It’s the last Sunday in October and the cranes are departing France in their annual flight to warmer southern climates and can be seen in long V shaped flocks in the sky. Often you can hear their calls during the early or late part of the day as they flee the chilled air that has suddenly enveloped the country. Winter is knocking on the door and the first day I have used my central heating with the temperature dropping to 2C at night.
I have received a letter from the hospital in Lyon with my next appointments in March 2019. The surgeon I will see is regarded as the best in France and not surprisingly in demand.
My laser treatment hit a problem which I declined to write about in the last post. At my last treatment things didn’t go so well, my sixth session and just over midway in the number of treatments indicated. During a treatment it was normal to feel a little heat on my skin as the laser passed over areas of my face and often a slight burning sensation which was very brief. Afterwards my face would tingle as if I had been slightly sunburnt but this wore off by the time I had arrived home after a little more than an hour later.
That day exposed me to something quite different! The first stage was the same as usual. A gel applied to my cheeks and neck followed by laser 1 that passed in a gliding motion across my skin. A slight tingle was felt but without any pain. Change of laser to gun 2 which at first made me jolt as it felt like a very hot surface touching my skin. It made me flinch each time as the gun flashed and moved across my neck. I mentioned that is was painful. After several flashes the doctor tapped the control panel to alter the settings and began again. The discomfort was no less and he tapped the control panel once again and then began treatment. Nothing had changed and I felt the same level of discomfort. He stopped treatment and suggested that his equipment may have malfunctioned. No apology was offered at that point. When I walked out of the clinic my face was very hot and tingling at a level I had never experienced before and very much like severe sunburn. I guess due to my need to have my beard growth eliminated, I was prepared to endure such things and accepted this as part of the treatment. However, when I arrived home my face was burning. I went striaght to a mirror to see if my skin was still red. To my horror I had burn marks to my neck and cheeks. I took photos on my phone and sent them immediately to the doctor informing him that I was very unhappy with the treatment that day. He replied by the end of that day and sent me a prescription for several items to obtain from pharmacy. I was told that I had second degree burns but he considered that it was not serious. My daughter’s flight arrived that day for a short but important visit to see me. Nothing was going to spoil that visit and I did not create a fuss about the issue and applied foundation to cover the marks before collecting her from the airport.
Later I received a call from the doctor to inform me that he would visit me to assess the seriousness of the burns although he had already told me it was not serious. He arrived the next day. Again I was told that they were not serious, but they were to me and for him to drive a 3 hour round trip to tell me. I don’t recall facial burns being discussed in the first meeting or included in the treatment.
Three days later my daughter had returned to the UK and I got a call from the doctor in response to an email and message I had sent cancelling my next appointment. He offered two free session as compensation but no apology. This was not my motive for complaining and at this point I had lost confidence in his knowledge and ability to carry out the treatment. I contacted three lawyers to enquire if I had grounds for some kind of action against the doctor but had no reply from any of them. I also emailed a website that assisted people who’ve suffered medical malpractice. No reply!
Shortly after I received some very sad news that took my thoughts away from personal issues. A very sweet old English couple with a theatrical background came into my life about a year ago. Earlier this year I was asked to help them with a computer issue. I have since gradually got to know them better since and consider them as friends. John called one morning to tell me that Joan had contracted pneumonia with a secondary infection and had been admitted to hospital. I made several visits with him to hospital and happy that I got to see them together again even if for a short while. She was seriously ill and sadly died this month. John her loving husband of many years slipped into a sadness that overcomes many upon the loss a loved one. He took it badly. I did my best to support him during Joan’s last days and have continued to do so since her death. You cannot fail to be touched by such events yourself and has taken it’s toll on me too. His the cat and dog too who miss Joan so much. Life can appear to be cruel at times, but death waits for us all and is one of the certainties in our exsitence on this earth.
I was sad not to attend her funeral due to an important appointment for me with a cardiologist at the same time that day. Prescription of hormone treatment depends on the results of tests and health risks. It was a brief consultation which requires that I return in December for a fitness test. I have to take that as hopeful as he did not dismiss the possibility immediately. My daily exercise routine has just been red flagged and needs to be focussed on now. Yoga classes resume next week and I am looking forward to being back into my routine. I guess I am a creature of habit, like so many we feel more comfortable when life has more certainties ahead.
A New Phase
I can’t quite define quite why, but it feels like a new phase in my life for some reason! I have felt more at peace with myself and have a sense of calm. My life is far from smooth and trouble free but much of those aspects are insignificant in the overall scheme of things. I dealing with life as and when it presents challenges of unexpected surprises, good and bad. Perhaps it’s due to recent hospital visits or something I have overlooked that brings me to this thought. Even though I am proud of myself and what I have done in the past 2-3 years, I still have moments of loneliness and sadness where I question certain aspects of my future. But I manage to control those times and return to a happier place without too much trouble.
I have been trying to work on my social life and network of friends so last Thursday I invited a French couple to dinner. Pictured below is the dessert I made, filo pastry case with a creme anglais filling topped with fresh orange and a final layer of creme anglaise and grated chocolate. Served with pieces of orange in a orange and Grand Marnier jelly
It was the first time that my car mechanic and his lovely wife and visited my home. They really are nice people and I am happy to be able to call them my friends. They arrived with two bouquets of flowers and some cakes from a local pâtissier. He helped me find and buy my new car. His wife is about the launch a her business venture of a mobile food van offering Limousin specialities. They were quite impressed with my food and suggested that I should consider offering home dining. I will give this some serious thought as part of me really likes the idea.
October 30th and the weather is really quite chilly now. I have heard of snow one hour North of here. The heating is on daily now and the warmer clothing has re-appeared. Hugo has to go to the vet this afternoon due to a cut on his lower eyelid. He does try to catch birds and not small ones. Perhaps it’s the result of a cat fight or being attacked by a bird. A concern all the same which needs attention. On a brifhter note, a visit to the cinema is planned for tonight to see A Star is Born in English.
Here I sit typing on the last day of October, a wet and cold day it is too. The film was enjoyable and I cried more than a few times. It had an enexpected impact on me the following day. It had stirred up my emotions and I have scribbled down some rough lyrics for a song. I had to stop due to an emotional overload and hope that I can complete them later. I really would prefer to write something more upbeat than of sadness but writing is my therapy. I cannot predict or control what emerges in my thoughts or feelings as we head towards the festive season once again. Today I have actually thought about the imminent arrival of Christmas. It’s likely that I will be spending it on my own this year but I’m not unhappy about that. I will buy some nice seafood and also have a traditional English roast dinner. Old habits and likes tend to stick with you through life.