After crying the blues about the system, when I was nearing the end of my rope, that’s when it all falls into place.
I managed to accomplish something today that made me very proud of myself.
I went alone to the doctors. Over the past two years; Alfonz, Mallory or Anne would tag along to talk for me. I used them as a reason to not step up and do it for myself. Selfishly I knew Alfonz was put out by this, and saw that he was becoming very perplexed at how on earth he became my chauffeur and interpreter. I have to snicker to myself… teehee
Today with schedules, it was simply impossible for Alfonz to take me, and luckily Mallory went to Montpellier. Although I had a friend offer to come along for moral support from French class (thanks Jan) I decided it was high time to tackle my fear.
I prepared the night before and arranged all my files in order. I wanted a clear picture to present my case to who I thought would be a hard ass government doctor.
Alfonz kindly punched the address into the GPS for me, so it was easy to find the place. On the drive I had Michel Thomas blazing hoping I would miraculously learn the exact right words along the drive.
Once there, parking was tricky but I managed to find a spot down a narrow residential road and thankfully did not crash the van.
I walked, nicely dressed with long confident steps thinking that this will somehow give me courage. I smiled at everyone I met and only after did I realize I was talking to myself the whole time. Hi, I’m the loser in the red coat! Stress is a funny thing.
We are only a few steps from crazy at any given moment. Just saying…
I entered the CPAM medical building and followed the signs to a medical office on the first floor. To a secretary I presented my letter and stated why I was there. So far so good. She said wait there and pointed to a waiting room with two people who looked visibly unable to work. One had a crutch (perhaps borrowed from a friend but did look the part) and a woman that messed up her hair just before entering the building. What… it is possible.
Then, 30 minutes early, a cheerful lady said my name. I looked up surprised and said, why that’s me! My last doctor’s appointment to my gynaecologist was scheduled for 10:00 and I saw him at 11:45!! That is extreme but the normal is about an hour.
I happily followed the lady and said excuse my French my family has been here for two years and we are learning the language. When she turned out to be the doctor, we chatted for 15 minutes before the actual interview. She asked about my life in Canada, why we moved here and what I like about France. The paperwork did come up and she said red tape and bureaucracy is a common complaint and just smiled. She gave me endless suggestions on how an English speaker can make money and said that things will go better for us now that I have had the operation all though she did mention my weight was a few kilos over what it should be (3 to be exact) and I was too young for the operation. That was before I told her I was forty. Really? Really 🙂 She made my day!
The examination went well and she decided that indeed I am fit for work and said the payment will be coming shortly. Nine weeks of income on its way, not bad for a days solo drive to Beziers.
I also received a five day booking for the apartment rental, which followed but a business proposition that made Alfonz and I snap straight up right out of our winter blues. With new business ideas in the works we have something to chew on over the winter months.
Is it not funny how quickly things change? Good thing we didn’t throw in the towel.