New Adventure with the Italian health care system – Part 3

New Adventure with the Italian health care system – Part 3

Monday, October 25th, 2021

I have now been home for a week and a half. I left out one interesting detail of the trip from my hospital room to my bedroom here. As in the U.S. I was given a wheelchair to go from the room to the exit from the hospital. Unlike the U.S. there was no nurse or orderly to push the wheelchair. Staffing is light so Laura had to push the wheelchair and since there was no staff person she had to also return it before she could get the documents to leave the hospital and bring the little suitcase with my stuff while I sat in an uncomfortable chair near the exit. We took a taxi to the house which was not very expensive and I had to cross the street, go up 5 stairs, cross the sidewalk, up 3 more stairs and finally be inside and take the elevator. The longest trek that I had made to that point.

Returning to the positive side, the physical therapy continues at our apartment every two or three days as well as a nurse comes twice a week to change the dressing and this week will take out the stitches. I will also have someone come to draw blood for blood tests at least twice. The removal of stitches and the drawing of blood are not automatic like the visits by the nurse and physical therapist. I had to get a “prescription” for those things and that has it’s own complications. First my primary care physician has to write them and then Laura needs to take them to where appointments are made, usually at a pharmacy but for the blood tests she had to go to a particular center for making appointments. If the doctor doesn’t mark the prescription as being required in a brief time the appointment can be a month of more away – part of the downside to the SSN (national health system). It’s really a pain in the ass and Laura of course had to do all of the footwork as well as talk to the doctor who speaks no English and is very impatient with my Italian. It has been a challenge but we both have learned a lot and the next time it should go more smoothly.

I get better every day but still am reluctant to go out of the house but perhaps after another week or 10 days I’ll be walking well enough with the crutches to venture out for a coffee at a bar nearby with friends once or twice a week. Inside the house I’m pretty active to improve my walking ability. We have a mezzanine below the main floor so I also have a stairway for practice and exercise. I’m also helping out in the kitchen which is something that I enjoy and makes me feel useful during this period.

I’m expecting that in 6 to 8 weeks I can resume reasonably normal outings and have full recovery after 3 months.

Oh, by the way, I don’t know if I mentioned that the other hip needs to be replaced. I’m hoping to have that one done in the spring giving me 3 months of relatively normal life before reliving this experience.

And so far the the price has been zero although I think that I’m going to have to pay something like 14 euros (about $16) for the blood tests.

4 Responses to “New Adventure with the Italian health care system – Part 3”

  1. Joy Says:

    I really like your blog, Joe, because it makes me feel a connection with you. It is lovely to be part of your life and Laura’s. Hugs. Great and good luck in your healing!

  2. Joe Says:

    It’s always great to receive a comment from you. I hope that you survive there in Texas. At least Austin seems the most civilized part. Of course Texas is always in the national news for all of it’s recent policies which I’m sure that I don’t need to enumerate. Sorry to rant.


  3. Jan Says:

    Joe, it was good to see you while you were here. It sounds like you’re doing well with the hip surgery, even though it’s been a pain.
    We’ve had days of rain storms which has been great. I’m not sure what’s going on with the fires but it has to have slowed them down. Crazy..
    All good here. Still working a lot and kids are great.l. Both in school and working.

    With love,

  4. Joe Says:

    It was good to see you too. As you’ll see from this blog post I’m able to be much more active now. In a certain sense I’m looking to the second hip replacement after a period of relative normalcy.


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