Some of you may have heard that I got to experience French healthcare first hand! It's true, it's true. My friend, Erin Risch, whom some of you may know, is studying in Paris currently and she came to stay with me. On her last night here, I took some NyQuil to alleviate the symptoms of a cold that was hindering my sleep. Something, whether it was a lack of enough sleep or something else, reacted badly with the NyQuil and when we woke up in the morning I fainted. As I fainted I hit my nose on the edge of my bed, then hit the floor. While I was unconscious, Erin used the emergency phone on my dorm floor and then knocked on the doors of my friends. Very soon firemen came and took me to the hospital.
I'll spare you a lot of the detail, but I will say that a lot of nausea and dizzyness was involved, plus a bit of a headache! They took an X-Ray and found that I had broken my nose, just slightly. I was surprised to find this out because it didn't hurt that badly, and it wasn't very swollen. After I had been on an IV for about ten minutes I felt perfectly fine and ready to go home, but the nurses and doctors would have none of that. They told me that I had to stay the night, just to be on the safe side. Everyone was very, very sweet, and apologized for their broken English (which was silly, as it was I who needed to be apologizing for my broken French!). My friends were so good to me. Erin called a lot to make sure I didn't need her to come back to Caen and stay with me, and I told her that I had to stay at the hospital overnight so she couldn't. Erica stayed at the hospital with me for hours, and later Emilie (French friend) and Courtney (American) came to visit with a goody bag of magazines, Jane Eyre (which I read most of during my stay), a brush, mirror, apples, and chocolate.
My roommate was a woman named Valerie whose husband stayed with her as much as he could. I noticed her looking at my chocolate earlier in the day and when her husband left I offered her some, and she took it. Today I think she became overwhelmed with her condition (which I think has to do with depression-- I think she OD'd on some medication), and her husband wasn't in the room so she sat on my bed and held my hand for a long time. We talked, and I told her that I was a Christian and would pray for her. She closed her eyes and nodded, and I held her hand some more. Later, her husband came in and gave me a gift of fine, dark chocolate, for which I was grateful! Later, she had to be moved to a different room, and when she said good-bye she cried and hugged me so tightly and kissed my cheeks.
I'm not going to say that it wasn't a hassle going through all of this. I feel awful for how badly I scared my friends, and I hated being hooked up to an IV for so long! But you know, if I went through it all to give a sad woman a piece of chocolate and a hug, it was all worth it! Please keep me and the rest of Caen in your prayers. It's been a rough couple of days!
In a few days I'll send another update about the rest of my life in Caen. It's an amazing place, and every day I wake up so excited that I get to spend another day here. I miss my friends in the United States very dearly, but I'm so grateful for the experiences I get to have in France! The city, my classes, and my friends are all wonderful.