Where was I? Oh, right: the big guns, calling of.
I have to say, Dario is really not at his best in the early stages of a crisis. Later he always rises to the occasion and does an excellent job of doing whatever needs to be done, but he balks at taking the first steps. Mainly, I think, because that requires making a decision, committing to a certain direction. As a fellow Libra, I get that: decisions are hard. Various options may be appealing. We don't like to make mistakes.
However, when you can barely think straight because you are burning up on the outside and freezing cold on the inside, and can't stand (or even lie) straight because your back is aching and inflamed, you kind of need someone else to take control of the situation.
"Let's wait and see if you feel better in a little while," he suggested
"I think you should call the guardia medica," I offered hopefully.
He called his mother. Sometimes, he really is so Italian it makes me laugh.
His mother agreed with me and gave him the number to call, and from the bedroom I could hear him on the phone, explaining that my fever had suddenly shot up into the stratosphere, that I was shivering, that I didn't have any other cold or flu-type systems. He was silent for a moment, then I heard him say in a surprised voice, "Actually, yes. Well, her back. Pretty bad, since last night. Uh, okay then. Can you give me an idea of when?" Then he said good-bye and hung up.
The doctor on the other end was pretty sharp, it turned out, and asked whether by any chance I had a pain in my side. He immediately suspected what turned out to be the case, and what the more discerning among you will already have figured out: I had a monster of a kidney infection. He would be coming by at around 10 or 10:30 to confirm the diagnosis.
As soon as Dario told me we'd be getting a house call, I struggled out of
bed and grabbed the pile of clothes I had unceremoniously shed upon returning
home from our midday meal, and shuffled toward the spare room. Not to get
dressed (I figured a doctor has seen plenty of pyjama-clad patients), but
to put them in the hamper. Then I started for the kitchen to grab the broom
and a dustrag, to give the bedroom a quick going-over. We needed to straighten
up the house if we were going to have visitors.
Dario agreed with my premise, but vehemently disagreed with the execution. "What the hell do you think you're doing?" he asked. I explained patiently, although it seemed pretty obvious to me. In response, he picked me up and carried me back into the bedroom, dropping me rather unceremoniously on the mattress with only the slightest regard for my painful parts. "If I see you out of this bed again you're going to be in big trouble," he warned. "Why do you not get these sudden cleaning urges more often when you're not falling down sick?"
I pouted, but meekly stayed in bed as ordered.
Since Marisa had been alerted, she was unable to rest easy without seeing that I was not in actual peril of imminent death, and so she came over for the medical vigil. I really just wanted to try to sleep, but felt obliged to keep everyone entertained while we waited. Luckily, Dario and I have many years of practice at amusing bickering, and the situation was particularly well suited, so it wasn't very hard.
Around 11 the guardia medica doctor finally showed up, confirmed his suspicion, and wrote me a couple of prescriptions for heavy-duty antibiotics. However, I was to call my own doctor the next morning, so that he could perform a more thorough examination and change the prescriptions as he saw fit. Dario went in search of an all-night pharmacy, and returned bearing chemicals.
When he came around the next morning, my own doctor berated me for not coming to him immediately with my UTI. He asked a bunch of questions and pushed and prodded and almost made me cry from the beating, but in the end he confirmed that I was indeed suffering from acute pyelonephritis.
Normally, the first step would be to take urine and blood tests to aid in diagnosis. But we didn't have time for that, both because the infection was already too far along and because we were working under a strict deadline (foreshadowing for future entries!). So my doctor, who is the fearless sort, prescribed the equivalent of the hydrogen bomb as treatment: Cipro twice a day, and a four-day course of antibiotics shots, also twice a day. "I want to give you the heaviest possible dose that won't, you know, actually kill you," he said cheerfully.
And so that's what we did, and a couple of days later I was doing a little bit of work (the legal translation had thankfully been farmed out to someone else), and my fever went down (although it took about 10 days to disappear entirely), and I finally got around to getting those blood and urine tests done, but by the time the results were back I had left the country.
Which is what I'll be telling you about tomorrow.