That Was The Week That Was (and not a good one)

That Was The Week That Was (and not a good one)

Saturday, April 30th, 2022

Starting from the beginning: on Sunday April 17 Laura drove to Torino. Her daughter who lives in India was due to arrive with her family a few days later and she had some work to do in the house before they arrived. She planned to then spend another couple of weeks with them before returning. Since that was Easter (Pasqua) day it was ideal for the trip since the traffic should be pretty light – which it was. Of course I knew that I would miss her but that would also give me an opportunity to get together with friends who I hadn’t seen for two years due to the pandemic. On the following Tuesday I went to the main library to do my regular volunteer work. To get some exercise I usually walk the kilometer to arrive there. As I was almost there I tripped and fell down. It seemed that there was no harm done. I got up and went in and found that nobody had made a reservation for the English conversation for the first 45 minute period. To kill time I then found a book that seemed interesting and went to the bar inside the library for a coffee and pastry and read the book for about 45 minutes – still no problem. I liked the book and decided to check it out so I did that and found that I had a big problem with my right ankle. Since I expected that there would be the second person who would come for conversation I hobbled to the place where I would have said conversation, took off my right shoe and elevated that foot to try to recover a bit. Nobody came and the foot did not get any better. Fortunately I had made an appointment with my friend Rita for lunch at someplace near the library and I was really in need of some help. I called her and described the situation and she came to my aid. Like about any person I have sprained my ankle various times during my life but it was never anything as serious as this. I decided that I really had to get medical assistance right away and so I wanted to take a taxi to an emergency room but given that I could barely walk, the taxi needed to come as close as possible to the exit door from the library. With my still somewhat limited Italian that would be hard to describe to the taxi dispatcher. So my friend called for the taxi and in fact she struggled a bit to get the message across. I finally received a message that the taxi was on the way and would be on the side of the street nearest the library. So I then hobbled to the taxi just as it arrived and was off to the emergency room.

Emergency room visits always involve a significant wait time unless you’re seriously bleeding or otherwise in bad shape. I hobbled in, went through the triage process,was put on a bed on wheels and waited for my number to be called. Then a doctor gave me a cursory exam and I was then in the queue for the x-rays. After the X-rays I was then in the queue for treatment. Fortunately nothing was broken and I was given a choice between a cast to support the ankle or a brace. I opted for the brace which would allow more flexibility, I could take it off when needed rather than having to return to have it removed. I still was unable to walk without crutches and I had crutches at home from when I had a hip replacement last fall. Nobody at the hospital had a solution so I called a good friend and described the situation and asked for help. Then I took a taxi home and only had to wait for a few minutes before Renata and her husband arrived to help me. They helped me physically to arrive at my apartment and retrieved the crutches for me. I will be forever grateful for such good friends.

The brace – I hate it but it did it’s job

Of course I immediately called Laura and described the situation. She had planned to stay in Torino for a couple of weeks but quickly revised her plans to return to Bologna after another week. Fortunately there was plenty of food in the house for that period and with the crutches I was pretty mobile. So the emergency room visit was on a Tuesday and on Friday I had a sore throat. I had no fever but with some research I found that one of the symptoms with Omicron version of Covid was a sore throat. Renata had planned to come to the house on Saturday morning for our usual coffee and chat meeting and I asked if she could bring a couple of items (strawberries and milk) and also to buy an at home Covid test. She brought everything but was pressed for time and didn’t stay and I didn’t want to be with her if it turned out that the test was positive. The test was negative and I breathed a sigh of relief. A different friend, Leonardo, came by for lunch and we ordered pizzas from the pizzeria across the street and ate outside on the terrace. So far so good.

The next week my ankle improved a lot but also my sore throat got worse and I also had a runny nose (another symptom of Omicron). So when Laura arrived on the following Wednesday I asked her to stop by the pharmacy and buy another at home Covid test. Also just to be on the safe side I insisted that we stay apart and both wear masks until I took the test, fully expecting that it would be negative. Eeek it was positive! I called my primary care physician and he said that he would call whatever part of the health care organization that deals with Covid and a nurse would come to my house the next day to do a molecular test. She did and I received the results the next day – positive again. Even as the symptoms were already starting to wane Laura and I clearly had to be very careful in the house. We ate apart and slept in separate bedrooms and if in the same room we both wore masks and only stayed briefly in such proximity. By the way I let Leonardo know that I had tested positive and he said that he had no symptoms and wished me well.

Now I have to stay always at home for 7 days. If at the end of 7 days I have been asymptomatic for at least 3 days I can go to a pharmacy for a rapid Covid test which hopefully will be negative and then I can resume a reasonably normal life. So for a review:

  1. Alone in Bologna since Laura went to Torino. – Sunday
  2. Sprained my ankle badly 2 days later and went to the emergency room. – Tuesday
  3. Probably was infected while at the hospital.
  4. Learned that I was infected when Laura returned a week later on Wednesday

So that was my week from hell (well, more like 10 days).

On the bright side, the symptoms are pretty much gone and my ankle seems to be almost completely healed.

8 Responses to “That Was The Week That Was (and not a good one)”

  1. Joy Says:

    That sounds like a hideous 10 days! I hope you are soon healed completely! You have really good friends and family! I wish a nurse would come to my house if I needed one!

    It has been such a long time that I have been staying inside and limiting where I go. I went to shop for something last week and almost immediately came home because there were so many people out. It will take some getting used to.

    Hopefully you will be well very soon! Best regards!

  2. Joe Says:

    Hi Joy, it’s nice to know that at least one person still reads my blog. Actually having a nurse come to the house makes a lot of sense. Here at least if you test positive then you are required to stay at home for some period of time so to have a confirmation test you can only have that if someone comes to your house. I’m already asymptomatic and I received a message from the national health service that after 7 days from the confirming test I can then go out to a pharmacy and have a rapid test. I can’t really do it at home because the pharmacy will notify to the health service that I’m no longer positive and I will immediately free to resume my life here. Also my ankle seems completely healed at this point so I’m looking forward to getting out of the house.

  3. Peter Says:

    Hi Joe,
    Getting old is not for the faint of heart !! Glad you are recovering… perhaps selfishly, because we are going to be there in about 6 wks.

  4. Joe Says:

    Well there’s that quote attributed to Betty Davis (she didn’t originate it)“Old age ain’t no place for sissies”. Not to worry about my recovery. I walked 400 meters (each way) to a pharmacy yesterday for a Covid test that resulted negative. I hadn’t had any symptoms at all for 5 days so it was no surprise. I went to the pharmacy rather than do a home test because they report the results to the national health system which within hours renewed my “Green Pass” which is no longer worth much unless we have another wave (PLEASE NO!!).

  5. Emiliano Says:

    I’m very sorry for your troubles 🙁 And I also enjoy reading your blog 🙂

  6. Joe Says:

    Thanks for the comment Emiliano. It’s always nice to know that someone is reading the stuff that I write. By the way everything seems in good shape now. I can walk a reasonable distance and tested negative of covid.


  7. Renata Says:

    Hi Joe, I just read your latest posts on your blog. I am so happy that the worst is over and that Gabriele and I were able to help you. It was a very small thing.
    I’m ready to read about your delicious recipes 😉

  8. Joe Says:

    Thanks for the comment, Renata. I’m glad that you are reading my blog.


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