Hardest time to be here

(Written in around December 18) Nope, not Christmas.  Not the holidays.  When a loved one has surgery or has a stroke.  And I am dealing with both right now.   Relatives.  The surgery went well and I was able to face time today.  What a difference technology makes!  The relative who suffered a stroke is doing better and better.  But again, Face Time makes such a difference.  It’s one thing to hear someone – sounding tired, slurring, lack of energy… but to see them.  And to be able to see the improvement.  My return plans were already set for January 11.  My other relatives and the doc said don’t change your plans.  You are doing all you would be doing here – face timing.  She’s in the hospital.  You wouldn’t be doing more if you were here.  I investigated coming back early – almost three times as much cost.  Is that right?  Two times more than what it was.  This is after they waived the change fees.  Why?  Because it’s holiday time!  So I stay here, getting ready to come back and doing all the administrative stuff (I am the power of attorney) on line or phone.

That makes for interesting days – I have things already planned here in France that require getting up early and then I come home and converse with California until 1 am (four  in the afternoon in CA).  But it is amazing at what can be done with a computer, the internet and a Skype California number.  Pretty much everything I would be doing there.

At least I know I will be going back soon.  Not sure now when I will come back to France.  I was set to return for the same schedule – getting a visa in January for April.  Now… I will cancel that appointment and see what happens.  Which means I am packing differently.  Won’t be leaving much here other than my printer and scale.  And will take them to a friend’s house.  I don’t know if I will come back to this particular apartment.  She has to be able to rent it.  Can’t count on it.  Hey.  Have you seen the exchange rate?  The euro is almost the same as a dollar.   Means my deposit of 1750 will return to me at 1400…  I loved the lower rate but this deposit thing is not in my favor. Oh well.

Almost 2 Weeks In…

Whew.  The “medical” week is over.  Doctor visits, dental visits, innumerable x-rays and tests and even a pneumonia shot.  The consensus – I am in fine shape.  Except for the damn postnasal drip which causes awful hacking and coughing.  People expect to see a lung explode.  My back aches from the force of the coughs – I know fully understand the definition of a wracking cough.  New antihistamines and sprays are supposed to get this under control in at least 2 weeks.

2015-11-16 18.48.29-CMy doctor was amazed by my flu shot story – that I had to buy it and take it to the nurse… or give it to myself.   And she likes my photos – I have been emailing her all week about the various tests and treatments and cold status and since Kaiser has a place to add a photo, I decided to send her photos of Paris.  What the heck.

Kaiser was also old home week as I bumped into a dedicated blog reader.  She appreciated my blog in which I took out the priest.  Good laughs.

What’s next?  Well, no surprise… I am applying for another 6 month visa.  My appointment is next Friday at the consulate in San Francisco.  It’s much simpler this time – just using the same docs with a new date.  And new photos.  I actually took the best ones – selfies were better than ones friends took.   Only have to buy the medical insurance and figure out exactly when I am flying back.  Probably between April 5 and 12.  On my first research, flight costs have gone up 500 bucks!  Yikes.

It’s strange to be in my house again.  I have already visited Goodwill with 5 bags of donations.  And more to come.  This weekend I am going to open my clothes closet and go shopping!  I took out one shirt last week and compared it to a similar shirt I had in Paris.  The water and the washing machine pretty much beat the heck out of it.  A friend suggested using vinegar instead of fabric softener.  I’ll try but I think it needs the dryer.  Oh.  There’s a laundry a block away in Paris – maybe I will try that next time.

A block away?  Yup, I am going back to the same apartment.  It has its drawbacks but it has a lot of pluses- like I know the neighborhood well.  And best of all, she let me leave some things there.

I miss Paris.  I miss France.  I miss my friends.  First thing I did my second day back was order TV5 on Comcast.  It’s the French television channel.  I found myself desperate to hear French!  I still don’t understand it all – vocabulary!! – but much better than last February.

Now off to the gym.  Walk 5 miles a day in California?  Doesn’t happen.  So got a cheap gym membership for a couple months.  Oh, note to self, buy new walking shoes…