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Sunday, 4 March 2012

Stones on the beach

More words than pictures this week, but I hope you enjoy this story, part of Sian's Storytelling Sunday.

We sat on the 'green' at Dieppe waiting for the time to come round to go and get on the ferry back to England. We had spent two lovely weeks in the South of France and were feeling relaxed and happy. We had a picnic and some lovely cakes from the local patisserie - full of cream and very rich. Ben and Hugh walked to the beach and Ben loved the stones there and gathered up a few to take home and put on our garden.
Ben and Hugh on the 'green' (don't you just love Ben's shell suit - so 80's!)
Eventually we loaded the children into their car seats and drove off to the port. As we sat in the queue to get on the ferry I was suddenly struck with the most horrendous pain in my stomach. Hugh could tell that I was really ill and pulled the car over to the information kiosk and in his best schoolboy French explained that his wife was ill and needed a doctor.

The next thing we new the Pompier's were there in their ambulance and I was loaded onto a trolley in the back and off we roared. I was not strapped onto the trolley and they took the corners very fast and I hung onto the side of the van for dear life! What I didn't know was that Hugh was trying to follow them - they had the sirens on and he was trying to keep up! Eventually we arrived at Dieppe General Hospital. I was taken into casualty and Hugh staggered in with a 2 year old in one arm and a 4 month old in the other! I was examined in a cursory manner and handed a thermometer. I looked at Hugh and whispered 'what do I do with this?' He suggested I put it under my armpit as we weren't sure where it had been! The staff didn't speak any English and after about an hour the pain had gone and they said it was probably indigestion.

We went back to the port and caught a ferry back to England.

I continued to have a very upset digestive system for two weeks and pain which came and went - never as severe as the day in Dieppe. Hugh decided enough was enough and took me to see the GP. She immediately sent me to A&E to be examined. They prodded and poked my stomach area and thought I might have gallstones. They needed to admit me and scan me to make sure. The prodding and poking seemed to have aggravated me and within an hour I was in such pain I needed pethidine (and I had managed to have two children by natural childbirth with only gas and air as a painkiller, so it was a really bad pain!).

Anyway, the outcome was that I did have gallstones - the cream in the cakes on the beach had triggered a stone passing which was the pain I had been in. I ended up having my gallbladder removed. As Hugh was a  product manager of endoscopes and new the best surgeons in the 'business' I had it done endoscopically in the early years of gallbladders being removed this way by one of the top surgeons in the country!

My gallbladder had been full of hundreds of small stones, which I was given in a tube when I left hospital! Penny's Godmother, Elizabeth, who had been absolutely wonderful during the time I was suffering attacks of gallstones is a science teacher. When she saw the gallstones she was fascinated and as I didn't really need them (what would I do with them!) I asked if she would like them for her science class and she said yes! To this day she uses them in biology classes! My only regret is that I have no photograph of them as I wasn't into scrapbooking then!
The four of us towards the end of the holiday, before I got ill! (That is Ben's smile btw!)




This story is brought to you courtesy of Sian's Storytelling Sunday. Please pop over to her blog to find the links to many more wonderful photos and stories.

27 comments:

Scattychick said...

ow ow ow glad you got it sorted in the end :) Maybe you should ask your friend for a picture :) Obviously she may think this a little strange but you only have to retort "and how long have you saved my gallstones for?" lol :)

Alison said...

What an awful end to your holiday Becky..glad you got it sorted out eventually.
Alison xx

Lynn said...

Great story if a little painful for you. Love how your gallstones are still being used in the name of science!

Ladkyis said...

I had gallstones, and I remember having an attack in the early hours of Christmas Eve. The Dr came and gave me pethedine, my fisrt experience of it. Wonderful stuff. You are still aware of where the pain is but you just don't care.
I had just one gallstone it was the size of a large marble and had a hole through the middle. I told the surgeon that this was because I had been mentally drilling through it and he laughed - but I had!

Lizzie said...

Ouch! Poor you - so glad it was sorted out. Boo to the French Drs, for not investigating properly!

scrappyjacky said...

Not a good end to a holiday,Becky!!!!

Maria Ontiveros said...

Ouch! Love that the gallstones turn up in science class. Would love to see a picture of them.
Rinda

Clare said...

I've never had them but they sound very painful. I'm glad they're being put to good use now! Great title!

Missus Wookie said...

I think you should ask for a photo of your gallstones. So glad you were able to get home and be treated in English tho'.

Sian said...

Goodness, Becky, that sounds horrendous! I love this story because it has lots of twists and turns (though maybe that's not a good turn of phrase for me to use when talking about digestive pain!) and lots of details. I love how it turned out in the end. Great stuff!

Jimjams said...

An exciting (and unpleasant) end to the story - can't decide if the French over- and then under-reaction is because of the language barrier or incompetence ... at least you got it sorted. My Mum used to have a tube of her gallstones - we kids were fascinated by them!

Kirsty.a said...

Ugh. A gruesome tale!
Thanks for commenting on my Sunday Story
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Tammy said...

Had my gallbladder removed 21 years ago. Only one big stone, though. :) Enjoyed reading your story.

Louise said...

I enjoyed your story, glad that its all sorted now.

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

Although not a story where you had much fun, it was still well written! LOVE seeing the photos of you and Hugh and your children!

I had my gall bladder removed about 15 years ago and what a wonderful feeling to have it over and done with!

Sandra said...

Oh no, you poor thing, certainly a holiday to remember, if not for the best reasons

Karen said...

Ouch! Quite a painful tale for Sunday--glad it got sorted out.

furrypig said...

ooh you poor thing that must have ben so painful! Glad you recovered in the end

Sabrina S. said...

That's not a nice way to end holidays in France. Hope you'll back one day and get better memories.
Cheers from France

Jo said...

I know that pain and I'm so glad that I didn't have to suffer it in a foreign country. I wonder how many people have looked at your stones now :)

Amy said...

Urghhh, that is dreadful, but fabulous that it was all sorted in the end!

Miriam said...

You poor thing, it is my dread to be taken ill away from home! I think it would be great to see the stones, but then they didn't cause me the pain! Thanks for your visit x

heart.hearth.home. said...

This was certainly a holiday you will never forget. Glad it had a happy ending and you got help when you got home.

Ruth said...

The Brainy One had a terrible time with his gall bladder a few years ago ~ you have my sympathy. Perhaps you should ask your friend to photograph them in her classroom setting?

Mel said...

When my dad had kidney stones he was in such pain he was reading my mom his last rites! Glad you got it sorted! Its scary to be ill in a foreign country!

Chipper said...

Ouch! That sounds awful. I would not like to get sick in a country in which I didn't speak the language. So glad you sorted it out.

Gail said...

OUCH - what an end to a holiday - definitely one you'll remember though. How funny that your gallstones are now in someones biology class room.