Battle won. War not over yet.

Another tiring day.  I had just finished drafting a letter to my surgeon and passed it on to Marie Laure for comment and correction, when I bumped into Delphine, the ergothérapeute. Ah, she exclaimed, so you are getting to see your surgeon today!

Dr. Belhassen had phoned Marion Bertrand last night and the 1 February appointment had been brought forward. I wonder when Patricia, the medical secretary was going to tell me… so I scrapped my draft letter and asked Patricia for the papers and scans to take with me this afternoon.  (Another minor panic when Patricia first denied the existence of a post-xmas scan – and then found them lying in a pile of chaotic un filed documents in their office!

As soon as Marion Bertrand heard me describe the main pain as being like an elastic band, she diagnosed the problem as being inflamed and fragile biceps. She confirmed there was no damage to the prothèse itself – just painful, sore tendons. She regretted the last month’s ‘passive’ rééducation programme. Now, she said, I would need intensive, painful, active rééducation to recover lost ground, probably with increased painkillers before sessions and ice packs after. Wow, I have been warned.

We discussed the availability or non-availability of physio services in le Vigan and I disabused her of her perception of the hôpital du Vigan as a suitable place for treatment.  She confirmed that the centre Maguelone’s desire to get rid of me is tied up with pressure from the social security system to keep to standard protocol stays for various operations. Nevertheless, she has marked in her report that I should stay here until autonomous, which she defines as able to raise my arm 90% and thus able to drive (!). Thereafter she said I will need to continue regular physio and pool sessions for months but if I can drive I can take all day if necessary getting to services in Ganges if nothing suitable is found in le Vigan.

Im not sure where this leaves me in terms of staying in the centre or being farmed out elsewhere.  I suspect I will be allowed to stay for a few more weeks – I’m praying I will be fit to leave by the end of January.  At one stage today the medical secretary thrust a name and phone number in my hand. Apart from the fact that this is irregular – it is up to the centre not me to make arrangements for my departure, I’m firmly doing nothing till dr Belhassen is here again on Friday.

I can see that another problem for the centre is that it is currently half empty, following the Christmas period. But Montpellier’s surgeons have been back at full speed since Monday, so next Monday I reckon we can see a huge influx of arrivals.  This does make me feel bad when I see people with far more serious problems than mine. At the same time, regaining the use of my right arm is important for me!

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