Public hospital visits are free but sometimes they can take time and sometimes you have to go private
K had a problem with an aching hand and arm from shoulder to palm. First step was a visit to a neurosurgeon at Tripoli hospital. Now that's one hospital we haven't been to . I'm familiar with most of them around here and now Tripoli is on the list.
Neurosurgeons don't turn up at every corner so we were lucky to find this one at a hospital only 2 hours drive away. Never been into Tripoli before. It's a city up near the mountains and there's a big army base here too. The GPS actually worked for us this time and we found the hospital quite easily.
We only had an hour wait. The surgeon was friendly, answered questions and told us what the next step would be.
Next step, an appointment at a private neurologist for an electromyography. 40 euros. Reasonable. He has some nerve blockage called daktylo-something or rather. Daktylo means finger in greek. All caused by swinging a tennis racket or a hammer or in his case overuse of a screwdriver . This now entailed a trip to the Orthopedic surgeon.
A few phone calls and a few weeks later we trooped off to the hospital at Argos, one of the closer hospitals but very, very busy.
We did have an appointment but the usual wait here is 1-2 hours. On this day we had hardly arrived when his name was called. A 5 minute consultation and he was on the list for some minor surgery 3 days later.
An impressive record for a greek hospital. So far these rural hospitals have been fast and efficient.
What to do next on a cold wet winter's day when you're away from home
Eat roast pig of course
We found a new eating place. It serves pork by the kilo, fried potatoes, a feta cheese sauce and kilos of wine. There are a few tables to sit and eat but most people seemed to be buying a kilo or two and taking it away with them. We found a table for 2 alongside two other tables of chatty old men passing their time with pork and wine
Of course we ordered too much - so we took away a wee parcel of leftover pork
Great carcases of meat were in a warming case and the waiter got out his hatchet and swung it at the roast with every order. There was a constant loud banging from inside the shop
Three days later we were back at the hospital after a very eventful journey. It was raining table legs and we could hardly see through the deluge which poured over the windscreen. 7am we were on the car ferry. Visibility nil. K wound down the window to back on and the electric window-winder would not wind the window back up again.
Oh boy was that a disaster. You cannot drive for an hour with torrential rain pouring in through an open window. 4 lettered words were uttered. Maybe not uttered, but spat out with vehemence.
We had to reach the hospital. A piece of plastic was discovered in the boot, jammed over the door and window and we sailed along with flapping plastic. Flapping plastic at high speed makes a tremendous racket but I did not say a word. I hardly took a breath till we arrived on the outskirts of the city and found a car fixer place. Thank goodness. They couldn't repair the window-winder but did manage to get the window up. I took some deep breaths.
We got to the hospital in time and half an hour later, a tendon had been cut, a few stitches made, a bandage stuck on and it was all over. Almost.
Then began my 2 week Golgothas. Golgothas is the place where Christ was crucified and the Greeks use the word to describe hardships. You too (me too) must suffer your (my) Golgotha.
I cut his meat for him, broke his bread and filled his wine glass, ran errands and kept my mouth shut. The boy was 'suffering'.
I had to drive him everywhere. No trouble except for the comments
'You're driving too far to the right
Don't drive in the middle of the road
Don't give way to 'him', he's a wanker
You can get through, go, go before someone else does
The stitches were taken out at the health centre last Friday.
It's over now. More deep breaths