my independence nightmare, part III- the finale


Alright my very patient readers, after taking a much needed week and a half off, I am back and ready to tell more stories. So tonight, I’ll actually finish my independence day nightmare for you, and I’ll also write a separate post about some new things happening recently. Enjoy, and check in soon for more posts!


Okay, so where I last left off I told you plenty of my friends came to visit me in the hospital. I was released the very next day, Greek Independence day, March 25. They prescribed two medications to me and told me to walk and drink a lot of water. So I did both, though I wasn’t wanting to walk anywhere, ironically enough, I had no choice.

When I was released from the hospital, it was around noon. Where I was located, there weren’t any cabs, so I had to wait for the bus. That took about 45 minutes, not to my surprise at all. The bus stop was entertaining to say the least. Everyone looked over at me like- “what the f*** are you doing out of your hospital bed?”  After all I had just gotten out of the hospital, I was still in pain, still had my hospital bracelets on and I hadn’t showered. Not to mention the minor facts I had all my insurance bills and my x-ray with me (yes! you get to keep your x-rays in greece, great souvenir).   Once I finally made it onto the bus, it was packed with high school aged kids and little yiayia’s going down town for the parades. At this point, the skies were getting heavy and I was not in the mood to celebrate Greek Independence. All I wanted to do was sleep, drink more water and get my prescriptions filled. The doctor said that the pharmacies would be open that day, so I ventured out after changing my clothes and showering, and made my way to the pharmacy. At this point in my stay in Thessaloniki, I had been to a pharmacy maybe once for aspirin. Never in my life did I realize how many were around. Ironically, I only found one open. Lucky number 27. NO JOKE.  I came to know that there were 7, yes seven, pharmacies within a two block radius of my apartment. Within about 4 blocks, that number doubled… It took me approximately 20-some blocks to wander down an alley, desperate for a sign like this to be lit up.

I saw countless pharmacy signs, none of them open. I was super upset. The doctors told me they would be open today. They lied. ONE freakin pharmacy was open. I about died. Thank God, I got in there and the man was very nice and filled my prescription. I was completely expected prices like America. I was also expecting it to be way expensive cause I’m not Greek. Wrong was I. my total purchase was 3.14. Like the equivalent to about 4ish dollars. Awesome. Ha, little did I know the catch to one pill.

The doctors did not prepare me for the word “suppository”. I was not about to go there. So I prayed my pain wouldn’t get that bad and I wouldn’t have to use one. Luckily, I did not. I do still have one of the pills as another souvenir. Classy, right?

So what I really learned in this experience can really be summed up in these few points:

  1. Never get a kidney stone.
  2. If #1 cannot be avoided, drink as much water as physically possible.
  3. Try to avoid getting sick on holidays.
  4. If you do get sick, do it in the morning when everyone is still at work.
  5. Don’t name your kid with a Q in their name, so at least a hospital can spell their name properly.
  6. Greek men are flirtatious,  no matter where they are.
  7. Greek food beats American food all over the board, even in the hospital.
  8. Never puke in a brand new Audi.
  9. Don’t ever put yourself in a situation to be ruffied.
  10. And most importantly, always rely on your friends, they’ll come through for you every time.

And so ends my Independence Day nightmare. I actually look back at this experience as one of my fondest in my time in Greece. It gave me a really great story, and some wise lessons to give to my students going to Thessaloniki this fall. Overall, although kidney stones are by far the worst pain ever and I wouldn’t wish them on my worst enemy, it did prove as a time in my life where I learned to trust those around me, and I’m really thankful for that.


PS- About a year later, I had yet another experience with kidney stones. Yippee. Funny enough both experiences I finally figured out were attributed to eating too much of one thing. Something I snacked on a lot both in Greece and back in the US when I got my second stone. So #11 to that list is this, do not eat almonds in large amounts.Yup, that’s what caused my kidney stones, the little devils. Now, I still eat them, but at much smaller increments.


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