Yesterday, Susie and I set out to see our Paris doctor, Dr. Agnes Bryn. Rue du Pot de Fer [Iron Pot Street, presumably] is off rue Mouffetard, almost at the top of a steep hill capped by Place de Contrescarpe. Since it would have been a difficult walk for Susie, we took the Metro to Jussieu, changed, went one stop to Place Monge, and walked over to Mouffetard. I had left plenty of time in case I got lost, and we arrived at our street maybe forty minutes early.
As we turned into rue du Pot de Fer, my heart soared. It turns out to be a narrow little seventeenth century street lined with cafes and restaurants. Since yesterday was the first certifiably Spring day Paris has enjoyed, everyone was out in the streets, and at ten of three, there were plenty of people finishing a late lunch or having a glass of wine en plein air. Number 11, Dr. Bryn's address, is flanked by Restaurant Basque and the Hideout Bar, which announces itself as an Irish Pub, with non-stop NHL, NFL, MLB, and Rugby on the telly. Tourist central. Far and away the best doctor's waiting room I have ever seen!
We took a seat at an outside table across the street at the Rotisserie Chiken Pub [which my automatic spellcheck keeps trying to change to Chicken, but it really is Chiken.] We ordered two kirs and relaxed to watch the world go by for half an hour. The sign over the door of the seventeenth century building housing Dr. Bryn's clinic reads "11 gaz a tous les etages," a relic I assume of the day when gas on all floors was a selling point, like "hot and cold running water."
As we sat, a slender middle aged woman with a look of amused intelligence on her face came out of number 11 on an errand. Her eye caught mine and she smiled. I smiled back. "I think that is our doctor," I said to Susie. At twenty-five after, we rang her bell, were buzzed in, and walked up one flight of stairs to "le premier etage," as the French say. We entered the door with Dr. Bryn's name on it [there were several doctors' offices], and after a few minutes she came out. Her face burst into a big smile and she said, "I thought it was you!" As Renee Zellweger says in Jerry Maguire, she had me with hello.
Dr. Bryn took first Susie's medical history and then mine. I had arranged for UNC Health to email our records to her, but the records have some sort of security control that makes them self-destruct if they are not opened in a certain amount of time [sort of like Mission Impossible], so I called the USA later and they will re-send them. Susie likes me to come to doctor's appointments with her because the cognitive difficulties that are an effect of her MS make it difficult for to remember later what a doctor has told her, so when Dr. Bryn started asking questions, I undertook to answer them. But she shushed me and said she wanted to hear from Susie so that she could form an impression of her. I liked that.
Dr. Bryn was bright, knowledgeable, clued in about medications and such like, and withal charming. Since I actually like our primary care physician in Chapel Hill a lot, I cannot say it was a marked change from a visit to the doctor at home [except for the waiting room ;) ], but I came away quite reassured that if either of us had a medical emergency while in Paris, we could reach out to Dr. Bryn with confidence.
After an hour, we had covered everything important. Dr. Bryn charged me 120 Euros for the two of us, and gave me some forms with which I shall file for reimbursement from our supplementary health care insurance when we return home. Then, since it was still lovely outside and downhill to our apartment, we walked home, giving Susie an opportunity to window shop at the seemingly endless series of little boutiques offering shoes, jewelry, scarves, and purses.