Friday, October 15, 2010

Bonjour, Hôpital!

Yes, I had every intention of returning from France on October 4th, but fate stepped in and changed my destiny.  And, I too, stepped in--or rather tripped--on one of those adorable French cobblestones and the next thing you know I was lying in the back of an ambulance, hurtling through the night, down the Toulouse streets on my way to the hôpital while the most handsome paramedic talked to me in French and in my state of confusion (not to mention pain) I really had no idea what he was trying to tell me, except that I was not worry, not to cry and to have "bonne courage!"
By the way, I was not wearing the real leather red heels from Italy (that I bought at the market in Valence D'Agen for only five euros).
And I was not wearing these thigh high lace up boots that Heather Stimmler Hall, author of "Naughty Paris: A Girl's Guide to the Sexy City" covets.  Before my fall in Toulouse, Heather gave me a private tour of some of Paris' best beauty spots, including a visit to her personal French Esthetician.  I learned so much about waxing!  Later, after a chocolat chaud at Cafe Deux Magots, we came upon these boots in a store window.  Heather's birthday was coming up and so she was hoping her friends would pitch in and buy her these naughty boots.  I hope she got her wish!

Oh, and I was not wearing these!  (Thanks for the photo, David!)
However, I was wearing the cute flats--FLATS!  Not heels!--when I took my little misstep in Toulouse that landed me in l'hôpital.  Yes, the very same cute shoes that I went spelunking in with the group from Auvillar.  And so I ended up in the Urgence (ER) and they announced that my ankle was broken in not one, but two places and they would have to operate!   I am smiling, because I am in shock and I always smile when I'm in shock.

Before, surgery, I was prepped.  It was very complicated and I won't give you all the intricate medical details, but I did thought you'd find this drawing/explanation in my hospital bathroom very charming.  And very French!

Here is my hero, Docteur Bernard Delannes.  He is a top orthopedic surgeon in France.  
I love Dr. Delannes!  I am the starting the Dr. Delannes fan club!

And here's my leg in its brand new cast.

And here's my X-ray after surgery.  You can see I have six screws and a metal plate!  Wow!
I have so much to tell you all about--I spent nine glorious (yes, NINE!) days in Clinique Ambroise Pare and everyone was so good to me, so sweet, so gentle.  And without internet or phone, I came to enjoy simple things--the view from my window, the shifting clouds, the sun coming and go.  Oh, and the food was delicious!  Yes, French hospital food is yummy.  
Most, of all, I was so moved by all your emails and posts and comments.  Merci beaucoup!  I will write more about my hôpital adventures in the coming days, but in the meantime, I wanted to say, 
Bonjour, Happiness!


  1. Oh my goodness! Well I do hope you heal up properly!

  2. I think there is a story in why wearing flats is not necessarily the best thing for your feet!

  3. Jamie,

    How wonderful that you were in expert hands and that they took great care with you...and you look so lovely in those photos, even though you are in pain....not a hair out of place...very chic.
    I cannot imagine how you must have felt breaking your ankle and then add the concern of being abroad in a foreign country and not knowing any doctor.
    It looks like you have come through this mis-step and who knows maybe some ideas for a new book!


  4. What an adventure. Your pictures are great. Hope your recovering well

  5. Only our Jamie could turn this fall into a romantic leap! You look so beautiful, happy and tranquil in these photos, that by the time I scroll past your smiles and your hair and your handsome surgeon, I feel we should all have screws in our legs! Here's to healing up fast and well and to your gift of life and love no matter what ails.

  6. Jamie, I'm so, so, sooooo glad you are ok and that you turned your ankle-turning into a pampering adventure. I can't wait to hear more from you, and to tell you about what I've been writing since Auvillar! Please keep taking good care. - Amy

  7. Jamie-
    Bill just came into the office and told us of your misadventure! Damn flats, get you every time, you probably should of worn the heels after all. Heal fast! Our thoughts are with you.-Kelly, G&G-WHOI

  8. Oh My!!!
    Quelle adventure Jamie!
    And where are you now..?
    Life without internet - I had it a few days before I figured out French (horrid) handwritting. I did not do well.
    And no TV either
    well I couldn't figure out THREE clickers.
    Did you have TV at least?
    Looking out the window = SOS!
    Still the view is lovely in Toulouse as I recall.
    And terrific cuisine.
    Take care and show and tell more SVP!

  9. Hello Carol--Thanks for your sweet comment! Oh, and yes, I did have French TV. Very fun! I hope you had a wonderful time in Paris. Love, Jamie

  10. Hi Kelly--Bill told me you two spoke! Thanks so much for your well-wishes. I hope to see you at the WHOI Xmas party! xo Jamie

  11. Laurie, Amy, Joanne, Leslie and everyone--Merci beaucoup for your comments! You gals rock! xo Jamie


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