What I am about to tell is true, it is all true, it is very true. Wednesday night I wake up in severe pain in the lower abdomen. I repeat to myself that they will pass in the course of the night, that I can resist, and instead they get worse hour after hour. Thursday at 16.00 I decide to call 118, I overcome my fears, any possible resistance not to go to the hospital.
The pain exhausts me, bends me in two. The ambulance arrives quickly, takes me to the nearest emergency room. Very fast gynecological visit and, thanks to the negative results of the exams, they send me for a new examination in surgery. I stop in the triage, I wait, seven, eight, nine, nothing, no visit.
I still wait, I try to calm down even if the pains are terrible and the fever is increasing.
Some nurses arrive, one of them says to me hard-nosed: “wait for the surgeon?” And I, breathing a sigh of relief, reply: “yes yes, for several hours.” And the man: “there are severe covid patients, must go out. The surgeon will see you in 4/5 hours. ” At that point I feel faint, my strength is at the end. I reply that I am worse off, that I urgently need the surgical visit. They make me understand that I am not welcome, and that it is time to walk away.
I call a taxi, run to the pharmacy. I buy an antispasmodic, I repeat to myself that I will survive the nightmare night. I go home desperate. Neither painkillers nor antispasmodics relieve pain. He spends the night, at 17.00 in the afternoon I run to another emergency room, hoping to be visited. Back in the taxi, I get off, I go to the reception. I am in tears, upset by the pangs, from the days of fasting and lack of appetite.
I tell the nurse about the accident in the emergency room, I ask her to help me, I’m not standing. I can not resist. He replies that there is a long wait. In a whisper, I explain to her that my head is not broken, that my blood is not on the ground, but that the situation is just as serious, I need immediate care. I sweat, I stagger, I feel dizzy. The pains in the lower abdomen are unbearable. I describe my suffering to the woman: “the sensation is of a blade cutting my abdomen.” Shrug your shoulders. He points me to the waiting room.
I sit down, observe the people around, all perfectly spaced due to the anti covid rules. I take a look at the monitor. I’m 1094, first on the surgery list. Next to the number the access time is 5:35 pm. A girl says it is waiting for a cardiologist from eight in the morning. I see some neighbors in the same room, they too say they have been there since eight. Their stories discourage me.
It’s nine in the evening, I am still patient number 1094, the first and only one on the surgical visit list. The pain in my abdomen is unbearable and the strong air conditioning makes me sneeze constantly. I think to myself ‘other than first aid, it’s a long long aid, if it comes.’
I go to the nurse, I tell her that I am getting worse, she replies “missing a little.” After ten o’clock, and after threatened the nurses to call the police, ‘magically’ I find myself in the surgery with the surgeon. I am exhausted, I hold in my thoughts the stories of the very long waits of the young and the elderly. I think back to the words that, before entering, the nurse had told me “if you were dying you would have been treated immediately, the emergency room works like this, and that’s right, isn’t it?” It seems absurd to me, I feel weak, but at the same time very lucid.
I am lying on the examination table. I look at the doctor, I wonder where he came from. I confuse suffering with despair. I do not trust. Now I would like to escape from the hospital.
The doctor visits me … temperature, pressure, blood tests, CT scan. I have inflammation in place, he and the nurse talk about appendicitis, they tell me to stay there at night, soon they will give me opiates and five hundred milligrams of antibiotic. They talk about one possible operation for appendicitis.
I explain that I have been fasting for days, that I am exhausted, that I have had a fever. I can’t do it. I reassure them that I will come back the next day to continue the medical process, but that now I have to go home, that I will take the antibiotic after having eaten something. They leave me free to go with the sheet of the “suspected” appendicitis, unsafe diagnosis. I go out, I call a taxi. Before getting into the car, the emergency room security guard approaches, whispers “blonde blonde lucky who you … ” He really said it. I am speechless, breathless. I flee the emergency room by taxi.