We’re coming home!

Oct 14

We’re coming home!

Ok. Sooo, here’s the deal. Amanda got some kind of sinus infection and then pneumonia. She was admitted to a private hospital and we had to stay for 3 nights. While in the hospital, I got sick (although hopefully it’s just a flu – the doc gave me antibiotics just in case). Our bodies are telling us we need to take a break for a while. We’re going home.

We just booked a flight home on Friday from Rome to Sacramento.

Next time we travel, we’re either going for a shorter amount of time (2-3 weeks, with most of the trip planned out) or a longer amount of time (months) but in one place. I think we’ll make a post later on about our overall experiences on this trip.

For the detailed story about the hospital, read on.

Amanda got a sore throat our last day in Cinque Terre. The next day, her nasal passages “exploded” (her words) and she had a huge sinus pressure headache and a mild fever. She started taking the Cold & Flu pills we brought with us but it wasn’t doing much. Tuesday she woke up feeling even worse so we went to a tourist section of a nearby hospital. We assumed that because it had tourist in the name that at least someone would speak English. No such luck.

As she started explaining her symptoms, the doc stopped her and had her walk into the office and type into Google Translate. Sweet.

This experience was not a good one. Because the doc didn’t speak English, we don’t think he understood what was going on and couldn’t explain why he prescribed Amanda antibiotics. She started taking them anyway and the next day it was hard for her to breathe and she started wheezing. Things were starting to get serious.

We called a 24/7 nurse hotline from her insurance back home and they recommended her go to a hospital because she was having trouble breathing and her history of asthma. Great. Two times already we had been to hospitals in Italy and both times we had horrible experiences. We were not excited to go to another hospital.

We hopped in a taxi and headed to the private hospital the nurse line recommended. It turns out they don’t have an emergency section. What? How does that work? We waited for quite some time before they were able to schedule an appointment with a doc. He did a quick examination and determined she probably has pneumonia and he recommended she be admitted to the hospital for a few days. We were very thankful that the doctors spoke decent English, but had to put down a 5,000 euro deposit. Yikes.

We paid a little extra to get a private room so that I could stay with her and keep her company. They don’t allow visitors in shared rooms. Apparently, in Italy, hospital patients are expected to bring everything they need to feel comfortable. We didn’t expect to stay the night ( or multiple nights ) so we weren’t prepared.

Chest X-rays and blood tests confirmed pneumonia. They started her on a different antibiotic via IV and aerosol therapy to help her breathe (a mask type of deal where they shove medicated gas in her face).

That night, I slept in the hospital bed right next to her – it was my first time staying in a hospital (thankfully). The next day, after the blood tests, they switched her antibiotic to a more intense one that took much longer to go through the IV. For most of the day she was on this slower IV antibiotic. Later that day they determined it wasn’t moving fast enough so they brought in a pump to help push the antibiotic into her viens. Her hand, were the IV was placed, swelled up and was causing her considerable pain. 🙁 It’s still painful and swollen today, two days later. They ended up stopping that IV antibiotic before it was finished because it was causing so much pain and took out the IV.

She was still wheezing at this point, and aside from the pain in her arm from the IV, was feeling a little better. Still not good enough to be released though so we stayed two more nights. The TV only had one English station and it had Arabic subtitles.

We’re finally back in our hotel but we can’t leave just yet. Since she had pneumonia, it’s a little dangerous for her to fly for a bit. We have to wait 5 days so that’s why we’re coming home Friday.

I’m just hoping that my pneumonia doesn’t pop up again and that we can make it home before I get seriously sick again.


  1. Liz Sutcliffe /

    Love and prayers for safe and on-time travels. Love you! Liz and Dave

  2. Karen Rotondi /

    You two have experienced more in the past three months than most of us have our entire lives. What an exciting and romantic journey to share with your children and their children. But now it’s time to get your wife home, Ryder, and I am so glad you’ve made that decision.

    Thanks to both of you for allowing me to see so many beautiful landscapes and people of the world through your lens. Safe journey home!

  3. Kathy Hickey /

    I am soooo sad to read this news on your post. They must have different germs in Europe that is causing all of this sickness. I sincerely hope you do not have a bad taste in your mouth about traveling in the future. I think the idea to travel with set plans is definitely the way to go. I hope you recover soon and have a safe flight back. Look forward to hearing from you once you have settled down.

  4. Being sick is BAD enough but being sick away from home is torture. I’m glad you guys are home safe! Next time, Dr. Sue says to travel with echinacea and probiotics. 🙂 Talk soon, I hope.

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