Yesterday my husband was desperate to enjoy what little good weather was forecast. Unwilling to wait while I finished a small task, he left the flat about an hour ahead of me. I was about to leave the Domaine, by bike, when my mobile rang. By the time I’d fished it out of my back pocket, I’d missed the call. I didn’t recognise the number so waited to see if the caller left a message. He did.
It’s the type of call you dread receiving. It started with the words that my husband had been involved in an accident then calmed my fears by advising he wasn’t badly hurt. I raced home and rang the caller who told me that Richard had been taken to a local hospital and a friend was coming to collect his bike. In France, the firemen are the paramedics but, not unnaturally, they cart you off to hospital and leave others to worry about collateral issues.
I changed, grabbed the necessary paperwork and legged it over to the hospital where a long queue of domestic accidents awaited. I was assured that my husband was being dealt with and I could see him soon. Soon turned out to be a relative term. It was two hours before he rang me to give me chapter and verse of what he could remember.
He was riding through Juan les Pins when the car in front, without indicating, stopped abruptly. Richard braked, flew over the handle bars and hit the boot with his nose which it has to be said is fairly sizeable. He was dazed, cut his chin, his lip and split open his nose up to his forehead. Copious amounts of blood issued forth. Luckily a couple of team mates were riding in the opposite direction but first on the scene was a lady from another club who’s a nurse who organised everything and took care of Richard – far better than I could have done. With that much blood, I’d have likely fainted!
Despite it being a Sunday my beloved was impressed with the level of care and professionalism of the hospital and staff and was released into my tender car with plenty of pain killers. He pretty much ached all over from the impact and while his first appointment tomorrow – today’s a bank holiday – is with an ENT specialist, he’ll probably have to go and see his physio too.
My beloved was extremely fortunate that he wasn’t cycling faster, as the injuries would have been worse. Also the proper authorities were quickly alerted and he was tended to by a nurse at the scene. I’m trying to track down the lady in question via the cycling club network so that I can thank her. He now looks like an extra in a Hammer House of Horror movie and his chances of ever finding work as a model have flown out the window. He’s also grounded for the next week or so. Spare a thought for me in all of this. I was looking forward to a quiet week watching the Giro and tackling my “to do” list now I’ll be resuming my ill-suited role as Florence Nightingale!
Postscript: Amazingly, I have managed to get all of the blood out of his shirt!
Tuesday postscript: The ENT specialist was pleased with how quickly my beloved’s injuries are healing. The nose is broken, but not displaced, and the stitches come out on Friday.
— Cannes Film Festival (@CannesCoverage) May 21, 2013