I’ve seen more of the French health system than I wanted during the last week, but I’ve come away from it feeling well cared for and supported, and acutely away of my limitations.
The hospital in Moulins, our nearest town of any size, was able to marshal nurses, doctors and a surgeon to inspect, test and comment on my injuries. The doctor and surgeon, both of whom seemed incredibly young (I suppose this merely proves my impending pensioner status), decided that it would not be sensible to re-open wounds, so the stitches put in the night before will remain for two weeks (why do the French say 8 jours for a week and 15 jours for a fortnight?).
This is encouraging because it means that they are happy that there is no neurological or vascular damage that needed to be repaired. It’s less encouraging that a rough and ready stitching job becomes the final repair. I went to the local GP for a check on progress this morning, and his comment was “It’s not pretty, is it?”
Transactions with the doctor and chemist would be simpler if I had a ‘carte vitale‘, the electronic card which links to your health insurance. Although I have joined the MSA (state insurance scheme for farmers) and have a paper ‘attestation‘ to prove my cover, I have been waiting for months for the carte vitale to arrive. Now I have to claim reimbursement for prescription and consultation costs using the paper system, which seems pretty complex. A trip to the MSA offices in Moulins is needed to see if some of the bureaucracy can be unravelled and a card obtained . . . . .
The cats have been working in shifts to keep my damaged leg warm, and I have been greatly comforted by the return of Mother Cat (whose disappearance Val reported earlier). After a week away, she just turned up, with no fuss and in very good condition. As if she had been away on holiday. And she has resumed normal routines, along with a measure of Simon nursing, for which I am very grateful.