Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Today, I finally went to see the doctor. I’ve been sick for a week now… and actually, my trip to the doctor’s office today was probably the most pleasant experience I’ve had since last weekend…

I arrived 5 minutes before my 5pm appointment. He (the doctor, that is) met me at the door, shook my hand, introduced himself, and showed me to the waiting room. I sat there, alone, for no more than 5 minutes (aka, until exactly 5:00) when he returned and showed me to his office. He was wearing a suit and tie. His office was clean if not sparse. He had a computer on his desk. We sat down and, in a mixture of French and English, we talked about my symptoms and their progression. He then showed me into an adjoining room where there was an exam table, sink, and not much else. He washed his hands and then proceeded with a typical examination – he did the whole thing himself, checked everything, even took my blood pressure. His diagnosis – you’re sick, but nothing serious. He prescribed me 3 different medicines, thoroughly explaining each one of them to me, washed his hands, and then we returned to his office again. He printed out two copies of my prescription, which was nice, because for once I could actually read the names of the drugs and how often I was to take them! We proceeded to have a lovely conversation about my host family and my time in France and what I would do when I went back home and about where I live and what my favorite US city is and where he’s visited in the US and he even asked me if I had a favorite building in NYC… his is the Trump Tower. He explained to me how a doctor’s visit works in France… you pay at the time of your visit (“21 million euros” he said, and then laughed and said, no, it’s really only 21… which is only about $28) Later, when I’m back in the states, I give my receipt to the insurance company to be reimbursed. If I were a French citizen, I would get 20 euros reimbursed from the government. And that’s it… he doesn’t get paid anything more!! I told him that he should come to the US and be a doctor there because they get a co-payment from each patient, plus more from the insurance companies. He laughed and said he should, and that then he could buy himself the Trump Towers. So, I paid him and he walked me to the door, re-emphasizing that I should call him with any questions or if I wasn’t better in 7 days, and then he sent me on my way. I then walked about 5 minutes to a pharmacy. I waited in line for a minute or two, and then showed my prescription to the pharmacist. While she entered my information into the computer, we chatted about my time in France, how my studies were going, and if I was finding it difficult or not. She then retrieved my medicine and printed my receipt (again, to be reimbursed by insurance later). I paid 13 euros (~$17) for ibuprofen, an antibiotic, and nosespray. And with that, I walked out the door. I glanced at my watch as I headed for home: 5:35pm.

France: 1 ; US: 0.

So, anyways, this week has been one of sniffles and sleeping. Today was the first day in 8 that I made it through without taking a nap! I think I must’ve caught something last weekend…

Friday night we went to a birthday party for one of the IES students. A bunch of us met downtown to head over together… and I, being me, decided that I would delegate myself as navigator for the evening. Hah. After waiting for a tram for 20 minutes, we went one stop, only to realize that we were headed in the wrong direction. We then got off the tram and waited another 10 minutes for the tram heading in the right direction. When we got off the tram, I made sure to check the times for the tram for the rest of the night so that we wouldn’t miss the last one. I even repeated the times to about three other people in order to ensure that nobody would forget. The party was fun, but uneventful. When the time came, I rounded up the girls so that we could walk back to the tram stop in time for the last tram. It was raining outside, and I was the only one with an umbrella (thank you, Cornell… I will never leave home without again), so we ran most of the way. We got there with 5 minutes to spare, but the sign clearly said: Fin de service. As in… no more trams. How could it be!? I double-checked! We all remembered the time!! As I re-played the events from earlier, the light bulb went on: I had looked at the poster as I exited the tram… the poster for the tram that continued out of town, and not the poster for the tram returning downtown. The girls were gracious, although it was obviously my fault. I called a taxi and we stood, huddled under a tram awning, using my umbrella to block the wind, and waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. I called back four times… each time to be told (I think… it was in French!) that I needed to wait longer. After over 40 minutes we could stand the cold no longer. I still am not quite sure why we didn’t just give up and go back to the party… I think we were all just exhausted and were holding out hope for a taxi to bring us home. But, no taxi came. So, one of the girls called a French friend who was at the party and begged him to come pick us up. He agreed (although, how could you resist 4 American girls begging you to take them for a ride in your car and offering to pay you handsomely for your services!) and dropped each of us of at our front doors. Needless to say, I was incredibly grateful… and incredibly soaked.

Saturday morning I woke up at 6am to head to Mont-St-Michel and St. Malo for the day with IES. It was a fabulous trip… I posted some of the pictures to the right. Mont-St-Michel was breathtaking… from afar and from within. And St. Malo was like an Ocean City mixed with a little Annapolis and with lots of European charm

However, just as we were walking along the ramparts of St. Malo, a tempest blew in. Using an umbrella was futile, and so, for the second time in 24 hours, I was completely soaked. The storm left almost as quickly as it came, and the sun came out again. It was still fun to walk through the town, squishy shoes and all. There’s a boardwalk-type area, with lots of games and rides… a couple of us girls bought some deep-friend dough sticks covered in powdered sugar and dipped in nutella. Incredible.

So, I arrived home, around 9pm, changed out of my damp clothes, and got into bed. But it was too late… Whatever sickness had found me had already dug in its heels. And so, after a week of sleeping and coughing and sneezing and sniffling and aching, here I sit, armed with my prescription drugs, ready to send this bug packing. I think I’ve had enough naps for one semester :)

1 comment:

E Schneids said...

Ok I just tried posting on this and it didnt work so I'll try once more--I just wanted to thank you for all of those fabulous entries. I really enjoyed reading them, and I feel like I've just spent a half hour chatting with you and catching up. I cant wait to read more next time =)
Love you my dear!