Cyprus Life – in pictures

My new life in Cyprus in images and words. I'm a British 50 something female, originally from a small mill town in Heywood, Lancashire (United Kingdom) and came to live in Limassol, Cyprus in March 2004. This is my photo blog about my new life as an expat on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. Plus other things which catch my attention every once in a while…. Enjoy!


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The survey said – “helicobacter pylori, no more….”


Helicobacter pylori bacteria - GONE!

Yep! Apparently, it’s gone :-)

I no longer have the ugly horrors living inside my stomach.

We paid a visit to Limassol General Hospital this morning which is always a bit of an event. You never know what will await you…

We arrived at around 09:45 and collected a yellow ticket with number 725. The digits on the clock counter above the registration windows showed 675 – so, only 50 in front of us then :-(

We sat and waited….. Number 680 appeared on the clock at ten past ten and then – everything ground to a halt.

“τα computer δεν δουλευιε” – the damn computer gave up the ghost, which meant it was impossible to retrieve the patient history files to print out the labels for our medical books or to allocate appointments! Aaaarghhhh…….

The question is, how long do you wait to see if the computer decides to work again?

Luckily for us, in reality it was only about 20 minutes but felt a lot longer. No sooner did the numbers start rolling around again when it seemed like half of the waiting room decided to swarm to the windows to see where they were up to. Did it speed the process up? Not on your nelly, when will they realise that the operative word is “wait”?

Eventually our number came up, only for us to be told that Dr Tsiggos wasn’t in the building and we would have to come another day :-) Thwarted! A day off work wasted…..

We popped around the corner though, just to check for ourselves as my hubby had already seen there were people coming and going through the Endoscopy room doorway when he had a peep round there earlier. It was just as well we did…

Correct! Dr Tsiggos was not “at home” today but another gastrologist was in his office. It seems Dr Tsiggos isn’t back in a full time role and is still trying to get his retirement. Poor beggar, they keep dragging him back to work!

Off we went, back to the registration window we recently left. The lady saw us and immediately apologised. She had come in to help deal with the backlog after the computer failure and didn’t know about the replacement for Dr Tsiggos. She pulled us to the front of the queue and did her “stuff”.

So that was it, we were now number 18 in line to see this new doctor. Happily, we managed to find the person who was number 17 as it’s always good to know just who is in front of you when you’re in a queue in Cyprus ;-) The queuing system  doesn’t quite work here. When they get bored, they just push to the front and shout a lot.

Eventually, it will go one way or the other. They either get in front, or they don’t! But, it does help to relieve the monotony….

An orderly queue?

As luck would have it, some got fed up of waiting and they just disappeared so by just before midday I’d been in to see the new doctor. No idea who he is/was and probably never shall because I’m positive that the next time I go back, it will be somebody completely different.

Anyway, he tells me that my blood results show the monsters have left my stomach – but, as I still get some pain from the ulcer I can continue to take my tablets in cycles of 7 days when the symptoms reappear.

Oh, one last update before I go…. It seems I’m now at that horrible age where I shall have to consider having a colonoscopy. Bloody marvellous!

The doctor tells me I can have 12 months grace before I go through the trauma of that one :-)

Note: if you have been affected by anything you have read in this article, I would recommend not reading my previous Living with GERD posts!


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But I only went for a blood test!


Following on from my gastroscopy on 14th October at the Limassol new hospital, I had to go back a couple of weeks after finishing up my course of antibiotics for a blood test.

The test has to be sent to Nicosia so they can check to see if the Helicobater Pylori infection has cleared up and I will have to wait around a month for the results to come back to Limassol hospital…

So last Friday 4th November off we went to the hospital and handed over my form for the test, which was given to me with the exclamation of “Aaah” – hmmm yep, I agree, it was most definitely an “aaah” but more like an ” AAAAARGGGGHHH”

Although the taking of the blood didn’t last so long, the procedure left a lot to be desired. After not finding the vein the first time, the nurse proceeded to just generally keep the needle in my arm and hunted around till she found something that actually produced blood.

I was still bleeding after leaving the hospital and reaching Ayios Tychonas :-(

So I will await the results patiently and hope I don’t have to have another test….. The first one I had – before the gastroscopy took place was all perfectly easy and painless but this one? Well, you can see for yourself:


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My gastroscopy results


Well finally, it all came together after a few hiccups at Limassol General Hospital…

Yesterday, I had “the gastroscopy”. It was absolutely horrible as unfortunately, I’m not very good at relaxing. If someone says “relax” I tend to do completely the opposite and tense every muscle in my body.

  • The squirting of the stuff to numb the back of my throat – wasn’t so bad.
  • Having to bite on the little funnel thing so I didn’t bite the camera tube instead – was okay.
  • Having the tube inserted in the first instance – made me gag and retch.
  • Every time the tube was moved around it – made me gag and retch.
  • The nurse who was behind me holding my head kept saying “breathe” – I was holding my breath and sweating hard!
  • Then Dr Tsikkis gets all excited and says “do you want to see your ulcer?”
  • A quick peep was all I managed but then I saw him feeding another wire down the tube so decided it was easier to just close my eyes and pray it would be over quickly.

After what seemed like forever, the tube came out….

My husband was in the waiting area and apparently from going into the theatre, having the procedure performed and my appearing back at the exit door – lasted only 11 minutes!

Dr Tsikkis told us to go and have a drink and come back in about half an hour as needed to do an examination. We returned a little before the 11.30 time he had said and there he was waiting for us.

So, the good news is I do have an ulcer rather than something unmentionable….

I also have an infection known as Helicobater Pylori which apparently was discovered around 1982 by Barry Marshall and Robin Warren to be a major cause of stomach ulcers. Not as we have all believed for years, down to stress, spicy food or alcohol….

Helicobacter pylori bacteria - Nice!

So now I’m up to 8 tablets a day of which 6 are antibiotics to clear up the infection. I’m on them for 10 days then I have to wait 10 more days before going back to the hospital for a further blood test. After that, I have to wait a month for the results to come back from Nicosia and return again to see Dr Tsikkis.

He reckons it will disappear after the infection has gone.

I asked him if that was a “Promise” :-D

All told, we’ve spent around 9 hours at Limassol General in registering and waiting to see the first gastrologist who had to come over from Paphos. That appointment took 6 hours on 28th August followed by a further 3 hours on Friday 4th October.

We spent a good 40 minutes on Friday waiting to collect my prescription from the Pharmacy at the hospital. My, it’s busy there! Four windows open and queues pretty much on a constant until closing time. Our ticket number was 252 and when we collected it from the machine. The number on the queue monitor was only at 185.

It’s been a long, hard slog as this all started back in May this year. After we found out it would cost €450 to have the gastroscopy done privately, I had to be referred through the clinic doctors to the hospital and have been on constant proton pump inhibitor medication since then.

Let’s hope we’ve turned the corner and I can say “bye bye” to my GERD :-)

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