When I think of a doctor that makes house calls, I think of Doc Baker from the Little House on the Prairie (one of my favorite TV series when I was a kid). He used to ride out to his patients’ homes in his carriage to deliver babies, give out medicine and do check-ups.
When I think of how nice it would be to have milk delivered to your door, fresh everyday. I think of Frank McCourt’s book Angela’s Ashes in which little Frankie used to swipe bottles of fresh milk, thick with cream on top, from the homes of some of his neighbors.
Having grown up on Guam the only things we ever had delivered were giant tanks of butane for our gas burners, we had no oven, and the daily newspaper.
Here living in Italy, I have had three “house call occasions/opportunities”.
While I was in Sicily on vacation this past August, I left my ailing cat with the woman that takes care of my apartment building. I agonized and agonized over leaving him but felt much better when the vet offered to pay the cat a home visit while I was away. He then sent me a text message to let me know all was fine. I have yet to receive a bill but he is a very reasonable man and I do not expect to pay much more than the 29 Euros he charges for an office visit. (Vets do make house calls in the Seattle too. In Seattle, I have a friend with four cats and a dog. She often gets her vet to come to her home for once-a-year vaccinations and has even had one of her cats euthanized at home. The cost is about double of what it costs here in Italy though.)
My corner grocery store is a great place for me to stock up on the basics: milk, bread, yogurt, cheese, fruits and veggies. About a month ago, I explained to the store’s proprietor that my mom would be arriving soon and she would probably come in with a small list. Since my mother speaks no Italian, this seemed like a very practical solution to me. The storeowner then gave me his business card and said I could also call in my order and he would have it ready; all I had to do was tell him what brands I wanted. Then he offered to deliver my groceries to my apartment building if for some reason I had some type of difficulty. Part of me knew this was not part of his regular service but I very much appreciated the proposal. (This is a small storeowner, which I am happy to support. I have used Albertsons.com and Webgrocer.com in the States too, mostly for heavy and bulky items.)
This week I have another dilemma. Demetrio is in Rome for a week and not here to give me my second progesterone injection. I surely do not know how to give myself an intramuscular injection and found out from my pharmacy that I can call a nurse to come to my home. I gave her a call, she came over, swabbed
my leg with alcohol and gave me the shot. 5 Euros was the cost and after it was over, she gave me her card and left. It was quick, painless, almost pleasant. Now that’s what I call service.
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