The last 2 days were very untypical for my life here in France: I had the chance (??) to discover the functionning of the French SAMU and cardiological emergency. And this happened like this:

I woke up very early on Monday morning with strong compression and pain in my breast. After some time I had to get up, and .....fell down with a very strong pain on the lower part of my back ( I couldn't move anymore, so I decided to call the emergency. But first, I had to care for my son, who was already very afraid. I called a friend who was nice enough to get him and bring him to school.

Then, I called the emergency and told of my back problems and pain in the breast. They only heard "pain in the breast" and sent the fireworkers, who, in France have a very important task in the emergency system.

So they arrived, put me an oxygen mask on the face and my poor little son saw all this and was even more afraid. Fortunately, my friend came and took care of him and brought him to school.

The fireworkers, then , decided together with the doctor who had arrived as well, to take me to the next hospital. Unfortunately, no hospital next to my place would accept me, only a clinic specialised in cardiology about 40 km away. So, they got me into the ambulance, and started a long journey through the Paris suburbs....the motorways were all packed, they decided to take the small roads.

I can tell you, the towns do not care for the poor sick people needing transportation in an ambulance: my back hurt at every bump, and the doctor who accompanied me, got even sick....

When we arrived at the hospital after about 40 minutes, they did of course a lot of tests, x-rays, and other exams, but they couldn't find anything. I stayed there for hours, waiting to be transfered to the cardiology for further tests, and as they still didn't find anything, but my breast still hurt, they decided to do a angiogram and simultaneously prepared a coronary angioplasty (

They opened the artery on the right arm, and entered a very small tube which allowed the repairing device to approach the heart. Fortunately, my heart is in perfect shape, and they didn't have to repair anything!

The afternoon was very boring: no information on what would happen now, but suddenly a doctor arrived in my room, telling me that they would x-ray my lungs for a second time. Then, if there would be no problem, I could go home. They very obviously needed the room. Good thing for me, and for the guy who really needed the room: they made me leave very quickly, and at 5.30 PM, I was outside in the wind and rain, waiting for the bus to bring me to the train station.

The trip home took me 2,5 hours.....but it was nice to find the chaos in my flat, my two cats, and my own bed again.

Well, but I still do not know, where the breast pain comes from....