Thursday, May 24, 2018

Is the doctor in?

The other day we visited the local doctor on the island. He's French. He's also an artist and well known for his work. He keeps semi regular hours and he might be in the doorway of his studio in front of a painting holding a brush or he may have his white coat on treating a patient. The first time we met him he was shirtless and painting. I asked if the doctor was in. He said, "I don't know, let me check", and he proceeded to put on his lab coat and when fully buttoned he said, "The doctor is in. Welcome."

So we popped into his office/studio for a consultation. My blood pressure meds ran out and I needed a refill but the pharmacy in the French islands required a new prescription. Most other islands do not. They just look at your empty bottle and give you a refill. So we went to see the gentle Doc and see if I could get a prescription. I was concerned that my BP was a bit higher than normal.

The good doctor asks why I think I have high blood pressure. I told him I have a device on the boat for testing it. "Huh. Is that so." he replied. He then took my blood pressure. "You do NOT have high blood pressure."

OK, but it's over the required limit set by...."Fuck them!"

Uh, but I'm taking these pills and...

"I am French yes? We see things different than American doctors. Your blood pressure is not high it is normal for your age and you do not need a prescription from me." He also checked Debra's and declared us both healthy and then asked about our sailing life. We chatted for a while and thanked him for seeing us. We bought some art work.

You might think this doctor doesn't know what he's talking about but Debra went to him with an issue that normally requires a round of antibiotics but he gave her a packet of powder to mix with one cup of water to drink. She was fine just hours later and has not had a problem since. This medication is not available in the US because it's a cheap cure for a common problem. We're being taken for a ride in the US by big pharma folks. Deb also got a refill on a prescription but they didn't have the generic version so it would cost much more. The cost? About $20. In the US it would have been $250.00.

Looking up the French guidelines for recommended blood pressure I see I am in the healthy range. In the US I would need to be treated with meds. When I ran out of meds my BP didn't change all that much. Interesting. In the mean time I am continuing to take my meds but I'm not freaked out about the whole thing and that probably lowered my BP even more.

I have to say that our worries about minor medical issues turning into bigger issues because of poor care here in the islands were unfounded. I'm not sure about anything major like a heart attack and I've heard the local hospitals are pretty rustic depending on the island. If one of us had a heart attack right now well, we might get lucky and make it onto the ferry to the main island for treatment but most likely we would just be prepared for burial at sea.

Cheers!
PJJB

Doctor Chevailler


3 comments:

  1. I would be crying if this was not so funny, but you are absolutely correct. We are being taken for a ride!
    The French have the lowest cases of obesity and subsequently, high blood pressure. They drink that red wine and say ‘Fuck them!’

    I am ready to move to France.

    - Lisa

    ReplyDelete
  2. So, i, too, may need to move to France.

    ReplyDelete