I’m in a phenomenally bad mood today. Likely, this is due to the fact that I’ve been stuck in this stupid hospital for almost a week now. You want to know what the biggest difference between a hospital in Italy and a hospital in Texas is? Everyone here is polite. And you have to be polite back. The entire day is punctuated with Hi, how are yous, you have a good day nows, cheery alrights and thank yous.
You’re constantly greeting people, and smiling at people, and no, no go on aheading at people. Yesterday, during the attending’s visit she was saying how the infection that the husband has is very severe, that it could lead to a rupture in the gut, which is why they’re keeping him under such strict control, that he does have a little GVHD but it’s just a level 1 out of 4, so not worrisome at all, and one of the fellows, I swear to God, clapped her hands excitedly and said Yaaaaay! Seriously, stop being so flippin’ cheery.
In Italy, everyone is much less polite. You don’t aknowledge people in the elevator, you pretend you’re in there alone. Despite the fact that most of the time you’re packed in like sardines. The doctors and the nurses don’t give a shit how you’re doing, unless you’re the patient and are answering specific questions. And no one, no one, would ever get excited about a diagnosis or prognosis or whatever. I used to hate that about Italy. Everybody’s so grumpy. But this morning I kind of get it, I’m tired, I’ve got cabin fever from being stuck in this room for so long, I’m running out of ways to entertain the husband, and I really, really, miss my kids, so I kind of resent having to expend even the minimal energy required to enquire about the nurse’s well being today. I don’t care. Just leave me alone and let me sulk in peace.
Unfortunately, I grew up here, and apparently it is physically impossible for me to enter an elevator, or get in line, or walk into a waiting room, and refrain from asking everyone around me how they’re doing and talking about the weather. It’s a little like having Tourette’s, I imagine, but without the satisfaction of pissing off everyone around me.
It has finally stopped raining, the sun is out and instead of lifting my mood it’s actually made it worse cause now I really want to be outside! So just call me Grumpy today, and when I ask how everything’s going, keep your answers short and to the point, cause I don’t really want to know. Harrumph!