At the hospital

At the A&E for Hands department last Thursday night we met a charming nurse and doctor who said," We'll use a special protocol which involves just covering the wound with a transparent plastic dressing and leaving well alone. It will macerate and it will smell, but you'll see, within quite a short time the flesh will grow to fill the wound and the skin will grow back. It's the best protocol for this kind of wound to avoiding scarring and loss of sensation. But it will mean coming back every week for us to redo the dressing."

So yesterday we went back. Pat's appointment was for 4. There are 36 ways of getting to the hospital from here so I chose one that allowed us 20 minutes to find the department once we got there. It meant the 4 to Barrière de Pessac, then the 11 to the hospital. Champion.

We arrived at the hospital and, with our dim memories of the site on a dark rainy night, quickly found the fire escape style staircase we used to get out of the unit and retraced our steps. 10 to 4 ! Perfect !

Not so fast young man. "Have you got your new feuille de machin?" asked the receptionist. We didn't even know what one of them is. So it meant we had to find the reception area - the place where the zombies roamed that fateful night - and take a number, then get a feuille de machin.

We saw the reception area below, but all the lifts said Strictly reserved for the sick. So we hunted for a stairway. The panic rose. Would we NEVER be able to get down there ? A lady found us huddled in a corner.
"We can't find a stairwell. We need to get down to reception."
"Here's a lift!"
"But it's strictly reserved for the sick"
"C'est pas grave".
We fell on her neck, hugged and kissed her, went down and got our number. 

743. They were currently on 72.
We found a seat.
I got out my book.
Pat got out her book.
Oh! Good!
732. 74. OK. We see how this works.

After about 15 minutes spent happily reading and people-watching (French white coats are unflattering) our number came up and we won guichet C. Pat didn't have her passport but since she's already known to the hospital they didn't ask for it. But her carte vitale was out of date. "Go and update it at the terminal by the door." I did it. It worked. So I did mine, too.

"OK. Here's your feuille de machin." We went up brazenly in the lift strictly reserved for the sick - c'est pas grave - and found our way back to the hands department. The nurse was waiting for us (reading her book).

The doctor told her to remove the dressing. The nurse removed the dressing.

"Oh yes. That's very good. See, it's starting to smell. You could clean a little closer round the edges. I'll take a photo." The nurse wrapped Pat's thumb in plastic, put on a strip of elastoplast to hold it in place and off we went.

From the window of the hands department I was sure I had seen a road quite nearby with what looked like tram wires... We went that way - and found the tram stop after just 50 yards !

This time Tram A to Peychotte and bus 23 to Macedo and home. 


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