Yesterday we left Avignon in the wee hours. The days here are getting shorter…Daylight Savings ends tomorrow…but for now sunrise is around 8:15 or so. We loaded up the car and headed off the find the TGV train station. First we tried using a map which got us nearby, then tried out google maps which did end up directing us to the station, and eventually we found the spot to return the car. We were there early enough to relax for a bit and have some tea before boarding.
Boarding was through gates which opened about 30 minutes before departure. We scanned our tickets to enter then walked quite a ways to the part of the train near Car 6, where we had seats. We had a lot of luggage (much of it mine…ugh). The people on the train were helpful and directed us to the area where there was a luggage rack, and Tracey and Susan took some upstairs. We had good seats together with a table in between for the 2:40 minute ride.
Avignon TGV Station Pre Dawn
Unfortunately I got sick not too long after we left…motion sickness and nausea and sort of passed out I guess after using the bathroom…I felt sick so sat down, broke into a cold sweat and freaked everyone out. I could hear everyone, but opening my eyes or talking made me nauseous. It was not pleasant but so many people were very helpful from people on the train (just customers who happened to be doctors) to Susan, Tim and Tracey. They took my blood pressure and pricked my fingers to test my blood sugar a lot, tested my arms and legs for (as I later realized) stroke symptoms) and provided a bag for sickness which was needed. Eventually they took me to the back to lie down (groaning all the way, I was dead weight) and I ended up going to the emergency room in an ambulance, (after delaying the train for 30 minutes while multiple teams took my blood pressure & pricked my fingers). It took a long time till I was released. I met with a doctor, who did various tests: blood tests, an EKG, and tests which I think were to test for stroke and cognitive issues (current date, year etc.). Eventually I was given an anti nausea medication via IV and felt much better. Other than that I just sat, trying to doze (the back of the bed was set at a 90 degree angle though, perfectly upright) as I did not have my phone and the only blanket I had was a Mylar type, and my jacket was elsewhere. It was quiet other than one patient wailing for a while and a lot fewer machines and activity than in the ERs in the USA with which I am familiar. Blood tests were normal, and since the anti-nausea medication worked well, I was given some prescriptions and released around 6pm. No one seemed to know where anyone was waiting for me but fortunately I exited directly to the waiting room where Susan was sitting. Susan had waited there for hours, alone after sending Tim and Tracey off to explore around 3pm, which was really nice of her. The train had arrived in Paris at 9:45 am so it was a long day of waiting and stress. At 6 pm it was raining, cold and dark, with no taxis evident, so we quickly walked to the nearest Metro, across from which there was a pharmacy, filled the prescriptions, bought Metro tickets and boarded.
It was only five stops on the Metro and a quick walk to the apartment, which turned out to be a very nice one, in the Marais. This is the first apartment we’ve had with an outdoor area and good light.
Everyone had a good and long night’s sleep, I feel much better…off later to wander around the neighborhood while Tim, Tracey and Susan are sight seeing.
Day 1 in Paris was not what we expected, but down the line it’ll be a good story to recount…remember that time I was taken to L’Hopital Saint-Antoine?
Here’s to a better weekend!