In France, angio's are down through the wrist, not the hip. I was given a local anesthesia and watched the entire procedure on the screen. As the doctor went through my wrist he said, "You may feel a slight pressure." It's so weird. My body got invaded and all I felt was, indeed, a slight pressure. I watched the tube snake its way up my arm and into my chest and crawl until it reached an artery.
After the first stent was placed the doctor said, "Madam, you should feel much better now." I said, "I feel better, but not much better." He said, "Okay, we will now place the second stent now." And then I did feel much better. It literally was like my body was an old tomb and a door was finally opened to let in a rush of fresh air.
My hospital stay in intensive care deserves commentary. First, in America you stay one night. In France you stay three nights, under close care and observation. The quality of care was outstanding. Each nurse and doctor tried their best to communicate with me and ease my fears. Even the food was good (yes, hospital food was good).
In France, bills are not itemized; you pay by the day. I wonder if it's the same per day for all patients. Would someone hospitalized for simple procedure pay the same per day as someone like me who was in intensive care?
I will NOT discuss the humility of the "bed pan" or the tremendous amount of bruising and pain from shots and blood taken. I'll spare you those details. All I will say is it was not fun at all, but necessary. I did write a poem on 7/28 to release my feelings:
My body is an alien
a stranger to my own eyes
bruised, cut, swollen
I look to find a hint
a shadow of the former me
a sign of the future me
but all I see is the now me
My eyes brim with tears
I pull my naked body
away from its reflection
The clock is ticking
I have lived one more day
(note: most of the bruising is gone now)
I look back at the pictures I have taken and try to discern a sign that I was struggling. I only see that I looked a bit tired. I take pictures now of my daily life in Paris. I have fallen into a routine. We are creatures of habit and it does create a sense of security to develop a comfort zone.
One funny thing at the hospital was learning the life of the nurses and their families. Many have other aspirations beyond nursing. Many want to travel to New York. A few asked me if I belonged to "the" Kennedy family. I'll let you guess to my response!
So, what is the "new" me like? How is it to be alone, now that my daughter has returned to the states?
-------At this point I stopped writing because the next day I was re-hospitalized.