Barcelonnette and Marseille Round 2

After the Marseille show, with spirits running high, we got in the tour bus and headed up the hill to Barcelonnette. Well, the ‘hill’ turns out to be a climb to many thousands of feet and a very serious case of shortness of breath. This is not the first time in the past three years that this nagging little shortness of breath situation has had me on high alert and consulting with my medical experts. But this time, I was literally on my way to work, and that got my attention. Big time. We regretfully canceled the Barcelonnette appearance and I temporarily checked into a facility in Gap, France, and transferred almost immediately to the Timone Hospital Cardiac Group in Marseille, France.

Doctor Bonnet is serious, boberious, banana-fana-fo-ferious. I love him, he’s brilliant. He and his staff poked and prodded… looked down my throat, up my nose, in my ears, and across my bowel. And he convinced me to cancel several more dates and spend some time with them, figuring out what was really going on with me.

I had a very low risk catheter ablation procedure that showed immediate improvement on the heart monitoring devices. They showed a greatly reduced heart rate and much more regular rhythm, close to normal that very afternoon. The food at the hospital was fabulous. NOT! [If I could use a bigger type here, I would.] Bland, and no salt, and kiddie portions. Dr. Bonnet is fabulous—A cardiologist of rare expertise who even stayed up one night studying all the performance videos he could find of me to see who I really am as a performer, including my energy output… I don’t sit on a stool. He and his colleagues and staff and especially the ablation expert changed my life, and I’m sure will have added years to my life and quality of life.

I owe Dr. Bonnet and Timone Cardiology more thank yous than I know how to say and offer. Surely following their list of Do’s and Don’ts that support a healthier heart is high on the list of what I owe. So far, so good. Go Al!

Next time I am in the neighborhood, I’ll be finding a way to say hello and I insist that anyone on staff who helped me—Doctors, nurses, nurse’s aids, volunteers—be in touch with me at whatever venue I am performing, and I’d like to make arrangements for a proper hello and tickets to the show.

I’ve done 14 performances since I left Marseille, and could have done more if they’d been scheduled. God Bless You All, À bientôt!

Here’s a picture of me and the girls! Sorry, Dr. Bonnet—This is the important stuff. First things first!

Here’s a picture of me and the girls! Sorry, Dr. Bonnet—This is the important stuff. First things first!

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