Medical Visit #2

Trip Start Sep 26, 2011
1
11
22
Trip End May 06, 2012


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Flag of France  , Rhône-Alpes,
Thursday, November 24, 2011

In order to stay in France legally, there are certain requirements I have to follow for my VISA to remain active. One of those requirements, is to go to the office of immigration for a medical exam. So why do people who are from outside the European Union need to do this? Well, you never know, we could be bringing all types of diseases from America, like small pox and swine flu. It's better to be safe than sorry, right? In all seriousness, the French government is more concerned about us bringing T.B. to France. Though I feel like this medical exam is just another excuse to force foreigners into awkward social situations. 

In order to check for T.B., all VISA holders must have a chest x-ray done. Lucky me, I've already gotten a chest x-ray from the first time I had to get a medical visit for my VISA back in Paris in 2010, but you never know, I could've acquired something since then!? Therefore, the first thing I'm asked upon arrival is to go into a room, remove everything from waist-up and then wait to be called by a radiologist. Instead of standing with my chest against a giant screen like the last time, this time I was asked to stand in a large cubicle and then place my chest on a smaller screen. In case I didn't know where to place my boobs, they had a dummy-proof diagram of where your chest should be positioned on the screen. However, upon stepping inside the cubicle, I noticed I was too short to place my chest on the diagram. I turned to the radiologist, who then noticed I was too short as well. But no need to worry! She simply pressed a button and raised the floor of the cubicle to just the right height for my...well you know. 

After the x-ray exam, I was then shuffled-off to have a private consultation with a doctor. Here, the doctor pulled out my exam and examined it for any abnormalities. For an excruciating three minutes of silence while he examined my chest, he then took the x-ray results and moved it towards and away his face, as if he saw something wrong. The silence was literally cutting me with a knife, I was beginning to panic: What does he see? Is there something wrong? Am I dying? Why is he staring at it for so long? What are those cloudy things on the x-ray results, do I have cancer? Why are you taking so long? Finally, he looks at me, gives me a short smile and places the x-ray results back into it's folder. I will never know what (if anything) is wrong with me.

The first question on his agenda was whether I was pregnant or not. By this point in my visit, I have already been asked the question twice. However, everyone has worded the question as: "Avez-vous le bebe?" (Do you have the baby?). The doctor asked me: "Vous etes enceinte?" (Are you pregnant?). Now the first time I heard him, I swear he said "Vous etes sante?" [*not grammatically correct French] (You have good health?). So therefore, I was about to say 'yes'. But after thinking for a split second about the nature of his question, I realized that probably wasn't what he was asking. I politely responded with a "Je ne sais pas" (I do not know), but he wouldn't re-word the question for me. 
 
"Vous etes enceinte? Vous etes ENCEINTE? Qu'est-ce que c'est enceinte??" 
"Je ne comprends pas! Enceinte? Je ne sais pas? Disez-moi!" 
"Avez-vous le bebe?" (As he points to his stomach) 
"Non! Bien sur!" 
 
Now really, was it that hard to just phrase the question like that from the beginning? Thank goodness I didn't respond with a 'yes' like I was originally intending to say. That would've been a interesting outcome...

After the one-on-one consultation with the doctor, I was given my x-ray results to take home. Un cadeau de Grenoble? Lucky me! Just think, if I re-apply for this program for next year and get accepted, I would be getting another medical exam. Pretty soon I could be making some type of wall art with all my chest x-rays given to me by the French government. 
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Comments

mama g on

"avez-vous le bebe"... sounds like some very drunk male with a horrible french accent trying to give a 'pick-up line' to a good looking girl. :-p

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