When I got the post this morning there were two envelopes – kind of a record for us here. With no junk mail and no catalogs the morning walk to pick up the post is, well, a morning walk, nothing more.
The first envelope was from the Church. You know which one I mean, the one always capitalized, that has their own country in the middle of Rome. Most casual visitors don't realize what an important role the Catholic Church still plays in daily life in much of Europe. People here don't go to church every Sunday, or even most Sundays but the Church is woven into the fibers of daily living. Tithing is part of it. In Ireland, within a week of unpacking the parish priest had visited to invite us to join….and to drop off the Envelopes with our name already pre-printed (in which to place our weekly contribution). Here in France we are much more modern. When I opened my letter from the Church this morning I found an automatic debit authorization form from the local bank. All I need do is fill in the number and sign. How convenient is that?
The other envelope was from the hospital.
I had inadvertently damaged myself a couple of weeks ago. The nature of the damage and how I did it is unimportant. Let's just say that I am continually amazed that, even though I am getting older and, therefore, wiser I still, apparently, am not quite sure how to handle my own body.
After fifty years of putting food into my mouth and chewing it, how can I still bite my own tongue? Do I forget it's there?
How can I not remember to pull my fingers away from slamming doors? To pick my feet up when walking over a tree root? That frozen water on the ground is slippery? I have years of experience at this stuff; why is it still so difficult?
I digress. So I had done a bit of minor damage and ignored it as usual. I was scheduled for my annual exam anyway. (Life is different here – read about me stripping in the doctor's office..we don't have gowns and sheets here…. and there are windows….open windows….) She could look at it then. She did.
She sent me off to Urgent Care, with an appointment, naturally. Two doctors saw me, first an intern, then a full-fledged doc. They poked, prodded and examined. No big deal, just as I thought. They gave me prescriptions for: an antibiotic, an anti-inflammatory, an anti-nausea (because of the anti-inflammatory and a pain killer. I was instructed to start the meds immediately and return on Monday. A pain killer? A little overkill, I thought.
As usual, I dutifully went to the pharmacist and got my sack full of med's, took them home and didn't swallow so much as one. I don't know why I do this. I hate taking pills and I never do. I don't know why I waste the time, money and med's picking them up. At least here the med's are all free – still, it's a waste of resources and the health care system's money.
Back to Urgent Care first thing Monday morning. I am worried that they'll be able to tell I didn't take the med's but my wee bit of damaged body is healing well and no one notices. Both doc's come again and inspect me. Another list of prescriptions to fill and I'm on my way.
Total charges for all this doctoring? 21 euros. And the insurance will reimburse me in full!
I suppose I could give it to the Church……