Life in the heart of France
9th February 2012
So the dreaded day looms - for Tony's gall bladder operation. It had been cancelled once due to a misunderstanding, so it's two months since he suffered acute abdominal pains and spent the day in A&E at the teaching hospital CHU in Limoges.
Yesterday, he had to be at the hospital for 7am, and it's an hour and a half's journey on a good day. With the present weather conditions, we were very concerned about driving in the dark, very early, to a deadline, on potentially icy and/or blocked roads. So we decided to go to Limoges the day before, in the daylight, and stay in a hotel in Couzeix which would leave just a 10 minute journey to the hospital for Wednesday morning. We were the only guests, and we were served a lovely simple meal of cheese omelette, salad and french fries, all alone in the dining room. A pleasant experience and a very good idea. The next morning we let ourselves out at 6:15am - the car told us it was -10C and thanked us for putting a blanket over the bonnet and a tarp over the windscreen, by starting at the first attempt.
Having arrived at the hospital a little before 7am, we were then kept waiting till nearly 10, when the surgeon came and told us the bad weather had disrupted their schedule and he'd be operated on mid to late afternoon. At that point I left Tony in their hands, had coffee and an almond croissant in the hospital cafe (my late breakfast), and made the journey home.
Unfortunately the op didn't go quite as hoped and could not, it turned out, be done by keyhole surgery. As a result of the longer-than-anticipated operation, they have decided to keep him in hospital until early next week. So not a pleasant experience, but necessary and hopefully the worst is now over.
Things should improve when the other patient in his 'chambre' leaves hospital tomorrow... a very rotund Frenchman who has the radio on all the time, plus the television (and then reads a book..), and who emits noises of all sorts (you can imagine!) constantly.
I'm touched by all the good wishes from friends and family, we all hope Tony recovers well, and soon.