La Grippe (pronounced “la grip” in “Guys & Dolls” pseudo-French). In Spanish, it’s La Gripe (La GREE-pay). Americans know it better as “the flu.” And, no, thankfully San Geraldo and I have not come down with it. But, there’s still time. We’ve been getting flu shots annually ever since we were simultaneously slammed in 1989 while living in Connecticut and spent one week together on the family room sofa bed until we had the strength to crawl upstairs. I had gotten the flu every year for as long as I could remember. San Geraldo had worried about getting it for about as long.
A Person Can Develop a Cold
Last year, we went into the local health clinic, showed our residency cards, and were given our shots for free. We had expected to pay, but it appeared the woman at the desk wasn’t sure what to do with us and, since Spain historically did not deny healthcare to anyone, she simply wrote us in.
This year, in the midst of the mounting financial crisis, it hasn’t been so easy. We went back to the clinic and were told, since we’re privately insured, we need to first buy the vaccine at a pharmacy. We then had to take a form to a doctor to sign, and then take the form to the bank where we would pay a €43.50 fee (in addition to whatever the cost might be to purchase the vaccine). Then, finally, we could make appointments to have the shots administered at the public clinic. We weren’t keen on the price tag or the time it would take. We thought maybe we could just, using our insurance, find a private doctor to do it all for us.
On the way home, we stopped at our pharmacy to see about buying the vaccine. They didn’t have any and seemed to think that no pharmacies had any because the public clinics had been given it all. (Flu shots are not recommended to the general population here in the way they commonly are in the USA, so it was unusual for us, being “young” and in perfect health, to be requesting them.)
I phoned the private medical center recommended by our insurance company. But, they re-connected me with our insurance company. Our insurance company told me they could make the appointments for us at the private medical center. The private medical center would administer the vaccine for free. Great.
All we needed to do, I was told, was go to a pharmacy and buy the vaccine.
Have you been keeping up so far?
|DUDO YESTERDAY EVENTUALLY LOST INTEREST IN MY GRIPE ABOUT LA GRIPE.|
Even though I hadn’t figured out how I was going to get my hands on the vaccine, I took appointments for Monday evening. I was meeting Lola and Albert for a drink Friday afternoon and I figured if anyone could help it would be my two resident authorities.
So, over a beer in yesterday’s sunshine, I explained the situation (much more succinctly than I have here). Lola immediately phoned our friend Manuela, a pharmacist in the El Arenal neighborhood. Manuela had the vaccine. She put two aside and San Geraldo and I went today and picked them up. Total cost for the two of us combined? €11.20!
So, Monday we’ll be innoculated. As I sit here and sneeze, I hope it’s not too late.
|OUR GIFT-WRAPPED VACCINES (NOW IN THE REFRIGERATOR)..
WITH ENORMOUS THANKS TO MANUELA… AND LOLA!