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"Oh, I Get by With a Little Help From My Friends…"

I could not put a higher value on my friends. Let me explain… So, in continuation from the last post regarding this stupid feeding tube issue, I once again survived. The doctor had said he would be arriving at my apartment at 9 AM to do the procedure. I spent the entire previous evening stressing myself out. By the time the morning came, I was in full tilt stress. Since the doctor would be coming to my bedroom to do the procedure, I decided the smartest thing to do would be to make my bedroom a tranquility suite. Soft lighting, warm blanket, favorite Diptyque candle, Yves St. Laurent movie soundtrack playing, current Architectural Digest ready on the iPad, and my headset ready to go with my theme song… Queen’s Under Pressure. Additionally, I recruited a very special French friend, Ann–Lise, my chic friend Heather from New York in her cute blue pajamas and my daughter to be there for moral support. I also had my Grace Kelly look-alike friend, SB, on speakerphone from her house in Switzerland. It was a packed house. Furthermore, my friend Debbie, her children, and her sweet, sweet parents organized a prayer request! I was well covered. I could feel all of their love and support all the way from St. Louis.

When the doctor and nurse arrived, they couldn’t believe their eyes. Who are all these people and why are they here? My doctor knows full well what a nut job I am so he agreed to let everyone stay. French doctors and nurses are not the most gentle people on the planet…. So, prior to their arrival, I researched how to say in French “be gentle.” Additionally, I bribed the nurse and the doctor with delicious macaroons. So after we got that settled, my time to stall was over. There was no going back so let’s just do this thing. The nurse took off the Band-Aid and I started screaming, “Be gentle! Be gentle!” The doctor started to open the box with the new tube in it, and my head started to spin. I saw him fill a syringe with water and I thought I was going to faint. I decided just to look at my friends and my daughter and try to distract myself. The doctor started to touch me and as soon as I started work myself up into a full cry it was over! It was over in less than 8 seconds! I didn’t even have time to cry! I didn’t even have time to look at my new Architectural Digest! It was actually very anti-climatic. I expected more. I deserved more. Just kidding.

So now what? The doctor told me to rest and let the new tube heal. Boring. I’m in Paris for God’s sake. So I did what every good girl does after a little mini surgery… I went to the Marché aux Puces, the flea market! Yeah, I did. You know how people say to de–stress you need to go to your “happy place?” My happy place is the flea market looking at furniture

Me at the puces circa pre ALS

Paris 1958 Le Marche aux Puces.

 So off I go to the happiest place on earth with my caregiver. It was a beautiful sunny day and the flea market was bursting with treasures. 18th century gold mirrors, Napoleon III gueridon tables, chinoiserie blue and white vases, Provence style baskets, antique dealers sipping wine in the sunshine, a French Bulldog asleep on an antique fauteuil, stupid Americans asking, “Combien,” rock crystal sconces, antique paisley and trés belle faience. Heaven! I honestly think I deserve some type of award for most likely being the only girl working a flea market the day after a new feeding tube. Oui? I was all proud of myself and feeling rather grand when who do I see as I turn the corner? My doctor! Busted! I was totally busted! I know he was thinking, “Well Well Well, if it’s not the little drama queen strolling the flea market the day after her procedure.” The good news is that this is the first time he has seen me out of my pajamas and without mascara running down my face from being a big fat crybaby.

 To sum up the latest adventures… I have learned that the moral support from my friends is what gets me through these hard times. So, thank you all of my friends and well-wishers. Secondly, I have learned that the flea market is a special refuge that is distracting enough where I feel like I am almost normal again. So merci Marché aux Puces.


  1. I am having problems posting my comments. So this is a comment on the comments. If you read that I read your blog before starting my day, do not continue. If you didn't, I said that everyone has shit in their lives- yours is ALS, mine is an abusive husband- but we still have to get on with what is important. Like flea markets!

    1. Dear Christina, you might not what I'm going to say to you, but I am saying it out of love. Yes, I have ALS but I did not choose to have ALS. You have an abusive husband? I'm sure you did not choose that as well. But, here's the difference… I cannot walk away from ALS, but you can walk away from an abusive husband. There are no excuses. If you can turn on a computer and comment on a blog. You're smart enough to walk away from a bad situation. Not to be a bitch, but I don't feel bad for you. Just walk away. Or, if you cannot do it for yourself, I will help you. Give me your husband's name and address and I will call the police for you… From Paris with ALS! I am sorry I have been so harsh but I have no tolerance for stupidity. If you want to speak to a therapist, you can call my friend Tom. Love, Ellie:

  2. Oh. Not what I had thought. Whew, that makes me sad.

    I love that first photo so much - how surrounded you are by support! I actually was wondering if you had French girlfriends. Not only do you but one with some kicking lizard print pants too. I think that you have been to the Puces at Porte de Vanves and hated it, yes? But when we lived nearish to it, we would go every weekend, sometimes Saturday AND Sunday and that was my self-taught education in antiquing. Now in the South, we go to the professional deballages in Montpellier and Avignon and you would love them, I know. Dealers from France, Spain and Italy with just the most amazing jaw-dropping pieces. We go just for eye candy and then splurge with a glass of champagne and a merguez and frites sandwich after!

  3. It's been a year and I still think of Ellie. I hope her friends and loved ones are doing well.