Next chapter in my health history

I’ve been steeling myself for the next medical episode: a second shoulder replacement. This was scheduled for 2015 but was overtaken by the cancer drama.

I first saw the surgeon, Mme Bertrand, back in June, and we agreed to wait to take further action until the Autumn.  My physio, Joceline, has been pressing me, saying that it is doing the tendons no good delaying further, and when I discussed with my GP, Maelle, which part of my rubbishy body should be the next candidate for repair, she replied ‘the shoulder’ – you need your shoulders to walk with crutches!  She was probably thinking aloud and not realising what a scary thing that was to say!

Anyhow, I contacted Mme Bertrand a little while ago to set the ball rolling for a November operation.  This week has suddenly become action-packed with medical events.  On Monday I saw my lovely GP, Maelle.  Yesterday I drove to Montpellier to see Mme Bertrand (as usually, dressed in style in a shiny black number with incredibly high heels – I still find the absence of white coats startling).

She has fixed 7 November as the provisional date for the operation with the réeducation either in Clinique Maguelone or the Clinique Fontfroide.

I was in Fontfroide 15 years ago after my right hip replacement and have reasonable memories, but it has apparently not aged well.  Maguelone is new to me, but looks very swish.  Given I will probably spend two-three months in réeducation everyday life – the room, the staff, the food – are as important as the physio.  The Centre Ster, where I went after my first shoulder was good for physio, but the premises were dingy and the food awful.  Its saving grace was its setting on the edge of the garrigue, where I went for some lovely walks.

Mme Bertrand and I discussed the continuing intermittent pain in my left hip and buttock – probably the sciatic nerve she said, but we needed to know whether it was the scar tissue of the hip replacement or the arthritis in the back causing the problem before deciding definitively whether to go ahead with the shoulder now.

So, today, I was back in Montpellier today for a scan of the left side.  I will need to wait for Mme Bertrand to explain the report, which is in technical jargon, but the radiologist who gave it to me seemed to be saying that there were no major causes for concern – just an awful lot of arthritis in the spine!

I go back for a second scan – this time the shoulder – next Tuesday, followed by another meeting with Mme Bertrand. (Apparently one cannot have two scans on the same day – hence the need to go twice to Montpellier.   I suspect the reason is some convoluted administrative/financial rather than medical one.)

An awful lot of meetings and quite a few kilometres covered (a return trip to Clinique St Roch is about 150 km). And quite difficult to prepare for the forthcoming visits this weekend by Graeme and Clare Mitchison  followed by a fortnight by Peter, my brother in law. (Tomorrow morning: yet another medical visit, this time for Poppy.  She is scratching furiously, but the vet has already ruled out fleas, so perhaps an allergy?)

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