To have a teenager groaning and shouting all night, plus stamping his sizeable feet in pain and frustration, is not the best way to spend one’s time. He had a very sore throat, couldn’t swallow and could hardly breathe.
Unfortunately I was absent during this drama, so my wife and middle son had to endure it, without respite and I was unable to share their suffering.
I was woken at 06:37 during my short solo business holiday in Central Europe… I struggled up on one elbow to hear the bad news, or as the first rays of sun poked their way into my chalet, a surge of optimism prompted me to wonder if there’d been a miraculous recovery during the night.
“He’s much worse. He has to see a doctor.”
Realising that this would not be a swift solution, I suggested they take the sufferer to Princess Grace.
The next phone call was the hospital asking for my CAMTI/CARTI number. This required that my brain switch back to French, and it was only 07:08.
Eventually the receptionist and I reached an understanding on what the number was.
A severe throat infection was diagnosed and a prescription for a course of antibiotics given.
He had the medicine within an hour and we, sorry, they, settled in to count the slow hours until improvement.
I asked my wife about the CHPG experience. I had read about multi-lingual hostesses, possibly dressed like Emirates stewardesses with language labels on their hats. But I think that was from a press release.
Perhaps they hadn’t come to work yet. My family’s reception was brusque and monolingual. She was criticised for not bringing more paperwork with her. Added to her concern for our son, she hadn’t slept a wink. “Dites-moi Madame, dites-moi Madame, dites-moi Madame…” My wife speaks good French, but couldn’t muster the words. It was the victim who communicated, despite his very sore throat.
On their way home on the number 5 bus, my wife was wondering how she was going to survive the coming day. Victim, who had the enviable prospect of going back to bed, gazed from the window and said with feeling: “Monaco is beautiful.”
I suppose my time will come to go to CHPG to see a geriatric specialist, and I will have another experience to add to the dossier.
In the meantime, there are more serious issues at the hospital that need to be addressed.
Almost every day someone has a stroke in the Principality. It is a terrible thing to happen to anybody and its ripple effect through the family is awful. There is a good chance of a full recovery for the victim if he or she is hospitalised within three hours.
However, Princess Grace Hospital does not have a stroke unit, and sufferers have to be taken off to Nice, wasting precious lifesaving or life-enhancing time.
There is a small pressure group working on this, out of sight, and I hope its members, some of whom are connected to CHPG, have success.
In the meantime, the very sick teenager had recovered markedly by the evening. Except when his mother was in sight, when he made a point of saying he could hardly swallow.
DISCLAIMER: Princess Grace Hospital is an outstanding medical facilty and its staff performed with fantastic dedication during the coronavirus pandemic. Any views expressed by Jeff Daniels do not necessarily reflect those of the publishers and his column is published in the interests of editorial diversity.