Two Hearts

Been gearing up for this special day for a few weeks. Trying to get in better shape - Pilates, walking, going to the gym. Resisting that urge to pick up ice cream at the supermarket. Last year came and went and never got around to it. So this year, February 14, we were going all out, pulling out all the stops:

Blood pressure, diabetes, everything. Because Eric and I at last got health insurance, and went to the doctor today to celebrate with a general checkup.

Maybe it's because my birthday's at the end of January, or it's the beginning of the new year, but right around this time of year I always feel like I should check on things. Last week I finally got my first eye test in almost four years. I was sure he'd tell me in a gentle voice that I'd be completely blind in a year, but he said I just needed a stronger prescription.

In France, seeing the doctor was a major project, like everything there is a project - first I had to have American health insurance to qualify for a French resident card to qualify for French health insurance. Then when we finally found a local doctor, saw her a time or two, started to get to know her, she retired. When I called to try and get a recommendation, I was told "the doctor can't do that. Anyway, you'll find someone....good luck." It took another year and a half to find a doctor's office that had a waiting room with a window.

Here it was a matter of money, like everything is a matter of money. That took over a year, to set up our business, make some money to start paying for it... But once that health insurance kicked in, getting a recommendation and finding a doctor in the network was easy.

"Bring your medical records," the nice receptionist said.

"Does the doctor read French?"

He's going to the Languedoc this summer...

Maybe only at tax time, and in doctor's offices, do I fully get to fly the flakiness flag. No, not flakiness - flexibility. A life of variety! A collection of mammograms, cholesterol tests, pap smears, chest x-rays, incident reports and skin cancer files from a crazy quilt of locations: Nashville, Cleveland, Chicago, Cussac, Limoges, Bordeaux, Norwich. My purse was bursting with papers of different sizes and colors - 8 1/2 x 11, A4, some weird French legal size.

But we're healthy. That's what counts! Maybe should cut back on the salt.

And next week it's on to the dentist.

valentines If you love me, stay out of the Walmart candy aisle...