Pants down

Twenty days into the month of January — at the time of writing — and I am already exhausted.  Oh, it’s not exhaustion of the bad kind.  It’s exhaustion of getting around, seeing family and friends, doing everything humanly possible to keep your wits about you.  It’s doing all that plus silently freaking out about sciatica pain.

Yes, good people, I am among the walking wounded.  And no, I do not attribute it to my age although D and I have taken to joking about how the body seems to be rebelling.  My mind is willing but my body is saying “hold on a minute sister!”

My sciatica pain has led to a first: my first doctor’s visit in France.  Are you wondering how, after all this time, I’ve not been to the doctor?  That’s an entire story unto itself and really not as important nor as interesting as the visit itself.  For those of you who follow Sion and her blog Paris Imperfect she would post this visit under Faux Pas Fridays.

It went something like this.

D and I arrived in Nice on Thursday afternoon.  He had a lot of running around to do but had been quite influenced by my slight breakdown on Wednesday night to make stopping at the pharmacy priority number one.  The pharmacist, after listening to our tale of woe said that “Dr. F is just next door and you don’t need an appointment.”

Excellent news!

Excited like a schoolgirl I hot-footed it as fast as my hobbled leg could move with D by my side.  Now, I’d read various expat posts on visits to the doctor and I knew that the Waiting Room would likely be a dismal little room with cream-coloured walls, several chairs from the 1990’s and magazines almost as old.  They were bang on.  With only one patient in the Waiting Room I knew I would soon leave this room where boredom reigns. Soon, it would be my turn.

When Dr. F had finished with the patients ahead of me he invited D and me into his office.  It was quite a large space with his desk and computer to the left and the consultation area to the right.  Dr. F told us to have a seat and we got down to the nuts and bolts of our visit.  I figure Dr. F must have been a comedian in his previous life because he asked me things like “were you pulling a train?” or “did you have to pick up a car?”  Ha, ha, I laughed.

The laughing stopped when he told me to take of my pants and shoes.

Like…erm…right now?

I looked at D in a panic.  D, his eyes all huge and filled with laughter, knew exactly what I was thinking (I apologize in advance to any men reading, especially to my brothers): “F—! F—! F—! And holy f—! It’s that time of the month and I haven’t shaved my legs in weeks not to mention the lack of landscaping over the past several weeks!”

But really, what choice did I have?  Race home and groom; freshen up for this new man in my life?  Perhaps but not likely.  Eyes closed, I slipped my feet out of my shoes and slid my jeans down.  I looked at my bare legs which were in need of a really hydrating, super moisturizing body lotion.  My feet needed immediate attention from a blow torch pedicurist.  (This, dear readers, is the real reason a French woman is always so put together.  Getting naked in front of a man is always a possibility.)

I went around to the consultation area and climbed onto the table, hoping and wishing and dreaming of shaven moisturized legs and baby smooth feet.  The goddess of vanity was obviously on a break.

Dr. F proceeded to move my legs around, testing my abductors and adductors, lifting my legs and lowering them.  Obviously he couldn’t take my word for it when I told him I had sciatic pain.  No-o-o-o, he had to have me go through all kinds of contortions before he finally told me “it’s your sciatic nerve”.  Uh-huh.  Right-o.

The rest of the consultation passed with me completely dressed.  And while I’m looking forward to getting better, this whole idea of grooming and proper maintenance for your doctor/gyno has me wondering: do you ever, at any point, get THAT comfortable with your doctor where grooming doesn’t matter?

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Categories: everyday stuff, faux pas, vanity

Author:Tanya in Transition

I am a woman in transition. I left my job of 13 years to find happiness and France!

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10 Comments on “Pants down”

  1. January 23, 2012 at 12:03 PM #

    Hey, thanks for the shout-out!

    Probably needless to say, but I’ve also been in this situation (of course! queen of the faux pas). I hate when doctor’s visits coincide with that time of the month!

    Also, though, I must be *so* comfortable with always being a little awkward, that more than one doctor has seen my unshaven legs. (But question: since I’ve moved to waxing in France, rather than shaving, what are you *supposed* to do during the in between times? I mean, you’ve got to let enough hair grow for the waxing to work!)

    Ok, TMI.

    Sorry to hear about the sciatica pain. That is the worst!

    • January 23, 2012 at 12:12 PM #

      I’ve always tried to schedule my doctor visits so as not to be in that situation. Alas, I couldn’t get around it. Silly little me thought he would have been able to ‘examine’ me fully dressed. Yes, I can be naive.

      I have yet to do the waxing bit here in France. I think I’m just too lazy to head out to get it done. Maybe I should look into it though (heavy emphasis on the maybe).

      As for the sciatica bit, what can I do but pop the pills Dr F gave me. Such is my lot in life. (Don’t I sound pathetic? lol!!!!)

  2. January 23, 2012 at 12:05 PM #

    I totally feel your pain. Far too many doctors and specialists have seen me in my underwear in the last 8 months. I have had sciatica (this time around) since August and it’s just now starting to ease. Mine is due to a herniated disk, not sure if that’s your ailment, but I totally sympathize. Hope despite this awkward beginning the doc is getting you on the road to pain-free living!

    • January 23, 2012 at 12:14 PM #

      Thanks Lindsey.
      I don’t know yet about the cause. Right now I’m just on meds to see if that helps. In about 3 weeks, if the problem persists then I’ll go for scans etc. We’ll see how it goes.

  3. Sinead
    January 23, 2012 at 2:56 PM #

    Oh Tanya….all I can say is “Bwahahahahahahaaa!!!” This post had me literally “Laughing Out Loud” at my desk at work. Oh my goodness, you poor girl, but you write about it so well! I only had a brief stint with sciatic pain with my first pregnancy. It was not fun. One time I was getting up to leave a meeting room, when my leg all of a sudden decided it didn’t plan on moving. So I had to let everyone else leave first so that I could somehow figure out how to hobble out. So I too feel your pain. Hoping you feel better soon!

    • January 23, 2012 at 3:23 PM #

      I can laugh now too but during the appointment, well, that’s another story.
      Thanks for the sympathy!!!

  4. January 27, 2012 at 10:09 PM #

    Oh lord. This post makes me sad. I’m really DREADING the day that I will have to go through this in Holland. 😦 I hope that you’re getting better, though.

    • January 29, 2012 at 3:59 PM #

      DOn’t be sad; it wasn’t that bad. Really, it was just my pride and vanity being expressed as I was COMPLETELY unprepared for the visit. Had I thought about it, I would have showered, waxed, done all the necessary primping prior to going to the doctor. As I hadn’t, and as Dr F had a job to do, I had to leave my vanity on the chair with my jeans.

  5. January 30, 2012 at 2:02 PM #

    Oh this is hysterical!! The funniest is the doctor, after giving you a work out telling you that you had what you said you had. Oh I have stories to share, too. So typical. And the grooming? It’s like what we always say: Always were clean underwear without holes just in case you are hit by a bus and have to be taken to the hospital. LOL! Poor you. Thanks for sharing.

    • January 30, 2012 at 3:40 PM #

      I almost laughed too, at the doctor’s diagnosis, but was still in shock. I understand that it’s just not done to tell a French doctor what the problem is. Sure, give him/her the symptoms and the history but don’t self-diagnose. So, I wasn’t completely surprised at being told what I already knew. And this is where all Moms have it right: always wear clean and proper underwear!

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