I don’t know. Maybe it’s these cold, dark, wintry days that are getting to me, making me wonder why I left my little people’s republic of Northern California (these deportation orders! My friends would be hiding their cleaning ladies in the basement, if California had basements…) to move to a place that can be by turns ossified in its bureaucracy or ossified in its self-serving excuse du jour (take that, artisan français). Surely there was a third option, maybe Amsterdam or Barcelona. Then something happens. Maybe the sun comes out. It may not shine exactly but it will give us a nice rosy glow, so flattering to my crepey skin. Or maybe I finally, possibly, have found my doctor.
Medical care here is generally excellent. I, however, am the patient from hell. I don’t get my blood work, don’t take my medicine. I’m constantly losing the same 5 pounds. It’s all so boring. I once had a boyfriend who skipped a blood test, the one that would have detected his colon cancer in time to save his life. You’d think I’d have learned, but no. Back in the States, every so often I’d have a Douglas LaPlante Memorial Colonoscopy. Now I’m over it.
I found this smart but easygoing doctor who has seen my type before and has learned to roll with it. I like her but I don’t know, doctors, medicine, so dull.
And Then. I’ll spare you the tacky details but suddenly I needed an ENT guy right away. I didn’t dare call my doctor. She’d ask about that blood test she ordered two months ago. So I made M. Wonderful find a doctor in the neighborhood who speaks English and could see me at once. I don’t know how he puts up with me. But off I went, to the usual Paris doctor’s office in a stunning antique-filled converted apartment. Even the examining table was an antique. No clerks, no front desk. I was greeted by the doctor, this tiny, skinny woman in black leather everything, I think, apart from a mohair sweater and the ropes of pearls that keep her anchored to the ground. No white coat. Her Pomeranian sleeps next to her desk.
She found the problem and fixed it, just like that. Then, right after she answered her own phone and complained to me about the patient who called — not in detail, just a general, casual, “I hate the French,” — she let me know that she advertises one specialty but has five and if I wanted, she could be my regular doctor. Well, I was hooked. The Pomeranian, the diamonds and cubic zirconia peeking through the mohair and pearls, this is my kind of doctor. And where but France, maybe where but Paris, could I find someone as eccentric as she is competent? And a French francophobe, to boot, maybe worse than me. I’m going to love this. I may even follow her advice.