Shoulder – waiting game

I have a scan booked for Friday and then I revisit the surgeon some time after she gets back from holiday next week.  In the meantime all ‘active’ rééducation has been suspended: I have a session of gentle manipulation by the kiné and two daily visits to the pool, where I let my arm float in various directions rather than actively moving it back and forth. Using, as my favourite kiné, Marina, says, Archimedes Principle.

I have little pain if immobile and have to avoid the sharp pain I get without warning when stretching my arm forward or trying to raise it horizontally. I’m not convinced we are not simply talking about a badly damaged tendon, but I respect the doctor’s decision to err on the side of caution.

It is frustrating to see other shoulder, knee and hip replacement patients come and go. But I’m humbled by the fortitude and patience of the significant number of spine repair and vehicle action patients whose recovery schedule may stretch into yeas rather than months.

After yesterday’s evening session eating yummy crepes (diet starts next week…) I found myself talking to Cathérine the maths teacher (already here for 18 months), Marie Laure (nearly a year) and a loud, angry man, whose name I don’t know. He has fought to be transferred to another centre because he wants more hours of kiné than they give here (Maguelone follows a gentle programme avoiding excessive pain). His description of his months of acute pain and successive operations including bone and skin grafts and cutting through layers of adhesions following 22 bones broken made me question whether I will ever drive with nonchalance again. Interestingly he ended paying tribute to Catherine for the way she is handling endless delays (next op – postponed by mysterious outbreak of ecszma – now scheduled for 31 January).

Earlier in the day I chatted with two women wearing the distinctive plastic body corslets, evidence of major back surgery, invariably replacing or fixing vertebrae the length of the spine. This is all done by computers using the scanner and amazingly the risk factor is only about one or two percent. There is  a big shot surgeon in the Clinique du Parc, but his additional fees mean this is not a universal option. A parent,y this extra fee is because there is a team of other surgeons each working on different bits of the spine. Glad to say the dramatic injection I had before Christmas seems to have calmed my dicopathy symptoms. Another place I don’t really want to go yet!

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