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Blood analysis

February 10, 2010

Yesterday I finally gathered up the courage to go out, walk into a laboratoire d’analyse medicale and tell them in my broken French that need some blood work done for my doctor.

The day was cold and cloudy and we didn’t immediately find the lab that I had seen close to our house. We ended up walking in a big circle in order to “get back to square one” and DID find the Spanish consulate before having to stop at a boulangerie (bakery) to get something for Queenie to eat before heading out again into the cold. There was a time when I would make up an excuse as I walked around the city to go back home and not put myself in an embarassing situation of having to speak to communicate in another language, but those days are over. Not by choice, but by the fact that they just need to be over. I need the blood work done in order to have a French blood type card and to avoid the embarassing situation of telling my OB that in two weeks time I didn’t get the analysis done that he needs to make sure Little N and I are still healthy. So I trugged along. We went down the main street the way in which we have never gone and soon found ourselves on the verge of a sketchy area. Maybe not too sketchy, but it definitely didn’t have anything special about it and it gave us no reason to keep walking further in. So we turned onto another main street. And there it was! A laboratoire d’analyse medicale. Now I really had to walk in….

So I did. The receptionist who wasn’t on the phone looked about my age, had pink hair and a kind smile as she waited for me to say something while I pulled out my prescription for the blood work. As I handed it over I also handed over my European health card and stammered that I wasn’t sure if I could do the blood work there, but that I needed to get it done (?). She smiled and said it was fine for me to do it there (I understand French MUCH better than I speak it) and asked if I had a French Social Health card. Nope. I think the words that came out of my mouth were equivalent to: “No. Um. Papers done, but card no have. Insurance from Spain have.” Something like that.

She told me I would have to pay the full amount and would give me the paperword for my insurance company. And that I needed to wait for her coworker to get off the phone in order to register me.

The coworker was also very kind. When she asked what my date of birth was and I didn’t understand her she smiled patiently and waved her hand and continued. Then she repeated the question pointing to the date on my card…and I finally understood. Then we had a problem with me explaining to them that I AM married but that my last name on the card is my maiden name because in Spain women don’t take on their husband’s name. More choppy French, until the younger one finally asked if I speak Spanish or English. Thus began a conversation between French and English that was easier to undertand on everyone’s part. Whew!

Once I was registered and paid my 98EURO for blood tests I was taken back to a room, jabbed twice and asked to pee in a cup. Everything was very clean, clinical and quick. Very nice. The French system is half-private, half-public, as I have said before and it seems to work very nicely. Had I had my French Social Health card it would have cost me 1/3 the price that I paid. No worries though, the insurance covers everything.

And soon we were again out the door. Queenie with her medical tube that the younger receptionist gave her to keep her occupied and me with my two bandaids, satisfied that I have grown out of my shyness in the last few years and am able to do this. I am capable!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 10, 2010 6:30 pm

    That’s a great and brave step that you took! Especially when it comes to medical things. I am originally from the region of Toulouse but have been living in Dublin for the past 11 years now.

    • wideopenworld permalink*
      February 12, 2010 2:43 pm

      Really? How much fun to meet you! I love Dublin. I lived in Portrush in Northern Ireland for a year and frequented Dublin as often as possible. If you have any tips about your home I’m all ears!
      Love your blog!

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