A Doctor in Florence

by admin on January 23, 2009

Hello!

It’s been a crazy week since I last wrote….the good news is as I write today…..do I dare say…..again…..we are settled!

The biggest issue was Emily’s adjustment…her first few days atschool were overwhelming….even for Emmy!  She would come home in adaze and just collapse into bed…..and then she got sick…..real bad cold and really weak….so….I was immediately thrown into the class on finding a doctor in Italy….I was dreading the process for obvious reasons and much to my surprise it ended up being quite pleasant….as pleasant as going to the doctor can be…

I found a Dr. who studied in London so we didn’t have to deal with the language barrier.  And…they make it very easy…..most doctors still make housecalls….and they have open office hours every day…..so….we simply walked about 5 minutes from our house and went to the open office hours and were seen very quickly.  It remindedmy of how my parents have always said it “used to be”……we walked up four levels of a winding stone staircase….through massive wooden doors…into a small reception area.  We were immediately seen and invited to sit on the other side of the Doctor’s beautiful wooden desk……he talked to Emily about her symptoms….discussed various things with us……and then said heneeded to examine her….so she got up…..I turned my chair around the other way….and we were in the examination room.  He checked all the usual things and then he walked back to his desk…..I turned my chair around and he went through what it could be and what it wasn’t.  At the conclusion….he ordered labwork….every blood test that you could imagine….Emmy hasn’t been very healthy since her bout with Mono last summer…..he assured us that he thought she would be fine….but wanted to take the precaution.

He also explained that the lab was very efficient…..for Italy.  He explained in detail how we should get there….told us where to line up and how it would all work….and then said we would have to go back
to pick up the labwork…..once we had the labwork….we would come to his open office hours again and he would let us know how it looks….it was comforting to be part of such an old fashion
process….no waiting for your doctor to call when your lab results come in…because at home they never seem to call…..and then you call them….and you wait on the phone…and you get passed
around…..and you get frustrated and hang up…..and then you do it all again…and finally you get through….and they tell you your fine….and you hang up the phone….and you don’t feel that great.

The Doctor then reached for his tablet…..scribbled somethings down on it….ripped it off and handed it to me…..and these are a few things she will need from the pharmacy….go our my front door and it
is the first door on the left.    As I got up to leave….he ripped off another piece of paper….and said….. it will be 45 euro….cash only….I smiled…paid him cash and off we went.

Sure enough…the door left to his entrance was the pharmacy.  We were immediately helped my the pharmacist who took the perscription….filled the order….and rang us up…31 euro…..for eye drops and nose spray….not bad….and off we went…and they say we are more efficient in the U.S.? :)

The next day…..Emmy got up and we hurried to the lab…it was fasting blood work so I didn’t want her to realize that she wanted breakfast….on entering the lab, we were greeted by a “concierge”…an attractive older woman in a blue suite withe the name of the lab on it….good branding….she looked at our note from the doctor and told us in detail…..in Italian….where to go….luckily hand signals are universal so we walked to the reception area and got in line…..reminded me of an older bank….the line in a zig zag….with receptionists at about six stations helping customers…..the line went quick and we handed over our paperwork…..she immediately started processing our work and then began to speak very beautiful Italian….from the look on our face she must have realized that we were Americans…because she immediately turned to her counterpart and asked for assistance…..in their broken English and my Very Broken Italian…we managed to finish the paperwork…..pay our 105euro….yes for all that blood work….that is total cost!….and head up stairs to have blood drawn.

We walked into a smaller reception area and were immediately greeted by the nurse.  Again….with simple words…we communicated…..she gave Emily the option of sitting in the chair in the waiting room or going into a room to lay down….Emmy chose the bed…..the nurse was very sweet and quickly took Emily’s blood without a sound…..she then asked Emily…..”cafe?….do you like cafe?”..Em said…”no”….I was wondering what she was talking about….why would she care if Emily liked coffee?…then she said….” cioccolata….you like?”…Emmy smiled and said yes….and the nurse left the room.  I thought that was sweet….she was going to bring her a chocolate….the next thing I know the door flies open and a woman….much like the concierge…walks in with a white porcelain tray and coffee cup filled with hot chocolate and some toast on the side…..I wish I would have had my camera….are these people amazing?  Do they take advantage of every moment to enjoy life…food….moments…..and how nice that felt…..wow…..and how great for Emily…still adjusting to this culture and the language….to be treated with such kindness….that picture will stay in my mind forever…and as simple as it may seem….it will serve as a reminder to me…..that life is much more than agendas….efficiencies….operations…..life is about respecting moments….and to error on the side of moments would truly be fatal….because at the end….it’s all we will have.

So…I will write more about the week because it was filled with great things….and Emmy’s return to happiness…but for now…my girls are home….and there are moments to be had….til tomorrow…..

Ciao.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Mikah Zimmer January 23, 2009 at 11:49 am

Hi my name is Mikah Zimmer and I am on your mailing list. I purchased some oils during Christmas and want you to know they are amazing. We use the oils in our dressings, on our fish, and pasta sauces. I am really enjoying your postings while living in Italy. I think you are doing an amazing thing by living there. I am in the process of becoming a teacher and I am feeling very inspired by you and your girls.
Thank you,
Mikah

Reply

Diane January 23, 2009 at 2:11 pm

We live in Scottsdale AZ, but have shopped in your store in Napa and ordered from here olive oils, etc. I have read your blog and envy you so. What a wonderful experience for you and your children. My husband and I have been to Florence several times and love it. I will continue to read your postings and live vicariously through your experience!

Reply

Stacey January 24, 2009 at 12:31 am

This is SO GREAT reading about your adventures…………I am loving and living it with you……..keep it up. From dream to reality, you three are my heros!!!!

Reply

Debbie January 24, 2009 at 9:28 am

I follow your posts with such enthusiasm and picture in my mind’s eye each adventure and place you describe. We live in Braselton (Atlanta area) GA and travel to Napa/wine country as often as possible, including a visit your store each time. We also crave European travel and all things Italian….I love the way you seem to appreciate the whole of your experience, which is evident in your postings. Keep your spirits high and take in as much of this fabuous experience as you can possibly absorb. What a lifetime of wonderful memories you all are making! Thank you for taking the time to share this experience with us and we look forward to your next post…

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: