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Everything posted by cooperlola2

  1. Deb's French is significantly better than mine - and that of most Brits we meet here, sadly for them. Being on holiday in Le Havre with French folk while she was in single figures was a good start in life. The fact that the now-very-elderly couple she stayed with made it to her bedside in Rouen says how well she integrated into their family, even at that age. Yes, medical terms can be a conundrum, although most bones appear to be similarly named, which is also a good start. However, just as we have sound-alike word pairs in English, so the fact that poignee is a handle and poignet is your wrist can be a bit confusing at first! I am convinced that the positive attitude of so many of the people she is helped by in the hospitals is conditioned by their relief or gratitude for her speaking their language - again, unlike so many other resident Brits. This is reap-what-you-sow stuff, really. The family of the elderly lady in Deb's room are full of praise for the proposed move to L'Arche, which they say is top-drawer in rehab, while Le Grand Luce is more convalescent in purpose. They also want Deb to keep in touch with them - which says it all, really. And some Brits think the French are rude and sniffy..... As for being insistent on the stretcher, Deb was loudly telling everyone that she was Anglaise, so she says. Shock does funny things to us, doesn't it?
  2. Deb is being very sensible re tobacco - for now. She doesn't want to make promises that prove hard to keep when she's up and about! All hospitals seem, like most office buildings etc., to have a group of smokers outside the door - many in dressing gowns, some with drips, some in wheelchairs. Deb has shown no inclination to join them, nor asked me to bring the fags along when I visit - I rescued 200 in sealed packets from the wreck of the car. Yesterday went well. She was under anaesthetic for about an hour, has had the expected withdrawals of metal from right wrist, which no longer needs a splint. Left foot ditto, but a resin boot has been provided to support the leg while it gets its strength back. Deb was back in Le Grand Luce by 7 last night, tired but cheered by real progress at last. In fact, of course, she is a very different person from the somewhat smashed-up body who was helicoptered into Rouen in August - it's just that she's itching to be back on here again!
  3. Well said Cat - except that we may be moving again in a few days! Deb had a much more useful visit to Le Mans yesterday, with all the pre-op stuff going well, so as I write she is asleep on the table being relieved of some of her recent ironwork. She also met the Rehab Lady - who is going to L'Arche today, and will press for Deb to be transferred asap, which RL thinks could be this week! Suggest horses might be held on cards etc until we know a bit more. Just going back to the pre-op, Deb has had a very thorough prep for today, and we feel rather pleased that all manner of tests have revealed nothing outside normal limits. It is 8 weeks today since the accident, and she hasn't had a ciggy or a drink in all that time. The latter habit has never been a problem - we seldom drink before the evening - but kicking the former could be a great triumph, and knowing her lungs and ticker are still in fine fettle is a further incentive not to knacker them now! The risky time will be when Deb is back home - and on-line to you lot! She sits at the golden keys, puffing away to keep the inspiration going. Ciggy consumption went up a bit during last year's healthcare issue, although Deb had cut down again on her own initiative. When she's back, I'd be delighted if the subject of her not smoking received as much warm support as you have all shown over her injuries. Any chance?
  4. A former colleague, then in her 20s, had major surgery on duff knees, and was warned not to think of riding again. 10 years later she has been riding for most of the intervening time! Knees are a famously difficult joint to get "right" and only time will tell whether cooperlola's knee has been lucky - certainly the surgeons at Rouen thought they'd done enough, so we have hopes. A measured 65 degrees of bend the other day is quite a good omen at this early stage. I know unsolicited advertising is reasonably verboten here, but another victim of the crash was a vase that Deb had bought for my 60th next month. Having found the shop from Deb's credit card statement, I contacted them via email and within hours they had identified the item and posted on their website two other offerings from the same artist, one of which I have chosen to replace the lost vase. Deb tells me there were three items on offer when she visited, so it seems likely that she has seen the one I have chosen. She said it took her ages to decide which was the nicest!. As well as offering best wishes for Deb's recovery, the shop have waived postal charges, which must wipe out every penny of profit they would have made. Take a bow, South West Crafts at Tavistock!
  5. Deb has not had the best of weeks. On Tuesday, the trip to Le Mans for x-rays worked fine, but the radiographer was very brusque, pushing and pulling Deb around on his magic slab with scant regard for her comfort – or her injuries, it seemed. At least she got back in time for a late lunch – which was re-heated for her. Her room-mate (85) the previous day had been out for 8 hours and hardly eaten - at one point they took her blood pressure and found it to be 23, that’s 230 in UK terms, all due to the poor admin on her day out! Thursday should have been Deb’s day for going to Le Mans again, to have pins removed. Err, no. She went to Le Mans alright, but on arrival found the doctors were on strike. It also emerged that she was not there for pin removal, but to be checked out for allergies to various anaesthetics etc, and to have her fitness for the operation verified. Sadly, the sole anaesthetist on duty – i.e. not on strike – had rather a lot on her plate, and none of Deb’s papers, which were at Le Grand Luce, where the surgeon was making his fortnightly visit – to see Deb among others. On returning to Le Grand Luce, by which time the surgeon had left, of course, Deb enquired politely about the papers, only to be told that had the people in Le Mans not been playing silly b*****s, they would have rung Le Grand Luce and faxed copies could have been provided. So now Deb has to go to Le Mans again on Monday (with her papers, natch) so the team there can assure themselves that she is fit to be operated on, on Tuesday…  Apparently it is the right wrist and the left foot that are to be relieved of their ironwork. One has to say that this is an extraordinarily high level of care for the patient, but we feel it a little unnecessary when Deb had spent several days under anaesthetic at Rouen and clearly lived to tell the tale. No matter, today she has had an ECG and a chest x-ray (the recalcitrant x-ray machine at Le Grand Luce was persuaded to produce a passable image at the second attempt, apparently) to confirm that she probably won’t peg out on the operating table come Tuesday! Since the physiotherapist is on a long weekend off, he had kindly briefed Deb on how to do simple exercises on her right knee, and we spent 15 minutes helping her do those. She may see him Tuesday morning before her 4th trip to Le Mans, but if not, circumstances mean she will not have enjoyed supervised therapy from Wednesday to Wednesday, which is hardly the idea in her condition. French healthcare is famously world class, but the scope for cock-up on the admin side knows no bounds either, we feel….
  6. Belgian plates may still be red on white, but the letters and numbers have got a lot bigger in the last couple of years - amazing what the demands of a Gatso camera can do to a nation's ideas! When I was at school we were left in no doubt that nationalism was the strongest force in modern history. Now, yes, I know, that was more than 40 years ago, but nothing's changed. Look at the horrendous effect of freeing Jugoslavia from Communism - generations of pent-up hatred among neighbouring regions spilt an awful lot of blood. A little closer to home, the Irish Problem has been a thorn in the side of many Westminster politicians - all self-inflicted by our forefathers' need to impose their idea of a religion. How many lives were lost as a result? Long before Wales had an Assembly, it had gained a legal requirement for all signs and legal documents to be in an obscure and little-used language - always to precede English. How much has that cost, I wonder? Did it offset that old chestnut "Come home to a real fire - buy a holiday cottage in Wales!"? Frankly, totting up that lot in our own backyard makes Belgium's little ongoing problem look rather minor, wouldn't you say?
  7. Not sure I'm following all this. While I'm wonderfully hazy about what's afoot in banking today, I do keep an eye on fuel prices, and this afternoon clocked the lowest number I've seen in several months - less than 1.20 euros per litre. It has dropped at that station (Intermarche at Le Grand Luce) by about 8% in the last fortnight. I can cope with this!
  8. Deb arrived at Le Grand Luce a fortnight ago tomorrow, and while things started a little slowly, they are now ramping up. The physiotherapist is doing terrific work, despite being on his own – i.e. with untrained assistants – and having a number of other “customers”. This afternoon he spent nearly an hour on Deb’s right knee, manipulating and massaging, then getting Deb to try and lift her foot off his hand, which she could just about do, but not very often, and not fully straight. She was working very hard. I counted marks from 40 stitches in her right thigh – but that was from just one of the surgical intrusions there! There are two or three others as well! Tomorrow Deb travels to Le Mans at 10 00 for x-rays. Oddly, her elderly room-mate, who did the same thing today, had not returned by 1700, which seemed a very long time for an 85-year-old to be out. Thursday, Deb goes back to Le Mans, where some pins are to be removed. We don’t know from which limb or limbs – take your pick! – but it all sounds like progress to us. The amazing Autumn has enabled us to spend a lot of afternoons sunning ourselves under the trees, which is most pleasant for Deb. Given her history of wearing trousers all year long, bits of her legs are seeing more sun than they have in many years!
  9. Much earlier in this thread, I slagged off MAAF for their inept handling of Deb's claim etc. At the time, Sunday Driver pointed out gently that they were simply doing what was required of them. It had all gone very quiet on the MAAF front until this week. We believed that we had filled in da forms, and since Mme Beauvoir & I don't seem to get on very well on the phone - I seem to do better with some other French-only speakers - I was waiting for their next move. This week I got a letter saying that the injury issue had now been passed to a monsieur in Le Mans, who would like to talk to Deb. I didn't wait for him to ring us, and called his office directly. Within a couple of days, he and I were with Deb to discuss things. A whole new attitude emerged. We talked about Deb's limited recollection of events on the day - and the fact that despite being offered contact details, the gendarmerie have yet to speak to her. Monsieur said he'd ring the gendarme direct. He examined our insurance details - you might have thought MAAF would have furnished him with a copy! - and suddenly brandished a cheque book, writing us a very nice "tidy-over" cheque! This, it transpires, is entirely without prejudice, and would have been equally payable had Deb been responsible for causing her own injuries. He also took away a copy of the UK receipt for Deb's damaged DVD player - I'd attached a dated printout from xe.com showing its current equivalent in euros. But when I offered a whole raft of receipts, credit card slips, justicatifs etc referring to my marathon trips to Rouen, he waved them away - instead drafting me a letter to write, claiming 30 cents per km! As I've driven well over 8000km, that's ..... We now believe these people are in our corner, as Sunday Driver had suggested. 18 months recovery period - as suggested by the physio - and a possible knee transplant in 10 years time (also the physio's estimate) mean that resolution of all the outcomes of the crash is a long way off. We no longer fear that MAAF are not behind us in that exercise, and that is helping us both to sleep better. Friends are finding it easier to visit Deb now she's closer, which has taken some pressure off me - an email last night expressed pleasure in how well Deb looked. As I've said before - she is certainly the same person, which was always going to be my main concern, after all. Things am getting better!
  10. Deb has managed to scrawl something for me to transcribe here. Even though it’s quite short, she found it exhausted all the strength in her right hand, which is, of course, still in a splint.  “I can’t write properly yet, so am scribbling this in hospital for Ian to transcribe. Just to say a brief thankyou to everybody for your posts (which unhappily I have thus far been unable to read as I have no Internet access) and special thanks to all those who have sent cards, letters & presents. They certainly help to keep me sane during what is going to be a pretty long haul in hospital. Happily the only pain is in my backside & that is from boredom! I’m going to be allowed to start walking in November & hopefully will be home for Xmas when with luck I’ll be able to reply to you individually.   Meanwhile thanks again for all your good wishes. Drive safely!”  Late this afternoon, just as we were coming back from our wheelchair promenade around the grounds, the physio called Deb in and she started her first full session there, which is a relief. The physio has told Deb candidly that 18 months may be needed to restore full strength in her right leg. He also feels there are better places than his particular hospital for patients with Deb’s kind of injuries, and will be discussing this with hospital seniors and the orthopaedic surgeon in due course. She will be back in the physio treatment room first thing tomorrow, reflecting his recognition that Deb’s needs may be more urgent than some of his other – far older – patients.  Earlier, we spent a few pointless moments adding up the number of fractures Deb suffered in the crash. We are sure it is at least 25, possibly several more. Ouch!
  11. Deb seems to have seen another doctor this morning, and the visiting orthopaedic surgeon this afternoon, for which I was present. The news ain’t great, really – she’s there for at least another two months, probably. Substantial bone growth is needed around the breaks in the right knee before it can be weight-bearing, and that’s that. Physiotherapy starts tomorrow, we hope, based upon the chief physiotherapist being present & taking notes during this afternoon’s consultation. The orthopod seemed a bit disappointed that he had old x-rays. We don’t understand why, as fresh ones were taken at Rouen last week, but perhaps they were mislaid there. More will be taken soon, so he has a better idea of what progress has been made to date – the Rouen surgeon seemed quite pleased, so perhaps we have some better news to follow. I’m trying to be cheerful, honest! Once again, I pushed Deb round the grounds in the wheelchair, enjoying warm Autumn sun. Clearly we won’t be doing that in a month’s time! They’ve now dug up a crane for lifting her in and out of the chair, which reduces the number of volunteers needed for this event! Contact details for cooperlola have been passed to moderator Cat, so anyone itching to send a card - or even an accusation of attention seeking! - can obtain details by asking her nicely! Flowers still aren't on the agenda, sadly.
  12. As of today – is that English? – Deb has been moved 150 miles from Rouen to Le Grand Luce, SE of Le Mans. She is in a rehabilitation unit, where more vigorous physio can be undertaken. I am deeply relieved, having driven over 6000 miles in more than 20 trips to Rouen since her accident, 5 weeks ago today. The new facility is only 34 miles away, instead of 120. I may become less tired!  She is now sharing a room, with an elderly French lady. I left them watching the French version of Countdown! A deeply dishy doctor had been in and given Deb a quick exam, as well as looking at the handover notes from Rouen. She was clearly impressed with the extensive list of fractures! The orthopaedic surgeon visits on Thursday, and he will assess Deb and then prescribe a regime for the physiotherapists to follow. Once again, one finds the hospital to be modern and well-staffed. Even the admin people turn out to be charming and helpful – my limited French seems to be nearly adequate on these occasions, and we can share some humour. It all looks terribly promising.
  13. Staff taking their opportunities to thank Deb for being a model patient! For the record, we'd say Rouen had looked after her marvellously. Very hard to see any flaws in their performance. It would be limited to trivia like being left on the bedpan for an uncomfortably long period - horrid at the time, forgotten overnight. We filled in their standard multi-page questionnaire, and had trouble not awarding top rating everywhere. Food was a bit salty, Deb found - odd in an era when we are told we eat too much of the stuff - but helpings were generous! Deb departs Rouen for Le Grand Luce at midday tomorrow - details when we know more about the new gaff!
  14. We have a date for Deb to move to a rehabilitation centre – Tuesday! The centre, of which I have no details as yet, is at Le Grand Luce, SE of Le Mans. I estimate the journey time from here as an hour, with no autoroute mileage – much easier going!   We spent some time in the café today – by wheelchair, of course - and then went out front onto the ambulance drop-off zone. It was really hot! Deb had a blanket over her, and regretted it. Some September we’re having here.
  15. The cooperlola front is not as promising as we'd hoped. Despite the Parigne l'Eveque mention ten days ago, no sign of a move there, or to any other rehab centre. Deb is going quietly crackers! The staff remain fine and effective, and all the signs are very positive - but this is a hospital, and it's done its part. They've clearly been onto Parigne, but apparently at yesterday's meeting where Parigne sorts out incomers and applications, Deb's case failed to make the cut. No doubt Sarthois hopitales get first shout - but then we pay our contributions in Sarthe, so want our pound of flesh! It also needs to be borne in mind that eventually we are confident that an insurer will pick up the tab for all this, so costs are recoverable. Tomorrow I will be at CPAM first thing to tell them that unless they do something, I am now suffering from exhaustion - I've driven over 5000 miles in the last 4 weeks, to and from Rouen - and risk falling asleep at the wheel. If that doesn't impress them, I'll perform the old movie stunt of setting off the fire alarms. A year ago, Deb and others of you banded together to defeat the silly idea of throwing out the Brits from the health scheme. Could I really do anything less? If you hear a tale about a rostbif being dragged off to the Bastille for wasting sapeurs/pompiers' time - it's me!
  16. Chris Cooperlola was sad to hear that you'd had a dip - she will be very pleased to know you're back online! Long may your fortitude last! Ian (pale male imitation of Cooperlola!)
  17. They’d changed Deb’s antibiotics, and this proved a mistake, as she’d turned a bit lobster-colour in places. Now they’ve changed again. Pushed the wheelchair back to the café today, which was fine, but when we got back to the ward they said people had come for Deb for an x-ray. So I pushed her back down to x-ray! 20 mins later we had some fine images of an awful lot of Meccano here and there! Again the physio trio are simply magic – much Deb’s favourites among the many who look after her - and are happy to help her in and out of the wheelchair so we can go off together
  18. A kindly France Forum chauffeur took me to Rouen today – thanks Peter! - and we pushed Deb around in a wheelchair, taking her down to the hospital café for a Coke. She had been feeling a bit down earlier – the weekend is such a quiet time from an activity perspective, so she was pleased to be given a trip out! It takes 3 physios – 2 are students - to lift Deb in and out of the wheelchair, and that is in no way a reflection on her weight. The surgeon had been back to see her this morning, and he remains delighted with progress, so more movement is now being allowed on the right knee. It just seems endless to Deb – and the accident was only 4 weeks ago.   As I said a few days ago – the move to Parigne can’t come a minute too soon.
  19. Tegwini! Of course I'm not wonderful! I'm an almost 60-year-old bloke, for a start! Some women would have traded me in for a rich toy-boy years ago! Deb and I met in 1973, so the ground rules for our relationship have been established for a while. Turning to, when the other has a problem, has always seemed a sort of "minimum spec" for an enduring relationship. Ok, so this event requires me to spend about 8 hours a day driving to Rouen, visiting Deb and driving back. Would I feel good if I did it less often - no! Deb said this afternoon that she is torn between wanting me there every day, and recognising the effort that requires - thus saying take a day off more often. Friends can - and do - help. So tomorrow I expect I will opt out, and let our generous neighbour (she works, too!) visit Deb alone. Monday another forum member has quietly stepped up to the plate to help out - thanks, mate! I suppose I expect everyone else's OH to perform at the same level as me - or better. Why wouldn't they, when their partner is lying battered & crumpled in hospital?
  20. Graye Very kindly said, thankyou. Yes, the move to Parigne (or wherever in Sarthe, rather than Seine Maritime!) can't come a day too soon either for Deb or for me. Fingers are well and truly crossed! As for my future on this forum, I feel that this is Deb's show, and I'm just filling in, feeling that a significant number of people had a "virtual right" to be kept informed. She has earned the wealth of warm concern on here by her contributions, no doubt, and, for some, by the healthcare issue that she helped steer. When she is finally able to get back online, she should be allowed to be the accomplished soloist she was before all this happened. She doesn't need a husband under her feet online, too! Every relationship is different. I am proud of Deb, what she is, what she does. When her health returns, I just want things to be as they were, I suppose!
  21. Cathy I am also finding out how warm people can be. The offer that led to yesterday's trip is not the only one on here - in each case quietly offered by PM, rather than in the main forum. Definitely people with a genuine wish to help, not to score brownie points among forum members! On the night of Deb's accident, one English neighbour, who occasionally looks in on the forum, insisted on accompanying me to Rouen - despite having just collected two old friends from Tours airport. These were people she hadn't seen in many years, and who only had a couple of days to stay. Her return home at 3 a.m. from Rouen was hardly going to enrich their renewed friendship! Some mature English friends - he's 70 - are driving over from Sussex just to see Deb and bringing replacement horsefeed to cover that lost in the crash. They'd have been here by now, if the Parigne "false start" hadn't stopped them in their tracks. Did I mention that in Deb's yoof (single figures) she stayed with French friends of her parents in Le Havre? Jean is now mid-70s, his wife Francoise 10 years older. They appeared at Deb's bedside last Sunday, and were warmth itself. The years rolled away, as they say. They were the origin of Deb's undoubted strength in speaking French - at least compared to many of us Brits living here! My French has necessarily upped its game in the last few weeks, believe me! I'm sorry if you've been bullied here, but, yes, online communities are as varied in their memberships as any town or village. I certainly get bees in my bonnet - very fetching I look in it, too! - about things, although I try to make my contributions and responses, on any subject, anywhere, curteous and unambiguous. That way I hope I don't need to use smilies to make my point clear! Better at words than graphics, perhaps.
  22. No offence taken here, Sue! Today’s visit was courtesy of a forum member & husband living south of Le Mans – extremely generous of them to give me a lift. In fact, their lively conversation kept Deb giggling a lot of the time, so a huge success. The surgeon came in to manipulate Deb’s legs, which was a bit uncomfortable for her, but clearly left him happy with progress. He was also happy to talk to Deb, and to me, in a most matter-of-fact way, about her future and so-on. I'm not sure this is always the case on the NHS! Deb had also had a wheelchair ride – few of us would relish that, but to her it was like growing wings!  Sadly we have no further info on the move to Parigne L’Eveque – near where my generous chauffeur and his wife live.  
  23. Very sad. I attended a number of meetings there, in the Board Room and the Library. Unconnected to Enigma, but perhaps a bit enigmatic, as I was working for Silverlink Trains at the time, and we used it as an affordable venue! That ended after I'd built a management suite at the station - a project I hated, and knew I was not cut out for. That could hardly be said of those gifted people beavering away in the huts! Few war locations can have seen work that saved so many lives, perhaps.
  24. [quote user="ErnieY"]Sad news, one of my all time favourite bands and seen them several times. cooperlola2: I've heard PF called many things but mainstream ? [:-))] You must have some very 'off the wall tastes' but then I suppose you did take Debs for a bride didn't you [:D] Just kidding, hope she's not getting too bored. [/quote] Yes, I do have "taste" in music - I am not a person who will ever say "I do like a good tune"! Never really liked rock, or 60s English pop, although US pop pre-Beatles - who ruined pop music by making it simple, rather than the classy, over-produced studio sounds of before, so no more strings and things - was good when I was a young teen. Nor am I keen on singers. So, certain areas of modern jazz (Miles Davis, Bill Evans  - that's the late pianist, not the saxman of the same name), jazz funk (Pat Metheny, Lee Ritenour, Dave & Don Grusin, Stanley Clarke, George Duke), and some lowbrow classics (you know you're lowbrow when you prefer Rachmaninov, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky to Mozart & Schubert). But I also really enjoy some quite modern young stuff, including some drum & bass, & garage. Kruder & Dorfmeister cut it sometimes, even Ministry of Sound compilations can be rewarding. My Skoda's lousy and elderly sound system murders some stuff, but Rach 2 by Ashkenazy is still good company on the road to Rouen! Deb wouldn't be every man's taste - far too independent, opinionated, self-assured, lefty - great! A partner to respect! She is very, very bored. The move to Parigne, about which we heard no more Tuesday, can't come soon enough! I'm too tired to go again today, have had to arm-twist others in my place - they are short of cash, and have a thirsty car, but have helped enormously in other respects. I'm trying to sort a claim of unpaid bill (2700 euros) from a supplier  - Deb paid cash, but we have no receipt. It never rains but....
  25. Too mainstream for my tastes by miles with most of their stuff, but some of their more transcendental stuff hit the spot. Not that I was into drug culture of course - I thought marijuana was Herb Alpert's support band! Fave track Echoes, plus some bits from Ummagumma. Pardon my ignorance - which of the others has popped them ,too? Nick Mason is the only one I've seen close to, having almost bumped into him in the paddock at Silverstone a few years back - he's a race-nut.
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