Friday, April 27, 2012

Doctor Doctor, Give Me the News!

Watch out, it's a long one ; )    ...............

Yes, most of our posts usually cover the cheerier highlights that happen around here, but not so much the nitty gritty parts of life that we all have to experience no matter where we live. This post is about such a case, getting sick, and figuring out what to do about it. I won't get too graphic or anything, but the past week I've been holed up popping anitbiotics to battle a nasty infection des reins ... or more so, the aftermath of what happens if a bladder infection gets outa hand.

The problem is, symptoms started popping up as we were on a three day bus tour with Adam's students, and I didn't think much of it but when we get home,  I started getting suspicious and began downing extraordinary amounts of juice and water. I could kick this in no time; we had guests coming in two days. I think I had tricked myself into thinking I was getting better, but RIGHT after our guests' visit, I started feeling a bit nauseous and so so achy. Ad encouraged me to go to the Pharmacy to ask for something, and that alone was a frightening thought to me...ah, to do this all in French! I assumed, too, they wouldn't be readily dishing out pills for any sort of bladder thing without a prescription, but to my surprise, they had a bottle within arm's reach of the register. Ah, I was saved, and I left with Adam feeling silly for being so nervous about the transaction. I figured things were a-okay, but by the time Adam came home from work, I was running a fever. I felt horrible. The decision was made to call a doctor. This, too, was even scarier in my mind, for I had no idea where to find someone besides a random search online. And would these people even speak English? I needed a prescription, and this transaction HAD to be crystal clear. And how does all the insurance stuff work over here, especially when I don't have French insurance?....Oh, I had horrible flashbacks of every time you go to a new doctor and you spend an hour just filling out forms. This all made me feel worse. Thank God for Adam, though. He stepped up, my pouting aside, and dialed a doctor with an office in the neighborhood to make an appointment for me the next morning.

My cousin, Martha, who was also visiting Paris with her friends at the time, stopped in to see how I was doing. By this time it was almost 10pm and I was feeling like crap. We toyed with the idea of just going to a hosptial, but with things this late in the game, I couldn't deal with sitting in an ER for hours waiting my turn. We waited until morning.

By morning the fever had broken, and I had just enough umph to practice up on some phrases that I'd be saying to the doctor. Adam was there by my side for the whole thing...God love him! We walked literally a block, then entered through a maze of ancient doors into a hidden Parisian courtyard where we found the doc's office. It was situated in a sort of apartment building, and everything from the salle d'attente (waiting room) playing it's classical music, looking out to a courtyard full of foliage and bicycles, to the actual exam room, all had a very homey feel to it. I liked this so much more than any doctor's office I've ever been too. It really did help take the nerves off.....and it didn't SMELL like doctor's office. I hate that smell.

The Doc popped her head out and motioned us into her office where we sat, and I told her the best I could what was wrong. She then brought me into the exam room where she poked around and we chatted a bit, but then shortly after had me come back to the office where Adam was waiting. She immediately wrote a prescription and instructed me to go get my blood and urine sampled, too, so she could see if I needed a second dose. Everything to this point was in French, but as the instructions got more complicated, the conversation turned to English. And she knew it very well, but it was nice that she was so patient with our French and simply let us try to speak. She then charged us near to nothing for the visit, and we went on our way to the pharmacy...which, by the way, is on the corner near our apartment. From door to door, with drugs in hand, the whole process took only 30 minutes! I was astounded. And it was at this point we sighed, 'thank God for socialized medicine around here'. ha. Oh, and the testing lab, that is literally right next door to our apartment. We never knew what the hell went on inside we do, and it couldn't have been more convenient!

So yes, the doctor's visit wasn't as scary as I'd thought, and thankfully, Adam was there with me the whole time for support. I was glad she gave me some drugs to quell the fevers that come with this territory, but the rest of the weekend was a battle with me dealing with serious back pain, thirst, incontrollable shivers before bed, then the shift to overheating. It's actually quite fascinating to know what your body is capable of without your consent just to keep you well.

I'm just about back to normal now, minus a huge head cold I got slammed with in the making, but man, I'm so ready to break outa my PJs and finally feel 100% again.  Hopefully my body loves me in someway, though, for it's almost going on week two without caffeine or alcohol. Sorry world, I'm kinda decaf tea-ed out! Time to get back to the french lifestyle of coffee and wine : )


  1. OK first let me say I'm so very happy you're feeling better and you had Adam there with you the entire time. Now.... first I read the title to this post and I immediately think you're pregnant! While reading your post it becomes clear you are not. But then you add that you're not drinking caffeine or alcohol and again pregnancy pops into the brain! How weird is that? LOL

  2. oh boy, don't jinx anything. not ready for THAT yet, ha.