les Davey de France

Alan and Pat live and work in Bordeaux. Alan is a pastor and Pat was a nurse. Now we work with UFM worldwide. Read on! (If you'd like to know what took us to Bordeaux, then start with the archives from September 2004)

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Chez le médecin

 Vocabulary is always a challenge. For example, what about the range of different kinds of pain, like ache, throb, stabbing pain, discomfort ? I only know two, I think... douleur and courbatures. As well as the old mal à la tête, mal à la gorge, etc... It seems quite important to me to know whether something aches, throbs or stabs, but I'd have to launch into quite a long speech to explain it in French.

Thankfully on this occasion pain wasn't part of the issue, and I had most of the words I needed. Respirer, s'allonger, le fauteuil, constricte, bronchodilateur - though it turns out this one needs a bit more tatata in it. it's dilatatation, so bronchodilatatateur. Or I think that's what he said. You have to remember that a cough is a girl - la toux, and to cough is tousser... oo, oo, oo, never ü, ü, ü.

How do you address yourself to the doctor? I asked a friend. Can you say, Bonjour Docteur ? Bonjour Toubib ? Bonjour M. le Médecin ? What is appropriate ? As it turns out you usually don't call him anything. "Bonjour, ça va ?" is quite enough.

He remarked on my Batman tee-shirt. "J'ai mis ça pour vous faire plaisir." I said (I wore it specially for you). "Well take it off so I can listen to the whistling in your chest."

I tried for "The British Grenadiers" by controlling my inhalation and exhalation, but it wasn't a good rendition. Loud enough, but out of tune.

He checks your blood pressure by sticking your hand in his armpit. The first time I was mildly shocked. The second time just nonplussed. This time I was armed. Vous n'avez pas peur des guilis, vous ? (You aren't ticklish?) He laughed and promised that one move of my hand and he'd break my fingers for me.

He wondered aloud about heart failure but since I'd told him that the day before I'd trotted up to Lidl and back, about an hour's round trip on foot if you count the shopping time, and he could see that my ankles bones are still nice and visible I was quite confident that it wasn't that. And after checking, so was he.

A tip, and a reminder for spoken French - someone says to you "asspwala ?" they mean as much as that, to that extent, etc... Written it's "à ce point-là", but e's tend to disappear in French, as do most consonants and of course combinations of vowels are usually pronounced as a totally different vowel which is not present in the combination. For example, most ways of writing the sound "o" do not contain the letter o.


The upshot is that I came away with a prescription for a steroid to inhale to calm the inflammation in my lungs. Twice a day for a month. And something to start if the pollen begins to get to me. And another Ventolin.

Now Mrs Davey has gone down with something similar but not exactly the same. Hers involves PAIN and swollen glands and a feeling of impending doom. 

She's suffering. 

I'm just coughing.

No comments: