It was in September 2003, I was in a bedroom, all was quiet but the pain in my chest was awful. Yes I was at the Clinique du Tonkin, a private hospital and yes I remembered why I was there and why I couldn’t move the top of my body. But the story must begins here ….
Once upon a time, at the end of August after eating a meal, I thought that something was not right inside my body. I said to my family - “I’m sure I ate something wrong and I have an allergy, I can’t breath!” One of my two sisters told me that I had a strange colour on my face, that it was red. She said “you must go to hospital, it’s maybe a bad allergy”.
I was somewhere in the middle of France in Drôme (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr%C3%B4me ) and the weather beautiful, of course, it always is when you on holidays. I was in a very small village at 8 kilometres of Die, a little town where there is a very small hospital, in your country you would probably call it a clinic. This small hospital is where you go when your hammer chooses your finger instead of the nail – ouch! So it was the beginning of he afternoon and we went to the Emergency room where a tall doctor who looked like a cowboy I saw in some movies, started to look at me and asked some questions about allergies. I said to him ” I have Type 1 diabetes since 1967” and his face changed suddenly. He was nice and he smiled as he took the machine to record what was happening in my heart…It was not an allergy…it was my heart! It was like the cut of the guillotine! My heart! Yes, I read that diabetics have more heart diseases, but it was not for me, how could it be? The day before I had been walking in the mountains. Yes, I had some retinopathy, but nothing else and I was in good health. But inside this was another story.
As I wrote before, this was a very small hospital. There was no cardio, no better way to exam my heart than just an electrocardiogram. My emergency doctor was a good man as I told you and he told my family and I that “ I must call the emergency in Valence (75 kilometres far from Die) and an helicopter will be bring you to the hospital of Valence, where you’ll see a cardio.” Ge took me in his arms and put me back in the hospital bed. It was 2:00 p.m. and then a nurse came and gave me oxygen in the nose. I told my family to bring me some things that I would need in Valence, my insulins, one more box of tests for my glucometer.
So, I was waiting, waiting and waiting. I spent my time watching my watch – not a good thing to do. And no SAMU (the French emergency) no helicopter, nothing at all. At 8:00 p.m. the doctor came into my room and told me that there was no helicopter, and instead an ambulance from the Samu was coming. Yes, there are only two helicopters for two towns (Drôme and Ardèche, and please, take a map (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ard%C3%A8che ) to see their size and you will see they are small spaces). One helicopter was broken and the other was in Marseille to bring someone else… bad luck. At 9:00 p.m. the ambulance, with a doctor and a nurse arrived. My sisters and my mother took my little Twingo (a Renault car) to follow me. Strange arrival, in the dark of the night.
This was the part 1 of this blog.