Medical adventures (Part 3)

28 01 2009

So this morning I left for the medical center to see the orthopaedist. My appointment was for 8.00, to be sure I arrived there at 7.45 to an empty waiting area. The ladies at the reception told me to sit down and wait until the doctor would call me which I did. As we have lately been distributed a lot of reading material for classes I did not mind waiting a little.


"If he gets better, I'm right, if he dies, you're right." Greg House, M.D.

Time passed and the waiting area slowly filled up. Someone tried to enter the doctor’s room, found it locked and concluded that he had not arrived. At 8.30 finally he showed up – a 50-something gentleman looking not overly motivated, but not unfriendly. After a brief look at my feet and no questions except whether I had to stand a lot during work he concluded he had never seen feet like that (whatever that means!) and said he could not say anything more without an x-ray. So he gave me two more referral papers: one for the x-ray and one for to see him again after I would get the x-ray images.

To make appointments for those two occasions I had to go to some office on ground level that was linked to that same system as the pharmacy.  There I had to take a number (the supermarket system), wait for about 10 minutes and then got my appointments. I found out that I had to make another visit to that place between the two “official ones” to pick up my x-ray images. Why they can not send them to me or to the doc who is in the same house I do not know.

Institutions visited so far: 5

Thereof with tangible result: 4

Money spent: 18 Euro

Time invested (appr.): 2 hours

Days passed since first decision to go and see a doctor: 7


Medical adventures (Part 2)

28 01 2009

A quick update on the second episode: Having found out about two GPs (“medici generici”) in my neighborhood I went to the one closest to my place. Entering I saw one of the uglier waiting rooms I have ever seen, full with people, some standing. With some hesitation I advanced into the room next to it. To my surprise another waiting room (full, of course!) and no reception or anything of that kind! I asked a lady how that all worked, if one has to draw a waiting number (very popular in Italy – must-do if you ever want to be served fresh meat/cheese/sausages in a supermarket!). She said that no, there was no such thing and that I simply had to go after the last person that had entered the waiting area before me – another lady raised her hand. The perspective that I would have to wait my turn after approximately 40-50 people without even a seat or a perspective how long that could take made me decide to give the other GP a chance!

Famous doctors....

Famous doctors....

When I arrived at the second “studio medico” of my choice I was surprised to see on the sign on the door that the doctor actually was a dermatologist. But as he had told me on the phone that, yes, he was a general practitioner and I should come and he would examine me I decided to enter anyway. The place was quite old fashioned, a lot smaller, and the waiting “system” was the same, however only three people so I decided to sit and wait. After only about 10 minutes it was my turn and a very nice gentleman (Dr. Piergiovanni Rocchi, Tel. 051 523523) in his 50s led me into his examination room. After I had explained the problem he wrote me a referral to see an orthopaedist and asked me to return after that visit.

To get the appointment – and that was the interesting part – he sent me to a pharmacy. There they entered my data including Austrian (=European) insurance into their system and got me an appointment at a local “ambulatorio” that will take place today, actually – I guess I should try and go to sleep earlier! However, for this “ticket” as they call it I had to pay 18 Euro… let’s see if Austrian insurance will reimburse me, because there it should be free of charge.

Institutions visited so far: 3

Thereof with tangible result: 2

Money spent: 18 Euro

Time invested (appr.): 1 hour

Madonna! (di Campiglio)

25 01 2009

This weekend featured a quick 2-day trip to one of Italy’s most famous mountain resorts: Madonna di Campiglio. The Cimone winter sports crew (see post below) was reinforced by Jacopo another great practitioner of the sports executed on 1-2 boards over frozen water. Pictures to follow, because I forgot my camera in Bologna… 😦 Here is one shot taken from the Web:

Madonna mountain panorama

Madonna mountain panorama

We spent two days on the slopes and spent an overnight in a small village named Terzolas where stayed at a very nice B&B-plus-Osteria spending 30 Euro each on the overnight as well as on an excellent dinner. (Save this link somewhere should you plan to travel to Trentino / Val di Sole) in the near future.)

Medical adventures (Part 1)

22 01 2009

My recent fascination with long runs has made a medical problem surface – it seems my feet are not fit to endure such exercise, resulting in a non-serious but nevertheless somewhat constant pain in my left foot. So in order to get some insoles to put into my (running) shoes I need to see a doctor to give me a prescription – and here is where the fun starts.

That's Henri Dunant - Click for link to the red cross!

That's not my doctor, that's Henri Dunant - Click for link to the red cross!

In order to utilize my basic state health insurance I need to see a General Practitioner first, before seeing an orthopedic – if I went directly, I would have to pay myself. At least that is what the homepage of Bologna’s orthopedic clinic tells me.

So here I go, looking for a GP close to my apartment via the phone directory. Out of 6 medical studios that were labeled “medici generici” I managed to reach 4 – fair enough. First one tells me they are a “medico legale” – so they mainly work for insurances making expertises or so I understood. My italian skills become shaky on the phone. Then next one tells me, they are an aesthetic surgery practice. Ok, I do not want my feet to be more beautiful,  I can accept them the way they are.

So finally one gentleman and one lady finally say they are what they appear to be in the phone directory – the next chance to see one of them is monday….  [To be continued]

Skiing on Monte Cimone

16 01 2009

Today I went with my classmates Jelena and Rocco to the ski resort of Monte Cimone in the Appenines south of Modena. For me the first time to ski “outside” of the Alps. It was fantastic! Blue skies, enough natural snow and approximately 25cm of fresh powder to top it off… skiing on slopes does not get much better than this.

Snow and sun!

Snow and sun!

Click here to view my gallery on Picasa.

The bridge of the blonde (girl, of course)

11 01 2009

Yesterday I altered and enlarged my running route along Bologna’s “Canale Navile”.  I have been posting before on the inner city canals resembling Venice, so here is another bit of info on Bologna history driven by my deep fascination with water.

As Bologna itself is not located on a river there was a need to build waterways for several purposes, including power for the silk mills (Via delle Moline!) that were the foundation of Bologna’s wealth and importance. Another important matter was transportation of goods in and out of the city.  For this purpose the Canale Navile was built in the 13th century and it was used until the first half of the 20th century, connecting Bologna with Ferrara and ultimately even with Venice by waterway. To make it navigable even upstream, a set of locks was constructed. The first one on my running route is “Chiusa del Battiferro”. (The bolognese however call the locks “sostegni”)

Chiusa del Battiferro

Sources hint it might have been constructed originally by Leonardo da Vinci… well who knows! It divides the waterway in two parallel streams, leaving a middle strip of land that can be used by runners.

So as I kept running downstream between the two canals I reached for the first time the spot where they reunite. And there is the bridge of the blonde!

Ponte della bionda

Ponte della bionda

It is a 16th century stone bridge of the official name “ponte nuovo” that has been renovated in 2004 by a private initiative. The sign next to it explained, that the bridge derived its name from a blonde girl living nearby that – let’s say “inspired” – the navigators passing this spot on their way in and out of Bologna.

Researching for this post I stumbled upon a huge amount of links with background info, all in Italian, find some of them below. If you are interested in local dialect, check the “Links” section of the page – it’s amazing!

Cultural association of the bridge

History and some technical info on navigating the Canale Navile

Article on canals in general

Page with pictures of Canale Navile and the Sostegni

The connection between the canals and the silk production

Ice & Snow

7 01 2009

Restarting my Bologna life I took the opportunity of an almost empty fridge to de-ice it – and the result was a nice cover for my kitchen sink…


Ice in the kitchen...

Ice in the kitchen...

While this was going on inside, outside snow was falling from the sky.  So if you have been convinced so far that all of Italy except the alpine region has that ever-mediterranean mild climate: think again!

...snow on the streets

...snow on the streets