Okay so let me warn you in advance, this is about to get messy, really messy!
My back goes out, ambulance arrives and I am taken to our closest hospital in Italy. Hubby and the kids following along behind. Now let me tell you that at this time my Italian was limited. I am put in a room with two old ladies in the beds beside mine.
A doctor comes in, no clue what he’s saying…he says it louder…still no clue! More doctors come and all talk very loudly to me…nope no clue. At last a young nurse with a smattering of English and she is the star! The one classic moment was watching her hold court over the doctors…I hoped she wasn’t like the scene in La Vita Bella where he is translating the German guards words, start to giggle. The doctors don’t see the funny side.
So tests are ordered (remember I warned you!). Long story short a stool sample was required, too late I’ve already gone. No problem the Nurse takes it from the loo (without gloves I swear it, and that time of the month). I am in pain, no idea what’s going on, Sam has still not arrived and everyone is talking very loudly in the hope that I’ll understand.
At last Sam arrives. It turns out that I am in the Geriatric Contagious Ward. This explains why everyone entering the room is wearing gown, gloves, mask and booties. There is no other bed. Our children aren’t allowed in and Sam can’t stay as he left them with the nurse!!
I am in overnight, the lady next to me sadly dies. The other lady near the wall keeps getting up, her hair wild and she keeps taking off her gown then pulling out her drip. Each time I press the buzzer, can’t move to get up, and just have to watch. Appolonia tranquillo, tranquillo… they settle her back to bed. Ten minutes later she’s up again. At some stage through the night I wake and see a man sitting in the corner of the room. I drift back to sleep. In the morning her son is there in the corner keeping her calm, she sleeps.
I am taken off for x-rays, the young man leaves me in a corridor. I wait, and wait, nobody comes back for me. I call out, nobody comes, there is no sound just my heartbeat getting faster. Nobody comes! I can’t get up. I am scared now. Calling out and finally crying. Found at last. Sam is there with a nurse, our dear friends Claudio and Piera are minding the kids. By now I am hysterical and there is no way I am staying, we leave. I cope with the pain and slowly heal at home.
A new fear sets in, what if something were to happen to the kids? What if they needed to be in hospital? The seed is planted and ferments. We decide to return to Australia… two years after arriving we board a plane.
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