Another example of two people talking about different things together: Do you walk to school or carry your lunch?
Mon mari was discharged from the hospital on Saturday morning.
Sounds simple, doesn't it?
He comes home and mows the lawn (which he is doing as I write this, but I digress).
The French, after investing 17 days in your health and well-being, are not simply going turn the maintenance of said health and well-being back to your, obviously incapable, hands.
They do not want all of their hard work to be wasted on an incompetent ingrate.
After paying the bill (16.97 euros for the T.V. and phone – we don't know what else we'll have to pay yet), we left the hospital with a sheaf of prescription papers and were told to get them all filled. One cannot go off meds cold turkey, after all!
The nurse would come that night and take care of everything.
Yes the nurse. We were shown the paper that said the nurse would be there at 7:00 pm.
We dutifully went to the pharmacy on the way home and handed over the stack of papers. We were then inaugurated, officially, into the French Rx system. Being always conscious of waste and recycling, we were given our own, reusable, cloth Pharmacy Shopping Bag, which they then filled to the brim with goodies.
One area in which the French are not particularly conscious of waste is in pharmacuticals. Everything is given fresh, all the time. If one has a cut finger in May, one receives a large bottle of disinfectant, a large roll of bandages, a roll of tape, etc. If one cuts another finger in June, even though only 2 % of the earlier supplies have been used, one gets an entire new supply.
The pharmacist looked at the 'prescription' for the nurse, nodded, and assured us that she would take care of everything.
That evening we waited for the nurse. One of the things she was supposed to do was give mon mari an injection – a continuation of a treatment started in hospital that goes on for 1 more week. (The French are also very fond of injections rather than pills. They also like suppositories… but, touch wood, no personal experience in that area yet…)
She never came.
We waited the next morning.
She never came.
Nor did she come in the afternoon or evening.
Finally we took the syringe and went to the emergency room.
The ER nurse said: Who's your nurse?
I said: I don't know; she never came.
ER nurse: Well, did you call her?
Me: I don't know who she is; how could I call her?
ER nurse: Well, if you call her, she'll tell you, than she'll come and do it.
Me: (Head spinning, once again) Okay… But, as it's Sunday night, could you just give him the injection… Or show me how and I'll do it.
ER nurse: Of course, and very nicely gave him the jab and me the instructions.
Me: Thank you.
ER nurse: Call your nurse!
Me: Yes, Ma'am! (muttering 'How the F*** can I do that if I don't know who or where she is?')
I realized, somewhere along the line, a crucial bit of information went missing.
Everyone: doctor, hospital staff, pharmacist, ER staff; assumed that I would know about the nurse. Nowhere was there any information to give me any clue that I needed to do anything at all.
I assumed, since everyone: doctor, hospital staff, pharmacist, ER staff; kept telling me about the nurse, that it was a standard arrangement handled by the hospital.
Turns out we were all wrong: I hadn't a clue what to do and they didn't supply the nurse.
I was meant to contact the home-care nurse for our commune. To find out who that is, I ask the maire (mayor) whose office is not open on Saturday, anyway.
Apparently every little town and village has at least one nurse on call, always.
Apparently every French person knows this, as home visits by the nurse for an illness, or after a hospital stay, are standard and and an expected part of ongoing health care.
We called this morning.
She was here an hour later. Gave mon mari a quick once over, read all the papers, explained what she needed to do (a couple of periodic blood samples in addition to the injections), and said she'd be back tonight – for the 7pm jab.
She left; he went back to lawn mowing.
Apparently it never occurred to any one, that we, being Americans, might not know this part of the system.
Now we do.
Oh….doctors still make house calls here, too.
And, now to the Burgers and Beans….thought I'd never get there, didn't you?
Simple Summer Cooking!
When we lived in the U.S. we did these with ground venison. They would also be good with ground turkey. If your beans have a very watery tomato sauce (like mine) drain them first. Otherwise use as much of the sauce as you like.
Burgers and Beans
12 oz (350gr) ground beef
1 large onion – preferably red or sweet
1 can barbecue or baked beans or 'beans in tomato sauce'
4 tbs ketchup
4 tsp Dijon-style mustard
Tear off 4 squares of foil (1 1/2 times as long as the box is wide). Peel onion, cut into 8 thin slices and put one slice in the center of each foil. Divide ground beef into fourths, patty and place a patty on top of each onion slice. Top with another onion slice. Spoon beans on top of burger patties dividing evenly. Put mustard and ketchup on top of beans – dividing evenly. Bring long ends of foil together and fold over. Fold in sides, loosely. Cook them on a gas grill for about 15 minutes. When done – unwrap and put on plates. Serve with Brown Rice or quinoa.
The other advantage to having a visiting nurse: Everyone, from the mayor on down, knows everything. Significantly shortens the regular gossip grapevine.