Around France

Memories Tour Interrupted

When the Barefoot Blogger sets out for a new adventure, it’s hard to predict the trouble I might get intolike a hospital in France.

Hospital in France

I ended up in a French hospital on the eighth day of the South of France Memories Tour with author Patricia Sands and sixteen lovely ladies.

Broken bones! 

A tour of the French medical system was more than I bargained for, yet here I am.

French Hospital Tour

It all started in Aigues-Mortes, the ancient walled city near the Camargue. Patricia and I were returning to the bus after finishing our guided tour and lunch. We were running a bit late.

When we walked out of the town’s main gate, we saw the tour ladies had already boarded the bus. They were waiting for us. As we hurried across the busy street, laughing that the tour leaders were holding things up, Patricia stumbled and fell. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her falling.

The next thing I knew, I tripped on the street curb. My face was headed straight for the sidewalk. I threw out my left hand to catch myself, then rolled to the right. My shoulder and hip pounded the pavement.

Immediately, I knew I was hurt. I was nauseous. It was just like I’d felt seven years before when I fell off the countertop in my kitchen.

French Hospital Tour

Since that fateful day in Aigues-Mortes, I’ve had surgery to put pins in my hip. My right arm is strapped to my side, so the broken shoulder will heal without surgery.

I’ve spent twelve days in the hospital. First, the university hospital in Nimes. Now, I’m in a rehab hospital in a field between Nîmes and Uzés. Really. That’s all I can see.

French hospital tour
View from my private room at the rehab hospital.

The medical care I’ve received — from ambulance to emergency room, to surgery and aftercare– has been superb. I couldn’t ask for better. The rehab hospital where I am now is brand new and modern. I’m in a private room.

Promise, I’ll write a post about the whole hospital experience later. Like me, some of you who travel worry about accidents. So far, so good.

Clipped Wings

Needless to say, I was unfortunate to leave Patricia and the Memories Tour. We were having a ball. The group of women joining us from the US, Canada, and Australia was extraordinary. It was like we were made to travel together.

French hospital tour

Nancy McGee of Absolutely Southern France, who made all the arrangements for the South of France Memories Tour, dropped all she was doing to stand in for me the last 3 days of the trip. Along with Patricia, they made sure that everything went along as planned.

The good news for the ladies was that they gained the benefit of a seasoned travel pro on their tour. In addition to her destination planning company, Nancy is known for her walking tours in Sete, Montpelier, Pezenas, and more, and she teaches classes at the university in Montpellier to future travel agents.

French hospital tour

Sad News All Around

As discouraged as I was about my plight, I was distraught to hear of the damage done by Hurricane Florence back in the US. The storm hurled through areas I’d called “home,” causing friends and family to flee to safe places. To any of you who were affected, I pray you are faring well now.

Memories Tour Continued

Now that I know I can type with the thumb of one hand on my iPad, I plan to pick up where I left off on documenting the Memories Tour. My accident is not the memory I want to leave you with. Instead, it’s the friendships and experiences we had that I will be remembering for a lifetime.

Stay tuned …

French hospital tour


32 replies »

  1. Debbie, I am off of Facebook so had no idea of your accident. So sorry to hear about the ordeal. How are you doing now? You sound so brave and upbeat but it had to be a giant bummer on every level. Are you able to get around yet? Let me know your status.

  2. Deborah, so sorry to hear of your injuries….I can sympathize…one week after our return from France this April I slipped and fell on our deck. Shattered my wrist….broke arm bones & fractured my hand! Ouch! After 3 casts…half cast…compression gloves…I moved into physio therapy & now have a fabulous Occupational Therapist….my first fall in my nearing year 70! My surgeon, Dr. & Therapist tell me I will be in healing for one year…..all this said….each day become better…..knowing that adventures are ahead & await us this March in France……I wish for you a successful recovery…..quiet time ….friends visits….and a finger or two to click away at the keyboard with the many stories you have yet to tell.

    • Oh I’m so sad to hear of your injury, too, Julie. You know just how this feels. I’m so grateful for internet and for one good hand and arm. Even if it is the left. Keep up your good physio. I’ll have a delay working on my hip until the broken shoulder heals. Can’t bear any weight at all on that leg. No support. This too shall pass. And yes, there are plenty of stories saved up to tell. Merci! Stay in touch to let me know how you’re getting along.

  3. I have been following your posts about this fantastic trip and am so sorry for your accident. I hope you are on the mend and I am interested in joining in next year. Just curious, if this accident had happened to someone who is not in the French healthcare system (and I assume you are – you live in France, I believe), how would hospitalization and rehab work? Thanks and get well soon!!

    • Thanks for following, Kathleen. I’ll catch up with more posts soon. Actually, I’m not in the French heath system. I have travelers insurance. Also, since I had just returned from the US, I believe Medicare will kick in. My son is working on it all now. I’ll keep you posted.

    • Thanks, Paula. Especially for all you have done and continue to do to make this all better. Friends forever!

  4. OMG! So sorry to hear about your ordeal! I’m sure your resilient spirit will pull you through. Happy healing!

    • Thank you, Pam. Just one day at a time. It certainly is slowing me down. Maybe that’s a good thing.

  5. I hope that you feel stronger, a day at a time. Good to hear that you had and still have good care.

    Take the time to heal well so you can plan more trips !

    • I am doing more and feeling stronger every day. My good friends here mean everything, too. Thank you!

  6. Devastating news. What can we do for you? I go to Nîmes twice a week most weeks, so would be happy to visit if you figure out where you are!

    • I’m in the rehab hospital in Caveirac, Egregore. Sounds a bit Charlotte Brontè-ish, doesn’t it? Would love to see you if you’re nearby. After 3pm is best. Thank you!

  7. Ouch! Not the the best way to try out the French Health Care. Al least you are in good hands. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

  8. Deborah, you are such a trooper! I can’t believe we both tripped! I must have landed on my boobs and bounced right back up! We missed you on the rest of the tour but the ladies continued to be fabulous. We toasted you at dinner each night and you were certainly carried with us in spirit. It’s been wonderful to see the excellent care the French health system has offered you. Onward! xoxo

    • You’re so funny😂 I’m just glad we both didn’t end up in the hospital …although you made enough trips there, I just loved our time together. This time next year we’ll have a big laugh about it. Meanwhile, the only way out is through. Hugs💕

  9. Oh what a bummer for this to happen to you, sorry to hear, hope everything heals soon and you are back your feet, I enjoy reading about your adventures!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.