Carnets de Seattle: Patchwork d'impressions et d'humeurs de deux Français expatriés aux Etats-Unis. Depuis mars 2011, ces carnets sont aussi le journal de notre combat contre la leucémie.

samedi 27 août 2011

Unsung Heroes: Seattle part I

Aujourd'hui les américains sont à l'honneur... Pour une fois, c'est vous les français qui allez avoir à traduire! Bon courage :)
Please note: If you don't want your name appearing in full here, please let me know and I'll edit right away.

The previous post was about my support system in France. I suppose you all guessed that it was only the first part and that I was going to write about the help I get in Seattle. But first I have to provide some cultural background for my french readers.

In France, with such a grave illness, everything linked to my treatment would be free. I would have a nurse, coming for free at home changing my dressing. I would have a free ride using the paramedic to go to the clinic or the hospital whenever I needed one. In the US, a whole lot less is covered by the private insurance system and as a result there is a bit of a different culture. A lot of the help that in France would be provided by the state is not in the US, and therefore comes from somewhere else: primarily the patient's social circle.

And we have been truly amazed at how much people cared, and how much people where willing to help. I mean, in France I'm sure some help would be offered by friends but I don't think it would compare to the total dedication that people show here... Again, maybe because in France we leave a lot of responsibility to the state whereas here, people have to take responsibility. Which is better? I have no idea... Somewhere in between probably. Anyways, on to saying thank you. And the list is freaking long.

One of the first things I have to stress out is how my manager, my company, and Celia's boss have been supportive and helpful through this whole thing. In France, it's easy: as a worker, you are super protected by the law. This is not the case here, and having a company that supports you through such an illness is a thing to be truly thankful for. If you happen to know which company I work for, know that they truly take care of their own. I know that I can come back whenever I want, on the terms I want (full or part time, telecommuting or not) and it really is an awesome thing. One less thing to worry about.

Which brings me to my two teammates, Doug & Simon. We already had a special relationship, a true team identity that I was really proud of. And then Doug showed up at the hospital, showered me with stuff so I would not get bored. And Simon (and his wife Liko) have always been there for us, whether it was to answer paperwork related questions or just to talk. And Sasan showed up with his usual bright smile and cheered me up.

People really got organized around giving me rides to the clinic and I got my whole team of dedicated drivers : Matt, Genn, Megan, Anna, Lea... Not only did these guys drive me to the clinic, they most often than not stayed and waited with me for hours, sometimes only to be sent home because I had to stay another four hours to get an infusion. I remember Matt driving me for what was supposed to be a one hour appointment, but the team was backed up so we ended up waiting three hours and then I had to stay for another five hours to get two infusions back to back, so I just sent him back home...

Talking about driving, this reminds me that we also got a ton of help when Celia was working on getting her driver's license: Marina's husband drove her to the appointment, DougF trained her, Frankie and Sarah drove and coached her to get the written test. And she got it with flying colors (with an even better score than I which kinda bruised my ego, but I was proud :)!

Help also sometimes means the most basic thing: food. Lots of people cooked things for us and believe it or not, it is one of the most amazing things. Some days, you're just too tired to even think about what you want to cook and having somebody bringing you over a nice dinner is just awesome. Same thing goes when you're in the hospital... You wonder what you're going to get and suddenly a familiar head appears with a bag full of goodies and wine hidden at the bottom (which I never got to taste because I'm not allowed alcohol, btw)! So thanks to Lea and Megan the smugglers, Gina, Anna, Emily, Soledad.
(to be continued)

7 commentaires:

  1. I’m very happy and really surprised to read about the huge american help. It's amazing how all those people help you daily. It also reassures us and your family. It's so great that you're going to get your job back afterwards with the right rythm for you. Must be a relief for you! I want to thank all those kind and protective people who ara so close to you, so helpful. They're like angels for you and Celia.
    Big kisses from France

  2. merci Charline pour la traduction ! ;-)

    tu sais quoi Loic, nous aussi, on a envie de leur dire merci d'être près de vous, du fond de notre coeur parisien, à vos amis américains....

  3. Cela fait chaud au coeur de lire ce soutien "différent" de par la culture mais au final "universel"... Tout ce petit monde se complète parfaitement pour t'accompagner vers la guérison. Pensées pleines de forces et de courage pour la suite. Patricia & co

  4. L'entraide entre les gens aux USA est ce qui m'avait le plus frappée lors de mon premier séjour 62. Vingt ans plus tard, ça n'avait pas changé et encore maintenant sans doute, mais je m'y suis habituée trouvant ça (tout comme eux) naturel. Parfois, en France, face aux étrangers, j'ai honte d'être française !
    J'ai eu quelques gros pépins de santé dans ma vie, mais à part les très proches, personne ne s'est soucié de moi surtout à mon boulot. Autres gens, autres moeurs...
    Moralité, il eut mieux valu pour toi être aux US en pareilles circonstances. C'est le genre de choses qui fait que tu as encore plus envie de te battre. Il y a tellement de gens qui te supportent que tu ne peux qu'aller de l'avant. C'est aussi une des clé de la guérison.
    Meilleures pensées à tous les deux.

  5. J'ai eu une expérience analogue de "l'autre côté de la barrière". une amie après opération d'un mélanome au bras devait rester le bras à la hauteur du cœur 24/24 pendant 15 jours. Ses amis très proches coordonnateurs donnaient les consignes très précises: choisir le repas que j'assurerais, le servir , laisser la place nette et surtout... emporter les restes. Générosité et pragmatisme. Un reste de l'esprit "frontier" dont il y a beaucoup à apprendre!

  6. Je pense sincerement que notre education francaise nous donne plus de devoirs et de responsabilites que nous le pensons. Et que malheureusement, nous ne savons pas demander ni proposer sainement. Et forcement, accepter et refuser de facon saine.

    No thanks required.

    And hurray for Americans!

  7. Ce commentaire a été supprimé par un administrateur du blog.


Un petit mot fait toujours plaisir!
Si vous ne savez pas quoi choisir dans la liste déroulante, choisissez "Nom/Url". L'url est optionnelle.

Search Results

Free Blogger Templates by Isnaini Dot Com and Architecture. Heavily modified beyond all recognition by Lo�c. Social icons by .Powered by Blogger