Anne’s last day in the clinique

My new friend and meal companion, Anne, has made such good progress  (she had torn anterior cruciate ligaments in her knee  -the result of skiing injuries 14 years ago) that she is going home tomorrow (though she will continue to have daily physio for months).

This is wonderful news for her, but very sad for me.  I have only known her for a short time but we get on really well.  I look forward to seeing her again, and meeting her husband, Jean-Luc, when I’m mobile again.


Luckily my other lunch companion, Pierre – a really nice and interesting man – is still here.  Fingers crossed we get pleasant new table companions next week.

The current ‘rééducation regime

I’m now well into the second – ‘active’ phase, when I have to work at getting mobility back into the tendons and muscles (nobody can explain to me how much damage was done at the time of the operation or before, with the long period of my shoulder not functioning properly).

We start with the excellent pool session each morning, when we go through various routines to move the shoulder in all directions.  I can – sort of – hold my arm up in the air for a few seconds, touch the opposite shoulder and – almost – touch my chin. So far I have completely failed to put my hand only hip or swing it beside my body.  And moving my arm behind my back is a dim distant hope for the future.

Morning and afternoon I have sessions with two different physics with a slightly different emphasis.  In the morning Lucie concentrates on moving the arm smoothly in various directions.  In the afternoon Brigitte is working on the movements I have already tried in the pool.

The morning session includes time sitting with electrodes only shoulder, the aim being to stimulate mobility in the muscles.  In the afternoon I have a session on this machine which rotates my arm from 90 degrees to 160 degrees:



Sessions always end with 20 minutes sitting with an ice block on the shoulder.  We also get given ice after supper, and whoever we feel it would help calm shoulder pain.

I now have only ten days of the dreaded thoraco left.  After that I enter the third phase, hopefully increasing mobility even further. Then physio sessions back home will last for months to come.

Meilleurs voeux

We were offered another special meal at lunch today, to celebrate le Nouvel An.


The French are punctilious about greeting everybody with a “Meilleurs voeux” or “Bonne année” for days – no weeks – after the new year.  After 13 years of living in France I still find it difficult to remember this routine.  You can imagine, in a clinic, with dozens of patients, and new staff on duty three times a day I have had several lapses,  I have been touched too by receiving phone calls and texts from several ex-patients, in the early stages of struggling on their own at home.

In contrast, the French don’t normally send Christmas cards and they are tickled pink by my collection on the window seat.  (For those who have sent cards or emailed messages and who have not received a reply, milles excuses and I have appreciated them all.)