Bear has shingles but he still insisted on accompanying me to Chirugerie A on Monday afternoon.
We took the lift to the fourth floor and followed the directions to be welcomed by a young girl dressed in white (but it was difficult to know whether she was a nurse or not as everyone seems to be dressed the same ).
She went into the office and I heard someone say ‘Room 426’ so she led us aong the corridor and, lo and behold, despite signing up for a single room this was a double.
“Sorry, there aren’t any singles available.” she informed me.
Two more nurses came in (I know they were nurses because I was near enough to read their name badges this time) and took my temperature and blood pressure (194 over 112!!!)
“Oh la la. You are very worried.”
Well, I didn’t think I was but that was the indisputable proof.
You can have your own phone line connected by paying 3 euros (minimum) at the Admissions Office so I went down to do that leaving Bear in the armchair between the two beds.
He was practically asleep by the time I got back and so didn’t hear all the questions on the admissions form – allergies, past operations and a long list of food likes and dislikes.
Heaven knows why they went through that last rigmarole because even though I liked everything in theory, in practice I might not have fancied eating it. Hospital food is produced for economy first and health second. Any taste considerations come way behind if the two meals I experienced were typical:
Monday dinner: pumpkin soup (passable)
breaded fish (a bit off in my opinion, especially the last part which I had to spit out) and leeks in cheese sauce which were too tough to chew.
a dry roll, a babybel cheese and a kiwi completed the meal and there was no offer of a coffee afterwards.
Tuesday’s dinner was no better: vegetable soup, a dried up chicken leg with unadorned pasta, roll, cheese and a pear compote.
It was surprising that they did not bring round hot drinks at all during the day but they did offer a ‘goodnight tisane’ at around 10 o’clock.
Breakfast was due to be served between 7.30 and 8.30 but ours arrived well after nine, served by a lady who could only work at a slow pace – or maybe she had done the entire hospital single handed and so was rather tired by the time she got to us.
“What would you like for breakfast?” she asked languidly.
“Do you have a ’tisane’? I asked.
“No, but you can have tea.”
“I’d like milky coffee please.” (I don’t like tea) and some bread but no butter thank you.”
She brought a plastic bowl containing passable coffee and on the tray was a hard roll, butter and jam. I wonder if anyone got what they asked for.
So much for the food, but as it’s a long time since I’ve experienced a stay in an English hospital – as a patient or a visitor – so I’m not sure how it compares.
I’ll tell you about the operation tomorrow.