Last Tuesday, I had to visit my Doctor for a series of vague tummy symptoms, I didn't see my usual one but the other Doctor in our Centre. She diagnosed a bug and prescribed loads of remedies which didn't banish the mild tummy ache just under the ribs. During the night the pain intensity increased and it moved to the right groin, Classic appendicitis symptoms. Back to the Doc I went,whose examination confirmed what I had feared. She gave me a note for the Urgences at Niort hospital, and I set off there immediately towards midday, having asked our neighbour Ian to look after the animals if needed. my idea was to check the diagnosis , return home and pack some requirements and get Ian to drive me in.
However, the Hospital's ideas were quite different. They took my cover details, basic cover and complementary insurance, whipped me on a trolley and to an emergency room, where I was asked to put on a sort of nighty, buttoned up the back, having stripped off my other clothes. The afternoon was spent in complicated tests and examinations and eventually the admissions Doctor confirmed that it was indeed appendicitis, and said I would be assigned a surgeon and proceed to operate that very night! They don't hang about in France!!
Luckily I had my mobile and was able to keep Kim in the picture, and the poor girl had to make emergency arrangements to catch the ferry back from Plymouth to Roscoff and the train from Roscoff to Ruffec, where our friends Jan and Steve had offered to pick her up. She also arranged a house sitter to mind the animals, and all sorts of other arrangements which I was too preoccupied to notice. I was very pleased to know she was on her way, as Kim could organise for Britain, even though she wouldn't arrive at the hospital until Saturday . Our friends, Clive and Christine would bring her, and she could pick up our car to use from the car park
Anyway, I was put to sleep and woke in an enormous recovery room, minus the appendix. Later, I was transferred to a two-bed ward, which I had to myself. My Surgeon, M. Delaplaque,told me it was a ' belle appendicite' and even was ulcerated as well. I Had to stay in until Wednesday, until the drain and tube could be removed. Each day, the nurse would tug 3 centimetres of the drain out of the wound, not my favourite time of the day.
Still, all's well that ends well and now that drain has gone I feel much better, especially having come back home with Kim to fuss over me. I really can't fault the care Niort hospital have provided, I would recommend it to anyone. Our complementary insurance covered all extra costs, even food. Even the hospital car parks are free, at Plymouth they charged seven quid a day and I expect they would have towed the car away if I'd abandoned it like that for several days! You pay for health insurance here, but you get good value and prompt effective treatment, I'm not complaining!
Bye for now, going to let Kim stroke my brow....