Monday, November 22, 2010

Meeting the Professor

Here's the thing about Genoa—it's hard to locate an address, especially if you walk from your hotel  for 'a bit of exercise and fresh air.' My advice is take a taxi unless you happen to be staying on Via Assarotti  where the Professor's office is located. 

My feet hurt because I have chosen to wear a pair of my new shoes. Not the wisest decision I’ve ever made. After asking 3 people, my sister, Shannon and I finally head in the correct direction. Fortuitously we stop at a sort of 7-11 and find the doctor’s office is just across the street. The street numbers are difficult to decipher. Some numbers are black and some are red. We are looking for Via Assarotti 46 black.  I’m telling you it was a miracle we found the office. After pressing the buzzer on Professor Campisi's name plate (why can’t you just walk in buildings?) we entered to find an iron cage elevator directly in front of us and a pharmacia on the right and an unmarked door on the left. So we just stood there and besides that we were tired. A women opened the door on the left.  'Dr. Campisi?' ‘Si.’   We thankfully followed her and waited no more than 15 minutes, which is a very enlightening 15 minutes. ‘Cured’ people come in with full-leg-bandages on and then the not so fortunate, people whose lymphatic disease has progressed. I’m glad I am taking control of my health.

Shan is my ‘health secretary’ and she takes her job very seriously. At first she said’ ‘I will just bring my knitting and sit outside in the waiting room. To which I replied, 'oh no you’re not, you are going to take notes with my computer and pay attention.’ It’s easy to say this when you are not only bossy but also the older sister. The doctor comes in and shakes hands. He speaks English fairly well, is fluent in French and of course Italian. It is good Shan is with me because I still have a few communication problems and she speaks both French and Italian.

Here the history of ‘fatty the leg’ unfolds as he reads the notes emailed from my vascular surgeon in the United States. ‘I will now visit you.’ I take this to mean the exam will begin and shed my boots (still uncomfortable) and my pants. I do this in front of everyone, as I don’t know where else to go. He leads me to a step stool,  and takes pictures of my legs with the macchina fotografica (camera) but not before he picks up all my clothes, and puts them into a previously unseen dressing room. Ok so that’s embarrassing. Next, I march over to your standard exam table where he does a lot of poking of my leg. ‘You have pitting, this is good, you are still at a stage where you will get the most benefit from surgery, you have IIa Lymphedema.' My previous doctor did not categorize my lymphedema and certainly did not recommend surgery. It's all rather daunting. Anyway, at some point, I started dithering which I'm liable to do, and that is when he became very emphatic and said 'surgery as soon as possible, ASAP.'

I left the office and promised I would call the following day. He has a very busy schedule and I realize he is making time for me because I happen to be in country and he is concerned. He is an easy man to like and I feel very comfortable with him.



No comments: