Tuesday, December 12, 2006

My first doctor's appointment.

Good times, people...good times. This morning, I had my first rendez-vous with a doctor. I went alone. Darin was waiting on the other end of the mobile in case of emergency (AKA Emily needs a translator), but I did not utilize his services at all. I was experiencing anxiety and stress days before. Luckily, my tutor and I had a tutoring session the day before the appointment so she and I could role-play what I should expect once I walk into the doctor's office. It was hilarious, but incredibly helpful because here is a woman who's experienced this process all her life. Plus, she taught me how to write a French bank check since I'd never done it before either. I felt like I was in my high school sophomore English class again (I think that's where we learned how to write bank checks). Anyway...she tells me that French doctors have absolutely no bedside manner and you'll be out of there in 10 minutes. She wasn't kidding. As I was trying to explain to the doctor that I don't speak French very well and that it would be WONDERFUL if she could talk slowly, she immediately cuts me off and asks me to pronounce my family name. Not the start of the appointment that I was hoping for. As we're finishing things up, she asks me how things are going since I've moved to France. I responded that things are going well, but can be hard (from time to time) like my experience this morning. She responded that she's having a hard time just trying to figure out how to spell my last name. I think I had to spell it out about 5 times during the entire appointment.

So healthcare costs almost next to nothing over here in France. Normally, one gives the receptionist their green medical card plus a check of some small amount. They run the green card through a machine and soon after you receive a reimbursement via La Poste. So I was expecting that to happen, but the receptionist never asked for my card. She tells me that I have to pay the full amount and then walk my tush over to the healthcare regional office and drop off the form for reimbursement. By the way, she ended up writing the check for me after I told her that this was my first time writing a check in France. I didn't stop her...by that time, I was too tired to try to explain to her that I needed to practice writing bank checks so why don't I waste more of her time by asking her how to spell the number 55.

No comments: