On Thursday morning, around 4 am, I woke up with a pounding pain in my ear. Oh please no, I thought. Not an ear infection. Something about the shape of my ear makes me particularly susceptible and once every couple of years, I still get them. Ear infections: not just for children, anymore!
I stumbled to the shower, vaguely hoping that the steam would break up the congestion in my head. No luck. When I crawled into bed again, my ear started pounding. I reviewed my options. I could lay here until morning. I could wake up Tom. There wasn’t really anything he could do, though. Sleep was out of the question. I poked Tom.
“I have an ear infection,” I whined, romantically.
“Want me to go to a pharmacy and get you some medicine?” he asked, sleepily.
My heart melted into a little puddle of goo. “Oh, no, it’s the middle of the night! But thank you!”
He put his arms around me and I cuddled against him. Ow. Ow. Ow. “You know, let’s go to a pharmacy,” I said, after about 10 minutes.
We went downstairs and asked the concierge. He told us that there was an all-night pharmacy along Via Nationale. We were off! I, slightly feverish, both of us, very sleepy. We walked for twenty minutes before we came to a pharmacy with its grate down and lights off. I felt like crying. Or punching the concierge, one of the two.
“Alright,” I said. “Let’s ask at another hotel.” So we went to a fancier hotel and asked their concierge.
“That is the all-night pharmacy. You must ring the bell, the doctor sleeps in the back.”
So, back we went. And rung the buzzer. A few minutes later, the sliding doors slide open (grate still down) and a man came out of the back of the store. “Prego?” he said. And thus began our attempt to communicate “ear infection” in Italian, with much pointing and gesticulating.
“Ear drops,” he finally said, and went to the back of the store. He handed us a bottle through the grate, we handed him 10 euro.
I ended up getting pink eye, too, as a side effect of my general sinus distress, and now I’m on three different prescriptions for another week to clear everything up.