Life, Permanent Residency

I’m In Central Holding

Today saw my follow-up visit to the doctor for the results of my blood test, which were done at the end of March. But, because of all the problems with the nurse and then, according to said nurse, a problem at the lab, a simple blood test took a handful of visits. And, after all this, the doctor sits there bemused and informs me he hasn’t had the results back.


We are now over the midway point of May. And the doctor is telling me he hasn’t had the results? I’m confused and, yes, a little annoyed.

He does, however, reassure me that, because I’m not a card-carry citizen of Québec, as yet, that the results are probably in Central Holding (like I’m suddenly in an episode of Hill Street Blues, and being booked for a crime I didn’t commit). This database apparently holds all non-residents medical records and he will have to request my results.

Request them? A simple email he tells me. But it will be another delay, though once he’s in receipt and has read them, he assures me again, he will call me. Leaving me wondering—and given he insisted I have this appointment to discuss my results—why at some point earlier to this appointment did he not check to see if he had everything, like, my latest exam results?

Is it just me or am I just expecting too much of people, and the system?

The upshot is, I just paid for a visit for results I never got, and I will doubtless find out what I already know, because, previous to this part of my on-going French Farce, the private lab that did my medical exam for my Permanent Residency application had already sent me an email and a printed copy of their results. A copy of which I also gave my doctor who enthusiastically said, “oh, this is good. This is very good!”

Yeah, you think! Go figure.


  1. I’m shaking my head as I read this, Alex. It sounds like a such a complicated mess for a simple set of blood test results. I hope it all works out soon.

    • Alex says

      As was I this morning, Margot. Believe me when I say, I named my blog well, because this is just part of life here, for everyone—not just me.

      The therapy (because we all needs some of that) is in writing this blog, which while ostensibly to capture these kinds of moment for prosperity, has also become a place to share many other of the more wonderful aspects of my life, with the world at large. Not least of which, Quebec City truly is a beautiful place to live, even if it is still caught somewhere between the 17th and 21st centuries.

      Humour is an essential commodity here. 😀

  2. Kenny Harrison says

    Bureaucracy either in its government or corporate incarnation is the scourge of humanity. I feel your frustration, Alexandra. Hang in there as best you can. I see the light.

    • Alex says

      Oh, I am so glad one of us is seeing the light, Kenny. Could you just swivel it around and shine a bit on over here. But seriously, this is just exemplary of what so many have to go through, no matter what part of the world we live in. Especially when it comes to health care. Not just the costs, but the ineptitude of systems bogged down with so many problems.

      Still, it’s better than no health care at all. Terrible to even contemplate!

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