A bit of a shock

In France, if you want to practice a sport, you need an annual medical certificate from your doctor and not just for extreme sports; even such gentle forms of exercise as yoga and Pilates require a certificate. Mostly it just means a visit to your GP, who occasionally asks you to go for an effort test at the local clinic. Such was the case for Nick last September; he cycled to the clinic for the test, but felt unwell until the test was finished. He was diagnosed with a heart arrhythmia, which we put down to stress as, though he worked in hospitals throughout his career, being on the “wrong” side of the doctor/patient divide really stresses him out.

He was referred to a cardiologist who did more tests than we knew existed; everything seemed fine, including a second effort test and he got his medical certificate. But the cardiologist was very thorough; he wanted Nick to have another examination, just to be sure. So off we went to Pau on Friday morning, thinking we’d be done in an hour or so, only to be told he was having an angiogram that afternoon, but would probably be going home by the evening. However, when they did the angiogram, they found that one of his coronary arteries was completely blocked. They inserted a stent then and there, he had to spend a night in the hospital, but is home now and feeling fine.

How long it had been like that, we have no idea; but we’re counting ourselves very lucky to be here and not in England, where probably nothing would have been found till he had a major problem.

Up to now we’ve viewed the medical certificate requirement as being a bit of a pain, but it may just have saved Nick’s life.

Vive la France!!!

Ref.: Best CPR Training.

Christmas surprise

Back in November, Graham invited us over to Harrogate for Christmas, offering so many inducements (wine, port, NO turkey……), that it would have been rude to refuse. His sole condition was that we were to say nothing to the girls and yes, that included Alex. Not easy for me, I’m hopeless with secrets!

We flew to Stansted, from where Graham picked us up. He’d told Alex he was shooting a wedding that day to explain his need for the car and the lack of a precise time when he’d be home. Unfortunately, he forgot to bring the posh wedding clothes he’d got out of the wardrobe in the morning, so when Alex found them, still on the bed, on her return from work, he had to deal with a slightly panicked phone call; it was amazing how easily the lies flowed! When we arrived, though, her face was a picture; she hadn’t had a clue!

We had a great time, taking Immy to see Father Christmas at the Yorkshire museum of farming and having a day in York with Izzy, as well as catching up with a few friends. Alex set off to see Gemma in Australia on Boxing day and the two of them had a brilliant time. There was a moment when it looked doubtfulthat the trip would happen at all; discussing what Alex should take with her, I just happened to comment that as long as she had her passport, tickets and visa, she’d be fine. “Visa?? Do I need a visa???” This was Christmas Eve. I went cold at the thought that all the preparations for her trip of a lifetime could come to nothing, as she and Graham grabbed their phones and started googling wildly. A very long half hour later and she had an emergency visa. What a relief!

The ten days passed all too quickly, we called in to see my brother in London on our way back south, then were home in time for new year’s eve, when we went out with a group of friends.

I hope 2018 is as good as 2017, and for anyone reading this, that this year brings you all you would wish for.