red).  This I already knew.  So I leave his office now knowing I have a red throat.   As I depart the secretary informs me that I took Signora Gonzalez's appointment, (the little old lady sitting in the corner; hence the first name confusion as I entered the doctors office), I apologise in english, then italian, then out the door as quickly as possible.  Two Gonzalez's out of 3 patients waiting, what are the chances?  No wonder the doctor was looking at me strangely, wrong Gonzalez profile on computer screen?  'Wow you are looking pretty good for age 73 and two hip replacements!'

I still have the baton, but today I am going to throw it in the rubbish bin.  I have decided we are all going to be in denial about our health.  Lets go and order a lunch we can not swallow and look at buying bikes we could not be bothered to ride...

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