I was anxious to get the day going….we had places to go and appointments to meet! First up, to the pharmacie to pick up a wheelchair (fauteuil roulant). After completing some paperwork and paying in advance for 3 weeks use, it was mine! It’s new, blue and it rides like the wind….smooth and easily maneuverable….forwards, backwards, sideways….every which way. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get out and about with it (even if I am still doing the bum-scoot to the door and down the stairs).
Our first outing with it was to the PolyClinique (still on strike) to see Dr Paul Leroy. He speaks English quite well….his daughter-in-law is English and he maintains certification in the U.S. as an Orthopedic Surgeon.
Unlike the doctors in the US whose offices have multiple exam rooms, the doctors at the PolyClinque have one room that’s used both as their office and examination room. Dr Leroy’s office was striking – wood paneled walls, a large vase full of fragrant white lilies sitting on the edge of his large oak desk, a tufted leather door and a red velvet curtain surrounding the examination table. Hmmmm….maybe this was a rendezvous!
Although our experience with French doctors is very limited, we’ve found that their senses of humor are far superior to those of their American counterparts. As he got out the electric saw to remove my cast, Dr Leroy pointed to his tufted leather door and disclosed that it helped to muffle the screams of his patients.
With the hum and the vibration of the saw moving down first one side of my leg and then the other, I soon saw my green friend and constant companion resting in Dr Leroy’s hands. With all protection gone, I felt naked and vulnerable. I tried to look at Dr Afriat’s work but had to turn away. My foot looked more like Frankenstein’s monster than any recognizable part of me. It’ll take a while to get reacquainted with each other.
Dr Leroy told me to start therapy by flexing my foot but was firm that there is to be no weight bearing for another 3 weeks and I must keep my leg elevated as much as possible; he then wrote out multiple prescriptions….one for more heparin injections, another for laboratory tests, one for kinesiotherapy and finally one for a nurse to remove the stitches. Since Dr Afriat said I’d be in a “boot”, he prescribed one for that, too.
With prescriptions in hand, we returned to his secretary’s office. She completed the paperwork and presented us with a bill for 50 euros…..this is the bill, not the co-pay (I repeat…this is the bill, not the co-pay)…..costs for health care are very reasonable.
Although I was hoping to try out my new-found freedom with an outing to Carrefour, my first need was to shield my unprotected appendage, so we scouted out the only pharmacie in town that had these braces readily available and soon left town with me sporting a lovely mid-calf black boot….it’s not a Manolo Blahnik, but it’s the most beautiful shoe I’ve ever seen.
So, although I’m confined to the couch for another 3 weeks, healing seems to be on track so we celebrated a successful day with pastries and pizza picked up from local shops on our way home to the cottage.