“Why don’t he write?” Part 2 (Dennis Aubrey)


The last post on these pages – “Why don’t he write?” – was written in a brief semi-rational interlude after 9 unabated days of illness and misery. The title refers, of course, to the line spoken by the wonderful Robert Pastorelli, who plays Timmons, the muleskinner in the movie Dances with Wolves. Lieutenant Dunbar (Kevin Costner) and Timmons camp on the plain for the night and find a human skeleton in the grasses.

So what actually happened to us? In the Provence I contracted a virulent e-coli infection that completely debilitated me. At times of great sickness, the human body apportions resources according to need. The conscious workings of the brain are of the lowest priority and my brain was effectively shut off. I was left in a state of shadows and visions with only the most tenuous hold on reality.

After six days of abject misery in Issoire, PJ decided that we had to formulate a plan to get me home. She worked it out in stages – first we would drive a couple of hours north to Montluçon. The three days in Montluçon were a blur, but PJ’s next choice was to get us to Olivet, only two hours from Paris. As we drove across the French countryside, I suddenly said with great hope, “I know exactly where we are going.” Olivet is the source of the Loiret and has always been part of our family lore because my father was fascinated by the astonishing volumes of water that emerged from the earth. I became convinced that if I could get to the source, all would be well.

The three days in Olivet (and great medical treatment by the French) turned me around completely. Still weak and exhausted, I was at least a participant in the real world again.

Tonight we are in a hotel at the Paris airport and tomorrow afternoon we fly the first leg of our journey home, to Iceland. We’ll rest a day in Keflavik and then on Monday we’ll return home. A couple of reflections – the trip was not a total waste and we have some wonderful photographs to share and the French medical system is marvelous; smart and efficient. I’d also like to thank all of you for your good wishes and prayers; it meant a great deal (and Trish wins the prize for recognizing the Timmons quote).

On a final note, in the last line of the previous post, I tried to send some effect of the healing waters to my brother Steve, who is struggling for life in Cape Cod.

17 responses to ““Why don’t he write?” Part 2 (Dennis Aubrey)

  1. On a long driving holiday once, we listened to an audio book , “Dances with Wolves”, read by Michael Blake, its author! Fantastic. Highly recommend it if you’re looking for something to listen to while you’re recovering. And aren’t we all glad you are! Go home, recover fully, and plan again. Tell the French, Je reviens!

  2. Just as a matter of purely contingent interest – and I am not implying anything… for the past 13 years I have had ME. I have got to know it well. The first years were spent entirely in the realm you mention. One becomes quite an economist with ME: what energy can be afforded for what. Anything to do with the brain uses up huge amounts of energy, thinking itself is a very energy-high activity. Reading, reasoning – forget it.
    The fact that are back in the world, coherent, shows you Do Not have ME – so relax, enjoy what you can.

  3. I am very happy to know you are better, because I was very worried by your first “Why don’t he write ?” post. I had understood that you were unwell, but did not understand everything ! So today’s post is very welcome !
    I am sorry to know that you have to go back to your country and are not able to continue your French tour !
    Thank you for your positive remarks about the French medical system.

  4. Mystery solved! I do hope you are feeling better. You have no idea how much your wonderful posts are missed.

    Kalli

  5. YEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Just look after yourself….these things have a habit of hanging around longer than you think.
    My husband has a nasty variant of Guillain – Barre…he knows just what you mean abiout the body shutting down to essentials and joins me in best wishes for your recovery.

  7. What a terrible experience – apart from the French Healthcare system of which I’ve heard excellent reports! Have a safe journey and best wishes to all of you.

  8. I’m glad you’re feeling better, safe trip home. I’ll do as Sister Electa, a very elderly nun I used to know said, “I’ll keep you and yours tucked in my sleeve.” Something the nuns used to do when they still wore habits, they’d tuck scraps of paper in a sleeve with the names of people they were asked to pray for. All the best.

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