In the place I live - Paris, or even more realistically, France, at any mention of illness or pain the French jump on different kinds of treatment the same way an energetic labrador jumps on his long-awaited owner. I have experienced a few minor colds in the 6 years I've been living in France and people have given them names I can barely pronounce. Rhinopharyngite is what they call a common cold in France, then you have bronchite which I suppose should be bronchitis but it's far more common here than in the UK. More people than I can count on two hands complain of having migraines here whereas at home I knew of one person who suffered from them.
All that to say that when I have really needed medical care I have thanked my lucky twinkling stars that I do live in France.
Today is one of those days. Yesterday I went into hospital to have five moles removed. No tests were done prior to my admittance to hospital to find out if these moles were dangerous, but my dermatologist thought it would be prudent to have them removed.
I presumed that being a dermatologist, she would be the one to lay me down on the table, inject a little local anaesthetic and whip them off herself with a brisk slice of a fifteen blade. But no, this being France, medical things have to be done more than properly. She referred me to a wonderful plastic surgeon, another lady, and promised me that as I was a young woman, it would be better for me to have my surgery done by a true surgeon whose work was "vraiment beau". I suppose she meant, contrary to The Carver, that Beauty Is Not A Curse On The World, but should be sought out at all costs. I have to say, it's a trait to be cherished in skin specialists. (By the way if you haven't seen all of series 3 of Nip/Tuck don't read the link on The Carver).
So, yesterday with a full ten page dossier under my arm, and a full family of butterflies in my stomach, G and I set off to the hospital.
The experience was completely stress-free from start to finish. I was welcomed warmly by the nurses, the room they gave me (even though it was just for an afternoon) was modern and comfortable and I even had a post-operative snack. Again, this being France I was given fine biscuits and a little packet of very good soft cheese with a roll.
I found it extremely interesting to be awake during the operation, although awake is perhaps a slight exaggeration. The very kind and friendly anaesthetist (not unlike Liz) gave me an injection to make me relaxed and it soothed any remaining anxiety I may have had left while I was lying on the table ready for the knife. I was disappointed that there was no cool auto-CD player on to accompany the op like there is for Nip/Tuck.
So now I'm back home with five wounds to tend to. Because they're all in different places it's very difficult to remember not to catch them. I have little pieces of medical tape over them so I can't see the gory details yet, but I thought I'd leave you with a pre-op photo of the one behind my knee in all its former glory. It's now on its way to the lab to be analysed along with its four friends and I have to stay at home for ten days while the wounds heal.
Being a very active, busy person I don't expect to enjoy myself over the next ten days, but my blog will probably get a lot of attention. Watch this space for signs of insanity creeping up on me.