Tuesday, 26 July 2011

ABC Wednesday - Break

How nice to get away and take a break, relax. We arrived in France on the 9th July driving down to the rented Gite. All discoveries in front of us. Unpacked and later that evening up the stairs to bed. If only I had not decided to come down the stairs again in the moonlight. They turned at the bottom, but I did not my feet scrambling on air. Bump, my hip hit the tiled floor. Argh. My partner, when I could not move, ever the optimist said, maybe it is a muscle injury. No signal on the mobiles so off he went into the night and returned with 2 French men who by chance had been returning home from a night out. One was a paramedic who looked after me until the Pompiers arrive. In France it is the Firemen who run the emergency services, and one of the reasons they are held in such affection by country and get to lead the parades.
In the rural part of France where we were staying they were volunteers so they were called from their homes to look after me. They made me comfortable placing me on the air stretcher, the  leader, a small, but strong, woman lifting me on.  Off we went with flashing lights and arrived at the hospital in Vannes half an hour, a fast trip. We shook hands and thank them as they left, a trio of kind strangers. Taken to X-Ray or Radio it was discovered I had broken the top of my femur. The surgeon asked if I wanted to be repatriated or have the operation there the next day. It took a heartbeat to say here. After a painful (douleur) night the next day I was operated on and returned to the hospital room. I now had an prosthesis (a new ball joint and a spike down my femur).  Returned to one of the two bedded rooms, I was lucky enough to have the one by the window. The rooms were light and airy. I gazed out of the window on to the tree lined car park. The days passed with  pain killers and  wonderful medical care.  How to learn French with total immersion. Well actually how to learn medical French.  My little French/English dictionary came into its own as I and the nurses flicked through it. What wonderful cheerful, professional care I received from the nurses. Eventually I arose from my bed to be taught by the physiotherapist how to use cannes (canes) or as we would call them walking sticks.  The surgeon had said I would be in for 5 days and then walk out. Behold I did. What else can I say. Well the hospital meals were restaurant quality. Apart from breakfast, well I'm English so missed a gentle cereal rather than a strong bowl of coffee and a bun.

At first I shared a room with a very sick and elderly woman who had a superb appetite, I though it was me who could not manage the full array until I shared the room with a woman who had broken her arm in 3 places in the shower. We both agreed these were big meals as we swapped holiday destinations in France and England.

Better medical care could not have been given in such a caring way. So I raise my glass to French hospitals, in particular the Centre Hospitalier Bretagne Atlantique,  their staff and the kindness of strangers.
The pictures are courtesy of my partner who travelled on the train each day to see me in hospital with news of the outside world. He thought this kissing couple were about to be parted but no, they were just waiting for the train together.

Bob over to ABC Wednesday to see more words starting with the letter B


Rajesh said...

This sure sounds like an interesting trio with wonderful shots.

Roger Owen Green said...

hospital food of restaurant quality? almost worth getting sick/injured! almost.
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Leslie: said...

So sorry to hear your holiday started off with a 'BANG'. Sorry - couldn't resist! But I'm wondering if your medical plan covered all the expenses in a foreign country! Hope you're feeling better now!

abcw team

Wanda said...

A holiday with it's ups and downs. But, the hospital care and the food sound great.

Paula Scott said...

Well, it certainly lent itself to a unique experience! And, it is nice to know the quality of care one gets in the hospital there.

photowannabe said...

So sorry for your accident but greatful you had such a good outcome.
That's one way to learn the French language...the hard way.

Shooting Parrots said...

That is quite a story and I hope you are okay again now. It is daunting to suffer injury when you're a long way from home and don't know the system!

VioletSky said...

Oh dear lord! I would have preferred to stay put with such a break as well! Bretagne will never seem the same after this!

Tumblewords: said...

Sorry for the accident but it sounds like you had a good outcome after such an unfortunate start!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Oh my gosh Joy. I hope you are continuing to heal and regain your complete strength. Yikes! And if I ever break a bone, I think I'd like to do it in France. I am a bit curious about $$/insurance/and stuff like that. But the care sounds wonderful not to mention what doesn't sound like hospital food.

Stay well!

Joy said...

Thank you for all your good wishes.
In reply to Leslie and Sallie's musings about medical costs. I have a European Health Card which ensures reciprocal hospital treatment across the European Union for members, so this, the most expensive part, is free (thank goodness). The ongoing pharmaceuticals on being discharged came to €250 (the nurse said that it was very expensive in France and she was right) + €25 for my walking sticks. I should be able to claim this back from my travel insurance (8 pages of questions to fill in, yikes). Guess if coming from north America the only answer is insurance, and hope you don't need it.