with Teena Hughes

Being ill in Paris, France

October 16, 2010 No Comments

Being ill in Paris France is no fun - find an English-speaking doctor - le medecin - a.s.a.p.

Le medecin = The doctor

Hi there, I’ve been a bit quiet as I’ve been in bed sick with flu, which has today turned into bronchitis and pharyngitis – yuck.

I’m not sharing this with you for sympathy, it just reminds me of when I first got bronchitis – and it was in Paris when I first moved there years ago.

I wasn’t  used to the freezing European winters (being from warm sunny Sydney), and our apartment was built from gigantic stone blocks meant to last millennia – and they also kept the cold in. No matter how many clothes I wore, I never seemed to be able to get warm, and I spent a couple of miserable weeks desperate to feel better.

If you’re in a foreign city and it’s winter – and you’re NOT used to the cold – make a point of finding out where the nearest English-speaking doctor (le medecin) or medical service is to where you’re staying. As you’re out walking about, see where the nearest pharmacy is (le pharmacie). As soon as you think you’ve got a bad cold or flu, get help asap – you don’t want to be holed up in a hotel room or hostel without antibiotics, and too sick to get out of bed to go find some.

I did find a great English-speaking French doctor who was half way across Paris, and it was a lot of train-changing to get there. I learnt to spot the signs up my upcoming bronchitits and got medication immediately, to try to head it off at the pass.

How to ask for an English-speaking doctor

“Hello Sir/Madam, I’m looking for a doctor who speaks English …”

“Bonjour Monsieur/Madame, je cherche un medecin qui parle anglais …”

If your French isn’t very good you could also say:

“I’m sorry but I don’t speak French very well. Can you help me?”

In French:

“Desolee, mais je ne parle pas bien Francais. Est-ce que vous pouvez m’aider?”

Start with your accommodation – Concierge, front desk etc, or if you’re out go into a Pharmacy and ask.

So don’t forget, there’s nothing worse than being ill in Paris, France – so work out a plan ahead of time to avoid it if you can, or to get help as quickly as possible.

P.S. I’ve had bronchitis every year since then … the gift that keeps on giving :-)

If you suffer winter complaints, make sure to take medication with you on your trip.

Be prepared! Bon voyage!


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