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Pharmacie de garde

Pharmacie de Garde


I learned something new today because my son woke up with flaming red, goopy, oozing, crusted over eyes. Common sense told me pink-eye, but if you live in the south of France you feel a bit paralyzed on Sunday if you need to do anything other than eat a good lunch. Almost everything, but restaurants, is closed. If you are lucky you might live close to a small market that opens in the morning until 12:30pm or 1:00pm. If you need a pharmacy, we’ve always assumed we were out of luck.

The good news is that when I called our family doctor, Dr. Patrick Ireland (04 93 12 95 66) to leave a message so that I could get my son in for an appointment first thing on Monday morning, he answered the phone. I don’t know of any doctors in the United States who answer their own phones, nevermind on a Sunday morning. So even though most of France is shut down on Sunday, I am so thankful that Dr. Ireland answered his phone and told me about pharmacie de garde.

Pharmacie de garde means that somewhere in your area a pharmacy is open on Sunday. We did not know, nor did the doctor, which pharmacy that was so my husband drove to our closest pharmacy. Taped to the window was a sign with the name, address and phone number of the only pharmacy open in the area.

Dr. Ireland told me to take my son to the pharmacy and the pharmacist would be able to give him what he needed to combat the pink-eye. We drove to Grasse, the location of the open pharmacy, waited in a very long line and eventually got an eye wash and eye drops that should clear my son’s eyes up in no time.