This post may affect those with a sensitive disposition as it is about bums, and putting things up them. And no, not in a kinky way. People often ask me about the differences between France and the UK, and whilst the countries are not the same there’s not necessarily a lot that makes separates them. However, when it comes to medicine, and more precisely, suppositories, then they’re a world away.
I first lived in France from October 1996 to February 1997, I was at Nice university as part of my degree in French and Spanish, and towards the second part of my stay I had my first French boyfriend. I noticed huge differences along with lots of little ones, in comparison to my English boyfriends (why do so many French men insist on wearing jumpers over their shoulders?!?). But the biggest shocker was when I was in his apartment one day, and I saw on the table, bold as brass, a packet of suppositories. I was 20, and I was shocked! Was he some kind of sexual deviant?
Fast forward 10 years to 2006 when I had moved to France, married a (different) Frenchman, become mum to a half French half English baby girl, and this Brit no longer batted an eyelid at putting things in bums! When L was born we were taught by the French hospital to take her temperature daily (!) after the bath, using a rectal thermometer. Calpol doesn’t exist in France, instead they give paracetamol under the name “Doliprane” which comes either as a syrup, given via a syringe based on weight rather than age, or as suppositories.
And, I have a confession to make. I LOVE suppositories (for babies). They’re not messy syrups. They are lightweight and take no space, so are easy to carry around in a changing bag, or to take on nights or weekends away. They’re easy to administer during a nappy change. They’re incredibly quick to take effect. Better still, if your child has a high temperature, yet is throwing up, you pop in a suppository, the temperature comes down and there’s no issue of them vomiting it back. How on earth can you do this in the UK where you can’t get suppositories for babies?
I once mentioned at work in the UK that I gave my daughter suppositories when she was ill, and my colleagues (who are parents) were aghast. I’ve only needed to give C paracetamol in the UK a handful of times, but each time it’s been a suppository, so when I had to give Calpol to the baby I childmind the other day it was a real eye-opener.
Seriously, Calpol? I’m supposed to attempt to pour your syrupy medicine onto a spoon, and get a poorly baby, with a high temperature, to swallow it? What a bloody nightmare! So this is my Friday’s rant for the week. Why do Brits have such an issue with suppositories? They are valid medicine, why are they so hard to get in the UK? I even use them myself sometimes – there’s a fantastic sore throat cure that comes in suppository form in France that works ridiculously quickly. Why wouldn’t you, if it’s going to make you better, faster?
Oh well, until things change in the UK I’ll be stocking up in French pharmacies for the foreseeable.
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