When we lived in Switzerland and just across the border in France in the late 1990s and early 2000s, one of the biggest problems was finding healthcare. Now I realize that I worked at the World Health Organization, but the docs there were researchers, primarily, meeting goers-to-ers. They weren’t your every day heal-the-sick kind of doctors.
In addition to not knowing the ropes of a foreign system, there was the language barrier. I mean, frankly, it is difficult to describe illnesses in English — I always feared that I would go in with a sore throat and end up without an important body part. I didn’t realize that that could happen right here in the good old U.S. of A. In fact, that just happened recently when a man went in for a routine procedure and, ummm, had a life changing event. Allegedly.
So in 2002, we moved home to the U.S. where I could communicate and get medical treatment for $197,238.73 per word.
Today, though, I’m rethinking that decision. Maybe we acted in haste. Maybe we should have thought twice or three times. Maybe we should go back.
No, I’m not sick. In fact, with my English-speaking doctors I’m doing quite well.
But there is one thing that I could get in France that I cannot get here: wine.
PARIS – A hospital in the French city of Clermont-Ferrand is to open a wine bar where terminally ill patients will be able to enjoy a “medically-supervised” glass or two with their families.
Vive la France, where the terminally ill can get “medically supervised” alcoholic beverages. I hear the wine is to die for.
If I DO go back to die with wine in my hand/throat/tummy, somebody else needs to pick it out. I have an amazing skill crafted while living inside of or within spitting distance of France.
I can go into any store in France and leave with a bottle of awful wine. It’s a talent. A gift. Not many folks can claim it.