Friday was unreal, as I went through the daily ritual of rééducation as if it were just another day, but knowing this was the last time for me, and watching others who have just started, or those, like Marie Laure and the young lad born with no legs, who have months and months ahead.
In a way it was like leaving school: word seemed to have got round that I was leaving and I was met with frequent wishes of ‘bon courage ‘ and ‘bon retour’. And this being France many of the staff, including the main cook, various nurses and aide soignants, a couple of the cleaners, kinés and of course Delphine, the ergothérapeute, kissed me as well. Even Dr Belhassen gave me a sort of hug and said he just wished that they could keep me on for the further rééducation I clearly needed.
As I have not been able to raise my right arm high enough to take photos – even with my iphone – till this week, there has been few illustrations of life here. But here is my attempt on the last day to make up for this.
One of the features of the Centre that I have really liked is the vast collection of excellent photos round the corridors and rooms, mainly very high quality photos from GEO, which I think is some sort of French geographical magazine site. Unfortunately the only one I got round to taking a picture of (including reflection) is this one outside my room.
Then, it was only on my last day, while in the pool, that I looked up and saw the resident peacocks – a male and two females – which visit from the next door establishment (for upmarket alzheimer patients, apparently).
Unfortunately I did not have the phone with me to capture the pool, such a crucial part of the reeducation programme, but here is the ‘mechano’ hall, where most people are moving limbs up and down with weights, or walking between the bars (as is the young man with the newly fitted artificial leg in the picture) and where we shoulder patients go on a machine (not in the picture, but I still have one from the previous shoulder op) which raises our arm up and down for 40 minutes.
An important part of reeducation was ‘playing’ with Delphine – a series of exercises to develop backwards, forwards, sideways and upwards movements of my shoulder and arm. Here is the wood brick tower which I built every day, and then extracted bricks from lower levels to build further levels above – until the whole construction crashes to the table.