We think mon mari is fixed.
We hope mon mari is fixed He has one more test to pass next week. I’m making him study.
He hasn’t been in hospital all this time, but a bit of back and forth, in and out, tests and procedures, punctuated by a few trips to find a house and a couple of long, leisurely lunches on the coast.
As long as it’s all still so fresh I thought I would pass on a few tidbits about the French Health Care System.
Oh, not about the actual medicine….
The actual day – to – day stuff that the medical people consider immaterial to helping sick people.
The actual stuff that sick people consider to be rather important, since they are already sick, miserable and stuck in the bloody hospital.
First: Privacy / Modesty
Doors to patients rooms are kept shut at all times. Not having a lot of hospital experience I don’t know if this is the norm in other countries, but here they are firmly closed. It can get rather stuffy, considering the lack of air-conditioning. But the windows all open!
On the other hand there are no curtains or screens separating the 2 patients in a semi-private room. Normally both patients are of the same sex so modesty shouldn’t be an issue.
Normally, but not always. Mon mari had two female roommates. One learns to avert the gaze – he for the female roommates, me for the male, when the nurses are in attendance.
Normally, having the door closed should also insure tender sensibilities are protected.
Normally, but not always. I walked in, after the perfunctory knock and bid to enter, on mon mari’s young (attractive and very fit) male roommate lying, perfectly nude on top of a perfectly bare bed.
Mon mari had stepped out and the roomie was expecting the girlfriend.
He laughed and waved…. I laughed and waved back…
Second: Pain / Discomfort
This is, apparently, not acceptable, in any degree, anywhere in all of France. I have never seen a people so concerned with medicating every little twinge – and a people so incapable of managing said twinges without ample medication. There were a lot of happy folks in the hospital.
Third: Patient Responsibilities
This is taken rather seriously. Your body; your responsibility.
Medical records are in the hands of the patient. One is expected to bring the appropriate ones to an appointment. I have all of the mammograms, radio’s, etc. ever done here in France. Not copies; originals. They’re mine; best take care of them.
Mon mari has a stack of all the test results, x-rays etc, plus surgery reports and treatments. They’re his.
Medicine is in the hands of the patient to the degree it can be. Getting a flu shot?
First, go to your GP and get the prescription
Second, go to your pharmacy and get the syringe and serum
Third, go the medical center and get the injection… Don’t forget to get your prescription stamped
Fourth, take the stamped prescription back to your pharmacy to get the whole thing paid for.
For mon mari‘s last test next week, he has to pick up whatever is needed at the pharmacy the day before and take it with him to give to the doctor.
On the other hand, there are no co-pays for prescriptions of any kind.
If you want to read more about French medical practices you can read about my first OB/GYN visit here.
Bet your doctor doesn’t say: “Okay, strip!”
The girls and I are glad mon mari‘s fixed… It’s no fun when he’s broken.
As you would expect, I’ve had some very strange meals.
Strange, but delicious!
The first time we were in Venice I had Vitello Tonnato.
I fell in love!
Every summer since I have made it for my birthday dinner (my day; my choice).
Mon mari has shut up and eaten it, even though I know he doesn’t like it.
This year, I took advantage of the opportunity not to share and made it all just for me!
I made rather a lot of the Tonnato Sauce; had it twice on the veal and finished it up on pasta.
It was good!
Good enough for inclusion in Presto Pasta Nights! Visit founder, Ruth, of Once Upon A Feast on Friday for the round-up.
Pasta with Tonnato Sauce
1 1/2 cups of bite-size pasta – farfalle, shells, penne
1 6 oz (180gr) can tuna
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 anchovy fillets (or the equivalent in anchovy paste), drained and rinsed
1 1/2 tbs lemon juice
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1 tbs capers, drained
1 – 3 tbs liquid/oil from tuna, if needed, for thinning
Cook pasta according to package instructions. While pasta cooks: Open tuna and drain into a small bowl, reserving liquid. Put all ingredients for sauce (except reserved liquid) into blender and purée until smooth. If you would like a thinner sauce add a bit of the reserved tuna liquid and purée again.
When pasta is done, drain, rinse with cool water, drain again and put into a large serving bowl. Toss with Tonnato Sauce. Serve.
Note: If you don’t use all of the Tonnato Sauce (matter of taste) use the rest over cold poached veal or chicken