From my Sicilian Hospital Bed

You might think being in hospital isn’t very funny, but that’s just because you’ve never been in a Sicilian one.

A heart condition…. or not?

I came in yesterday because my heart was being naughty. Apparently I have ventricular tachycardia, which is the same arrhythmia that makes professional footballers drop dead right after winning an international tournament.

“Perhaps you’re finally becoming good at sports? ” suggested my ever optimistic sister.



The only real symptom of this condition is, according to Dr. Google, sudden death. This means I am surrounded by dreadfully ill people and feel like a fraud. When my heart isn’t doing the wild fandango, there’s literally nothing wrong.

The man from down under

The entertainment is great though.

First an Australian came in from a cruise ship with terrible pain and wearing nothing but khaki shorts and a heart monitor. The only person who could speak both English and Italian was me, so I provided interpretation services and an English lesson to the doctor from my nearby hospital bed.

Crocodile Dundee had a myocardial infarction which at least one Sicilian cardiologist now knows is NOT called a “heart in fart”.

Some charming guards

Before things had time to get dull, in strode David Beckham and Shemar Moore wearing magnificently tight prison guard uniforms. They set off the alarms on my heart monitor.

It took a bald doctor and two fat nurses to calm me down.

These Sicilian lookalikes were watching over a violent Mafioso who may have heart disease, but may be planning an elaborate prison break.

Since he actually turned out to be so ill that even his tattoos all look grey, and the lock on the bathroom is broken, they have temporarily switched roles and are serving their country for the time being as Toilet Guards.

We go on Safari

All of a sudden we got a new arrival. She moaned loudly for a couple of hours that she was dying (of cystitis) and invoked the Lord’s help.

No sooner had she noticed it was lunch time than she moaned she was hungry instead. She had been waiting for food all day. ALL DAY!!!

Only a Sicilian born and bred could moan this dramatically and energetically when they’re not even in the running to win an Oscar.

At this point the doctor on duty shot her in the rump with a sedative, the way vets do when they need to operate on rhinos. It was the most humane thing to do for all concerned.

Or so I thought, till she started snoring like a hippopotamus engaged in frenzied coitus. I asked Crocodile Dundee to intervene, but he just said you have to take the rough with the smooth on safari.

A tea tragedy

Well, I was looking forward to visiting time when Hubby came in bearing catastrophic news. While preparing me a thermos of tea, he had dropped it and it had smashed to smithereens.

I have to explain that when I was offered the hospital tea I mistook it for someone else’s urine sample.

The upshot of this train of events is that I am now suffering from a severe tea deficiency and may soon have to be treated with intravenous PG Tips until my vital signs return to normal.

And it would probably help my prognosis if the prison/toilet Guards gave me a massage now and then as well.

You can have David, I’m keeping Shemar for myself.


57 Comments Add yours

  1. Jan says:

    Do take care Veronica!!! Laughing too hard could add to your heart’s crazy palpitations!! The mental images you draw are just sooo hysterical!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Best wishes for your recovery. Your sense of humour is a godsend to all, to your heart, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I hope you get out soon. If the heart problem isn’t bad enough, a lack of tea is just awful. I can imagine the Sicilian wailing, I’ve been told that when ladies give birth in London hospitals, some nationalities make a meal of it. I guess it should be called the Maria Sharipova syndrome. Take care and rest up.


  4. Cathy Holtom says:

    Good job you’ve got a sense of humour! Get well soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Marie Giacalone says:

    You are hilarious! Good for you for maintaining your wicked sense of humor- it will probably help you recover. Take care of yourself.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Oh, lordy. Keep laughing!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Nicole F says:

    πŸ˜‚ Oh my, I don’t know how you manage to be funny after all you’ve been through. Be careful of the jailer, the rhino and get yourself a decent cuppa tea! Feel better soon and get out of there before you have comedic overload!


  8. Rosaria in Florida/Michigan says:

    This is by far your most delicious observation of quotidian Sicily with all the dramaturgy it deserves. Sending you best wishes for a speedy recovery. By the way, hasn’t the hospital staff advised you yet about the hazards of working in bed without pay? Auguri.


  9. unwillingexpat says:

    Sorry to hear you have been in hospital again. We must be linked by a strange karma as I took hubby to the pronto soccorso last week (nothing serious). But it was funny how everyone in the waiting room kept track of casualties (one minor stroke, two broken bones, one multiple skull fracture and a handful of stitches). And there was one lady who I discovered had been at school with my hubby. On the whole quite a productive afternoon. All the best to you. At least you still have a sense of humor πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think if I ever start a tourism in Sicily company I’ll include a trip to the ER. It’s always entertaining and you cannot get more quintessentially Sicilian than all that hysteria, can you?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And I hope your hubby is OK now.


      2. unwillingexpat says:

        Yes, I’m surprised Mediaset hasn’t done a telefilm set in a Sicilian hospital along the lines of E.R … George Clooney eat your heart out πŸ˜‰ Hope you are feeling better, loads of good Karma to you πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      3. It would be a hysterical sit-com… I think we should write a script together and offer it to Rai…


  10. Anonymous says:

    Get well soon, dear! And thanks for he brilliant report from the field πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  11. kidmc2014 says:

    What’s going on with you?!!
    Please do, what you’re there to do,
    REST, REST, and more REST!
    You’re on my prayer list…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Marlene says:

    Hilarious. I have the same heart condition…I take a beta blocker to keep the rate under control, avoid caffeine if possible…in Sicily not so sure that’s possible!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. vanglo48 says:

    I cannot express in words how funny you are…it’s because I can’t stop laughing long enough! Brilliant! You totally make my day. Get well soon☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  14. marianna raccuglia says:

    Do feel better! As a lady who occasionally has “fluctuating symptoms” I empathize. A wonderful sense of humor does help

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Can’t stop laughing. I notice you didn’t meet anyone with mal di fegato or cervicale though. Buon guarigione! Ciao, Cristina

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Crikey, you don’t think I’ve suddenly become Sicilian enough to have acute liver-ache, do you? Maybe the arrhythmia was just a misdiagnosis? :O


  16. Jules Brown says:

    See, I was all sympathetic and concerned, and then you went an ruined it. PG Tips? PG Tips woman! No wonder you’re ill. Yorkshire Tea, I’ll send you some. Then we’ll have no more of this ventricular tachycardia nonsense – or ‘auto-northern-tanin-deficiency’, which is what you’ve clearly got.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Jules you’ve got me screaming with laughter and now the official ward looney is me!!!


  17. Anonymous says:

    Laughter is the best medicine so you’re on the right track. Also hawthorn berry is good for women and their hearts.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Malla Duncan says:

    You see, even at death’s door, you are entertaining! I hope you recover very, very soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. onomatopoeicbliss says:

    What a Tart! How did they ever let you into the country in the first place.

    Hmmm, Ima noticing lots of footballer references . . . Ima think you’re just having hot flashes

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What are you talking about? The whole reason they welcomed me with open arms is cos I’m such a tart!


      1. onomatopoeicbliss says:

        In case you need some incentive to recover . . . Try thinking about how that boy will turn out, being raised only by his Italian father. And, well, whatever babes happen to come byπŸ˜‹


      2. Poor kid! I’ve actually had nightmares about this. Nonna would step in with her wooden spoon and the Kiddo would eventually be featured in a documentary called “Then tweleve ton teenager” or something similar.
        That is, unless Hubby hooked up with another babe like me who’s bossy (oops, I mean has leadership skills) and can’t cook to save her life!


  20. Anonymous says:

    Veronica, Are you Ok? Please Do take Care of yourself! You’re in my thoughts and prayers.


    1. I feel fine. I think they are just playing safe.


  21. T. Franke says:

    Keep on being humourous, maybe you can cheat on the mafioso’s secret hiding place of his treasure just before he dies? Or Crocodile Dundee will be visited by Indiana Jones? You will see … and have some tea … πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. T. Franke says:

      PS: Maybe the tatoos are the key?!


      1. Oh yes! I need to get David and Shemar to tip me off when he falls asleep so we can read the location of the treasure. I would happily share my booty with either of those guys… πŸ˜‰


  22. Anonymous says:

    I had all sorts of heart arrythmias happening for a bit and ended up on a halter monitor at the cardiologists request only to find when I stopped having smoothies with Kale in them it all started to improve, ??? I know this is probably completely unrelated but watch out how much kale you are having πŸ™‚ it may lead to a heart in fart.


    1. I’ve been trying to find where I can get kale in Sicily for the last 10 years… Now the mission can stop! It must have been all the iodine… It alters heart rhythms. It is actually the basis of the strongest arrhythmia drug but its affects are unpredictable.


      1. And I nearly forgot to say
        (heart in fart)


  23. Pecora Nera says:

    I am sorry you are not well, especially as I am laughing my flip flops off.

    I will bring you some strong Yorkshire Tea

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Better make it decaf in case I end up inventing any new types of farts.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Pecora Nera says:

        Decaf Yorkshire Tea!!! That’s like asking for alcohol free grappa


  24. DanicaPiche says:

    Never a dull moment! I do hope you’ll be better soon and allowed to go home. In the meantime, you need a new thermos of PG Tips :).

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Antoinette says:

    Veronica, sorry about the VTs. Glad you have retained your sense of humor. I had similar hospital inpatient experience last year, and remarked that it was a comedy of errors. Avoid the caffeine, even in tea. It is a strong trigger for heart. Hope you have good care and treatment for the irregularity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Much as it pains anyone English to admit tea is anything other than a cure-all elixir, you are absolutely right Antoinette, I will have to give it up.
      😦 mega sad face. 😦


      1. Rubbish. Get the relos to send you PG Tips decaf πŸ™‚ Not the same, I know…

        Get better soon πŸ™‚ And no extreme sports. Except for blogging.


      2. PG Tips, Yorkshire Tea, I’ll accept decaf donations of any kind so long as they’re not Italian brands which taste like diluted widdle!

        Liked by 1 person

  26. Antoinette says:

    I agree Veronica, decaf anything isn’t the real deal, although I think the decaf teas are better than when originally on the shelves. Years ago, my mother, a neighbor and I had daily tea with milk and a cookie. Now I want ice tea. I miss coffee, and am still looking for a decaf brand that is not bitter. After having scary episodes of SVTs last year, I am super cautious. Having chemo added to the mix upped the incidents. A cardiologist said that he tells patients if they can drink coffee, drink it, and if not, then don’t. When ill with an ongoing fever, nurses instructed me to drink a cup of hot tea to feel better. Surprising because I thought anything hot would aggravate the fever. Medical advice keeps changing. The responsibility is really on the patient. That you should mention kale, at a store yesterday, I passed on a bag of kale chips. Maybe next time. Hope you are improving. In my prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely need to stock up on decaf….I’m currently doing a taste survey to find the best options!!!
      But no Kale, definitely not! πŸ˜‰


  27. robertwmonk says:

    Get well soon! Yes, hospitals often are full of unexpected laughs. This one more than most by the sounds of it!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. What no tea? That will never do!

    Do take care Veronica, both with your heart and your tea cravings.
    Much love, Kathryn

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Pip Marks says:

    The Aussie will no doubt enjoy telling his mates about his farting heart!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the Aussie with his farting heart is getting the Sicilian doctors even more hysterical and hand flapping than they usually are! He’s too easy going for them and their brains do not compute!
      I did some translating for them yesterday.
      “Does he actually realise he’s had a heart attack and nearly died?” they asked me.
      “Yes,” I told them, “but he’s Australian. They’re all like that. He probably spent his childhood learning to swim among box jelly fish and playing in the garden with the world’s deadliest spiders. You canΓ¬’t get them worked up no matter how hard you try!”


      1. Pip Marks says:

        I hope he’ll be back wrestling crocs soon

        Liked by 1 person

  30. Anonymous says:

    Hi Veronica Hope you are “out” now and feeling better. I really admire your positive “look at the bright side” attitude! On the tea note- I love the infused fruit and spice no caffeine teas. I know they are not the same as the English breakfast tea….


    1. Yes, I decided to explore these – I think I could really start to like them. My nearest supermarket had several made from decaf green tea, which I think is aparently extra good for you too!
      Though I did get someregular decaf tea and coffee as well, just to be on the safe side! πŸ˜‰


  31. Hi Veronica Hope you are “out” now and feeling better. I really admire your positive “look on the bright side” attitude. On the tea note- I love the spice fruit no caffeine teas, I know it is not the same as English breakfast but….


  32. Isabelle says:

    You must know that the ONLY decaff tea that isn’t vile is, in fact, Yorkshire Decaff Tea. In fact it is delicious. Yorkshire Tea rules! I will post you some. ..and a new thermos flask.


  33. Heather Fairhead says:

    I have just finished your book The Dangerously Truthful Diary of a Sicilian Housewife. It is funny, informative and overall a thoroughly engrossing read. Thanks so much, I look forward to more books from you!


    1. VH says:

      Thank you so much for your kind comments! I am really happy to hear you enjoyed the book.

      I have written two other novels which you may enjoy – they are both sold on Amazon. If you get time to leave a review of the Dangerously truthful Diary on Amazon, that would also be very kind. πŸ™‚


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