Health

I’m not a hypochondriac – well not really. However, as I have arthritis, I tend to have a morbid interest in things like the side effects of the various medicines I take and an optimistic hope that alternatives, like acupuncture, will help.

One of the reasons for taking early retirement was the need to have both hips replaced. Having had these (one in Scotland and the other in France), I am relatively mobile, but have to cope with arthritis elsewhere, principally in my back, shoulders and knees.

Moving to France has been wonderful in terms of the quality of medical services. What a contrast to the shamefully run-down National Health Service in Britain. However, there are worrying signs that the French are heading for similar financial problems and toying with the same disasterous public/private partnership solutions as the British.

2013.  Twelve years later

Well, the system is definitely creaking, but still… here I am writing this during my ninth week in a centre de rééducation following replacement of my left shoulder. I would not get that in Britain!

I will be putting the system to the test from now on; I have been prevaricating – should have done the shoulder op a couple of years ago, and now there is a queue – my right knee, replacement of the Scottish hip replacement, and the other shoulder.

2016

I have kept the French health system busy since writing in 2013: a second replacement of the left hip in 2014 (three months in hospital), cancer in 2015 (two months in hospital and then six weeks daily radiotherapy) and this year planning an autumn replacement of the right shoulder as well as osteopath sessions for the sciatic nerve problems caused by totally arthritic spine.