October 23: One of our least enjoyable experiences in Rome was taking Annick to Binbim Gesu (Rome's Children's Hospital).
After a happy lunch at San Marco; our local pizzeria in Prati, we returned home and within 10 mins of our arrival, Annick had run across the room, slipped and split her chin on the steel edge of her bed. It was immediately apparent that she required stitches: the gash was 3cm long and very very deep.
After a frantic 30 min wait for the first taxi we called, we called a second which arrived in a couple of minutes and Chiara and I accompanied a very pale Annick to the hospital. After registering her, we waited....Chiara sang nursery ryhmes to her and read her stories and very quickly we were ushered into the surgery where no less than 4 doctors inspected her and discussed in flat out Italian what was going to happen next.
Antiseptic, anaesthetic cream was applied and we were sent back out to the waiting room.
Another 40 mins later and we were summoned back into the surgery.
Same 4 doctors: 2 to hold her down, one to stitch her up and one to keep me calm. And another for good measure came in to chat to one of the doctors sitting on her.
The kindly doctor allocated to me asked me where we were from and suggested a little 'musica sympatica' to lighten the mood. He crossed to the computer in the room and put on 'God Save the Queen' at top volume.
It did make me smile.
Watching poor, brave Annick get her stitches was incredibly upsetting. She was certainly feeling them and she had at least 6. Having to comprehend and communicate in Italian in such a situation added a further layer of stress and angst.
Here is Annick after her ordeal with her obligatory helium balloon reward.
The public health system in Italy served us well. The doctors were wonderful, quick and very considerate; especially of me and my poor Italian. And it cost nothing. Further more, the bandages are now off and Annick has nothing but a very fine, neat line which I can see will disappear with time.