Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Emergency Room Visit in Florence Italy

Cari Amici,

Well, thank you Gene P. for suggesting that I have pneumonia! That snapped me out of a week’s lethargy. And after a long debate, I saw a dottore today. I was hoping it would be less expensive visiting the Pronto Soccorso [Emergency Room, or First Aid; although one of my language texts translates it to mean: casualty (department)]

I had to wait a while before being seen and since I have difficulty sitting anyway, and was falling asleep a lot, I decided to move to another area of the waiting room (without people) and stretch out on my tummy over three wooden chairs. Alas, it was not to be – at least not in a Florentine hospital. The woman who chastised me gave me a look as if I should just picture myself as she said, “Non e bella!” (“That is not beautiful!”) I had heard and read that Italians are sometimes very concerned about appearances and expect people to look their best, but I did not realize this concept extended in a building full of sick people!

It was kinda fun to get wheeled around like a little princess and I had a good laugh. One attendant was carrying a full bed-pan and as he rounded the corner of the hallway, he almost spilled it on me. Yikes! The man exclaimed, “oofa – cerco per il bagno.” (Oops, I am looking for the bathroom.) But the attendant who was wheeling me around was not fooled and joked with him, “Ah, caffé!” An easy laugh, but I took it.

Anyway, my X-rays revealed that my lungs are clean, but I am now on drugs and was told to lay around for the next 7 days until I kick this influenza. I doubt I have that ability after wasting my last five beautiful days bed-ridden (and not in the good way), as well as losing out of my Monday opportunity to street paint.

So, I leave you with these beautiful hand-painted and designed eggs by my artist roommate Dragana. She boiled the eggs first and then added her design in watercolor paints all by hand and then sealed them with fingernail polish. These images do not do them justice at all. How charming and colorful they are!