Thursday, 24 May 2012

The Next Stage

Convalescent Home Argonay

2nd Attempt! I had just about finished  when the dangers of typing with one hand, and the left one at that, materialised.....................I lost the lot!

So here goes with an update of the last day and a half, and the beginning of the long haul back to hopefully pain free mobility.

I was transferred from the hospital to the convalescent home by ambulance just after lunchtime yesterday.. Now an ambulance here is not the same as what we mean by one in the UK. Here you are as likely to get the firemen (either professional or volunteer depending on locality) and in town and if it is really bad, the SAMU when there is an accident. The ambulance is maybe more like a paea medic. And despite the fact that I can walk, it took three men to move me, on a stretcher trolley thingy, as well as my chattels here to the spot that is going to be my home for the immediate future. Well two men and one lad, either work experience or a trainee I guess. He took the luggage.

So my first impressions.

The location is truly lovely. From the large terrace you can look to the Alps, and catch a glimpse of the lake. And despite the heat today, there was a nice breeze on the terrace. Photos will follow.

 The staff seem very nice. Yesterday afternoon there were nurses and doctors who were concerned not only about the shoulder itself, but also the bruising on both arms..

 I have cream for the bruises which are the legacy of the drips on my left arm. To try and get rid of the leg of mutton look on my right arm, I have a bandage of a sort of white solid square bubble wrap, to help with the draining process. It leaves large dimpled squars in my arm, still visible 2 hours fter taking the bandage off for the night. It is held in place with a compression bandage, to make sre those dimpleare nice and deep.However, definitely less leg of mutton. Although I suspect that my arm will still nicely match my purple dress at next weekends wedding. The physiotherpist also came and introduced herself, (Johanna) and made an appontment for my first session this morning (more of that later).
The ergotherapist (I think) also came by, and since she didn't have the right sort of cushion for my arm left me a neck one. An exchange was made today and I now have the right one. She also left me a wierd knife since the one thing I can't do is cut meat.
The meat that I have tried it on so far could have been cut with a fork, so in the absence of Jacques, I rather suspect I may have to ask for help as of tomorrow, when I will be going down and eating in the restaurant.

Which brigs me onto food in general.

From what I have seen so far, I don't think I"ll be putting too much weight on. Like the hospital the menus have obviously been drawn up by a dietician, starter, main course, cheese or other "laitage" and pudding.And bread. This is France. The meals are varied and on paper at the very least interesting. I'll hold judgement until I have eaten downstairs, rather than on a tray in my room.

The room is one that I shall be changing as soon as I can, as it is one of the expensive ones; the cost is not nearly fully covered by my "mutuelle" or top up insurance. It is large, and has a French window out onto a little shared balcony. When I move, I can then compare.

Lastly my fellow patients.

Well, a mixed bunch in age and injury. There are lots of wheelchairs and a couple of arm slings.On the balcony there seem to be more men than women, but another point to be looked at again once I've eaten downstairs. Looking round makes me feel very grateful for me. This may be the start of a long journey (one lady who has had shoulder surgery and is leaving tomorrow, started on March1st) but at the end of it I should recover enough use of my shoulder for there to be little difference with my pre bionic days. Not so for the amputees, and other, more elderly patients. And then there is the young pleasant man in a wheelchair, with no indication of broken limbs, with his pretty pregnant partner. Yes, it does rather put things into perspective.

Today I had my first treatment, massage of my left arm, plus sqeezing a baby rugby ball. Who would have thought such a small start would cause such discomfort, if not downright pain.It did rather remind me of why I am here, and just how much the  professionals are going to help. I wonder what they would make of this in the UK where I have been told physiotherapists are no longer to touch patients, but to indicate what movements they should make.

I also had a visit .from a chap from the sports department, which I start next week. I"ll most likely be cycling. But you'll be glad to hear on an exercise bike with not a tramline in sight.

And on that happy note, I must get off to sleep.

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