Mrs Sensible has Man Flu

Even woman get man flu

Even woman get man flu

Ok, she hasn’t got Man Flu, she had Man Flu, it was last Friday to be precise. So Mrs Sensible and I trotted off to the doctors  to see if there was a cure. While Mrs S went in to see the doctor, I sat in the waiting room listening to BBC Radio 4 on my new phone. I really should write a post about my new phone, I can listen to English radio, play games, count the calories I am not losing. The only thing it is not very good at, is holding a signal long enough for me to make a telephone call.

When Mrs S came out of the doctor’s office, she had in her hand a fist full of prescriptions. 64 Euros it cost for the assortment of  pills and potions she needed to get rid of the man flu. She also had a prescription for me.

“Er, Whats this for ?”

“It’s for the hospital, I have booked you a visit”

“Why?”

“To see a dietitian”

I tried to convince Mrs Sensible that I was suffering from just a little bit of puppy fat, or maybe excess winter fat that would go as soon as spring arrives. The problem is, Italians take their health and other people’s health really seriously. In Italy you don’t need to be ill to go to see a doctors, you can go and see him because… well because you think you might be ill in the future. An Italian doctors surgery is more like a community center, it is full of healthy people passing the time of day. The sick Italians are all at home in bed, they just send their husbands to the waiting room with a list of their symptoms.

Today, I went to the hospital to see my personal dietitian. Of course, you  now think I am grossly over weight, but I am not, I just need to eat a little less and run a bit more, instead of running a little less and eating a bit more.

So arriving at the hospital, I was greeted by the bingo machine, I asked a women which ticket I needed and after perusing the machine she shrugged her shoulders and said ” no lo so” So I pressed ‘G’ If any of you can understand Italian, please will you have a look at the following and give me a translation for my next visit.

Englishmen, immigrants and Pecora Nera

Englishmen, Immigrants and Pecora Nera

While I was waiting for G19 to be called I watched one woman approach the machine and after scanning the list of options, I guess she also didn’t understand the information, because she then walked over to the bingo machine on the left, found out it was identical and walked back to the first machine and took 2 tickets, option a and option b. In the past I was so undecided which ticket to take, I took one of each (see Hospital  Bingo)

2 machines, neither made any sense.

2 machines, neither made any sense.

Finally my number was called out

G19

G19, Look at the holes in the metal chairs!!!! I wonder if they leave circles on your bum?

And I then wandered over to the cubicle that was flashing the number G19

Payment time

Payment time

As I handed the woman my ticket (just to prove I hadn’t queue jumped) and my prescription, plus €50.00, yes we have to pay for treatment in Italy. She looked at me a bit strangely, I immediately knew what she was thinking, she was thinking, why does this slim good looking human specimen need to see a dietitian. In fact I had suggested the same thing to Mrs Sensible earlier today.

After stamping my ticket, she refused my money and told me to go and pay next door.

They don't accept debit cards, credit cards or even Tesco vouchers

They don’t accept debit cards, credit cards or even Tesco vouchers

The hospital has a bank in the corridor and all payments are made here, despite it being a bank, they don’t accept debit cards, credit cards or even Tesco vouchers.  They only accept real Italian Euros.

Following the signs for the dietitian, I found this wonderful sign.

Doctors

Psychology Dietitian and Competent Doctors

At least I was heading towards the competent doctors, I wonder where the incompetent doctors worked?

When I reached the dietitian Mrs Sensible was already there and waiting for me, she had already helped the doctor fill out my personal data. I was then interrogated as to my eating habits.

Dr. What do you eat for breakfast?

I don’t

Dr. You don’t??? Why not?

I don’t like breakfasts, I just have a cup of tea.

Dr. Ahh, this is going to be difficult, he is English. What do you eat at lunch time?

I don’t, if I am very hungry I will eat some breakfast cereals. I don’t tend to have time to eat during the day.

????????

Mrs Sensible then very helpfully told the doctor that I enjoy eating chocolates and biscuits, in fact she said I like to sit down in the evening with a glass of wine and a handful of biscuits. I didn’t take offence as this is perfectly normal behavior isn’t it?

Dr.  What do you drink?

Water, erh a little wine, red or white.

Dr. How much do you drink?

mmm maybe 2 or 3 glasses, but not everyday.

Dr. You will have drink only 1 glass a day.

Mrs S. When we have friends over he sometimes he drinks more than 3 and he likes grappa.

Dr. Well if you have a fiesta (party) then he is ok to drink more wine, but no grappa.

PN to Mrs S That’s ok then, we will have a fiesta more often.

So after I was weighed, measured and deloused a second appointment was booked when I will receive my diet sheet.

Weighed, measured and de loused

Weighed, measured and de-loused

I have had a couple of thoughts following the hospital visit.

1) If I am only allowed to drink one glass of wine a day, I need to buy bigger glasses.

2) If I am only allowed to enjoy a couple of glasses when friends visit, then I need to increase the number of my friends and invite them over more often.

3) I paid 46 Euros to be told I eat at the wrong time, eat the wrong foods and enjoy drinking too much wine oh and I need to exercise more. Mrs Sensible thinks it is money well spent because I will lose weight rather than be tutted at by the doctor at my next appointment. I think 46 euros would have been better spent on 8 bottles of Marco’s fine wine and a packet of biscuits.

I know this is my second post in a day, but I have been absent for a while. I have a couple more to post over the following couple of days, and a lot of blogs to go and read.

I have quit the booze…

On Tuesday the 8th of October in the year of our Lord 2013 I supped my last glass of wine.

englishman in Italy

I have quit drinking this lovely stuff

I am yet to notice any significant health benefits. In fact my health took a downward turn last Friday when I complained of some sort of manflu. Mrs Sensible examined me and said it was probably a bad case of asthma. She promptly prescribed an antihistamine tablet, after a lot of protesting that they only send me to sleep, I dutiful took the offered pill and promptly fell asleep.  I slept from Friday evening  straight through to Saturday evening, only waking up long enough to take another pill and then immediately became comatose until some-time on Sunday.

I lost two days of my life to sleep

I lost two days of my life to sleep

You guys know I don’t trust or like doctors or dentists, but under threats of severe repercussions, if I didn’t do as I was told, I was finally persuaded by Mrs Sensible to go and see the local medicine man, mainly because my coughing at bedtime was worse than my snoring and was keeping both of us awake.

My Doctor is not quite like this, but then again..

My Doctor is not quite like this, but then again..

The doctor diagnosed that I was suffering from Brontosaurus or some other dreaded disease probably related to cervical. He prescribed an intense 5 day course of antibiotics, a little bottle of clear liquid to stop my coughing, pastels for my sore throat and not wanting to be left out, my good wife Mrs Sensible made me use an inhaler for people who are suffering from asthma. We agreed to disagree on the added benefits of using another antihistamine tablet.

I am sure my Italian doc  said I had brontosaurus

I am sure my Italian doc said I had brontosaurus

Last night, which was three days into my treatment, I suddenly suffered a coughing fit. Tears were rolling down my face and the only sound I could produce was whuu whuu whuuuu. My lungs finally decided to go on strike and as I staggered into the kitchen while trying to bang my back in a vain attempt to re-start my lungs; I heard Mrs Sensible drop her mobile phone and come running into the kitchen to help me: she immediately joined in the banging on my back; as she slowly bludgeoned me to the floor I could hear her friend continuing to talk on the phone through the loud speaker, totally ignorant to the fact that she was talking to herself and that my wife was trying to save my life.

My lungs decided they couldn’t withstand any more of the punishing Mrs Sensible was meeting out to them and with a loud gasp of air they started to work again. I managed to squeak “basta basta” enough enough to Mrs Sensible and she stopped her onslaught.

Basta basta I can breathe honestly.

Basta basta I can breathe honestly.

As I slowly got back up to my feet, I cast a quick glance to make sure Mrs Sensible hadn’t taken too much pleasure from beating me to the floor, fortunately all I could see in her eyes was love and concern.

I know Mrs Sensible loves me, really she does.

I know Mrs Sensible loves me, really she does.

OOOH! I have news from Mr Cretino allegedly he has my new Italian driving licence, I wonder which name it will be in. When I get my breath back I will fill you in and when I finish my antibiotics I will raise a glass or two of wine to you all.

Bye for now

Pecora Nera

Watch the Birdie

I have man flu, I have a sore throat, head ache combined with a really bad case of feeling sorry for myself. This drastic illness struck me down on Saturday. So I took to my bed and sulked as only a man can.

Mrs Sensible coped admirably with me, she force fed me food I really didn’t want to eat, she didn’t shout too loud when I shuffled into the lounge in search of chocolate. I could quite get used to breakfast, dinner and tea in bed. Lunch arrived on a tray, complete with a glass of water for more Italian medicine, and I noted with surprise there was no glass of wine. I decided not to comment on this omission, I thought it might be detrimental to my already failing health.

Sunday was a glorious sunny day and Mrs Sensible wanted to wash the bedding. We are in the depth of winter here in Sunny Italy, and there are only a few good days for drying bedding sheets etc. But first Mrs Sensible had to force encourage me out of bed. She dropped several hints and I managed to persuade her, it was a lost cause by occasionally moaning and requesting items like my laptop, cups of tea etc, with my sorrowful but husky voice. Isn’t it amazing a sore throat gives you a husky voice and when I need one, for example when I was courting Mrs Sensible it didn’t materialise.

All through the weekend my wonderful wife fetched and carried for me, she administered hugs when I demanded them and cups of tea around the clock.

On Monday morning, Mrs Sensible had to go to school to teach her delightful Chilblains, before she left she provided me with breakfast in bed (a tub of yoghurt  some dried prunes in a bowl and a glass of water to take my medicine) Later when Mrs Sensible came back into the bedroom to collect the tray she asked if I had managed to eat everything. Nope I have hidden the prunes under the bed they didn’t look appetising. She looked you know, does that say something about me?

So on Monday morning I was languished in my bed, occasionally checking my e mails for work and snoozing, at lunch time I realised that if I wanted a cup of tea…. I would have to get out of bed and make it myself, uffa! After a shower and  veggi burgers (I really need to pluck up courage and talk to Mrs Sensible about the food she buys, last week it was rabbit, now veggi burgers!!!)

As I was feeling a little better I thought I would pen a quick post for you lot. So here it is.

Last year I took Mrs Sensible to the hospital in Alessandria for a chest x ray. When Mrs Sensible went in to have her photo took, I sat in the corridor talking to a nice Italian lady, who had lived in Canada and therefore understood English. An x Ray is normally a very simple affair, you go in, stand perfectly still, watch the budgie and click all done. But of course this is Italy. For some reason, the guy whose job it was to take Mrs Sensibles portrait, came storming out of the room, followed a few minutes later by Mrs Sensible who had her schoolmarm look.

It transpires, that when Mrs Sensible asked where she was to change, and where was her gown (to cover her modesty) the man said “ I am a radiologist, I have seen lots of naked women, just get undressed and put your clothes on that chair” He may have seen many naked women, but this was the first time he had come face to face with Mrs Sensible.

Mrs Sensible told the radiologist that she had lived in the UK, where they give you a gown and a changing cubical, she also explained about patient’s privacy and I am sure one or two other items. The radiologist gave in and asked Mrs Sensible if she could do the ‘taking the bra off without removing the T shirt manoeuvre’ She obliged and he took her picture.

NHS GOWN

Hospital gown, better than nothing

The lady from Canada, who was listening to Mrs Sensibles latest adventure, agreed and said it was a disgrace that Italian hospitals were so bad. She went in for her X ray and about 30 seconds later the Radiologist exited the room shouting, swearing and waving his hands about. Mrs Canada had decided she wanted to do the bra shuffle as well.

I think we caused a bit of a fuss at the hospital, because the other women who were sat waiting for their turn were muttering revolutionary thoughts such as “ if she didn’t have to get naked, why should I” and “how do you do the bra shuffle, I think mine it too big to do it”

Enough of Mrs Sensible, I am still poorly but as a brave little soldier I have gone into work to see how many people I can infect with man flu.

In Sickness and in Health

I am as sick as a dog today, I really want to be left alone to lie in my bed and sulk, I don’t want lots of hugs and sympathy from Mrs Sensible, and I don’t want strange Italian medicines or to visit the doctors to make sure it is not terminal. It is not necessary to take blood, urine or any other sample to establish that I have a bad case of man flu.

When Mrs Sensible is ill she requires 24 hour around the clock loving and affection, someone to fetch, carry and generally be there to hold her hand. It is a huge and basic difference between us and more importantly how our mothers dealt with illness. Her Sicilian mother (who is just wonderful and has adopted me) would sit with my wife and make her sweet honey tea, feed her little bits of food to keep up her strength and generally love her better. On the other hand my mum would banish me to my bedroom with a bottle of lucozade and an aspirin. And as soon as I was well enough to sit downstairs in front of the telly, I was well enough to go back to school.

I don’t think the way Mrs Sensible and I deal with illness is just conditioned by our mothers but because she is Italian and I am English. Before I moved to Italy I had never heard of the many illnesses that befall Italians. The Italian illness that immediately springs to mind is cervicale (stiff neck), the slightest wind even in high summer can trigger it. Leaving the house with damp hair will not only get you into trouble with mama and nona but you will certainly contract cervicale. Prevention is the best cure hence all Italians wear scarves even in the summer.

During July a small spider bit my leg and I think I developed a small allergic reaction to the bite, similar to the reaction I develop to tiger mosquito bites. My leg swelled and a little boil appeared. The boil kept popping and growing a little bit. Mrs Sensible told me I needed to go to the hospital emergency department. I laughed and declined, I explained that you only go to the emergency department if a paramedic has just cut you out of a car crash or if you sever a tendon in your hand while cutting gollywog tokens from Robinsons jam jars, something my dad did in 1984.c

Later that week a colleague at work noticed I was limping a little, and after looking at my leg and tutting she told me to andare a pronto soccorso ospedale.  So I went and the doctor and nurse who saw me did not mutter about time-wasting but quickly and efficiently cleaned my leg they then took numerous blood samples, gave me a course of antibiotics and told me to return to the emergency department the following day!!!

On my return to the hospital I received my blood results and once again my leg was cleaned disinfected and re bandaged. The doctor gave me a copy of the blood results and an invoice for 25 euros. Not bad really. It seems Italians will have a blood test every three to five years whether they need one or not, very much like the English renewing their tetanus jab.

Every summer we go to Sicily to stay with the family, which is just great because they just love me to bits. My new-found family will take my side in an argument and will scold my wife even though they haven’t a clue what we are arguing about. The slight downside with staying with the family in Sicily is although the temperatures reaches above 40°C Mrs Sensibles mum and dad will still try to persuade me to wear a vest under my tee-shirt and to always wear slippers in the house. Wearing a vest I am told will protect me from colpo d’aria or roughly translated a puff of air. It seems even if the air is hot colpo d’aria will bring on a bad case of cervicale the ailment most Italians suffer from.