Minor ouches

 Just had a rather surreal 24 hours, dealing with two minor irritants: the spasms in my leg caused by arthritis in my spine  and a continuing infected ingrowing toenail.

Dr Belhahassen could not manually inject the base of my spine because of too much scarring to be accurate. So instead this was to be done in or under a scan (not really clear what exactly would happen).   Anyhow  yesterday he told me that when I returned from the scan I was to lie down for three hours in a special position. When I asked what that was he said the nurse would explain.

Off I went this morning in a VSL to the Clinique St Jean, not one of my favourites (my other shoulder was done there) but with a high reputation. The woman who “looked after me” in the scanner department  was very disagreeable. She couldn’t be bothered to say bonjour to me, just ordered me to go into a cubicle and undress. When I approached the scanner  she told me to lie on my front on the usual narrow, hard couch. I hesitated, horrified, unsure whether this was bad for my shoulder or not. If you can’t get onto the bed she said you can’t have the scan.   somehow I managed to get onto the bed with the help of a radiographer who emerged from his room and found me a cushion for my shoulder. Then the woman told me to put my hands above my head. Wwhen I said I couldn’t the radiographer instantly said, no problem, put them down by your sides.  It’s only going to be about 5 to 10 minutes he reassured me. What he didn’t mention was all the time preparing. By the end I was in agony.

 When it was over the woman had disappeared, given up on me no doubt, and the man kindly  helped me, like a beached whale, get off the bed – though I did have to stop him twice from trying to support me on my shoulder and arm! I sort of sidled sideways, managed to get my left leg over the side, got him to lower the bed so I could flounder on the floor, release my left hand to take the weight, got him to raise the bed a bit so I could kneel and then stand using only my left hand.  All the time concentrating on Twisting the right shoulder too much or reaching out with my right hand to balance. Never mind humiliating, not an experience to be repeated soon.

 Back at the ranch it was lunchtime, and the stand-in nurse knew nothing about what I should be doing . When I finally got hold of the usual nurse I discovered the special position was to stick my feet up n the air – the doctor could have to me yesterday. Belhassen woke me after 45 minutes, huffed and puffed about the series of incompetences, hinted it might affect the outcome of the infiltration, and sent me off to continue my rééducation.

And , no sooner had I got back to my room to recover from this,  than in walked the very nice pedicurist whom I had rang earlier in the day,  to have another go at trying to get rid of the extremely recalcitrant infected ingrown toenail.  She said it was a pity she did not have the right to apply a local anaesthetic and gave me permission to yell. I’m proud to say I didn’t. But… … I  also plan to avoid that experience for a little while.

The problem,she said, is always the compression stockings, and I should go back to having ones with open toes. Tomorrow I’m going to order some, even though they cost much more.

But I felt much better , wWendy  down to supper smiling, and managed in the nicest possible way, but firmly, to ask the man opposite me to please stop trying to talk about religion or God to me.  As I said this I was quietly digging into Bernard beside me in case I needed reinforcements. He told me later he had turned and given the man a “look”.  Maybe this helped as the man stopped trying to convert me and agreed these subjects would be off limits. We all shook hands and Bernard and I escaped – him for a last cigarette outside and me for my evening hot drink from the machine.

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