Paris: Au revoir!
July 4th, 2011
The alarm went off at 5am. By 6:30 we were at Joinville-Le-Pont RER for the last time.
We got to Charles De Gaulle in good time, and so we sat for a bit before saying our goodbyes.
From Charles De Gaulle, I went to La Défense, to see the Grande Arche and ended up sitting there for a while utilizing a WiFi hotspot I found. The whole défense area is pretty nice, if you can see it through all the suits. On the train to La Défense, I was the only one in the carriage not suited up, by the end - instead I was wearing my “spoiler” t-shirt and while nobody said anything (in either English or French) I could feel their eyes trying to read the shirt as I stood there.
After, I headed to porte maillot, to find out the times of the bus and also buy a ticket. The metro stop is a lot bigger than I remember, but last time I was there, it was packed out with frustrated italians.
Once I had my ticket, I went to Musée De L’Armée, which was only €7. It was pretty cool and most importantly, killed a few hours… Oh, and while there, I managed to get myself another bloody nosebleed. I ended up wandering around half the 1900’s with a blood soaked tissue.
Paris, you have not been kind to my nose.
After that, I hung around the carousell de Louvre and used its many free WiFi locations, killing time until I got the bus.
I headed back to Porte Maillot at around seven, and got a bus out to Beauvais at around half past, getting me to the airport for around 8:20pm. All straight forward, so far.
I decided, once I arrived to take the opportunity to change my tshirt. I had a clean one in my bag and I felt kind of sweaty, so I figured it was a good decision. I went to the toilets and did that and started making my way to the security line.
On the way, I felt something, it felt like my nose was running — but given what happened earlier, and what happened on Saturday night, I kind of knew better. I reached up and sure enough, more blood.
I made my way back to the toilets to grab some tissue, and got it seemingly under control. At least, enough to make my way through security — still holding a tissue to my nose. It wasn’t until after I was through the metal detector that one of the french security people asked if I was OK.
Well, that was the jist of what he asked. First he asked if I spoke French, to which I told him no. Then he asked the woman behind me in line if she spoke french, she did. Did she speak English? Barely. But she was able to translate enough to ask me if I wanted someone to have a look at my nose. A first-aider. I was given a seat and the guy went off to look for the first aider and soon enough, he came along and took me into his first aid room.
He was also French and had limited English. So he went off to find someone to be a translater for him, coming back with a woman from the airport.
I was asked if I wanted to go to hospital, but if I did that, I knew I’d miss my plane. So, I said I’d rather just get home. Which they were understanding of. However, when the nose bleed still hadn’t stopped properly after over half an hour, they started to get more concerned. Suggesting that I may not really have an option but to go to hospital.
If the bleed didn’t stop, I wouldn’t be able to fly, because, if anything, the pressure in the cabin would only make it worse.
While none of that is a good thing, it’s only made worse by the fact that the next flight I could get on wasn’t the next morning, it wasn’t even the next night. It would have been two days later.
I asked them for a cut-off time, a time by which, if my nose hadn’t stopped bleeding, I would have to stay and hoped that it would stop bleeding.
The first aider guy was on the phone to the hospital, essentially getting an ambulance when he asked me to take the gauze away from my nose, to see if the situation had improved. I went into the little toilet, and took it off over the sink. And… Nothing. There was a little bit of blood, but it wasn’t soaked. I shouted out, “Wait!”… and wandered out of the bathroom, almost confused. He looked at the lack of blood on the gauze strip and canceled the ambulance.
He let me sign the refusal of assistance form — I say let me, because he had talked about it earlier and asked me if I’d be happy to sign it, when I had said I’d rather go home than go to the hospital, when it was looking like I had a choice, but I didn’t see it again, until after I’d produced a blood-free gauze strip.
In the midst of all this, he took my heartbeat, which was apparently at over 120bpm. Which, considering I hadn’t been running around or anything, is very high. I suggested that it was probably, in part at least, something to do with the fact that I was being told I might not get home and would be stuck in France for another two days.
His English wasn’t that good though, so I don’t think he understood.
Anyway, after all that, he let me go back through to my gate, accompanying me through security — To which one of the security guys remarked “look who’s back!” — I’m guessing he’d radioed through to them about me possibly not making the flight. He left me saying that if it started to bleed again, even a little bit, that I had to find him again.
Thankfully, it didn’t (and hasn’t).
All the staff I interacted with at Beauvais with regards to the all the blood I was leaking were really nice though, the translater for the first aider kept reiterating that they weren’t trying to keep me, that it was for my own good. Blood loss is never a good thing.
I got back to Glasgow late (the plane was late in taking off from Beauvais) and my mum drove me home - She was already half way to the airport (a 4 hour journey) when I was told I might not be getting back to Scotland. I ended up sleeping in the car on the way home, which is something I never usually do, but I was exhausted, then I went to bed pretty much as soon as I got home.
Where I still am just now.
Still blood free.