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.