Alex relaxing in the hotel-- dig those crazy tracksuit bottoms!
We used to go camping there many times when the children were young, so the visit was quite nostalgic; As usual it took quite a few days to finally unwind, and we spent those days re-visiting old haunts including the "ABBAYE DE FONTFROIDE" which was beautiful....
...... as you see!
Time passed quickly and we were anxious to get back home again to see if everybody had coped well without any problems; Little did we know that we were to experience a problem which was about to shape our future lives together.
We packed our bags and set off on the long drive up the motorway heading towards Bordeaux and then the Loire Valley. We always took it in turns to drive, at least, my joking husband always said that he did 60% and I did 40% ! I was at the wheel whilst Alex was fast asleep beside me when we approached one of the large ' peages' - toll booths. I nudged Alex awake to find the necessary payment as we always do; I knew something major was wrong when he did not respond in his normal manner! He stared at me as if I were a stranger and did not know where he was or what we were doing! At first I thought he was joking or had been having a bad dream, but I soon realised it was real. He began to wander off in his mind and I knew I had to get home as quickly as possible! I cannot begin to describe the terror I /we , were both feeling . Alex had no memory of where had been or what we had been doing, he was unsure of everything.
I think the car must have grown wings for that journey which must have taken at least another three hours! Alex began to settle down and come out of it but was still not himself. I didn't know the name for it but I guessed he must have had some form of mini stroke. As soon as we got home I immediately telephone our old English doctor who talked to both me first, then Alex over the phone and diagnosed a ' TRANSIENT ISCHAEMIC ATTACK ' which, in effect is a mini stroke or advanced warning of a stroke. He suggested we go to a french doctor, which Alex refused to do initially, then agreed finally to start taking aspirin immediately on a daily basis. I was shocked because he had seemed so well, as you can see from his photo! He was a heavy smoker though and would not give them up.
I telephoned the girls back in England and we were all reeling with the news and after some badgering Alex agreed to enrol with a french doctor and have some tests. He laughed it off but I knew that deep down he was really shaken.
What a holiday that turned out to be.