Stupid soccer! This is what comes out of my son's mouth every time he remembers his accident! On Wednesday afternoon, Nicolas went to his soccer practice as usual. It had been raining earlier in the afternoon, so the field was wet and cold (quite normal most of the time!). I left him at practice and my friend Pien brought him home. Well, he was limping and complaining that his foot hurted. I carried him a flight of stairs - just like when he was a baby! (Moms can be really strong when their young are under distress!) I looked at his ankle, and sure enough it was swollen and discolored. Nick said that he was trying to stop the ball, and he step on it; it slid from under his foot, and his whole weight rested on his ankle! Ouch!
I did what you are suppose to do (RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) in addition to some pain medicine. Thursday morning Nico could barely walk, and his foot was still swollen. There is always a first time when you are in a foreign country, and you need a doctor, and you do not even know how the whole system works, and on top of it all you do not even speak the language! Well Thursday was our day to try the Italian health system!
The first thing I did was to call my friend Lisa, who is a recent expat (2 years) and who has 3 children. She knew of an English speaking doctor right in my town! We called him and he gave us an appointment at 10:00 am (he, himself, personally, no receptionist, no waiting list, no delays!). Fernando decided to work from home, and he told me to go ahead and go to my Italian class.
While I was learning all kinds of prepositions and their possible use, the doctor told Fernando to take Nicolas to the hospital in Varese because he suspected a fracture. He DID NOT CHARGE him for the consultation and sent him on his way.
Fernando tells me that he went to the hospital and a "guardian angel" appeared to make things easier for him. He was an English-Italian speaking man that guided them through the confusion when they arrived at the wrong hospital. When they finally made it to the right hospital, Fernando showed them the Cigna International coverage card, and he gave them our address and phone number, and with this he was helped. A doctor ordered some x-rays and found no fracture. He then wrapped the foot with this special gauze that hardens over time, he recommended rest, ice, and another visit to a doctor in 7 days. There was no charge again, and the whole experience lasted over two hours; just in time for mom to show her face after class.
Nicolas can barely walk, and he is in a little bit of pain, but all things considered he is OK. So you might ask why the "stupid soccer" comment. Well... we have planned a belayed birthday party and sleepover for Nicolas and his new friends. (You might remember that he had to celebrate, with the few people we knew back in September). The invitations had been sent, the logistics had been covered, the menu had been chosen, and we were ready for a fantastic Friday. We had to cancel our celebration due to injury! I also have to join the chorus and say: "stupid soccer", because this coming week is the first week-long break at school, and we had planned a trip to Rome and Tuscany, and yes, we cancelled it! No point on taking a boy to Rome and have him drag his leg all over town. It could be painful.