We stumbled upon Parc du Cinquantenaire which was a wonderful place to run free like the little three year olds they are.
Within this large park there is also a large museum called Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and of Military History.
The instant Zane saw what was inside he demanded that we had to go in. Fortunately it has free admission, however they looked at me like I was crazy bringing two children into this particular museum.
I have gotten used to these looks however. It seems children are rarely seen and definitely not heard in this city. Especially loud, independent, strong willed children such as I am blessed with.
You see, when a little boy sees airplanes and tanks and such, it is a natural instinct to take off running with arms open wide zooming about the place. However,
a child running is not tolerated here and results in a large man with a badge yelling at your child in French while demanding all must leave at once! Lesson learned.
And then the week turned.
I had such wonderful plans for the kids on Thursday but I found myself unable to get out of bed in the morning. I felt terrible, nauseous and weak. The dull yet still intense pain in my side told me that my kidney was mad at me and wanted me to know it. After not being able to eat anything or keep anything down, late Sunday night I took myself to the ER.
Well this was an adventure. The staff luckily spoke some English but were not happy to do so. One nurse insisted that I thank him for speaking English to me. I get it, I’m in their country, using their health system…but there is no reason to make me feel lousy about it.
There is no HIPAA here, that is for sure. In the waiting room a large nurse appeared and said, “Valérie Hawzorn? Peepee in theeze cup now.” as he held up a clear specimen cup and pointed to the bathroom door. When I was taken back to my room various nurses shouted down the hall in french asking each other why the american girl was visiting. One suggested that I probably wanted drugs, the other one said I was probably pregnant. I may not speak french well but I can sure understand it ladies.
Blood was taken, CT scans performed, urinalysis completed…kidney infection with a blocked ureter from a 6mm stone. IV antibiotics, anti nausea meds, anti spasmatics, and some fluids and I was sent on my way with prescriptions and future appointments in hand.
When you move to a different country, you plan your adventures, not the Spanish Inquisition.
I still feel lousy and weak and just want to feel better.
The things you learn when you are all alone are ones that seem to sink deep. I had no idea how brave I was until I had to seek out a hospital, walk two blocks at freezing temperatures, at midnight, alone in the city to try and get help. I shook from fear, pain and cold, but I got it done.
Being alone in a new city is something I think everyone needs to do once in their lifetime, I did it in Miami, and I’m back here again. When you have no one to call for help, no one to come watch your kids so your husband can come with you, no one to help you communicate, you envy those with friends and family at their fingertips. (And then the next morning you wake up and smell the bread from the bakery down stairs and things aren’t so bad)