Thursday 28th April.
A little tale of the Greek health service.
I think I mentioned that Phil tripped on the ferry six days ago and took quite a fall. Two days ago she complained of pains in her back and ribs and at first thought it was indigestion or maybe a problem with her gallbladder. Yesterday the pain was so bad that we decided she needed to see a doctor so I asked the owner of the campsite, Spiros, if there was a doctor in the nearest village. His wife phoned and discovered that the doctor didn't have a surgery yesterday but Spiros said he was going through to Pylos, the nearest large town and he would drop us off at the health clinic and pick us up an hour or so later.
We arrived at the health centre and within five minutes Phil had been examined by two doctors who both thought that she had either bruised, cracked or broken a rib in her fall and the fact that it wasn't too painful at the time meant that in the last day or so she had moved in a way to aggravate the injury. But the doctors were concerned that the lung may have been bruised and they were concerned about an infection. An X-ray was needed but unfortunately the machines had been removed from their clinic due to cuts and we would have to drive to the hospital at Kalamata, 60kms away over the mountains. They apologised for the lack of equipment, gave Phil an injection for the pain and me directions to the hospital.
Spiros picked us up and brought us back to the campsite, we got the van ready for travel and set off. An hour or so later arrived at the hospital and the security guy told us where to park the van (no parking meters or charges). We presented ourselves to reception and after a while were shown to the emergency ward. We had notes from the clinic but the doctors asked the details again and then sent us off to the radiology department. The radiologist asked Phil where she was from "England" she replied. "And what is your name?" She told him - "Aah, that's a Greek name" he said. Whilst taking the X-rays he asked if Phil would be back in the UK in time to vote on the Euro referendum. She replied that she hoped she would. "And how will you be voting Madam?" Phil replied that she would probably vote to remain in the European Union. "A big mistake Madam, you will just be voting for big business and the banks. The EU is no good for us." Five minutes later we had the X-rays and the radiologist told us to take them back to the doctors and as we left - "Don't forget Madam, vote wisely and feel well soon."
Back to the doctors. The orthopaedic doctor told me show them to the surgeon. The surgeon looked at them, informed us that Phil had a broken rib and said the orthopaedician would deal with us. The orthopaedic doctor looked at the X-rays and said he couldn't see any broken ribs! ( I had a look too but couldn't see anything but ribs which all seemed to be in the right place!) Anyway, broken, cracked or bruised it's all the same. Pain and discomfort for a month or so and paracetamol and some heavy duty pain killers prescribed. I asked the doctor if Phil would be OK for a bit of light housework but the joke didn't really translate and it wasn't so funny when I had to explain it!
At every stage at both the clinic and the hospital we were dealt with kindly, professionally and efficiently although the surgeon's bedside manner could be improved although in his defence he did look a bit frazzled. Having said that we don't know the last time these folk were paid and how many cuts to the service they have had to endure recently. We were charged for nothing but the medicine.
So Phil is struggling a bit at the moment and in quite a lot of pain so we'll stay here now for a few days until she feels a bit better. I'm holding up well under all the additional workload, strain and worry. Went for a paddle today to take my mind off things. Mind, the sea was a bit cold!