We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A sunny day

Ever have a day when things just didn't go as you planned?  Well, today was one of those for me.  From the minute I left the apartment, nothing went right. I probably should have stayed in bed. 

If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you might remember that I had knee replacement surgery a few years back. For the last few months my other knee has been giving me all the signs that it too is ready for some modern technology. I knew I couldn't put off seeing my orthopedic surgeon any longer, so the other day I visited my regular doctor to request a referral.  At the same time she wrote a prescription for an x-ray, as I will need to take a current x-ray with me to the surgeon.  

This morning I got up early in order to be one of the first at the office for the x-rays.  I intended to have this done at Giustinian,  the medical facility over in Dorsoduro.  However, when I got to the vaporetto stop I had just missed the 5.2 boat going to the Zattere, the closest stop to Giustinian.  If they weren't doing construction on the Sant'Elena vaporetto stop, I would have been there in time. Instead, I had to walk up the fondamenta a bit farther, which took me a few more minutes. End result =missed boat. Knowing I'd have to wait another 30 minutes for the next boat  (thanks to the newly reduced winter boat schedule effective September 15), I switched gears, ran over to the other boat dock and waited for the 4.1 boat headed towards Fondamenta Nove, planning instead to get the x-ray done at Ospedale Civile. 

Once at Ospedale, I had to navigate the giant maze called our hospital to find the Radiology department.  Inside  that building, I waited my turn at the in-take clerk, only to be told I needed to make an appointment to have the x-ray.  I racked my brain, but for the life of me I did not recall ever having to make an appointment for  x-rays. I thought for sure I just took the prescription in with me.  I'd only had x-rays at either Giustinian or Fatebenefratelli, and the last time was 3 years ago, so perhaps they'd changed procedures since then.  This is Italy, and I'm learning I need to just go with the flow. I'll never understand how anything operates in this country. 

Nothing is ever easy. I then had to get myself back into the maze, wander around a bit, and luckily located the right office for appointments.They have been doing a lot of renovation at Ospedale ( a good thing) which means it will be even more confusing that it normally would be.   On one hand, this was good because I needed to make an appointment for the surgeon anyway. Good, I'll kill two birds. But on the other hand... not so good. When it was my turn, the girl behind the desk making appointments laughed in my face when I asked if it was possible to get the x-ray done today. No, three months from now, she tells me. I should have expected nothing less, seeing how my morning was going. 

With some magic, she managed to find an appointment for me with an orthopedic surgeon on October 7. That's promising. The appointment is somewhere on the Lido, and I have no clue where that hospital building is, but who cares. I'll deal with that fiasco on October 7.  I tell her to book it.  With that done, she managed to find an appointment for an x-ray on September 29, at Giustinian.  Wonderful. Thank you. At least I'll be able to have the x-ray to take with me when I go to the surgeon, otherwise his visit would be for naught. 

Not happy that I wasn't successful getting the x-ray as I had planned, but thankful that I at least had made some sort of  progress, I exited the Ospedale building into one of Venice's most beautiful campos,  San Giovanni e Paolo.  The campo is empty, the caffe's are just getting awnings out, and it's sunny. I decided I've earned myself a little treat, so I stopped for tea in the campo. 

There was only one other table occupied at Bar Colleoni when I sat down. Wouldn't you know it? It's a gorgeous day and I don't have my camera.  The photo above is mine, from some previous day of wandering.  Sitting with this marvelous statue in front of me, relaxing with a cup of tea is a pretty good way to spend my morning. I took out my notebook and started to write. I wrote the blog I intended to post today. A blog about yesterday's adventures.

I dragged my tea break out for well over an hour, just enjoying the sun and my surroundings.  Instead of heading to the closest vaporetto stop, I chose to walk most of the way home. I meandered my way from Campo San Giovanni e Paolo back to San Zaccaria. Along the way I popped into New Zealand's Architectural Biennale exhibition, where I had the best time meeting and chatting with  the two women running the exhibition. We've made plans to meet again in a few days.

Sunshine. Tea. New friends. Not such a bad day after all.

And that blog I worked on?  Saving that for tomorrow.

How did your day turn out? 


Rob C said...

Jealous , Moi??

I spent 4 hrs with the Anti-Fraud unit, as a witness, not a suspect, then spent the rest of the day preparing evidence packs ��

I would have swapped in a heartbeat, well done with the appointments, another small victory eh!

Anonymous said...

Compared to you and Rob, I consider I have a dull, colourless life!

For you, all's well that ends well.

Have you seen the new Australian pavilion yet? I wonder what it will be like.

karen said...

Rob- good grief, your day scared me! Nope, not trading with you!!!!! Here's to a much better day for you today!

Don't forget to let me know your travel plans for December!
Hugs to Natalie for me also.

karen said...


You hardly have a dull colorless life (note my American spelling of colorless compared to yours :) )!!

I'm learning - slowly- to take these setbacks in stride. When I think I'm prepared to tackle them (Italians), they continue to throw monkey wrenches at me.

Have not seen the Australian pavillion. Will try to check it out soon. I am not a huge Biennale fan, even when I put my best foot forward and make valient efforts to understand the art there, it swamps me. And I live with an abstract artist! Sadly architecture is pretty much the same for me. Happily, the New Zealand exhibit kept me interested. Lucky for them, huh?


Venetian Cat - Venice Blog said...

Ah, yes. The labyrinth of the Italian health care system; I know it well. Once you figure it out, the care is really excellent. I think the only way you could have gotten an x-ray immediately in the past would have been if you went to the emergency room because you broke something. Otherwise, it's always been that you need to make an appointment -- you actually got one rather quickly. Also, don't forget to figure in that after you have the x-ray taken, you will have to go back to Giustinian a few days later to pick it up after a doctor has written the diagnosis, and THEN try to figure out the Lido (I can't help you there; I've never been.)

And the new Australian pavilion is not ready yet. Instead they have put together a totally cool virtual exhibition called "Augmented Australia." There are 23 life-size 3D projects hovering around Venice that you can see with your smartphone if you download their app -- e.g., there is a virtual building right in Piazza San Marco that thousands of people walk through every day and don't even know that it's there. You can download the app from their website here:



Anonymous said...

thanks for mentioning the s.elena stop is under construction. that will be my home stop when i come visit in january. i hope it is fixed by then.

karen said...

IrishItinerary- No worries! The Sant'Elena vaporetto stop work is finished, everything is back to normal.

Coffee when you are here? You know San't Elena is where I am !

Larry said...

It might be a bit of "working around the system," but sometimes, the ER is the place to go. I just came back from a month in Venice and did a lot of paddling while I was there. I developed a lot of soreness in my wrist. I knew it wasn't broken, it was tendonitis. I did't need anything stronger than over the counter pain medication. I just wanted a brace. I went to Oespedale at about 6PM. The wait to see the ER doctor from the time I walked in was about 20 minutes.

He ordered an X-ray of the wrist. I told him I didn't want one. He said the orthopedist wouldn't see me without it, so he sent me outside, around to another building, where I waited for about ten minutes and had the X-ray done, then went back to the ER. The ER nurse called the orthopedist, who arrived about 10 minutes later and said, "your wrist is not broken, you have tendonitis." I said, "I said, I know, can you order a brace for me?" He said, "sure," and gave me the prescription. The nurse then said, "go to that kiosk over there and check out. I did, and since it was all emergency care, it was free.

The next day I went to sanataria down the street from Oespedale, and picked up the brace.

It isn't correct that the only way you can go to an ER and get an X-ray right away is because you broke something. If you complain of pain in a bone the only way the doctor will know if you broke something is to get an X-ray. Since missing a fracture is a very bad thing they will always order one.