Banishing our woes at Étretat


It has been a weird week. No, that's an understatement, a misrepresentation of the facts. 2013 is turning out to be one of the strangest years that our family has ever experienced.

To celebrate Sara's successful surgery last Wednesday and the news that she doesn't need a third operation, we left for an impromptu mother-daughter trip to Normandy on Sunday. Stéphane, who didn't want to miss out on the fun, decided to join us for the first night. When it was time for him to return to Paris on Monday morning, we hugged goodbye in the pouring rain and I lovingly whispered in his ear, "Stop picking at the ingrown hair on your neck. It's starting to get inflamed!" It's tender moments like these that have kept our love alive for so many years.

Fast forward to Tuesday when I received a text message from Stéphane. Rather than continuing on to Italy from Geneva as planned, he informed me that he had booked a return flight to Paris for later that evening. He had also scheduled an appointment with the dermatologist for the following day because the bump on his neck had grown to the size of a prune. Suspecting that he was exaggerating ever so slightly when he said that he looked like a pelican with a throat pouch full of fish, I asked him to send a photo. As soon as I opened the file, I realized that his description was spot on. My husband appeared to have goiter.

Amused by Stéphane's altered appearance, I chuckled and passed the phone to Sara so that she could see the photo of her father. Why, we wondered, hadn't he left his ingrown hair alone. While I would like to say that I had the foresight to tell Stéphane to go straight to the emergency room as soon as he landed in Paris, it took me approximately five hours to reach the conclusion that the bump was actually more serious than funny. Nonetheless, I'm relieved that Stéphane, for once, followed my advice because his next text message was sent from the American Hospital, where they had admitted him for the night so that they could pump antibiotics into his bloodstream to combat the bacteriological infection.

Certain that Stéphane would be released from the hospital the following day, Sara and I continued on our way to Étretat, the coastal town known for its cliffs made famous by the Impressionists. It was while driving around a roundabout and listening to Stéphane's voice on the speakerphone that I learned that the doctors wanted to keep him a couple more nights. What? All because of an ingrown hair! The news came as such a surprise that I almost missed the exit for the beach.

And as if Stéphane's lump wasn't enough, I discovered shortly after we arrived in Étretat  that my personal email account had been hacked and that all of my contacts had received emails with a suspicious link. It's a testimony to the timeless beauty of the rugged cliffs that our problems momentarily receded like the waves as Sara and I walked along the windswept beach.

If all goes according to schedule, Stéphane should be released from the hospital tomorrow afternoon.

Please click here to see more photos of Étretat.


Comments

  1. Ah, I thought that was spam, glad I didn't open it...

    Sorry to hear Stéphane's not well, wishing him a speedy recovery.

    Eretrat looks lovely! I imagine it's cold right now though!

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    1. Etretat is a beautiful spot! Your mum told me on Twitter that she's currently reading "The Swan Thieves" and that there's a section about Etretat. I'll have to read it before our next visit.

      Sorry that you received one of the spam emails from me!

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    2. Not really a section, but it does feature. Love your 'loving whisper' - you make me laugh! But sorry it was more serious than first thought and hope all is well now. GM x

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    3. All's well -- and it wouldn't have been nearly as bad if Stephane would have listened to my "loving whisper". You would think he would have learned by now. After all, I've been working on it for almost 30 years! ;)

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  2. Goodness, 2013 certainly has been difficult for you so far! No fun.. :(

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    1. And there was one other woe that I didn't put in the post -- Chateaux de Vaux le Vicomte postponed the Journée Grand Siècle until June so Sara's not going to be able to wear the 17th century dress that she picked out at the costume store!

      Even though 2013 has been a really strange year, I'm not complaining as long as everything keeps turning out alright in the long run. We've also had some fun along the way.

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  3. Holy cow! I must agree with you that 2013 has been 'interesting' to call it nicely. I hope your hubby is doing well.

    What a beautiful place is Étretat, it looks so peaceful...lovely photos!

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    1. Peaceful is the right word to describe Etretat. I could have easily spent the entire afternoon watching the clouds passing overhead and listening to the waves.

      Stephane was doing much better when I saw him this evening. Thanks!

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  4. Etretat IS absolutely delightful and not only nature-wise but also the houses in all their splendid colours make it a wonderful place to visit.
    It seems that not only you got SPAMS - I just kicked out a bunch too from 'friends' who would never have sent me the stuff that got into my mail box.... the blessings of modern times!
    I'm glad too that S went to take care of himself - we only have ourselves to look after our health and we owe it to our beloved ones to take matters serious without getting too scared over nothing.
    And on a lighter note - 2013 is not only a very 'interesting' year for you - it has already 'provided me with more than other years have in twelve months' - hence my relative 'stillness'....
    Bonne continuation of your trip with your daughter
    Love, Kiki

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    1. I hope that 2013 hasn't given you too many challenges, Kiki! From your Flickr page, I can't tell if you're in Switzerland or in France, but I'm guessing that you've been very busy with your move. Have you found a place yet? Are you near Lutry?

      Speaking of Switzerland, our daughter is going to be living in Lausanne for ~6 months so I'm looking forward to more frequent trips "home" starting in September.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. It was really good to hear from you!

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  5. I knew well enough not to open that email!
    2013 sure has thrown you and your family some curve balls. Glad to hear Sara is doing better & hope that Stephane is home soon! Here's to hoping the 2nd half of 2013 is a little more relaxing for you all.
    Amy

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    1. We're really hoping that the second half of 2013 is more normal than the first half. Stephane came home last Friday and was doing well enough to go to the French Open with Sara on Sunday.

      Thank goodness that you didn't open that email!

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  6. Ah, I just thought you had made a mistake and sent an empty email.

    Glad Sara is Ok. Hope Stephane is better soon.

    Love Denise

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    1. Thanks, Denise. Sara and Stephane are both doing much better!

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  7. Oh dear, hope everything turns out well. Pleased to hear about Sara.

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    1. Knock on wood - everything seems as if it will turn out alright. I guess if you have to have a string of weird medical conditions, it's best that they happen in France. We would have had to pay a fortune in the USA or in Switzerland for doctor visits and medicine!

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  8. Hope everyone in the Out and About in Paris house is improving in the health department. Etretat is the perfect spot to try and switch off from the worries, though not much fun if they are following you there!

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    1. Étretat is lovely - I hope that we'll have the opportunity to return another time when things aren't quite so "exciting".

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