Final chapter in clinique

Things are better, but at the same time unsatisfactory and inconclusive. Mobility is much improved but way behind where I should be at this stage. The mysterious knife-like pain is much reduced (or masked), but still threatening if I try too much and still undiagnosed.

Already by mid-week last week I was slowly increasing mobility. But I am still only lifting my arm to 60 degrees, I use the right hand with difficulty when eating and I can still not touch the top of my head.

The vibration therapy is really helping: I no longer have the violent shooting pains, just warning signs not to overdo it. It is easy to forget that the vibralgic is reducing pain but not removing its causes. Yesterday morning, full of optimism,  I did about a dozen lifts of my arm, first in front and then to one side. An hour later I was temporarily doubled up. The Thursday and Friday Vibralgic sessions had clearly worn off.

The two further exploratory tests prescribed by Dr Belhassen proved abortive.  The medical secretary mistakenly sent me off for a scan rather than scintigraphie on Friday (I was not too distressed as I’m convinced the problem lies with muscles and tendons rather than bones). Then yesterday’s échographie, which was supposed to be done while injecting something in the biceps was totally unsatisfactory. The radiologue more or less said it was pointless sending patients with shoulder replacements for échographies; he could see virtually nothing, let alone enough biceps to do an injection.

Well, that’s it: no more tests to run, still no clear conclusion about the cause of the pain. Yesterday afternoon Dr Belhassen acknowledged there had been some improvement in mobility but gave his opinion that the operation had not been a success.  He was clearly pleased that the Vibralgic had helped and is going to add Tens treatment electrical nerve stimulation. (I’ve already had some electrode therapy, but designed more to stimulate the muscles rather than tackle pain.  I’m not clear yet if the two are different.) Then, he said, there was no more à rééducation centre could do for me (i.e. Pressure to use my place…).

I’ve now been given a definite departure date: 11th February.  Until then I’m being kept as an inpatient rather than lodging out  (I learnt from Delphine that this is because there are no more day patient places, rather than generosity keeping me on full time!)

I’m resigned to this, and the fact that recovery is going to be a long, slow haul, with months of daily physiotherapy sessions. I have found a practice in Ganges with several physiotherapists and a pool.  It’s 25km from the house, so the daily trip is going to be a challenge until I van drive again.  Dr Belhassen is confident I can drive already, using mainly my left hand, provided I can reach the gear stick with my right hand. Let’s hope my insurers are equally sanguine!


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