Extraordinary Stories

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Friday, May 26, 2017

The "When Will It Ever End?" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Just gave my date of birth, 9/9/44, to Dr. Guillaume Carrel-Billiard who is sitting across from Carol and me in the Medecine Generale on the French side of the island of St. Martin.  "Ah, the end of the war!" the doctor said.  Carol said, "Yes, it was.  Seems like a long time ago!"  Dr. Carrel, as it says on his name tag, is the medical doctor at the Cabinet Medical Caraibes at 80 rue de Cul-de-Sac and has been the doctor on location for the past two years.  He was born in Brussels, Belgium and went to medical school in France and is now serving as doctor in the office directly next to one of St. Martin's Pharmacies.  The reason for our visit today are colds that have stuck with us since our plane has landed on the island six days ago.  What was supposed to be a relaxing vacation, approved by Carol's breast cancer surgeon and my prostate cancer surgeon, of day after day on some of the world's best beaches has turned into a nightmare of day and night inside with plenty of bed rest.  Did manage one day on the beach, but it tired both of us out so much that we spent a few more days in bed after it.  Finally decided we needed to see a doctor or our entire vacation will turn into the exact same event that our last vacation did when Carol came down with appendicitis part-way through it and had to have her appendix removed in a hospital on the tiny island of Provenciales.  No appointment was needed at the Cabinet Medical Caraibes and we sat in his waiting room for maybe five minutes before he opened his door and a very pretty young woman exited his office and he invited us into it.  He examined both of us, checked our blood pressure, listened to our lungs and heartbeat and began to write a few prescriptions.  Four meds for me and five meds for my wife.  Our very handsome doctor has had such a varied life and is perhaps in his late 20s to maybe mid-30s.  We shared some stories with him and then it was time to leave.  His fee was $50 for the visit, in cash!  "No credit card?" I asked him.  Well, I emptied my pockets and Carol checked her purse and we managed to come up with $99.  "That's fine," he said.  "I'll be back tomorrow with the rest," I promised him.  We walked a few steps from his office and entered the pharmacy where we ended up with two shopping bags filled with drugs to cure what ails us.  
Enough medicine to cure the entire neighborhood.
Enough cough medicine to last until next vacation and enough pills and sprays to cure the neighbor- hood where our villa is located.  And to top that off, enough liquid vitamins to purify and nourish the drinking water in a large village.  We are now at the end of our first days meds and feel slightly better.  Hoping that the beach will beckon tomorrow and we finally have a chance to relax and forget all our medical worries for a few weeks.  Life can be very unfair at times, but you just have to keep pushing on and make the best of it.  And, I must remember to take the $1 that I owe to the doctor to him tomorrow or I'll never get better.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy. 

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