This post is one for the SFN ladies. It's a healthcare issue which the only reason I share is because I am concerned that other ladies having moved to France may be like me & have not really given it much thought until now. It's important so that's why I'm blogging about it.
Having had 3 kids in the past 3 years it's been a while since I had a cervical check up referred to in the UK as the Smear. So I decided I'd ask my GP about whether I should have one. She was surprised when I said my last one was 2007 (pre-babies). So she told me to book in with her for a rendez-vous gynaecologique. Now many women in France have a separate Gynaecologist, perhaps you already do, perhaps you'd rather see your GP or not. One thing is clear though, we should make sure we don't simply forget about this important check up just because we have moved countries.
It's easy to think of registering with your GP purely for illness, but prevention is just as important and France appears to be good at testing to prevent illness/disease or pick up on issues quickly in my experience so far.
So I booked the appointment and she did the necessary, I used to be squeamish about this sort of thing but having had 3 kids (2 in France) and experiencing the whole gynecologist led & lets be fair 'hands on' approach taken in France throughout pregnancy I am now not at all squeamish or shy.
Anyway she's my Medecin and I feel comfortable with her, she's the best Dr I've ever had.
As well as the test, she also did the Breast check up to inspect for unusual tissue/lumps/bumps etc. As I'm still Breastfeeding this was comical!
What also amused me, was after the test she gave me an envelope with the little samples inside and told me to stick 2 stamps on & post it. My hubby was also amused at this.
We talked about contraception - I do want more kids but I think 3 is enough for the next couple of years, especially considering we have a house project to do in between. Now apart from knowing the word for Preservative I know little else in french vocab about this area. So when she mentioned the word pronounced sterileh, I was shocked and positively jumping up and down shouting no, no peut-etre je veux une autre enfant. Much amusement to her as she took out her post it note & drew a spiral shaped Y on it. Aha the coin dropped, she wasn't talking about making sure we'd always fit in a 5 seater car.
She explained though that these are complicated to do & I'd need to see a gynecologist and has recommended one in Beziers as our favourite one, the fantastic Dr Clapies has now left Beziers Hospital to work on humanitarian projects. So giving me a letter for this Gyne lady and a prescription for a Y shaped thing I now need to make an appointment for that. I have to say my heart sinks when I think I now have to try to explain what I want doing to some medical secretary over the phone...I need to make sure I get it right.
Anyway the reason for sharing this...was really in case there are any of you ladies out there who are unsure what to do about having these regular check ups, don't leave it to chance. Book your rendez-vous gynelogique and make sure everything is ok.
I await to see what the results will be & how they are presented, presumably I will also be billed by the lab to which I have to post the envelope as they don't have my carte vitale...another complication there then.
It's all about learning to live life in a normal day to day manner - and this is a normal day to day thing, often not spoken about through embarrassment, but I hope some of you find this useful & it might give you the confidence to pick up the phone.