Once in Rome, I stayed at The Beehive‘s offsite facility, the Clover. It is close to Termini station. Before finding The Beehive to check in, I bought a SIM card at the Vodafone store in the Termini Station. It was evening by the time I put the luggage in my 5th floor room.
I was excited and although I was tired from lasck of sleep, I decided to walk down the 5 flights of stairs and find some dinner. I slipped on the bottom step and I twisted my ankle. The Beehive was helpful with phone numbers for a service that made housecalls and spoke English. However they said they could not do an x-ray that late on a Friday and I needed to go to the emergency room.
The Pronto Soccorso
I took a taxi to the Polyclinica. There I went into a waiting room full of people. You don’t go to a desk first and give your insurance cards. There were two offices where people were going in but I had no idea if those were the doctors or how you knew it was your turn. You just had to know who was ahead of you. One man who was there either with his wife, his daughter or his girlfriend took over and pointed to people when it was their turn. Finally it was my turn. In the office the clerks asked for my address, so I gave them my driver’s license. They never asked for insurance cards. Then I was given a paper with my four digit number on it and told to go to another waiting room. After a shorter wait, a nurse rattled of a list of numbers and directed people to wait in the hallway. I understand numbers, but not that quickly, so I ran after her to ask if my number was called. It was and I joined those in the hall.
Finally, I was called in to see the doctor who could speak English, to my relief. A nurse was there also, but no one ever took my temperature or my blood pressure as they would routinely do in America. The doctor poked and prodded my ankle and then directed me to wait in the hall again for an x-ray. The x-ray technician could not speak English and spoke very quickly. Another man kept poking his head in and they joked with each other. This second man continued to open the door and share another joke even when the x-ray was taking place. Then I went back to the hallway to wait. Fortunately, my ankle was not broken, non è rotto. The nurse wrapped it tightly and I was told to keep the bandage on and use a cane for a week. I asked if I would be able to hike and the doctor said yes. I did not tell him how far I planned to hike, but I did have one of my trekking poles with me. I returned to my hotel at midnight.