Limits of Patience
It’s been a few weeks since I came to Italy. To be honest, I hadn’t been in very good health since I left Japan to come to Milan, but thanks to some medicines prepared by my Italian landlord and a Japanese woman living in Milan who was introduced to me by an acquaintance, who went out of her way to make rice balls and miso soup for me and delivered them to my house, I have managed to stay in this unidentified physical condition. The infirmity was excruciating. At the time, I wanted to look up the symptoms I was experiencing online to find out what the hell I was sick with, but since symptoms such as general fatigue, joint pain, nausea, and loss of appetite are common with the flu, I just had to be patient and endure the pain for a few days and it would come back naturally. I thought I would recover, and more importantly, I was filled with fear of how much money I would be charged if I had to go to a hospital abroad.
However, contrary to my wishes, the situation did not get any better, and I crawled down to the bathroom, and when I looked at my face in the mirror, I felt something different from the usual. I looked at my face in the mirror and felt something different. Didn’t my skin ever get this yellow? I couldn’t help but wonder if my whole body, including my face, arms, and belly, looked more yellowish than usual. Unfortunately, the wallpaper in the bathroom where the mirror was located was yellow, so I thought it was just the light reflecting off the yellow wallpaper that made me look yellow too, and went to bed that day without thinking about it. However, the next day and the next, I felt my skin was turning an unnatural yellow color more and more, so I asked my Italian landlord about it, but it was impossible for him to check the skin color of an Asian who sleeps through the night and doesn’t even come out of his room, and even though I am white, I am a yellow person, so As a native European Italian, I realized that I was always yellow, sick or not, and I stopped asking him to check my skin color. However, I would later find out that I was not mistaken and that the symptom was a symptom of “jaundice,” yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes all over the body.
The next day, my patience is finally overwhelming. A strong dull ache in my groin area and a feeling of general malaise, pain, and discomfort that prevented me from walking properly, I decided to call an ambulance.
Ambulances and paramedics
I don’t know how long I waited for the ambulance to arrive, but not long afterwards, two young Italian men who appeared to be paramedics came into the bedroom where I was lying. Thankfully, a Japanese woman living in Milan was there with me, and with my brow wrinkled, I just squatted down on the bed with my brow wrinkled, and she explained the situation in Italian to the paramedics instead.
After enduring the pain for weeks now, my strength is already at its limit, “I finally called an ambulance,” regret that I called an ambulance, the hope that “I can escape this pain now,” and “The fear that I might be charged an unbelievable amount of money later” was messing with my head. But there was no turning back now that I had come this far, and I was determined to leave the rest to the paramedics and the hospital down the road, but this was not Japan. “The ambulance is here, so I’ll be able to handle the rest,” I thought too optimistically, and of course, in this place called Italy, I was clearly a “foreigner”. We must not forget that it is.
The paramedics were taking notes on a medical questionnaire-like form, and even though I was in a daze, I could understand that this tense, tense air was filling the room. I waited for the stretcher, hearing only the sound of running footsteps, but for some reason, there was no sign of them. Then one of the paramedics looked annoyed and said, “It’s just another Chinese girl with the flu, isn’t it? And he said to me “You need to walk to the ambulance by yourself. Come on, get up.” with a cold, impassive expression on his face. “Seriously?” Everyone around me felt the same way, but to be honest, I was in no mood for it, and with the help of the Italian landlord and a Japanese woman, I managed to get into the ambulance parked in front of the door. Then, just as I was about to collapse to the patient’s bed inside the car, the paramedic came over again and said, “Don’t lie down on this bed, you sit here in this chair and put your seat belt on, OK?” Even though we were in a different country, it was obvious that the ambulance was not to be used for the patient’s bed, even though it was a different country, it was a clear sign of harassment for anyone to sit in the attendant’s chair.
Then, in the tense atmosphere of urgency, I thought I could finally leave, and this time the other paramedic said, “Oh, I left my medical questionnaire in my room, and I’m going to get it.” He got off the ambulance and walked back to his room. Hurry up! I became increasingly frustrated with their fast pace and felt so sad with their every single casual word and action that I wanted to plunge into them.
When the paramedic who went to get the items he had left behind returned to the car and started it up, the paramedic in charge of driving the car smiled and sang “Japoneseeeeee♪” If I had any strength left in me at that time, I would have punched him in the face long ago, but of course I didn’t have the strength or energy to do so, and there was nothing I could do but endure the pain and anger with a frustrated expression on my face. To be honest, the Japanese woman accompanying me was more upset with the paramedics than I was, but she told me, “In Italy, ambulances are free, and many of the paramedics are volunteers. It’s very annoying, but if we complain and upset them, they might take us to the hospital or harass us worse than what we are doing now, so please hold on until we can find a hospital to take him safely. She said and held my hand. I hid my anger and waited quietly for them to find a hospital to take me to, and decided in my heart that I would never forgive them for their actions.
The story of the first time in my life I thought I was going to die in Milan, Italy (All Vol. 08)
Vol.07 Hospital Food Diary in Italy