We had a great weekend in England. We stayed near Hereford in a delightful retreat with spectacular views towards the Malvern hills. It was really nice to spend some quality time with the Welsh side of my family and the wedding itself was awesome.
During the weekend (indeed, during the night of the wedding), my brother and I had something of a play fight. Those of you with brothers will know what that means. However, we've both gotten older and bigger than we used to be. To cut a long story short, I ended up with a broken rib.
For those who've never enjoyed the experience of breaking a rib, let me tell you that it really, really hurts. It hurts straight away. It hurts more the next day. And three days later, it hurts a lot more. So today, partly to confirm my self-diagnosis and partly to get some pain relief, I went to see a doctor. Despite my private health insurance, I had to go to the local CAP (public medical centre) where I realised that although I've lived here for five years, there was yet another stratum of bureaucracy I hadn't yet encountered.
I'm not the sort of fellow who goes to the doctor much. My ideal would be to never have to visit one: on the whole, I see it as a bit of a waste of time. So naturally, I hadn't registered for a doctor or signed up for my Cat Salut public health entitlement card. This, as you can imagine, led to all sorts of palpitations on the part of the guy at reception who ended up warning me that I would have to be charged â‚¬87 for seeing the doctor [not as bad as this guy's story]. I managed to get away with it by promising that I'd sign up for the card as soon as possible… I now have to go back to the CAP soon or receive a bill. Great.
The doctor who treated me was a star. Clearly very Catalan, he didn't insist on ignoring my Spanish, as I have heard other people have experienced. Side note: I've never suffered any of these Catalanista horror stories which plague the English language blogs from around here. I reckon that they're much rarer than people like to admit and that doctors, nurses and other medical staff are on the whole dedicated to providing treatment to the citizenry, even if they don't have a class C Catalan qualification.
The doc told me that there was basically nothing to be done for a broken rib, and that x-rays and scans were a waste of time. Using 'prehistoric methods' (his words), he felt for the break and assessed that it was there. Then he gave me some prescriptions for an opiate painkiller which seems to be doing the trick.
Moral of the story: don't trust your little brother to not attack you when your back's turned*… but do trust the doctors of Catalonia. They're alright.
*I know my bro wasn't trying to hurt me… we were just being a bit boisterous. I just like making him feel guilty!