After nearly 11 weeks, suddenly the end is in sight. I completed a questionnaire, chosen the taxi-ambulance firm to take me home and joined the ‘collectif’ – the class for those preparing for autonomy at home.
In fact the collectif is more or less the same exercises as we do in the pool, but ten times more difficult on dry land. There are four of us in our class and I am far and way the least able. I know everybody keeps saying we should not make comparisons, and that my shoulder was particularly bad. But it is quite hard being the dunce of the class 🙂
My particular bête-noires are raising my arms straight up and joining hands – or in my case trying to – behind my back. But my kine Lucie has been most encouraging, saying that I have made good progress in this extra week and that I have the volonté – the will – to achieve much more in the coming months, even though I will never achieve the 100 per cent mobility that younger and fitter patients will. Part of the problem is that the other shoulder holds me back. Just at the moment I would rather not think about that!
I cant wait for Friday – departure day – to come. I have been here too long, I’ve watched too many people arrive after me and then depart. And now my last remaining friends are leaving.
In particular there are two whose motor bike accidents, resulting in injuries including broken pelvises, which have left them trapped in wheelchairs for months, are leaving. Tchek went today. He will attend the other big clinic, Fontfroide (where I went after my hip op), on a daily basis. Fred goes in a day or two and will also attend a local clinic near his home in Avignon. And Christiane, my only remaining shoulder contemporary, will start being a day patient here on Friday.
I think to have stayed on without them would have been miserable, even though I have met one or two others who are pleasant enough. Being at a meal table with three people with whom I have nothing in common has added to my impatience to leave!
Since my two meal companions Pierre and Anne have left, mealtimes have been particularly trying……