Crisis and swines

27 04 2009

Google Maps is trying to be helpful and is tracking the swine flu situation around the world. The picture below was taken Mon. April 27th, shortly before midnight. Click on the map for the link to Google.

Swine flu map

Swine flu map

Here is the link to WHO, the World Health Organization, and their special page on the swine flu. To my non-expert eyes that does not seem all that serious yet. However, maybe no farm holidays this year. And stay away from sneezing pigs, as a general prevention.


Medical adventures (Part 6, the end)

9 03 2009

Just to quickly finish this open-ended story: Ten days ago I went back to the shop (I just realized they have a homepage – click here!) to get my insoles, tried them on, they fit, paid the bill… all o.k.! Ever since I have bee using them in my shoes for everyday use but also for sports (I ran 5 + 8 km with them last week, no problems). So I guess that’s it.

Institutions visited so far: 10

Thereof with tangible result: 9

Money spent: 216,60 Euro

Time invested (appr.): 4.00 hours

Days passed since first decision to go and see a doctor: 29

A final comment on the statistics: 10 stops for a result I kind of previewed before the first stop is quite a number. On the other hand, I guess you always have to make sure there is no more serious condition behind any medical problem that might seem easy on first sight. 29 days is o.k. for a minor serious case, I could have speeded it up by not trying to fit the appointments into my quite busy university schedule. The reservation system CUP is actually quite efficient. What really sucked was finding a G.P. at the beginning. As for the money, I shall see if the Austrian med insurance is going to reimburse me for any of that – I am not very optimistic.

Medical adventures (Part 5)

25 02 2009

I am a bit behind on telling the latest developments on the medical issue. A week ago I went back to the Ambulatorio to get my x-rays and see the orthopaedist again. For all of you who follow ER, Dr. House, Scrubs etc…. here is your chance to state your personal diagnosis (simply comment on this post….)

Happy feet

Happy feet

The result of it all is much less spectacular than the process of getting it:

The doc said something with the geometry of the bones in my left foot is not o.k., but it is a genetic condition so no repair works needed / possible. He wrote me a prescription to get insoles and additionally some laser therapy in case I felt I needed that to make the pain go away faster (it is gone now anyway).  One day after that I went to an orthopedic shop, they computer-scanned my feet and are now preparing the insoles for me, which I can pick up in two days.

Institutions visited so far: 9

Thereof with tangible result: 8

Money spent: 86,60 Euro

Time invested (appr.): 3.30 hours

Days passed since first decision to go and see a doctor: 27

Medical adventures (Part 4)

5 02 2009

Just a quick post from the Thursday lunchbreak, after the Thursday morning x-ray. To begin with the overall impression: it was highly efficient! I arrived at 7.50 at the ambulatorio, with the appointment scheduled for 8.00. Shortly after me arrived a lady and her approximately 16 yr. old son. I guess with 16 you can still have your mother accompany you – at least if she is driving. The x-ray operator appeared to take our documents and one minute later called the guy in. Ok, technically I had been there first, but (a) maybe he had an earlier appointment date and (b) after all I am just a guest in this country.

Anyway, two minutes before 8.00 the guy appeared again in the door and the operator behind him called “Schneider!” into the waiting room which I thought was good enough, especially considering there was no one else in the room at the moment – except for the mum, that is. I went in, took off my shoes, sat down on the examining table, got my feet x-rayed, put the shoes on again and left. And also the lady informed me that I could pick up the result just on the day when I would return to see the orthopaedist again (not on a separate occasion, as suggested to me previously). To sum it up:

Institutions visited so far: 7

Thereof with tangible result: 6

Money spent: 66,60 Euro (beware that number!)

Time invested (appr.): 2.30 hours

Days passed since first decision to go and see a doctor: 14

(No additional doctor pictures today. Have to go back to the lecture starting in 5 min. – after that I’m off to Dimaro in Val di Sole. Report to follow on Sunday.)

Medical adventures (3 1/2) and beach fun

2 02 2009

On the weekend while re-reading the appointment documents for both the x-ray and the next visit with the orthopaedist I realized, that again I need to pay a participation for those visits. The lady who had made the reservation for me at the ambulatorio probably had assumed that I know that anyway…

Dr. No!

Another famous doctor: Dr. No!

So I went to my local pharmacy, explained the situation and got rid of another 48,60 Euro for the two appointments! So now I am really ready for the next stage – on Thursday morning the x-ray awaits me.

Institutions visited so far: 6

Thereof with tangible result: 5

Money spent: 66,60 Euro (beware that number!)

Time invested (appr.): 2.15 hours

Days passed since first decision to go and see a doctor: 12

To all readers out there: Thank You for your patience with my medical stories… I promise I will have some nice other things to report next weekend after our group excursion to Val di Sole.

However, many of you might be longing for hot temperatures, the sun, beach life and all the amenities combined with that. So I have two little gifts for you that I found while image-searching for Dr. No – the hidden-island-headquarters beach fun crew! 🙂

One for the boys....

One for the boys (Ursula Andress, Switzerland *1936)...

...and one for the girls, of course!

...and one for the girls, of course! (Sir Sean Connery, Scotland, * 1930 -nice hair!)

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