Friday, October 5, 2007
Thinking of having brain surgery during your stay?
I have yet to see Michael Moore's film, Sicko, but from what I understand I could qualify to be one of the people he interviewed. Back in June, I had a golf-ball sized tumor (a meningioma) removed from my brain here in Paris, and though my insurance didn't pay for my laundry, it did pay for a cleaning lady to come and clean my apartment during the first three weeks post-op. OK, to be honest, it was my supplemental health insurance. Still, I must say, I felt very well taken care of by the French version of Social Security. Not only did I get to pick my surgeon and my hospital (considered the best in France for neurosurgery), but I got to be operated in a facility that was established by Louis XIV. In the left-hand corner is what La Pitié-Salpetrière looked like in Louis' day. Today it resembles a small city. The neurosurgery building is brand new (those 17th-century buildings are lovely, but would your really want to have brain surgery in one of them?), I had a private room, and the nurses were great. I was particularly grateful to them for their willingness to dispense nerve-calming drugs the night before the big op. My surgeon was a wonder, and I feel a special bond with him now. After all, how many people can you say literally delved into your mind? The rest remains a euphoric blur, a mix of relief and heavy anesthesia (there are those who claim I am still feeling the effects). All this, and all I paid for was the TV and the telephone. No insurance forms, nothing. Just in case someone tries to tell you that you can't good care under socialized medicine...Paris Paris