Since we have been in Italy, neither of us has had cause to use the medical system. Until today. For the last week while we have been in the UK I have been struggling with upper abdomen pain. It progressively worsened until the night before we left the UK, when it was so excruciating that Stu took me to hospital at 2am. The doctor there suspected that it might be gallstones and gave me strong painkillers (codeine) to allow me to get back to Italy. This morning at home I woke in pain far too early so we were the first people in the doctor's surgery. Before we left home, I had consulted the Italian-English dictionary and translated every symptom that I had (dolore, spasmo, intenso) as well as several symptoms that I didn't have (vomito, nausea, diarrea, stitichezza). I even looked up gallstones (calcoli biliari). Try to imagine speaking a foreign language to a doctor when you're in incredible pain and you will get a feel for how it was. I described my symptoms and explained what had happened in the UK and showed him the painkillers that I had been given. He told me to stop the codeine immediately because it is addictive and wrote prescriptions for different painkillers, a referral for a blood/urine test and another referral for an "eco". We drove to the closest hospital to make an appointment for the "eco" where I was given instructions on how to prepare for the test including fasting and taking a gas pill for two days before. I was feeling hopeful until they told me that the soonest possible date that they could do it would be 28th May! Twenty whole days in excruciating pain!!!??? I am not sure if I can make it that long but I am trying his medication and seeing how I go. There is always Emergency...
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