A Year in the Merde


This is what I felt like after my wait in the doctor’s office.

There are two great books, both by Stephen Clark, the first is A Year in the Merde, the second is Merde Actually(Both are about an Englishman living in France.) I felt like I had spent a year in the merde today as I waited at a doctor’s office. I took along Merde Actually in case we had a wait and I actually got to page 164! Most doctors have three or so days a week where no appointments are made, the time being for drop-ins, first come first served. We usually try to get in early in the day, always hoping to be the first but today we stopped in in the afternoon and had a three hour wait.
The first patient to go in was a young teen-ager who was pacing the floor holding his ears when we walked in. He stayed in the entry hall for the most part only coming into the waiting room to sneeze on everyone. He was, I think, retarded, and spent the time pacing in the hall talking outloud to himself. There were three children in the waiting room all with the bright red cheeks signifying high temperatures. One little girl cried for quite a while until she fell asleep in her mother’s arms. The children all took turns playing with some lego blocks and other toys in the room, putting all of those germs all over them. It is just part of the medical system here.
Our doctor in Paris charges more if you make an appointment. Her waiting room, although it has nice furniture and wooden floors, has strips of the ceiling and wall covering coming down in ugly strips. I can’t believe she doesn’t get it fixed up. Her office is a mess too with huge piles of papers in wobbly towers all over the place. She doesn’t use the computer as efficiently as other doctors I’ve been to and writes out all of her prescriptions by hand instead of printing them out from the computer as most others do here. Most doctors don’t have much help in their offices either, I assume to save money, and seem to do just about everything themselves.
At least I was entertained by my book during our wait although my back was starting to hurt on the hard chairs. I almost laughed outloud a few times and I’m sure some of the patients waiting with us in the room wondered what I kept smiling at.

One thought to “A Year in the Merde”

  1. How much more does your doctor charge if you make an appointment? Seems like avoiding a three-hour wait might be worth a few extra euros. Have you considered changing doctors?

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