The Unoccupied Bed
I was worried about my future because I hit a paramedic so badly, but fortunately, a hospital in Milan would take me to the hospital, so the ambulance with me was rushed to the hospital. Although it is sometimes heard in Japan, unfortunately, in Italy too, hospitals are often used as a detour for emergency transport, and many people die there. I was very lucky that I was able to find a hospital that could accept me relatively quickly.
As soon as we arrived at the hospital, the demon paramedic put a stop to me by saying, “Get off and walk on your own.” The Italian landlord thoughtfully borrowed a wheelchair for me, and I immediately sat down to find a more comfortable position to ease the pain, but the wheelchair creaked and creaked as if it was about to break down, and for some reason, the chair was as narrow as an LCC seat, and I had to sit on my buttocks to get out of it. I had to tuck in and straighten my back unnaturally and correct my posture.
Then, when I went to the receptionist, first of all, they measured my pulse and heart rate, checked my oxygen level with my fingertips, and gave me a simple blood test. I don’t know about the Japanese emergency room system, but in Italy, depending on the results of the simple test at the reception desk, the severity of the condition was judged as A, B, or C, and the patient was ranked in order of examination. Even though I was in such a painful condition, I was given a grade of B in each test because they thought my condition was not that bad, and they asked me to wait in the hallway until my name was called.
I had to sit in the wheelchair and wait to be called into the examination room like the other patients, but this wait alone was making my condition worse and worse. The pain in my abdomen grew so intense and painful that I couldn’t even sit in the wheelchair anymore, so I couldn’t even sit up straight any longer, so I gradually slumped forward, holding my stomach and asking a nurse passing through the corridor to get out of the way, “I’ll get out of someone else’s way, please. Let me lie down in the hallway,” I asked, pointing to the not-so-clean hallway floor. It is typical of Japanese people that they would go so far as to say, “Don’t disturb other people,” but the nurse said to me in such a state, “No, you can’t. It’s not safe to sit down!” She grabbed me by the scruff of the neck as if treating a thieving cat with a stopper and forced me to bend forward.
Then an old male doctor happened to pass in front of me, he noticed my unusual condition and immediately pulled my lower eyelid down to see the color of my eyes. Then he suddenly got upset and asked the nurses around him, “Why didn’t you put her first! Hurry up and get him to the back bed!” I was finally able to lie down on the bed. When I called an ambulance, I was forced to walk on a stretcher instead of carrying him to the hospital, I was banned from using the bed in the ambulance and forced to sit in a chair, and even when I arrived at the hospital, I was forced to sit in a wheelchair, which was a constant torture for me. In no time at all, the IV was administered, and I was admitted to the hospital for tests that day for the time being.
Italian teaching “Don’t Expect Anything”
I thanked the people who accompanied me to the hospital overnight, and they left after saying, “I’ll come back tomorrow. To be honest, I felt a bit anxious about being hospitalized alone in a foreign hospital, but I thought my situation was getting better just by being able to come here and lie down safely, rather than continue to endure unexplained pains in my bed at home that I didn’t know if I could recover from.
Then a nurse came to my room pushing a wheelchair and told me to sit in the chair while she said something to me in Italian. Not really understanding the situation, I sat in the wheelchair and left the room with all my stuff on the bed. I was able to lie down for a short time and the IV may have helped, but my consciousness, which had been hazy and all I could do was look at the ceiling, came back to me and I was led to the hospital, which was very large and had a very complicated maze-like structure with no clear destination.
Finally, it was in the x-ray room where the wheelchair was stopped. The nurse left, telling me to wait until my name was called again, and I was alone again in front of the dimly lit x-ray room. It was frighteningly quiet in the hospital, the green lights for the emergency exits jingling, and I just waited like a loyal dog bee for someone to come and call me.
About an hour and a half later, my name was finally called and I was ushered into the x-ray room. Unlike the quiet, dimly lit corridor I had seen earlier, the inside of the x-ray room was brightly lit and my x-ray technician was a woman with a very nice smile. This time she was going to take X-rays of the chest and abdomen, etc., so I lay on my back on the big hard bed for X-rays, and she confirmed it and moved to the next room, which was glass-walled.
Then the shooting started, and as I was looking at her and waiting for some kind of instruction, she was shouting something out loud to me, signaling me to do something, which again, to my horror, made no sense at all. She continues, “Respirooooooo! Trattengaaaaaa!” and waving her hand in my direction while shouting. And the harder she tried, the more I felt sorry for her, which I couldn’t understand in the slightest, so I tilted my eyebrows in a figure-eight motion. When she saw my expression, which was so obvious, she didn’t get angry, but instead laughed hysterically, and the gesture game began in the x-ray room, this time using gestures in response to what she had just said.
As those of you who have taken X-rays in Japan will already know, when taking X-rays of the chest and abdomen, there is a special breathing technique that is used to make the area you want to examine larger, and she has been telling me for a while now, “Breathe in, stop it! She was desperately trying to convey to me, who could not understand any Italian, a breathing signal so simple that even a kindergartner could understand it. The moment I could finally understand her words, I said, “I see, I see!!” She saw my face, which was so refreshed with joy that she involuntarily rolled her eyes and made the OK sign with her finger with her best smile and showed me.
Thus, after the x-rays were safely taken, I was wheeled back into the wheelchair and taken to an inpatient room that was different from the emergency room bed I had been in earlier. I remembered that I had left all my belongings in the same place I had just left them, and I turned pale at once, not knowing that I would be able to return to the same bed as before. The nurse said, “Don’t worry, it’s okay! Because we’ll move your stuff!” Although they cheerfully say, the Latino “fine” that comes out of such situations abroad is not at all reliable, and usually not fine at all.
Eventually, they brought my bag with my wallet, cell phone, and other valuables as promised, but I couldn’t find my favorite stole, as it was the cold winter months of January, and I had brought a large white 100% cashmere stole with me to use on the bed I was just in. But for some reason, that was the only thing that was missing. I could have given up on a cheap blanket, but it was a luxury cashmere stole that cost about 100,000 yen, so I couldn’t give it up so easily, and I couldn’t believe that he was an invalid, as I suddenly changed my expression of blood and said, “I’ve got a white stole in the room I just left, bring it to me, please! It’s very important to me!” And frantically told the nurse. She said, “Oh my God! Okay, I’ll check it again later!” She left the room with a smile on her face, but eventually, the next day, she simply said, “I’ve been looking for a white stole since then, but I couldn’t find a white one.” It was obvious that the crime was committed by someone in the hospital, but at the same time, I realized that, unlike Japan, it is basically common sense in other countries that “what you lose, you don’t find out”.
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