The differences in France and the US when it comes to healthcare are a little surprising. I don’t think that I’ve ever heard of somebody with an immobilized limb getting daily injections to prevent blood clots in the US, but PB has asked me multiple times about this and was acting like I was in grave danger of imminent “death by blood clot” because I went the whole first week without the injection (largely due to difficulty finding a nurse). It’s also weird that they just hand you these boxes of injections, so PB had a valid threat when he said if I didn’t find a nurse, I would force him to inject them himself.
By the way, if I do die tragically from a blood clot – PB, you were right. As always. Postulate #1. 😁
Frankly, I would probably have went ahead and gotten the injections (why take an unnecessary risk, no matter how small?), except for two small problems. The first is that I tried to register my social number and it wasn’t valid – apparently, a “temporary number” is basically useless. It wasn’t until January 30th that I finally received a valid social number . . . which I registered and my information was promptly sent out. To my old address. Apparently, my HR folks forgot to update the address with CPAM (although the prefecture has my correct address). Of course, governmental departments don’t really share information in the US either, so this is no different. Everything seems to be working smoothly now with my certificate of rights, even without the Carte Vitale.
The second problem is that, despite a large British ex-pat community in the area, I have had serious issues finding English-speaking medical care. The doctor that I saw in the neighboring town won’t drive to my town. Unlike the US, you may not be able to call your doctor when they’ve, say, given you a prescription that you’re allergic to – the doctor is too busy to return calls. But they’ll make a freaking house call . . . as long as you live in the same town basically. So, no more doctor in the neighboring town (the nurse that was recommended in the same town also won’t drive here for my injections).
So, I started the great quest to find more English-speaking medical people. The next nurse I called also told me that their group is too far away and gave me the number of two groups that are closer. I postponed calling the new places because I was a little concerned about daily nurse visits without confirmed insurance. Once it was confirmed, the nurse’s group in my area had inconsistent English ability, so PB gave them his number as my contact person. He was thus able to arrange for my daily torture, which is probably good because I would have quit after the first two! Check out the bruise from the first one – can you blame me for wanting to skip them! The second one left a smaller bruise, about the size of a penny . . . and the third looks like it might be the best of all. Which is good, because I was beginning to wonder how they’d possibly find room for 14 (let alone 21) of these.😱
I have to say that I’m happy I live in an area with a large British ex-pat community at the moment because they really came through on medical suggestions! I now have the name of an English-speaking doctor and dentist, plus the nurses. I’m only missing an eye doctor. My new doctor is great, but sadly leaving the area in July. She’ll at least be able to get me through the rest of my knee treatment – at the one week mark, she determined I’d actually injured TWO ligaments and that the swelling was not down as much as it should have been. I was lectured on being less active, but persuaded her that I could still work AND be less active. PB persists in refusing to fetch my coffee though, which really undermines his assertion that he’s become my highly-paid assistant.😂
In addition to PB looking after my medical care (and occasional transportation), l’américaine has been super helpful with driving me back and forth to work most days, taking me to get lunch and buying some of my groceries. I’m super lucky that I picked a place that is close to work, so it’s not SUPER inconvenient for people. It is still a hassle though because they have to consider my schedule, such as me needing to eat in order to take my medication . . . so I have to be home by a certain time. Another woman, YV, volunteered to drive me to my doctor’s appointment, which was also really nice and a third co-worker has offered various forms of help too. My team takes good care of me during the week, but I was a little concerned about the weekend. It was pure luck that Alexis’ knee had healed up and he’d arrived back in town the weekend before (I was actually getting him from Poitiers when I hurt myself), so he offered to come by on Saturday. He ended up looking after me nearly the whole day and assembled my shelves, table and chairs for me (and cleaned up the packaging). Plus, he took me to get groceries, helped unpack some of my stuff, hung my curtains, washed my dishes and cooked us dinner. Yep, I’ve been very, very fortunate to meet some really great people in France!!!