Thursday, April 09, 2009

And not only that, but she also refuses to get undressed

Yesterday I had my second visit at the office of La Médecine du Travail. If you work in France, theoretically, at some point, you're supposed to be seen by a doctor working at the Work Medicine Office. The idea being that some people don't take care of themselves and if you integrate a medical visit into professional life, more people will get regular check-ups. There are also those high pressure jobs where stress can have major effects on health and then very high-risk or physical jobs where physical condition is important.

I teach English. You can see where I'm going with this.

For my first visit, two years ago, I didn't know what to expect and I just kind of went along with everything.

But not this time.

I walked in and gave my name. The receptionist asked me if I had brought some urine in with me. I hadn't. She asked me if I would like to urinate in a cup for her. I wouldn't. She stared. I waited. She asked why. I said that I had already urinated in a cup once for my GP this year and once for my gynecologist this year and I thought that was just about enough urinating in cups for me. She showed me to the doctor's office.

A very nice doctor. She asked me if she had had any health problems since my last visit two years ago. She. As in me, but in the third person. I know I'm a princess and all regal and everything but I was surprised by the royal we. This continued while she asked me about smoking, exercise and work problems. I kept my repsonses monosyllabic to avoid saying, "No, she doesn't and yes she does and no she deosn't."

Then she asked me to get undressed. Now, I'm all for getting undressed when the situation calls for it. But this just didn't seem like one of those situations. Why did I need to be in panties and a bra in order for it to be determined that I'm physcially apt to teach English?

So I said no. She looked at me oddly and offered possible explanations as to why I wouldn't want to do that (period? prude?). It wasn't either of those, I really just didn't feel like it and didn't see the point. She huffed and puffed and pushed up my sleeve to take my blood pressure, listened to my heart through my t-shirt, and pushed my pant leg up to see if I had puffy ankles.

Before you go thinking that I'm a royal pain in the ass, I swear I'm not. You get no gown here, no privacy while you undress, you just stand there and do your strip tease while the doctor watches. And sometimes, especially when there's no music, you just don't feel like it.

8 comments:

Alison said...

Oh. Go you. I'll never forget my last visite médicale: I stood in my non-matching bra and undies and was waiting for the doctor to tell me I was eating too many pâtisseries or drinking too much wine. He didn't, but the doctor who examined me for my carte de séjour back in 1994 told me I must have been enjoying all the French pastries. (I hadn't been.)

Christina said...

Wow...awkward.

Mentanna said...

i feel your pain! i keep telling people in the states that the question when you go to the doc here isn't IF you will have to get naked, but how naked you will have to get. just this week, i stripped to my undies, and bra, but i rebelled and left my socks on!

beth said...

If it is a strip tease I would expect that you would get tiped - in cash. . .maybe you should mention that next time!

The Idle Devil said...

Must be one of those health fad waves?

Nicole said...

Alison - there is a big lack of tact here sometimes.

Christina - more for her than for me.

Mentenna - I bet you got a comment about the socks.

Beth - Tips and music, you're right.

TID - No, it's been like that since I've been here (11 years) and I'm sure long before.

Eric J. Keller said...

I'll make you a mix disc for your next doctor visit...

Nicole said...

Eric - yes! or even just a good playlist...