Monday, 6 June 2011


is what I am at the moment, a handy French word meaning "not very well". A week ago I was on my inline skates, on which I am less than expert, lost concentration for a moment and fell on my back. Because when you do that your bum hits the ground first, and it is designed to cushion you in precisely these eventualities, I wasn't much hurt other than my pride, but because I was on skates rather than flat-footed the body rolled a little and I smacked my ribcage too, on the right-hand side. Still not too much of a problem, though rather sore and I was not keen to watch any comedy films. Then we went off to Picardy for a short break for the Ascension holiday - sig other carrying my bag - Picardy is a wifi desert even these days, so no posting and not much access - and we were sitting outside a cafe in the sunshine when a man came out and for his own reasons (I blame the parents) sneezed into my face. So I caught a cold. And when you do that you sneeze. And you cough. And when you do that with a bruised ribcage it REALLY hurts. The actual cold symptoms have pretty much gone now, and since I stopped smoking I don't cough much with a cold, vg, but with all that going on yesterday something seemed to sort of pop inside, and from then on it was agonisingly painful just to breathe out. So I saw doc today, who prescribed me some fantastic downer/painkillers, just about managed to stay awake long enough to write this, and am getting skeletal X-ray tomorrow
(called "les radios") in French, to see if I have bust a rib. If not and if matters don't improve in the next two or three days I have got pleurisy and have to be hospitalised. Probably. Oh well. This is the best country to be ill in. Doc took the opportunity to
remind me about mammogram and preventive bowel cancer screening, noting that she assumed my "gynécologue" will have organised the former (I still don't have a gyny, but will have to see one soon just to stop docs nagging me) and my over-50s well-person clinic the latter (true).
All this is insurance based, and also very patient centred. This brings responsibility with it. All my blood test results, X-ray or scan pictures, preventive test results etc are my own
property and have to be kept on file by me. Sig other is younger than me so doesn't get most
of the preventive stuff, but he has still been able to make a very pretty spreadsheet. Imagine. Would this work in the UK? Just asking.
update: it is a broken rib I have, so no hospital vg
further update: but it f***ing hurts chiz


dreamingspire said...

May your troubles soon be cured, Jane. In my experience of having to take charge as my ancient mother sinks slowly down, the clinical IT here in my part of the UK is now excellent (i.e. Xrays and scans are available quickly and a remotely sited consultant can see everything). But the admin IT is chronic and makes me realise that the NHS only works because the staff make it work despite the problems.

Anonymous said...

Pleurisy IS NOT NICE but not necessarily hospital stuff. Or probably I should have gone. Oh well.

Got mine when I was smoking - back in 2000. I had a nasty bout of demi flu, but as an MP at the time, kept on working - to include the unsuitable hours.Cough went onto chest - didn't do anything.

Then one afternoon after constituents' surgery, I was taking a break in the shopping centre when I suddenly had an enornmous pain in my chest - or was it side? - and I thought I was having a heart attack.
Got a taxi and got home somehow - bit it didn't go. Doing the stupid thing, I double-dosed with Nurofen Plus and carried on next week at the Commons. By Thursday , I could hardly walk - let alone breathe and my office made me an appointment with the HOC on site doctor behind my back.

Pleurisy was diagnosed -- put on extra strong virtually horse pills -- and after about a week it went.

Apart from when I had neuralgia back in 1995, I have never felt so ill in my life. Actually, I wish I had gone to hospital. Or taken time off or something. Just do whatever it is they tell you to do. And pray for the bloody thing to go if that is what it is.
Twenty years ago I had a cracked rib after being whacked in the chest by a volley ball. Weeks of low level pain - but it healed. They do. But I would rather have that than pleurisy.

Jane Griffiths said...

in France they tend to hospitalise you much more readily than in the uk. I am taking a week to take the (powerful) medication and lie down a lot. When I was an MP I never took time off, even when I should have.

Anonymous said...

Really hope you are feeling better. It is gross -- and despite the fact that it isn't cancer or a heart attack - it feels like both.