Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Italian Emergency Room

First -- I'm fine.

Second -- I had an interesting experience going to the emergency room for the first time... and in Italy, no less!

Last Thursday at work, my laptop fell on my foot... sideways, so that not only did do I have a nasty bruise but it also sliced me a bit. Definitely not the smartest moment of my day -- placing the laptop hanging half off a shelving cart.

Upon the fall, my stomach turned from the pain and it took me breath away for a few moments.

The entire area that was hit turned white, while the rest of my foot turned red.

A minute or so later, the swelling and bruising began.

I went to get ice and then thought about how many bones are in a foot. Ugh. I really hoped I hadn't fractured a bone. That was all that was on my mind from then on.

I taught an 80-minute period sitting in a chair and icing my foot most of the time. Then went back to the nurse and we agreed that I should get an x-ray just to be sure that there were no fractures.

The lovely middle school secretary drove me to a hospital south of the city and so my first experience to an emergency room began.

I was put into a wheelchair while I waited to be checked in. About 30 minutes later, I was checked in and given a wristband. I was then sent to sit and wait in the area that was supposedly for foot/ankle injuries. Everyone was limping around.

After waiting a little under an hour, the doctor saw me. He poked and prodded my foot and we spoke a mixture of Italian, Spanish, and English -- turned out he's from Madrid.

I was then sent back to the chairs to sit and wait to be called for an x-ray.

After another hour or so, they took a few x-rays and then it was back to the waiting chairs.

The process is actually very well set up. There's a television screen that displays how many people are waiting, how many are in the process, and even the level of emergency (3 different color-coded levels) for each. The estimated wait time is updated now and then as well. Maybe this is how it's done in the States too, not sure since I've (thankfully!) never been.

After about 20 or 30 minutes, I was called into another room, where the doctor was. His first words to me as he looked at the x-rays were that there were NO fractures! My response to this: "Perfetto!"

He poked and prodded a bit more and then said that I should ice it and take ibuprofen for the next couple days.

I was off!

...Well... I made that sound really easy. Along the way, there were many little things to figure out as I bumbled my way through figuring out how a hospital works in Italy. Leaving, I was to pick up documents from the "front window" as I understood it. This took me a while to find... but I did it!

Here are pictures of my foot on Day 1 and Day 2:

The saga continues...

Since the injury happened at work, there was documentation from the hospital to give to school. When I handed that all in Friday morning, the HR Manager saw that the documentation said I was to be out of work for one week -- through June 2nd. The paperwork was all in Italian and I hadn't even tried to read it but the doctor never even mentioned this to me! The doctor had simply said ice and ibuprofen.

So... I was kicked out of school and have been home since. It's actually been a gift of time, especially at this time of the year and so much going on in my personal life as I prepare to move back home.

Thankfully, I can walk on my foot alright. It's been tender and sore but is feeling better and better. The bruise is now more yellow/green, which I take to be a good sign. Since I've been home, I have been able to keep it elevated as much as possible.

I had a check-up appointment with my doctor yesterday. This was so that the documentation process can be closed. Hilariously... she read through the papers and never once looked at my foot! I had loosely tied sneakers on and they never came off. She wrote a note and said that should be sufficient.

Overall, I'm fine. It was a silly accident that gave me an interesting experience in Italy towards the end of my time here.

1 comment:

  1. Yikes! That looks pretty bad. Glad nothing was broken!