#18 So…Angry

5am. Woken up to have my tension taken. Was so angry. Didn’t sleep after that. Breakfast served but placed at end of bed. Could not reach it. Tried to manœuvre trolley with tray. Was not successful. Tray with cups of coffee crashed and broke on floor. Buttered baguettes slid down the bed leaving a congealed mess everywhere. Yoghurt emptied itself onto bed. Bad yoghurt. I was so PI@#ed OFF.

It was the third time in a row that i was woken up at 5am

Celine, who always smiles and was in good mood (lucky) then informed that there was good news and bad news regarding taking my blood pressure “tension” in french which is very apt.

The good news is there are normally ( never trust a French person who says “normalement” because the opposite is about to happen) only 4 tension “controls” and i have already had 3,the last being tomorrow. Yippeeeee.

The bad news is there was a computer glitch and they lost all the data of the week. Shit. Double, even triple s&@t

So they just took my tension and it was 18 when the normal is 10 – 12. So they now think I have a problem and will take my tension for min 1week. LIFE IS NOT FAIR. I HAVE TO FIND A WAY TO ESCAPE WITH ONE LEG, ONE ARM. SO UNLIKELY. Double even quadruple DRAT

#17 So…Busy

Wow. What a day!! Woken up at 5 am to have my tension taken. Seriously, who needs their tension taken every day (now it’s every day for some reason)? Then it was taking a blood sample at 6am. And then woken up at 7am. IAM still tired and it’s the day after!!!!! So much for beauty sleep.

Busiest day of the week

The planning matinale was full on with no breaks. I arrived at lunch knackered having stimulated my brain with Catia, stretched my muscles with Sophie and finally exercised my autonomy with Maraine. I then had make my down to a secret room where I was joined by 6 other patients specially chosen, and for me, it was instead of playing at fencing.

Joined by 4 therapists we “worked out” for 90 mins to the likes of Queen, Maître Gims and many other uplifting tunes. We were specially chosen as guinea pigs to work on our balance.

Good fun, different and great participation from the physics. Looking forward to next week. Exercises included bending our knees, shifting weight from either side, lunges, baton wielding and elastic pulling in pairs.

#16 So…At odds and evens

Bizarre day today. Lovely visit yesterday from Héloïse “I have to look at my gorgeous iPhone every 5 seconds just in case I have new insta” and Orlando “I have learnt how to do wheelies in Poop’s (yes, that’s their name for me) wheelchair while crashing into the glass window”. Lovely children. Butter would never melt in their mouths

The butter kids

It was nice visit as Anne was away in Deauville presenting to hundreds of people and dancing her socks off (not sure about the socks but she deserved the chance to let her hair down)

Having walked throughout the whole weekend I decided I would walk everywhere and everyday. But not wanting to get on wrong side of Sophie, I wheeled my way to the physio area and went about cycling and standing upright on a table with aplomb

Then I decided to go down to lunch on my own accompanied by my very own walking stick. 15 mins later I arrived for lunch

Lovely shorts to match red chair

After a delicious not lunch I then made my way to the second floor and to the third floor for my sessions of occupational therapy where I was tested on how delicately I could remove my lovely stockings and then put them on again.

I then 1hr of “help with insertion”. Very useful except that I was asked to go through my CV and it didn’t help that the girl knew nothing about marketing, IT and recurring business models. And it didn’t help that there was non stop traffic of physiotherapists going backwards and forwards throughout the session. We agreed to try and have a follow up the next week to see if she understands technology.

Then I was taken outside by Sophie. We walked miles and miles, on uneven pavements (l never knew all French pavements slope down to the road), uphill and downhill ( what a weird experience to walk downhill). Exhausting.

That was the end of my day as I could hardly make it up the stairs to my room. A lie down was very much the order of the day

#15 So…Oh yes!

Short post to say not only did I walk around my enormous bedroom (not) many many times as per video below but I was not assisted in any way. YESSSS!

Need a bigger room please

So I then I asked a nurse to accompany me around the 2nd floor. There are bar rails on each side of the corridors but they are only between the rooms so I decided to walk without a cane using the rails as much as possible. When there were gaps I used the cane. Walked for 15 minutes non stop. Tomorrow we go right around the floor. And I am no longer looking at my feet but straight ahead.

#14 So…Learning to walk and use my arm

At lunch today I was in a good mood as England had beaten the Argies by 39-10. At the end of the meal I talked with Jean-Luc who has the same issue as me with little movement of the arm and a leg that functions better and better.

So he told me about the exercises he does in the morning including walking with a stick and exercising his arm. He holds onto the bar in the bathroom with his bad arm and pulls himself forwards and backwards to exercise his arm.

Awesome idea.

So back in my room I walked with my cane backwards and forwards multiple times.

#13 So…Confused

Who wants to raise their arms while running anyway

Another day in paradise. It rained, a patient got lost ( it happens all time as they just go wandering looking for their home), I was treated to a dinner of cubed synthetic salmon, I played like a man possessed during Fencing (I actually beat my opponent 10:9 playing with my left hand) and I had a visit from a friend at Nexthink who told me she is leaving and brought me 2 croissant and a jar of honey to celebrate. Oh and Sophie told me it’s unlikely that I’ll run again or be able to lift my arm above my head.

Who wants to run with their arms aloft anyway. ……..I DO

#12 So…Oblivious

At lunch today, I had the honor of meeting Bernard, who was sitting at the table next to mine. Bernard likes to talk a lot, but today what made me laugh was the bag from Carrefour.

For it was no ordinary bag. Hooked onto the two handles, the bag only had 1 thing inside

Bernard with left foot

Bernards left foot

He was so oblivious to the bag and its contents that he was so surprised to see our table “mort de rire”. He is such a wonderful and colorful character and he will be missed as today was his last day.

#11 So…Much progress

Today I started the final session of the day with Sophie who wanted me to stand on the vertical table for 20 mins. This was followed by walking down and up 3 flights of stairs with no support other than the hand rail.

Freestyle stair walking

Then we decided to go for it and we progressed to a one handed crutch and finally a single walking stick. Each time doing a full circuit of the 2 gyms. Awesome.

One stick wonder

#10 So…Flying

Laurent is a man after my own heart who has suffered an AVC on his left side and determined to get better as quickly as possible. He does everything as quickly as possible and caught me up with his own unique walking style. All I could hear was this “sloop” behind me followed by a sort of “wooshing”. I couldn’t work out what it was until Laurent overtook me. And then I was stunned by what I was seeing.

Today, Sophie, my physiotherapist, who in the nicest possible way ressembles à human rugby ball and is a great motivator for me, decided it was time to walk. So armed with a 3-pronged walking stick in my left hand, l set off walking in a measured and consistent albeit slow way. This was in total contrast to Laurent, the flying Frenchman

Laurent was moving at incredible speed. He would take a huge step with his left foot and immediately drag his right foot to be level with his left foot before taking a huge step again with his right foot. The problem was that his left foot was literally being dragged to keep with his left foot. All this at an incredible speed.

And then something amazing happened. There was no way he was going to make the corner and I imagined him hurtling into wall and ending up in a crumpled heap on the floor

But no. Just as was about to hit the wall, he managed to make contact with the wall, almost as if he was walking up the wall. At the same time he succeeded in turning left and continued to walk towards the gym as if nothing was up. It was truly an incredible manœuvre, rebounding off the wall while maintaining his top speed. Amazing. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

#9 So…Tearful

Sitting in the waiting room, following my meeting with Doctor Bach, I am full of different emotions.

Just before meeting the Doctor, I met another patient who has been operated on her nose to help her breathing and has been seen by DB for 3 years. I was so upbeat and positive in the face of my adversity, strong and confident that I would pull through, that really encouraged the lady before her appointment.

Then when I went in to see DB. I crumbled and could not stop the tears.

She explained how I was placed in a coma saying that they had taken a part of the cartilage under the skull and in doing so, the neuro surgeon could not stop the layer underneath that protects the brain from the cartilage crumbling and that caused the coma.

She said she expected me to make a full recovery but it will take aroumd a year. She wants to see me in December without a wheelchair. She said my optimism, determination and humour will pull me through.

I am so f#@*ked up. I don’t know whether to be angry or thankful, sad or euphoric. I hate being a cripple.

But i am thankful to John who explained how to deal with this in the present moment. Examine it from a distance and don’t let it consume you. It will pass and then you refind your positive way again thinking aboit getting better. Thanks John. Ypu have been a real support in many of my downtimes and i am really thankful and grateful for the inredible help, support, guidance and positive spirit.