Well that was an interesting couple of weeks; I should have been laying on a beach in Barbados but, instead, I ended up laying in a hospital bed in Monaco.
I thought I’d pulled a stomach muscle during a somewhat strenuous Pilates workout but, it turns out I had a polyp in my colon the size of a plum!! So, that meant 9 days in hospital, nothing to eat or drink for 5 days and two small scars; a little bit of pain but, with the wonders of modern medecine, even that wasn’t too bad. Unfortunately, between the operation, the meds and the hunger I wasn’t really up to posting on here, hence my absence.
Although it was all a bit traumatic, it did have its funny side too, mainly because, although I can speak enough French to get by I certainly don’t know enough to explain symptoms in any great detail or to understand diagnosis and procedures. It’s also difficult to share a room with someone that you can’t have a conversation with. As a result, there was a great deal of pantomiming, waving of arms and bemused expressions until somehow we all ended up understanding each other. It even reached a point when I understood from the woman in the bed next to me that she had a strangulated hernia!
The team at the hospital were amazing; incredibly kind, patient and always smiling – a very different experience from those I’ve had in hospitals in the UK. At the same time, the French have very different attitudes to some things, especially privacy. The day after surgery I was in the bathroom when my surgeon stopped by for a visit. A nurse and I had had an interesting 5 minutes disentangling my hospital issue gown from all the tubes and wires attached to me and I was trying to have a wash whilst still connected to a drip trolley.
The surgeon came into the room and just opened the door to the bathroom (obviously I wasn’t allowed to lock it under the circumstances) and then proceeded to discuss my case with me without a stich on. Needless to say, being English, I tried to protect as much of my modesty as possible and then tried to look nonchalant and understand what she was telling me. Once I got over my initial mortifying embarrasment I realised that no-one else was in the least bit concerned so I figured, why should I be?
All in all I think I would have prefered 10 days in the Caribbean but I’ve had every scan and test known to man and I’m fine now the polyp is gone, my French has improved no end and I’ve learned that talking to a room full of strangers naked is not my biggest fear.
My biggest fear was hospitals. After spending so much time with my husband in one hospital or another during his battle with cancer I was terrified of them but not now.
I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason and you can find some good in every situation if you look hard enough.