My beloved has been home for 12 whole days. So far, I’m managing. It isn’t easy but, whenever I feel like some solitude, I head out for some chores for the club. Matters have, of course, been made worse by the appalling climatic conditions, and my cold. He’s just popped down to the Doctor’s to check out a persistent pain in the ribs. That’s where I kick him when he starts snoring. Still, I’m happy to indulge his latent hypochondria as it affords me an hour or so of peace and quiet.
He will return from the Doctors with loads of pills and potions which he’ll take for a day or two with great ceremony. He’ll then stop as he forgets all about them, and the pain in his side. He’ll also have plenty of paperwork which I’ll need to complete to claim back the cost of his visit and treatments from his mutual health insurer.
None of this paperwork would be necessary if it were not for the fact that he’s lost his “Carte Vitale”. He lost it almost 4 years ago and we have been patiently awaiting its replacement. When he first lost it, I wrote to his mutual requesting a replacement. Three months later, they wrote back explaining that before issuing a replacement they would need to verify that his dues were up to date. In the same post, was a letter from a different department, of the same mutual, confirming his dues were up to date. I sent a copy of the letter to the other department. Three months later, they replied that he would get a replacement when the new “Carte Vitales”, with photographs, were introduced.
I politely chased the mutual at 3 month intervals but after years of chasing kinda lost the will to pursue the matter further. You may wonder why I didn’t telephone. Well, most French administrative departments are only open during certain hours and the lines are nearly always engaged. Ok, so why didn’t I email? These departments never respond to emails and, if they do, it’s in writing and 3 months after they received the email.
When French friends learnt that my beloved had lost his “Carte Vitale”, they exclaimed in horror saying that it was the very worst document you could lose. As I’m the person who’s had to deal with all the paperwork from my beloved’s regular visits to the Doctor, I’m inclined to agree. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. This very week, my beloved received a letter from his mutual advising that they were ready to furnish him with a new card. Enclosed was a long list of instructions which I know have to be followed to the letter if he’s to finally get a new card. If I send all this off this week, his replacement card will arrive in 3 months.
Of course, I am also running a book on how long it’ll be before he loses this one. So far, there are no takers. Yes, the odds are stacked against lengthy retention. Although, I have vowed that if he loses the replacement, he’s on his own.