Thursday, 26 October 2017

An unexpected 'holiday'

..... and here I am once more, recharged and raring to go after a ten day 'holiday' which separated me from my day to day life on the farm and gave me time to think about things. And one of the things I came to realise was that I  miss writing, and that I must not allow the busyness of my life to push aside this need to write. The 'holiday' made me realise this, hence this blog.
However, ......................... the 'hotel' I stayed in was not my first choice, nor was my mode of transport to get to it, being a ride in the middle of the night in an ambulance, the destination being the hospital in Tarbes which then became my 'hotel' for the next few days. Thus did the holiday arrive unexpectedly into my life.
I could not say that it was the best of times staying in the emergency cardiac ward for ten days although the view from the window in my room was superb, being a close up of the Pyrenees mountains. I spent hours looking at them, and seeing the light play on them throughout the day was fascinating to behold. I missed that view when I was shifted into the main cardiac unit.
I thought I had flu, but it seemed to be lingering on and on. I was having high night time temperatures sufficient to soak the bed, but I thought it was the flu virus. And then a night time visit to the loo fetched me up down on the floor, and nothing seemed to want to work to get me up again, hence the trip in the ambulance to be deposited in ICU, where I was fussed over by the most gloriously handsome set of male nurses and doctors who spent ages looking in amazement at the heart monitor which was behind me, quizzing me as to why I did not have any heart pain when the monitor was showing that it should be otherwise.
Not to worry, I stayed affable and kept on smiling, because that is what you do when you are an English girl living abroad, 'stiff upper lip' and all that.
And so my 'holiday' began as I was shipped out to the emergency cardiac unit, whereupon I had needles inserted here and there putting I don't know what into my system, and then there was the tube which was inserted into my nether regions with a urine bag attached to the other end of it which I prefer to not talk about because, well, it was not the nicest of experiences I have ever had.
And reminding you that because I live in France, that these were French nursing staff looking after me, so of course they spoke in French. I can speak French as well, but my French vocabulary was nowhere to be found, except for the odd word popping into my head, mostly 'merci' (thankyou), 'pas probleme' (it's not a problem), ........ just small words meant to reassure the nursing staff that I was OK about their treatment of me, which was not alright sometimes, but being 'stiff upper lipped' I would not have complained even if I had had the French words to do so.
Anyway, I survived. It was not my time to pass over.
So what had happened to make me fetched up on the floor of the bathroom?
Well, my liver and kidneys were under attack by an infection which must have been brewing for days if not weeks, which then eventually made my heart go silly with the effort of coping with it all.
I am not saying that my heart is sound, but it is doing well enough for the years it has been working, 70 in total. As for the liver and kidneys, these I must be more attentive to, making sure I take notice should they complain again in the future.
As with any difficult experiences, rather than feeling sorry for myself I have put the experience behind me, preferring to look upon it is an unexpected holiday, and that it has made me review certain things in my life, which is good.
And so I returned back to the farm, a little shaky, but on my feet.
And I feel blessed that I have this life to return to, that keeps me busy, that does not allow for laziness of self which could happen if all I had was the TV and social media to keep me occupied. It is good that we had a very good harvest of peppers to bring in from the veg garden, and which I had to do because  a large oak tree had fallen on the fencing of the back field and broken down the wiring of the fence so before it could be mended, so the tree had to be cut up, and this was the job of the moment for my OH. He has just counted the rings on the tree and it is fifty years old. It was toppled by some sort of rot at its base. Well I was not toppled this time, although nearly was, and I am now off into the veg garden to plant some onions.
Onwards, ever onwards!!!
PS. Should you ever have to stop an escapee cow from cavorting round the veg garden and therefore trampling everything to death under the weight of her  mega sized feet and pregnant body, if you have a scarf around your neck then remove that scarf and flip it about like a whip. Of course the scarf will lack the resilience of a proper leather whip, but if at the same time you yell in as deep and gruff a voice as you can manage  'turn around, go back' or any other words you care to use, then the cow might feel challenged enough to take notice of you. Just offering these thoughts to you should you also find yourself in a similar position.
Bye for now,


walking in beauty carmarthenshire said...

Welcome back , Vera.
I believe extending your arms wide and making a hiss sound like an electric fence also encourages cattle to go away also.
best wishes for your recovery, from Wales.

Rhodesia said...

Oh Vera it is so good to hear from you but not under these circumstances. Just so happy that you are back home and hopefully feeling well again. Just take it easy and do not overdo things. I tried to email you sometime ago but the address I had bounced. Look after yourself Diane

DUTA said...

Glad you're back to writing. Take care!

local alien said...

I am so glad you survived to tell us the story and in such an amusing way, and to have the strength to whip your scarf at a heavy and pregnant cow.
Onwards, ever onwards, as you say.

Cassie said...

Good to have you back, I've missed reading your blog. Hope you're feeling better and look forward to reading more about your adventures

minwks said...

Dear Vera,
So glad you have survived your forced holiday and feel well enough to play matador with the out-of-sorts cow!
A holiday of the type you have recently experienced certainly does make one pay attention to all those things that are actually important.

Thank you so much for taking up the pen and putting your thoughts into my world.
Regards Janine

Janice said...

My goodness Vera I was so shocked to read about your health issues. I hope you are feeling much better and not overdoing things. Have you ever thought about having some volunteers or WOOFERS come and stay at the farm to help you? I read about lots of expats that live in Europe and get this kind of help. Just a thought, I worry about you. Take care.

Vera said...

WALKING IN BEAUTY ..... what a lovely title for a blog that is! And thanks for your helpful tip and will try it out should any one of our three cows goes AWOL again!

DIANE, bless you for your kind words.... my email address is

DUTA, thanks, and being very careful with myself here on in.

LOCAL ALIEN, keeping going onwards is much more preferable than sitting and stagnating, even though it does take a bit of effort to get going. Hope you are well.

CASSIE, I shall keep on writing now, this I realised when I lay in that hospital bed!

JANINE, bless you, and thanks.

JANICE, we hope to have volunteers here to help us eventually, but first we have to renovate the upstairs of the house so they can have somewhere to sleep! Thanks for the advice though.

Athene said...

Goodness Vera, what a shock for you (and for Lester, no doubt!) - glad to hear that all is well now. Sometimes it takes an event like this to make us review things. Glad to hear you're back home picking peppers (not pickled) and chasing cows.

Vintage Maison said...

Glad to hear you're back in one piece - thank goodness for the French health service! I've always found it first class, but isn't it strange that no matter how well you speak the lingo, it always fails when you see doctors and nurses! My OH calls it 'white coat syndrome'. Take it easy!

Horst in Edmonton said...

Hi Vera, so nice to here from you again. Sorry to hear about your emergency. Hope everything is good now. Take good care of yourself. Lester depends on you I'm sure. We all, that read your blog, want to wish you the best of health and keep on blogging. Please take care and stay well.


Cro Magnon said...

Poor you; that's one holiday I really don't wish to take. However, it's good to hear you're back in the saddle, and herding cattle. Cro x

Dawn said...

Oh dear Vera, you dont do things by half,but a forced holiday I hope has made you pay more attention to your body and how you must take care and listen to it. Very scary, glad to hear you are on the mend and welcome back to blog world.

Coco said...

A joy to see you blogging again, despite the unfortunate circumstances changing your mind. Hope you are on the mend and back to your old self soon! Best wishes.

Vera said...

ATHENE, I am feeling a lot better, and thank you for your caring words.

VINTAGE MAISON, I think the French health system is excellent as well, providing I am not involved with it ever again!

HORST, thank you so much for your words of encouragement, and I shall keep on blogging.....

CRO MAGNON, I think this was a once in a lifetime holiday, one which is hopefully not repeated!

DAWN, thank you, and I am paying more attention to myself now!

Vera said...

COCO, Thank you for your best wishes, and I am almost back to my 'old self'!

Paul said...

Hi vera, I had thought a blip may have come your way. I am so happy you are ok. Our heart can take care of us in so many ways but it is still attached to the rest of our body. Nettle tea, dandelion tea, Moringa powder, and baobab. These will help you. Stay blessed. Paul

Old School said...

Vera, so pleased you are better. That must have been pretty scary! Looking forward many more blog posts.

Ally said...

How good to see you back. Take care and stay well x

Vera said...

PAUL, Thank you for your advice..... we have plenty of nettles and dandelions growing here so making herbal tea is no prob.

OLD SCHOOL, was not my most favourite experience of all time, that's for sure. Not to worry, onwards....... and hope you are OK as well.

ALLY, thanks.

Jean said...

We never know what's around the corner and a good job too as not all of it is welcome.
What a rotten time you have had. I do hope that things improve for you but don't be too brave, our minds and bodies need time to repair after such an awful thing. Balancing recuperation and determination to get better is not always easy.

Vera said...

JEAM, you are right about 'balancing recuperation and determination to get better is not easy'....I am having to learn that when I have a 'slow day' that I need to not to get frustrated with myself!