Tue 5 Apr 2011 - Tue 5 Apr 2011 55 °F
We came back to Paris finally and met up with Monica’s Parents. Most of our plans were cut quite short by a tragedy that occurred on Tuesday the 5th. I will not go into great detail but Monica’s mother took a very terrible fall down a flight of stairs. In almost every place in Paris and other places in France the bathroom is in the basement. You must traverse a long set of stairs, usually winding, and get to the bathroom at the bottom. These stairs are generally normal width at the edges but closer in toward where the stairs curve they get extremely narrow. Not only this, but the stairs are very steep and it may be more realistic to get on a climbing harness and “rope in” to go to the bathroom. Compared to all countries I’ve visited, these staircases would be such a safety hazard to most building codes that the places would probably be closed down. Anyway, when the accident happened Monica and I again used our medical training to aid her mom as much as we could until the ambulance arrived. Its one thing holding a stranger’s head to stabilize the neck and not knowing if the person will make it or not, and another thing totally to hold your mother-in-law’s head wondering the same. This is something I hope I never have to do again but I really need to express that if you do not have medical training it is incredibly valuable to have and I highly recommend getting some. I am not overexaggerating this but her fall really should have been lethal. She hit her head first then literally tumbled down the rest of the way to the bottom. We spent the next two days at the hospital battling the French health care system to get the service she needed. This is a totally separate blog altogether. Miraculously, she came out of this with a broken wrist, many terrible bruises, and a concussion. Thankfully, there have been no more complications.