Hey hey hey! Ciao and welcome back to all of my loyal fans. Due to an overwhelming positive response from last week’s post, I have come to the conclusion that I should, in fact, write another post. Shocking. I’m flattered. While I’m sure the suspense for this next post was killing you, I would like to assure you that I was dying over here, too. (In more ways than one.)
So last week I told you all about my “sunny personality” and how I’m very rarely in a crap mood… well apparently God has looked down upon me and thought to Himself, “Oh, you’re going to brag about your always happy mood to the entire world, huh? Try this one on for size, Peerenboom” and slapped me in the face with bronchitis. Not cool. So just to spite Him, I have retained my good mood, (Hah!) despite the fact that my voice has dropped an octave, I sound like I’ve smoked 2 packs a day for the duration of my 21-year-old life, and I can’t go 5 minutes without blowing my nose. Attractive, I know. Get in line boys.
Anyway, so last weekend I started feeling a little stuffy and within the hour I was 99% convinced that my throat was going to fall off of my body. Yes, that bad. I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t go 10 seconds without coughing, and my roommates made fun of me because I wheezed and groaned unintentionally every time I took a breath. This of course made me laugh which threw me into another painful coughing fit. Never. Ending. Cycle.
I continued to feel like garbage all week, but I’m going to tell you right now that I am one of the most stubborn people I know, and I had complete faith in my hardcore, badass Wisconsin immune system to swoop in and revive me. Wrong. Apparently my body can handle -30 degree wind chills and blizzards that dump 5 feet of snow in one swoop, but cannot handle Florence, Italy. You have got to be kidding me. I guess this is common for people that come from “colder” climates… Wisconsin may be bitter cold, but Florence is a completely different kind of cold. So finally, I caved, sucked up my pride, and decided to go to the doctor. While I chalk this up as a personal loss and dent to my Wisconsin ego, you guys should count this as a win because now I have the insider scoop on the Italian doctor situation.
Let me start off by saying going to the doctor here is nothing like going to the doctor in America. I started off by making my appointment with the English-speaking doctor in Italy and his response was, “Come on in tomorrow, I’ll text you all the info you need.” So now I’m texting my doctor. Apparently that’s common…? Weird. Anyway, so he’s texting me the directions to find his office and says, “Do you know where H&M is?” Do I know where H&M is?? Don’t make me laugh. My all-time favorite store, obviously I’ve scoped it out already… like ten times. Having the doc use that as a reference basically assured me that I was meant to go to this doctor. Destiny.
It’s like he knows me.
So I go to see this doctor, wait only 2 minutes, get the standard check-up, and get a prescription for some drugs that’ll make me better. Piece of cake. After my appointment I obviously wanted to go pick up the goods right away so I could start feeling better ASAP. Now like I said before, I know nothing about how anything works in this country… Do I have to call in my prescription beforehand? Do I need to wait before I go get the meds? Do I need to verify my insurance or something? NO IDEA. Clueless might as well be my middle name. So I get to the pharmacy, show her my prescription and she hands me my drugs instantly. No calling in beforehand and waiting for it to be ready. No verifying my birthday, and address, and insurance, and doctor… instant service. I dare someone to tell me that that’s not better than America. I DARE YOU. Regardless, I am now on the fast track to recovery and could not be more pleased with my doctor experience.
So let’s recap:
1 I made my appointment the night before and there was no problem finding a time to go.
2 My doctor texted me personally to make sure I knew the directions on how to get to his office.
3 I waited 2 minutes to see the doctor and got in before my scheduled appointment.
4 I got my prescription instantly without having to wait in line, call ahead, or go through any verification hoopla.
Doctor Visit in Italy > Doctor Visit in America
Basically all doctors in Italy work like this, but if you want to have the same experience I did, Dr. Kerr’s office is the place to be. He’s the best for non-Italians… I recommend him myself, AND he’s actually English so he truly speaks perfect English. Here are the deets on Dr. Kerr:
Piazza Mercato Nuovo, 1 (between Ponte Vecchio and Piazza Repubblica)
Phone: 055 288055 – Cel.: 335 8361682Clinic by appointment: weekdays (except 3-5pm)
Clinic without an appointment: weekdays 3-5pm
On weekends: call the cell phone number
Usually if you are a study abroad student, the price of your visit is going to be € 46, but if you have HTH insurance like I do, the visit is 100% covered. Definitely a good choice, if I do say so myself.
So I promised you guys tips every week so here’s what I’ve got for you today… Tips for not getting sick during the Italian winter! Ta-da!
Tip 1: Bundle up. Like I said last week, the whole Italian scarf thing is totally not for style – it’s actually for warmth. Participate in this trend. I know for me, Wisconsin is literally colder than Florence, but here it’s a damp cold that soaks you all the way to the bone… not something I’m used to. Plus when you’re walking around in it all day, it really gets to you.
Tip 2: Make sure you pack enough warm clothes. Being from Wisconsin I was convinced that Florence was going to be a tropical vacation compared to my normal life – which it is temperature wise – but the major difference here is that your apartments aren’t salvation from the cold. THEY ARE COLD, TOO. Bring sweatshirts, sweaters, long underwear… whatever keeps you warm. You won’t regret it.
Tip 3: Stay hydrated. I’m pretty sure my downfall was going out every night of the week, not sleeping, and rehydrating with more wine and rum the next night. Wine may be cheaper than water here, but that doesn’t actually make it a replacement for water (unfortunately).
Ciao for now!
Until next time,