The bionic man is up and running………..well, almost

Post my beloved’s stay in hospital, we’ve quickly settled into a routine. The first 10 days we had early morning calls from the local nurse to administer anti-coagulant injections, and two at home blood tests conducted by a local lab. Every week day, late morning, a private ambulance collects him, and his packed sandwich lunch, and transports him to a nearby rehabilitation centre where he undergoes three hours of intensive physio. Then he’s brought back home just in time for a reviving cuppa and a slice of home-made cake.

The results were quickly plain to see, and in stark contrast to when he broke his leg over 18 months ago. After only four weeks, he can move around swiftly on crutches, even walking and going up and down stairs unaided. He initially found the physio tiring but it’s clear that by the end of these sessions, he’ll be as fit as a butcher’s dog!

After the first two weeks, he began training in the water. No need for the stitches to come out, they’d just dissolved and the bruising had completely disappeared. This is where he began to make exponential leaps and bounds, so much so his surgeon was delighted with the rate of his progress and has advised he can train on the home-trainer – whoopee!

Fortunately, this hasn’t stopped him working which he does either side of the physio though I have had to pick up some of the slack. The best bit is the few hours peace and quiet I get when he’s out at physio working up an appetite for dinner. To keep pace I have been spending more time in the kitchen though that’s something I tend to do more of in the winter. I’ve also been hard at work coming up with different sandwich fillings and cakes for his packed lunch. He likes having something different to eat most days, which after three weeks is proving quite a challenge.

To ensure the daily grind isn’t too demoralising, I’ve organised trips each week-end so that he’s got something to look forward to. Mostly, these revolve around lunch out, a brisk walk alongside the sea or watching some live sport. All of this is building up to a few days away in Paris at the end of his physio when he’ll be crutch-free. Lastly, if all goes to plan, we’ll be out on the bikes over Christmas and New Year.

My bionic man

My beloved has been home for a few days after a successful operation to replace the hip he broke over 18 months’ ago which ultimately didn’t heal satisfactorily. I’m back to playing Florence Nightingale, a role to which I am patently unsuited. Fortunately, this time he’s out most week days undergoing intensive physiotherapy sessions for which he’s picked up at lunchtime and dropped off in the afternoon, providing me with a number of hours of blessed respite from fetching and carrying.

Again, I have only great things to say about the French health service. Friends in the UK who’ve had similar operations have generally “gone private” but even so haven’t received the same level of pre and post-op care. My beloved had 10 sessions of pre-op physio along with all the necessary checks such as blood, urine, ECGD and dental before the op, which included a meeting with the aneasthetist where he opted for an epidural – so much less stressful on the body than a general.

The operation went well and he was back to his cheerful self that evening. If anything his time in hospital rather dragged and he’d have liked to come home earlier but because his physio didn’t start until the Monday, he stayed in over the weekend. He amused himself by visiting the other patients and having a chat with those that didn’t have any visitors.

Post operation, aside from the physio, he has daily visits in the morning from a nurse to give him an injection to ensure his blood doesn’t coagulate and in-house blood checks on a weekly basis undertaken from a local lab.

According to my beloved, who’s done his research, his prosthetic is the best and most reliable on the market. He was up walking on the afternoon after the op. and, on subsequent days, built up his perambulations until he was whizzing round the ward with his Maserati zimmer frame.  A ward where he was in a single occupancy room, with en-suite wet room, and there was a very high ratio of staff to patients.

The day he came out of hospital, I went down to the pharmacy to pick up his phenominally large amount of medicaments and crutches. Luckily, no one asked me what happened to the previous pair! Fortunately there was no one ahead of me in the queue but even so I was probably in there for at least 20 minutes. Of course, it didn’t cost me a penny!

He’s trying to minimise the amount of drugs he takes but as the pain tends to be greater overnight, he takes some Tramadol which puts him into a catatonic state and definitely ought to be banned by WADA.

The good news is that my beloved is far more mobile than he was after the previous operation and I’m hoping he’ll be back driving after 4 weeks, able to walk freely around Paris in mid-December and back riding his bike by Xmas.

 

Two becomes one

Yes, this is a sad tale about separation and loss. My beloved had arranged a business meeting in Alassio on Monday – part way for both parties. I decided we’d spend the Sunday night there so he could once again enjoy the benefits of the Thalassotherapy centre and a massage. He’d returned late the night before we left from a dental exhibition in Birmingham, his first solo business trip since breaking his leg in early March. We decided to have Sunday lunch in Alassio and booked a table at one of our favourite seafood restaurants which overlooks the sea.

We descended to the garage and as soon as I spotted the lit rear lights on the car, knew I had a flat battery. They hadn’t been on when we’d parked late the night before, I always check. As I opened the door, the alarm squawked into life. That was the offender. Maybe someone had tried to nick my wheels again but this time I had been fully prepared with an alarm and special wheel locks. The battery was indeed as flat as a pancake. We pushed the car out of the garage, got out the jump leads, and an obliging neighbour gave us a quick spark – that’s all it takes – and we were off.

On the motorway, just past Nice Nord, we heard a funny sound. To be honest it sounded as if my exhaust had fallen off but that was unlikely as Tom had just been serviced. Was it us? Was it coming from the plethora of Harley Davidsons which had been constantly streaming past us, on their way home from a Harley get-together in Grimaud? We soon had our answer as with their sirens and lights blazing, the police pulled us over. A first for us!

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My beloved with his two crutches

We got out of the car to discover one of my beloved’s crutches, which he’d obviously left resting on the bike carrier, had dislodged and had been scraping along the tarmac, hence the noise. As to its companion, we have no idea of its fate. It wasn’t in the back of the car. We presume it was lost somewhere on route. My beloved had rested the crutches on the bike carrier while he piled the bags in the car and then had forgotten to put them in too. He’s going to have some explaining to do down at the pharmacy who lent us the crutches.

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My beloved with his sole remaining crutch

The police tried hard not to laugh at our explanation of what had happened and waved us on our way, after we’d put the badly beaten up remaining crutch in the car. Luckily my beloved can now manage with just one. Meanwhile, I’ve been looking for a stuffed parrot and eye patch to complete his ensemble.