Monday, August 12, 2013


This morning I had to go to the hospital to have my eyes checked:  for some time now, although I can read a book or work on the computer even without my glasses, I've been experiencing some difficulty in reading the newsbar when I watch TV. I do have a very small television, I must admit, and those of you who are used to state-of-the-art sets might wonder how anyone could see the screen, let alone the newsbar! Anyway, a few weeks ago I went to the optician to check whether my glasses needed changing and he thought I should see an eye specialist in case I had the beginnings of cataracts. [I am well aware that age does not come alone but I had hoped for a few years' grace before the cataracts caught up with me and of course, it's only natural to wonder if it might be something more sinister.]

Well, today was appointment day and, after I had paid for my "ticket" - you have to pay for outpatient appointments in Italy even if, like me, you are covered by the health service -  off I confidently strode to the hospital's new wing, as that is where my appointment card told me to go. Silly me! I should have remembered that Sicilians always ask the nearest bystander for directions, even if they have satnav, written instructions in their hand or can see a clear signpost right in front of them. They just don't trust the written word. I shouldn't have been surprised, then, that I got to the ala nuova, only to be told that the eye clinic hadn't moved in yet and I would have to go back to the old wing. Off I went again and this time I asked for directions at the counter in the lobby. I was told I would have to go to the end of the very long ground floor corridor, "where there are people waiting" but, having reached the end of the corridor without finding any people waiting or an eye department, I asked the only member of staff there for help and was informed I'd missed the department and had to go half the way back again. [Yep - I sure needed an eye test!] This time I found the department but on the door was a sign saying it had moved to the second floor, so now I was in search of a lift. Every lift I came across was marked "staff only" or "guasto" [broken] but finally another member of staff directed me to a lift hidden in a corner. Upstairs there was only one corridor and I walked its length, meeting no one and finding no oculista but on the way back I did find a porter. "Oh, this is the new wing", said he "and you want the old one. You will have to retrace your steps." 

By now I'd walked about three miles, I should think, and I wanted to cry. I do have a knee problem and I can't just keep walking like I used to. Besides, this is a hospital and most people who go there are likely to be already ill, worried or stressed or all three, so why aren't there any clear signs or some people around to help? Some of you may remember that a few years ago I spent some time as an inpatient there, so I know that volunteers appear in the afternoons. Why not in the mornings, when there are outpatients?

Downstairs I made straight for the lobby where I knew there were public lifts and luckily I was deposited right outside the eye department. I sat down to wait and the next thing that happened was that a beggar came along. He seemed pretty harmless and was wheeling a toddler in a baby buggy but beggars should not be wandering around hospitals, where people are at their most vulnerable. I suppose a young man with a toddler looks normal enough, given that relatives can visit patients in the mornings to give them breakfast, but where was the hospital security?

As always, once you are in the hands of the medical personnel here, you are treated well and receive a very thorough examination. Everything is explained to you and if you ask questions, you will receive clear and honest answers. Yes, I do have the beginnings of cataracts but nothing will need to be done in the near future. I just need a check-up once a year for the time being.

Happy with that, I thanked the staff and made for the loo. I hadn't put my eye-war-paint on for obvious reasons and I wasn't leaving without it! But vanity, this morning, was very nearly my downfall for as I left the building, I realised that one of my earrings was missing. This must have happened as I was applying my eye makeup, I reasoned so I turned to go back and my knee chose that moment to give way under me. I somehow managed to stop myself falling, limpingly retraced my steps and in the loo....... no sign of my earring. There was no sign of it anywhere else, either and, having emptied out my bag just in case, I sadly resigned myself to its loss.

When a girl needs cheering up in Sicily there is usually gelato but it's THAT time of year again:

The whole of Italy has to go on holiday at the same time and most of the bars are shut, along with nearly everything else. Come to think of it, that could explain why there were no volunteers on duty this morning and why there were only two or three people waiting when I reached the department.

At lunchtime I came home, started to get ready to have a shower and, as I was taking my bra off, there was this welcome clink of something hard on the tiled floor. Yes, I found it - or it refound me! That's the third time I've found a piece of missing jewellery down there and to do so is one of the few advantages of being voluptuous. On one memorable occasion a pendant of mine travelled from Sicily to London in my bra......

Tutto è bene quel che finisce bene. So that was my Monday. How was yours and who remembers this?

The Mamas and the Papas - Monday Monday


CherryPie said...

I am glad you eyes are in full health and that you found your ear ring safe and sound.

When it comes time for your cataract operation, it is nothing to fear. My Mum has had both of hers done.

I did smile when I saw your post, because this evening I have drafted out a post on my recent visit to the opticians...

Lee said...

Oh! Dear! I was having an anxiety attack just from reading all about your hospital trip! I would've broken down in tears at some stage along the way, too. How awful for you, Pat!

I bet by the time you got home you were exhausted and that shower would've have relaxed you. I would've then fallen in a heap on the bed and slept for a week cuddling up to my two furry rascals (and in your case, Simi)! :)

I'm glad after such an eventful excursion the outcome was relatively positive for you.

A good friend of mine is going through similar re cataracts and all is going well with her...and I'm sure it will with you, Pat. :)

Lee said...

What a wonderful group they were...and what a great voice Mama Cass had.

Fleetwood Mac were interviewed at length on a show here on Sunday night; it was a very good segment. Mac are back touring again...I love Fleetwood Mac, still...after all these years.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Cherie. Thank you for the reassurance. I'm coming over shortly to read your post. Hi, Lee. Thank you for the empathy. Yes, I was exhausted but also relieved and I did have a lovely cuddle with Simi. Yes, I'd forgotten what a great voice Mama Cass had. I love FM too but I don't suppose their tour extends to Sicily!

Hawkins Family said...

Goodness, what a Monday. Have a nice glass of vino rosso if you can't find any gelato!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

What a performance , I am exhausted LOL I would of been so agitated ..

I wonder why they are not going to do anything , if you have the start of cataracts , do they always make you wait , take care xox

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Hawkins Family. I wish I could but medication forbids it! I did find the gelato in the end, though. Hi, Anne. LOL. No idea why I have to wait - I'll have to ask a medic friend. x

Lee said...

I'm not sure how I came to post my comment re Mama Cass and Fleetwood Mac here, Pat...perhaps I'm the one who should pay a visit to the optometrist! ;)

Lee said...

Forget what I said about why I commented here on the music...I re-read your post...and it all came very clear to me! lol

There is nothing wrong with me, I assure you...nothing that a few hours (or months - years, even) in therapy won't cure, that is! ;)

Unknown said...

I also suffer from a bad knee[ I often get baker's cysts where the fluid that keeps the joints lubricated leaks out-do you get this?] , and it's amazing what short walks for other people is a bugger for us. My local library is a good 10 minute walk across the car park and it's a ridiculous jaunt. Some days I can walk 2 miles some days across that car park is a bugger.

Whispering Walls said...

What a relief!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Lee. I think I'll come and do therapy with you! Hi, Uber. I don't know what I've got, to be honest. It all started with a fall 8 years ago and it's getting worse. I know exactly what you mean about the walks. It was, WW!

Liz Hinds said...

Quite an adventure!

Cleavage does have more than one benefit!

Glad it's nothing more sinister as, like you, I always suspect it will be!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

hi, Liz and thank you.


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