Tuesday, 5 April 2016


Exploring a national park on skis
I have never been so glad as I was to escape to the Alps this Easter.

Let me sum up the fortnight before we went.

1. First, the Doctor and I came down with awful colds. Well, possibly worse than a cold -- I was unable to do much for about three whole days, except blow my nose, take paracetamol and sweat profusely. I haven't felt so rough in years, and there WAS swine flu doing the rounds of the local schools, so I think that may have been it....

2. We had a terrible night during which we were both extremely hot and sweaty. During the course of said night, the Doctor managed to scratch an insect bite (I know - in March, in England?) and somehow infect it. Within two days, his entire leg was red and swollen around a horrible pussy mess. I drove him to A&E, who diagnosed an abscess and put him on intravenous antibiotics (luckily he didn't have to stay in).

3. The leg did not clear up quickly - it got worse, and he ended up having to have it drained. He had to have an MRI to check it hadn't penetrated the bone (luckily, not) and missed an entire week of work -- something I've never known him do, even when he had Lyme disease a few years ago. One doctor told him ominously that there was no way he would be able to ski - this was about a week before we were due to leave. Two days later, although it wasn't much better, another doctor thought ski-ing would be fine. However, this guy, naturally, was himself a keen skier, so we had to take that with a pinch of salt. I was left facing the possibility that I would have to drive all the way to the Alps myself, and ski with the boys on my own for two weeks - or, that we would have to cancel.

4. We decided to go anyway, and thought we would only ski for a week, then maybe to to Paris. Things were looking slightly more positive. Then, the day before we left, I was just getting the boys ready for school when, standing in our kitchen, I felt a drip on my head. There was water dripping through our ceiling from the floor above!

5. The Doctor managed to isolate the leak, but that meant we had no water in our bathroom - and the plumber couldn't come before we left for France.

6. Around the same time, we decided that one of our front car tyres was looking decidedly dodgy. On the morning we left, The Doctor took it to the garage to get it checked. Lucky he did, because apparently both front tyres had completely had it. Not ideal before a thousand-mile drive.

At this point, I was actually thinking it would be a miracle if we ever made it to France and we might as well abandon the whole trip.

However, we didn't. And, when we finally made it, it was a wonderful break, one of the best ski holidays we've had as a family. The snow was excellent, the weather beautiful. The Doctor found he WAS able to ski, despite the still oozing leg. The boys improved immeasurably, and were soon outpacing me. They could follow us everywhere, which meant we were able to make trips to other resorts en famille. One day we met friends, another we explored a national park on skis. We ate and drank far too well.

After 10 days skiing (which was plenty for everyone), we spent a couple of nights in Avignon, Provence (I'll write about that one separately.) Then we came home via a night in Champagne. Everything went smoothly - even passing through Eurotunnel on a busy weekend.

Who can say if the hellish fortnight preceeding the holiday made the fortnight away even better by way of relief. But, anyway, thank goodness for getting away.


MsCaroline said...

Oh, my! That sounds like a nightmarish week or so! MrL had a brush with an infected leg when we had just moved with 2 small boys to AZ back in early 2000s - very similar story, IV antibiotics, etc - except he ended up with part of his leg turning black and having to be surgically removed and crutches for weeks and horrible medieval-style dressings and- anyway, he's fine 15 years later, but I am still one of the world's most paranoid people when it comes to any kind of suspected infection anywhere. You really did deserve a break, and I'm so glad it was a lovely one ! Not to be too precious, but I suppose the grim times do really help us to appreciate the shining moments, don't they? x

ADDY said...

So sorry you had such an awful two weeks - bad things tend to happen in clumps (it seems to be some kind of unwritten physical law)- but so glad the ski trip blew those cobwebs away. Spring has sprung, well as best it can in the UK, so here's hoping for a glorious summer ahead for us all.

Iota said...

Glad you had a good time. Sounds like you needed it.

Was the Doctor's leg an example of antibiotics not being effective any more, because we've all over-used them? Or was it a particularly virulent infection.

I had a couple of insect bites last week (Scotland in March, even more surprising than England in March!)

Trish Burgess said...

Thank god the holiday was a success after all those awful things happening to you and your family. Hope your husband's leg is recovering well: frightening how infection can take hold like that.
I am now interested in people talking about skiing whereas, before our trip, I didn't know what they were on about.
Thanks for commenting about Steamboat the other week. We loved the place and did visit Strawberry Park which was truly beautiful (I wrote a separate post with photos of it in the snow). I would love to go back in the summer, it sounds idyllic.

Mwa said...

Wow. Glad you had a good break after all that.

Nota Bene said...

Oh, oh, oh....how did I miss all this? Glad it all came good in the end. We must catch up for coffee again! Sorry not to have been in touch...been one of those years

Muddling Along said...

Sounds like you deserved the break - hope that things are quieter now you're back