Sunday, 9 June 2013

I'm back!

It's close to FOUR weeks since I last posted on my blog so I thought I really ought to write an update on all that's been happening!

At the outset, let me tell you that, pool-wise, pretty much nothing has been happening!  To remind you, this is what it looked like when I last posted on here.....

Since then, Phil, our digger man has been back and dug out the hole completely.  Unfortunately, we have had some awful weather since then and the state of the hole is deteriorating rapidly.  Shortly after digging it, this is what it looked like....
You think that's bad?  After this, the sides, worn away by the constant rain, have started to subside so it's almost started filling in again!!  As if that's not bad enough, we have since found out that the pool kit we've bought for an 8m x 4m pool actually measures 7.93m x 4.27m.  The fact that it's slightly shorter in length is not too much of a problem but the additional 0.27m on the width actually means that Phil has to come back and dig out a bit more.  Well, come to think of it, he's got to come back to re-dig it anyway so what the hell!!!
On the plus side (I think!) the pool kit was ordered and it has duly arrived.  Some of it is just dumped on the drive....

....while the rest of it is in the barn as it needs to be away from the elements, for example the electrical parts, heat pump etc.  The large white bit on the left in the picture above are the Roman steps!

All we are waiting for now, is for our builder to actually come and make a start on installing it!  After all the bad weather, we finally had a gloriously hot and sunny week last week and it would have been ideal pool weather!

But everything happens for a reason....or in this case, doesn't happen!  Because, even if we had a fully operational swimming pool out there, I wouldn't be able to swim in it because nearly four weeks on, I can still do very little with my right arm, because of my shoulder operation........


I have to tell you first of all, that I simply cannot fault the French healthcare I've had as it's been second to none.  And I am talking as someone who was a member of and have experienced the advantages of BUPA in the UK.

When we got to the hospital on that morning of 14th May, we were shown to what was to be my very own room, with its own en-suite facilities.  I was given lots of information, a brochure of the hospital and made to feel very welcome and comfortable.  In due course a nurse came and did all the normal pre-op checks - Danny was very much in his element as she was a particularly attractive young nurse!  I then had to have a shower using a special liquid, which I assumed to be a disinfectant of some sort.  Then it was into a gown and special protective "slippers" and even knickers!  At the risk of getting some mickey-taking from you, here I am in my pre-op outfit!

Around 3pm, a lady came with a wheelchair and took me off to the operating theatre.  Now this was something of a surprise to me.  I've had a couple of minor ops in the UK and neither time have I seen the operating theatre!  But here, I walked in and had to hoist myself on to the operating table then three nurses (who were really lovely, kind and chatty) "prepared" me for the operation with heart monitors, cannula etc.  I was lying there thinking 'I hope at some point I'm going to be given the anaesthetic!'.  Sure enough, one of the nurses told me she was going to inject something to make me 'quiet' (ha ha, people have been wondering how to achieve that for years!) and I was gazing at the ceiling, thinking, 'hmm, am I going to feel woozy?....ooh yes I do feel a bit woozy.......'.  Next thing, I open my bleary eyes and see a clock showing 6pm and I figure I'm in recovery!  Things are pretty hazy after that.  I woke up again back in my room, in bed, attached to various drips; saline, antibiotics, morphine, on one side and a drain on the other.  Every couple of hours, nurses came and went changing the drips, taking my blood pressure and so on.  All the time enquiring "ça va?" which means "how are you?"  On one of these visits, a nurse asked if I could move my fingers.  What!  I couldn't even feel my right was such a horrible and scary experience.... When the nurse left I rang Danny (who incidentally had gone home at my insistence, come back while I was still having the operation and had rightly gone home again) and  talked to him, I gather rather incoherently, about not feeling my arm.  Of course, he was able to be perfectly rational and pointed out that it must have been anaesthetised deliberately to stop it moving.  Throughout the night, the nurses' visits continued and gradually I could move my fingers and naturally, eventually, I did feel my arm again!  I felt really rough the next day and couldn't even face food and drink until lunchtime when I ate a tiny amount.  This is normal for me... I mean after an anaesthetic! By then all the drips and the drain had been removed, I had been given a bed bath and the enormous dressing on my shoulder was changed for a smaller one.  A physiotherapist came in and did some work on my shoulder and showed me some exercises which I have to do four times a day (even now!). The surgeon also came to see me quite early, if I remember rightly, when I was still feeling poorly, but he also come back later and assured me that everything had gone as planned.  He told me I could go home the following morning at 11am.   Sure enough, in the morning he came back and confirmed I could go home.  I was given a prescription for various medicaments, a letter for a physiotherapist and a letter for the infirmières à domicile...what we in the UK would call District Nurses, I guess.  Danny came to collect me and we stopped at the local pharmacy for my prescription.  It's not like English hospitals where, in my experience, you are given all your drugs by the hospital.  There were painkillers and anti-inflammatories but in addition, there were boxes of dressings and antiseptics which I was to take home ready for the nurses who would visit for two whole weeks!  I didn't know where to begin to find our local nurses but the lovely lady in the pharmacy kindly rang them for me and sorted it all out.  As I said, the nurses came every day for two weeks, giving me an anti-phlebitis injection every day and changing my dressing every two or three days.  After the two weeks, my stitches were removed and the visits ceased.  As regards the physiotherapy, I am to have 18 sessions in total, all I believe to mobilise my shoulder and these are in addition to the exercises I have to do myself.  I am due to see the surgeon on 3rd July and I am really hoping that my shoulder will be functioning close to normally by then.
Those of you who know me well, will be very aware that I like to be active so being unable to do things comes very hard to me.  As does having to ask Danny to do so much all the time.  I confess I am an impatient patient and am finding it hard to accept my current limitations.  But, I do know that it's getting better all the time, slowly but surely.  I can't move my arm very much and especially can't raise it or carry anything remotely weighty.  Even cutting up food is tricky (we were out having dinner with friends last night and Danny had to cut up my meat for me!)  I still take pain killers but not as many as I did in the beginning and, as is obvious, I can type! 
I am going to finish here because I don't want to bore you all any further with more detail about my health!  But before I go, I must pay tribute to my friend Donna who was so helpful when I was in hospital, supporting Danny by ringing the hospital on his behalf to find out how I was.
And I must also pay special tribute to Danny, who is being run ragged, doing so much that I can't do.   He has been and continues to be the most amazing support and his patience easily makes up for my lack of patience!  So thank you Danny...... and now, can you come and open these tins of animal food so I can feed the cats and dogs, please?!!!

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear you are on the mend Roz, hope the shoulders back to normal soon.