Is There a Doctor in the House?

– a personal experience

Naples, Italy

During a recent trip to Italy, something serendipitous happened to me. Upon my arrival at the Leonardo da Vinci Airport in Rome, aka Fiumicino Airport,  I immediately claimed my luggage and headed for the train that would take me to the apartment where I would be living during my two-week stay.

Fiumicino Airport (Leonardo da Vinci) in Rome

As I sat on the seat near the door of the train, a man in his 30’s came in with his luggage a few seconds before the train door closed, barely making it inside. He sat across from me and within minutes, we started talking. I like talking to strangers (anyone who knows me well enough knows that too.

“Where are you from?” I inquired. “I am from Greece and I work at a hospital in Naples. I’m a doctor,” he replied in a friendly voice. “And you, where you are you from? What brings you to Rome?”
“I’m from San Francisco and I’m here for vacation,” I eagerly answered. “So, you’re a doctor. It must be my lucky day. Could I have your contact information just in case I need medical help while I’m on vacation?”
“Sure,” he said.
Greece – where the doc is from

Seven train stations later, the train operator announced that due to scheduling issues, the train that we were on would not be a direct train to the Tiburtina train station anymore and anyone heading to Tiburtina would need to get off the next station to change trains. Luckily, the doctor I had been speaking to was also going to Tiburtina. He saw the confusion on my face and told me not to worry and to just follow him to the next train. So I did.

Our stop

We finally arrived at the Tiburtina train station and he said that he would be going downstairs to take the train to Naples and that he needed to return to the hospital in Naples where he worked that afternoon. We finally said our goodbyes and exchanged numbers. I figured why not? Knowing a doctor in a foreign country might be beneficial. And boy, was I right!

A few days later, I developed the worst case of windburn!  My face and neck were so red and swollen. I felt feverish. I couldn’t recognize my own face due to the swelling! I didn’t even want to look in the mirror. My face was so round and red, like an apple. Huhuhu. I didn’t realize that winters in Europe were that brutal. I was feeling so desperate for a cure. I was so worried that I would get so sick and would not be able to get better soon enough to enjoy my remaining days in Italy. I could go to the farmacia but I didn’t know what medicine to get and what if they asked for a prescription? I had nothing to show. My windburn was beyond anti-itch cream and aspirin. Then I remembered that I met a doctor on the train the day I arrived Rome and without hesitation, I sent him a message and told him about my situation. He immediately replied expressing concern and gave me the name of the medicine to get and to get it as soon as possible! He also advised that I needed to put cold cream/moisturizer on my face at all hours to replenish the natural oils depleted by the harsh winter weather.

Farmacia Italy-746316
La Farmacia

The next morning, I immediately went to the farmacia and bought the medicine, some aspirin, and moisturizers. I took the medicine immediately and tried to get some sleep. I continued to take it as instructed and three days after, the swelling of my face and neck was gone!

Expressing my gratitude

I felt so relieved and grateful to this stranger I met on the train. He truly lives by every physician’s Hippocratic Oath. He helped a complete stranger like me.

The Hippocratic Oath

I quickly sent him a message of thanks and told him that I believe everything happens for a reason and that he was put in my path for this reason. He agreed.

Here’s me, happy, healed, back to normal and enjoying the great beauty of La Fontana Dei Quattro Fiumi by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in Rome. Thank you, Dr. S!

I have always believed that everything that happens happens for a reason and the people that we meet have been put in our path. What do you think? Do you believe?

British College of Travel Journalism

The Original Car Hire with Driver Services in Rome

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Ishita says:

    Wow what an experience, he was an angel in disguise!


    1. Yes, he truly was! Thanks, Ishita!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. M says:

    Thank you for sharing Pia. What a wonderful story. Everything in life truly happens for a reason. It is good to be a part of your life. I appreciate your friendship and caring ways. You are a true blessing in my life. May God continue to guide you and bless you always Pia. You are an extraordinary person. You make life better. Keep on inspiring my beautiful friend, Pia. We are all very proud of you.


    1. Ciao, Marcel! Thank you for your kind words. I am equally blessed that we are connected. There’s really a reason for everything. Clearly, we have been put in each other’s path!


  3. Rosie says:

    Its been such an honor to have known you as a co~ worker and, much more as a great friend, you are such an awesome & warmhearted person inside & outside, keep up with your paasion, in traveling to your 2nd home which is Italy! I can picture you, drinking your coffee, reading your collection books or writing your next journey.. well mi dear friend Pia, someday in our future we will travel, yes to Italy, Spain, or even back home, Phil.

    Thank you for sharing your inspiration of Italy, coffee & your experience, the people you meet or so, very amazing stories, I myself enjoy listening to your life stories….

    Many thanks to a true & Good friend, Ms PIA!!

    Rosie 🌼🌻🖼⌚☕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will forever treasure your friendship. Thank you for believing in me, Rosie!


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