Rendez-Vous Chez Le Médecin

If there's one thing that the French are completely and utterly obsessed with, it's their health. I can probably count on one hand how many people who could be considered obese I've seen since I first arrived here nearly 9 months ago.

I don't know how they do it, but French women are always in good shape. They enjoy food, they don't like it fast and their health is always a priority. However, I've noticed that as soon as they feel the slightest signs of an illness coming along, the French will practically run straight to the doctors.

My doctor's note. No idea what it says.

A couple of weeks ago I was feeling really out of sorts and decided to go against my British instincts of just getting on with things and take the French approach of going and seeing the doctor.

I called up my insurance and they sorted it all out for me and off I went the very same day to go and see my new doctor in the very north of Paris.

Now here they don't have obvious doctor's surgeries like we do, they're often based in apartment blocks so you have to look out for the gold plaques with your doctor's name on. I thought I had found mine, spent a good 5 minutes trying to get upstairs into the surgery until I finally got to the reception desk. 

I approach the receptionist and ask for Dr. Breguet. The receptionist gives me a blank stare. I say it again, thinking she must have a problem with my accent. "Dr. Breguet... le dentiste?". Um no, not the dentist. After an incredibly long and awkward pause she tells me that I'm at 34B. I look down at my appointment card and realise I need to be at No. 34.

So off I go again next door and go through the very long process of getting into a random apartment block and try and make my way up to see my doctor. Getting there at 5:45, 15 minutes early, I sat down in the waiting room.

So far, so familiar...
At about 6.45, a couple walk into the room and ask when our appointments are for. Myself and the girl next to me both have an appointment at 6. The guy next to us has his at 6.45. Whilst I'm sat their fuming at having to wait for so long the rest of the room does that Gallic shrug I've grown to love. I'm finally seen at half 7. HALF 7. An hour and a half late.

The appointment goes something like this:

"Hi I'm not feeling too good etc etc"
"Let me take your blood pressure."
"You're fine. Let me listen to your breathing."
"Go ahead."
"You're fine."
"Riiiight, ok, well I'll just be going then."
"Maybe we'll do some tests. The lab will call you. Maybe take up swimming."

Thank god I had insurance, because this would have cost literally cost me around €60, given that he was a private doctor. If there's anything this experience has taught me, it's how great the NHS is.

Needless to say, the lab never called me back.



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