Believe it or not, the time had finally come for the much anticipated Class Verte trip. If you don’t know what that is, you can try to figure out from one of my past posts, but honestly, I barely understand it myself. But before the trip could happen, we just had to get over one more hurdle: SICKNESS.
We went away for the weekend to the Loire Valley – great wine and even better castles – more on that later. On the way home, I could tell that Owen wasn’t feeling great, but I was hoping it was just a passing cold. Not so. The Class Verte trip was scheduled for Tuesday, but when O woke up on Monday morning, he had a massive fever and was absolutely not fit for school. Crap. This could only mean one thing, since we had no more time to wait out the sickness – a trip to the French doctor.
I knew this moment would come at some point, but I was hoping to put it off until my French was slightly better. Actually, I was really hoping that the kids and I had a very healthy two years and had absolutely no need of a doctor for at least the next 24 months. That could happen, right?!!?!? I can feel the nay-saying vibes just writing that.
At the moment I realized that O needed to see a doctor, I realized that I was alone on this one because:
- I am an adult and I should be able to cope living in a foreign country, since I came here willingly
- My kid is sick and there are only so many times I can ask Tim to do all things involving speaking like: answer the door, answer the phone, mail a letter, speak to our landlord, speak to the principal of the school, call the phone company to figure out why our internet isn’t working, etc.
- Just last week, I practiced the scenario with my tutor about how to make an appointment with a doctor in French
- I am very stubborn and the less likely it is that I will do something well, the more likely it is that I will try it. Actually, the might make me dumb, not stubborn…………….hmm. I’m going with persistent.
Anyway, I knew that the doctor spoke some English, but it was clear seconds into the phone call, that the receptionist clearly did not. Somehow I managed to make an appointment and was feeling pleased with myself when I got off the phone until Owen picked up his small sick head to ask me, “Why do you spell my name like that?” I clearly had no idea what he was talking about, until he started telling me that, in French, I spelled his name something like this:
Impossible! I would never do something like that (insert sarcastic tone).
At that point, I didn’t care what the doctor called Owen, we had an appointment! And since I have so many challenges telling time, I triple checked to make sure we would arrive at the correct time. That was, until I remembered that Tim took the car to work and I realized that we were going to have to walk to the doctor’s office. Walking is good for you, right?
I’m going to fast forward through the part of the story that involves walking, because it was too painful to recount. In fact, it was so painful, I blocked it out entirely.
Once we got to the doctor’s office we walked in to find:
- no receptionist
- no obvious signage telling us what to do
- no other people
- a big empty waiting room
So I did what any person would do, I sat down and picked up a magazine. When Owen gave me a look like, ”Are you sure we’re supposed to sit down?” I realized that it is very obvious that I have no idea what I’m doing. Even to an 8 year old. So I shot back the, ”of course I know what I’m doing” look and he took a seat with me.
Shortly after that, the doctor himself emerged and said some name that I didn’t recognize, but I figured it was us, since I had no idea what name I spelled on the phone. One look down his throat later and Owen was diagnosed with strep. Bummer, but totally and quickly curable with medication.
The doctor said, “I’m going to prescribe some 1,000 milligram pills for Owen that he should take every morning and night.” That’s when I replied, “Um, do can you give us some sort of liquid medication instead of pills, because he’s really only ever taken liquid medication.” At that point the doctor told me that if I wanted to make the pill a liquid, I should just put it in a glass of water. I guess I never really thought of that………………….
We left the doctor’s office and then made an attempt to find an open pharmacy, but apparently Monday is the day when most pharmacies are closed in France, so I gave up, dragged the poor boy home and put him on the couch.
When Tim got home he ran out to find an open pharmacy. When he came back, I opened the package of pills and to my astonishment, they were the biggest pills I had ever seen! They made my prenatal vitamins look like m&ms! They were like the size of a quarter – but round! I was trying to hide my horror as I caually got a small glass of water and threw the pill in. This is the point where I was imagining that some sort of red cherry flavor would start bursting forth from this giant pill to make this medine more tolerable. Friends, there was no fake cherry flavor here. Just a giant pill of pure stank tasting medicine disolved in a glass of water.
I’m going to skip the next part of the story because it involved a lot of crying, coaxing and demanding with a glass of stank medicine sprinkled in. Let’s just fast forward to Plan B.
Plan B involved a crushed up pill in a giant spoonful of Nutella. Success at last!
Shortly after this whole incident, I was talking to my friend Angie about the pills and she told me that the same doctor prescribed the same pills for her when she was sick. She also asked me which pharmacy Tim went to to get the prescription filled and as it turns out, both prescriptions were filled by the same pharmacy. Since we live in horse country and this particular pharmacy seems to cater to horse owners, Angie maintains that we were both given pills made for horses, not people. With no cherry flavor at all.