When Illness comes to Rome

Mid February, 2015

More than a week into our trip, and I was still feeling ill from the “flu” I had caught soon after we had arrived in England.  During  our last weekend in peaceful Gumley, my health deteriorated a little and I slept quite a bit, but none of us had really thought much of it until we were preparing to leave for Italy and I started to feel quite sick!  By this stage, it was a Sunday and finding a doctor would be difficult, so we resulted to Sudafed, Ibuprofen, steaming and copious amounts of tea in an attempt to force me into optimal health.

And yet, after experiencing sharp pain in my ears during the whole flight to Rome and then no improvement while being in Italy – despite the medication and nightly ritual of hot water with lemon juice and honey – and then falling asleep on the couch at my uncle’s after throwing up the amazing polenta lunch, we knew it was bad.

So what did we do?  We rushed to the doctor’s of course!  That is, we literally rushed out of the house right before 6pm to make sure that we would make it before the doctor’s office closed at 7pm.  We needed to traverse Rome in order to reach my auntie’s doctor – as I am a permanent Australian resident and without a European health card, she was doing us a favour.

We arrived, literally ran out of the car and burst through into a tiny waiting room.  Forget medical centres, this doctor’s surgery was literally an office with a couple chairs outside the main door.  We entered, my mother, Zia and I, and within five minutes the Dottoressa had ascertained that I was in need of antibiotics.  She wrote the prescription, and yes thank you, you are welcome, fifty Euros please.  Without a receipt, of course – she just tucked the note away in the top draw.  Claps for Italian accounting.

Not only was I prescribed a series of antibiotics, but I was advised to use a vapouriser – a.k.a. steamer attached to my face – a daily procedure which was incredibly entertaining for Mamma and all those at home to whom I sent pictures.

So this is me attempting to smile even though I look terrible and have a strange apparatus puffing gross-tasting but supposedly good-for-me vapour into my mouth and nose:

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All in all though, can’t complain too much!  I was only ill for three and a half weeks, so I think I did pretty well …

This is Talia, healed and rested, over and out.  Peace yo.

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