Today has been grim. Bad news delivered in a crass way.
I got a call from the assistant social, asking me to see her. Normally this is part of the departure procedure, so I went down armed with my mutuelle papers, ready to do battle. And indeed she said that as I was due to go home in about a week she wanted to establish my domestic circumstances. She also mentioned the plan for daily rééducation at the hôpital du Vigan (where I was two years ago with my hip). There was no point rehearsing yet again with her the absence of rééducation facilities in le Vigan, and the total inadequacy of the hôpital, so I decided to wait for my afternoon appointment with the doctor.
Doctor Belhassen confirmed that the surgeon could not see me before the end of January. Meanwhile, he said, regrettably there was no more they could do for me: they could not work out the cause of the pain – which he said was evident and real – and sadly so far my post operative recovery was one of those small numbers not succeeding. He could not justify keeping me here while there was no more he could do for me. Pretty brutal, eh?
The first thing I got out of him was that if the surgeon, Marion Bertrand, said that rééducation should continue, I could come back to the centre. So it was a question of what happened to me over the next few weeks until I see her. He asked me if I knew anyone in Montpellier. When I said no, he suddenly came up with an idea: there is apparently a maison de repos (for the elderly of course….) somewhere in Montpellier and he thought it might be possible for me to have a room there and to be brought here for half day sessions by VSL (the ambulance taxi system) . He rang, leaving a message, so perhaps I will know more tomorrow.
Talking to two friends afterwards I said how ridiculous it was that this potential alternative for the next few weeks would cost the state as much as keeping me here (particularly as the centre is currently far from full). We all agreed the reason was almost certainly statistics: this way the centre can keep up its high standard of people leaving after rééducation – even if they have to come back later! I’m beginning to come across several returnees, including a woman who left a week ago and whose broken leg has broken again.
Im resigned to having far more shoulder problems in the future than hoped for. But even if I cannot play the cello again, I must be able to drive. I hang onto the fact that my first shoulder replacement was slow to recover and maybe miracles will happen in the next month or two. lets hope that Marion Bertrand can wave her wand .