Having reached a certain age and being part of the French health system, certain people have started taking what would normally be considered an unhealthy interest in my insides. Because of my mother's heart problems (and the fact that I obviously enjoy food) our health insurer, which is privately managed but part of the state health insurance system, decided that is where they would start.
On Tuesday I had an all day appointment at the Centre de Réadaptation Cardio-Vasculaire in Ballan-Miré, just south of Tours. This meant leaving home at 06.45 for an 08.00 start (far too early, really) and a series of tests:
08.30 Blood test
09.30 Ultrasound (echographie vasculaire)
10.00 Dietitican (enquête alimentaire)
12.00 Consultation médicale
12.30 Stress test (this means being hooked up to a machine and riding a bicycle)
The afternoon was mainly sitting around waiting for various test results and re-visiting the dietitian and doctor to get the bad news.
Susan came with me to help with the language issues. Although I understand a lot of what is being said it helps to have two sets of ears and confer on meaning, and quite frankly, when it comes to speaking French I am still at the garbled stage when under pressure. We were both well impressed with the hospital. It is set in large landscaped grounds (18 ha, or about 45 acres) with a number of duckponds and benches set under trees from which to view them.
The restaurant was very stylish - proper damask tablecloths and napkins, waiters in waistcoats, and silver service. Lunch was 4 courses (including cheese but no wine) and no disincentive to have to visit again.
The good news is that my body is - as I knew all along - a finely tuned machine and my heart is a masterpiece of the watchmakers art (resting heart rate 53, which surprised even me). I have to curb my enthusiasm for eating (which is also something I knew), but apart from that all is good.