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Everything posted by cooperlola2

  1. There is a strong likelihood that Deb will be moved in the next few days. A lady appeared during my visit this afternoon, and declared that they had identified a rehabilitation facility at Parigne L’Eveque, which is SE of Le Mans. This would be about 40 mins leisurely drive, rather than the two-and-a-bit hours pedal-to-the-metal of Rouen (120 miles). Having just made my 14th visit – admittedly neighbour Sheena drove yesterday – I am really pleased! Timescales still not firm, but hopefully perhaps this week.   Deb is bored, not enjoying the babyfood diet – highlight of her day seems to be the orange juice mid-afternoon – and desperate to get on with a rigid regime of physio. I left her watching Episode 8 of The Jewel In India’s Passage, or whatever it’s called. Her only medication is antibiotics and iron tablets, apart from one of those oxygen thingies in the nose – no painkillers. The most painful thing seems to be the left collarbone, which is a nuisance, and which we hadn’t been aware until the last few days was even damaged.
  2. Deb is now ensconced in her own room in the orthopaedic unit at Rouen. There is an ensuite shower/loo etc – if only Deb could walk to it! After an uncomfortable night she had a chest x-ray this morning, but nothing sinister found – where have all those Gauloises been going? Physio will be taxing, and she had a half-hour discussion about it with the surgeon this morning. The physiotherapist herself is concerned that Deb is so far from home, and recommends Deb be moved to Le Mans – where she knows there are excellent orthopaedic facilities – soon. We’ll be happy for that to happen, but are not holding our breath! The DVD player saga takes a further twist, which I might have foreseen, had I thought a little longer. As many of you will know, DVDs are produced with different encoding for different Regions of the world - this stops the new Hollywood blockbuster, which maybe goes on US DVD after a few months, bombing elsewhere in the world, where the film is released months later, because the US DVD won't play on overseas machines. Yer wanna see the film - go to the cinema! Deb, being Deb, mocks all this stuff, of course. She has a number of "hacked" DVD players, including the late, lamented portable, which will play any Region. Probably at least half of her huge collection of DVDs is Region 1 - USA. No French DVD player is gonna play them. In the short term, therefore, she now has a cheapo French item, which will play her Region 2 collection, and once she's home, she'll find another super-duper hacked version to do the rest of the biz. Let's face it - she isn't going away anywhere in the foreseeable future! She politely declined the laptop, on the grounds that even in a hospital, such things may grow little legs - e.g. when you are whipped off for an x-ray! She has 2 current copies of Empire magazine, and will examine them to see which DVDs look good!
  3. Gah! Prunes! On booting up the DVD player, I find it is anything but ok! The LCD, the surface of which appears ok until powered, is actually completely crazed! In the short term, I can take Deb's laptop instead, knowing that that actually is ok - I tested it on arrival home. Can anyone explain just how I go about claiming for this item as part of the wreck cost? In the UK, of course I'd have a phone conversation with the insurer, but that is simply not achievable when she is going to give me instructions I don't comprehend. MAAF do have a right to see the item is actually damaged, or indeed even exists! There will be a small number of much lower-cost items, mainly horse feed, for which I can produce an invoice for the replacement items, currently being held in UK pending a kind visitor who is only waiting for the green light. After a fortnight, the 40 kilos of spilt horsefeed, plus two kilos of horsey herbal-remedy, sitting in the wreck was getting a bit high in the sun and rain, I must say! Insects were loving it!  .
  4. We have a plan for the DVDs. Part of my contraband going to Rouen tomorrow will be Empire magazine, which Deb has on subscription. This is the promo place for new DVDs, so she will quickly get some ideas! Now I must get the DVD player out and ensure it's working - it appeared to survive the crash, but....
  5. Spoke to Deb this morning by phone – she is now able to answer her own calls! She apologised for getting in a panic yesterday – the only infection is a minor urinary one. As she’d said she’d come back to me, and I still haven’t understood the extra extension number I’ve been given, I didn’t want to disturb the hospital if she had indeed been at the centre of something nasty. She found she couldn’t dial out, so we were each waiting for the other to ring!   Surgeons have chatted to her about getting her going again, and they are proposing a tough regime of physiotherapy, taking 4-6 weeks, at Rouen – but then she’d be able to come home! Realistically – things always take longer than you hope – she might be back in time for my 60th birthday, on November 12th. You can imagine I would view that as a pretty nice present!   I hope to visit her tomorrow, and will then have all the info needed for others to visit if they wish. Cards etc that people have kindly sent will be going with me, I hope. Deb is in a private room with tv & cupboard space for clothes etc.
  6. One step forward, two steps back. Deb is indeed in another ward, where I have just tried to ring her, to check details etc. When I got through, she told me she has started a major panic, because she may have brought an infection with her. I assume there is the hospital equivalent of a coalmine canary spluttering away somewhere. She will let me know. MIL rang Deb while the Doc/Head Nurse debate was under way yesterday, so I was kept waiting outside longer than needed. Deb was fuming about it! When I got home I rang MIL to tell her about the improved oxygen levels etc, but she had other people with her and was too busy to talk to me. I haven't heard from her since. That's what makes her insufferable - she really is only looking for entertainment. In Malta, early-teen Deb was required to be her mother's companion at all times - except when MIL had a boyfriend around, (this was when the Royal Navy still had a major base in Malta, so chaps were not in short supply, one imagines) when Deb could stay out all night. When the elder daughter died, it was all about poor Dorothy having lost her daughter, not about poor Helen who'd lost her life!
  7. Cooperlola is being moved out of Reanimation Chirurgicale (Intensive Care)today, so I infer they're pleased with progress! More on that later, I hope. A lady at the hospital rang me to tell me - prefacing her identity and remarks with "nothing to worry about". A genuinely social service! The hospital have been truly wonderful to date. For those living in France - I attended CPAM today to get our 2007 earnings etc noted. I played the sympathy card by showing an image of Deb in her cot yesterday. Despite my relatively poor French, we got along well, the lady helped me fill in the bits I hadn't grasped, and took the certificate and bulletin d'hopitalisation. We've never found the CPAM people other than helpful, but the orders they get from above sometimes defy logic. Last year, after filling in all the forms and delivering them to CPAM in person, we all seemed to get a letter saying they'd received nothing! I'd like to see someone sacked for that sort of cockup - but no-one gets sacked here!
  8. My 11th visit, two weeks after she was admitted to hospital, and I’ve at last got a certificate showing the injuries, which are far more numerous than even I had understood. E.g., I thought 3 right ribs broken, whereas this diagnosis says nos 1-9! There are lots of other damaged bits listed, which shows how wonderfully thorough an A&E unit can be. Deb’s breathing has improved in 24 hours, with her oxygen intake now up to 97-98, instead of the 91-92 that kept causing alarms yesterday. This is probably down to clearing more muck off her chest. Not a nice process, but she’s good at it, evidently. Again, I fed her apple compote, but had to wait outside for over an hour, while the doctor and head nurse decided how to overcome some problem. I think one of the feeds or monitors has not been working well, and it has been moved from her right shoulder to her neck, making her marginally less mobile in bed. Her hands, increasingly clear of bandages, are very swollen, as an allergic reaction to something, so she cannot hold a book or turn the pages, sadly. This is frustrating the poor thing, I think. I’m having two days off the road to Rouen, being at CPAM (health services) in Le Mans tomorrow, and having the Skoda serviced Friday. Unless there is dramatic news, my next report will be Saturday, therefore. I would upload a pic of Deb in her cot, taken this afternoon, if anyone can tell me how to. I don't see an instant method onscreen. Ditto, I am prepared to upload a copy of Deb's diagnosis, minus all details of hospital and doctor, of course.  
  9. Now I've spooled back a bit to see what you've all been writing since I was last here, and I find dirty pictures! So much for me letting cats out of bags with pet names - she's been giving dirty exposes! Just wait 'til I get her home!
  10. Deb is sitting up in bed completely lucid. Remembers the accident, everything until she was sedated. Apparently my version of the event is a bit adrift. Deb found her lane blocked by a car lying on its side – having just been punted there by the lorry – and she drove into its roof! The physio is helping her clear her lungs, and that remains a priority to move to the next stage, i.e. outside Intensive Care. If progress with the lungs is good, then we may know more by the weekend. I am also adrift on the number of breakages – she has broken all 4 limbs! She was being given her first solid food for a fortnight when I arrived, so I took over from the nurse, spoonfeeding apple compote!   Breakages apart, and they’ve all been fixed, of course, this is the old Deb!
  11. Clair At 59 and 10 months, and much in need of a haircut (Deb would be happy if I resembled Jesus Christ, I think!), your idea of my smile is probably a lot nicer than the real thing!
  12. Tonight’s news – via MIL, so credit there – is that Deb has had the tubes withdrawn, so is now breathing unaided, and is able to speak. A move to an orthopaedic, rather than intensive care, ward, is now in sight. Whooppee! I missed Rouen today, because 2 good friends (take a bow, Pia and Amor!) came to help me with paperwork  –  and also because 250 miles, 3 days in a row, is knackering, believe me! – but will be there in good time tomorrow, I hope. Another credit is due to locals rowing in to help – Alan and Mag have been entertaining our dog Troy for the last 13 days, and Mag has done a mountain of ironing. She insists on doing more! Given that Deb had been away for three weeks, there is no shortage of stuff being washed! There are other offers of help here waiting to be taken up, and visiting Deb will be sensible once she’s in a more “ordinary” ward, thus helping me to reduce the strain of that trip too often. This trial becomes easier by the day. Hopefully I can help ease Deb’s concerns when we chat – yes! – tomorrow!  
  13. Hey Twinkle Glad your wee one won out! Deb and I don't really "do" kids - but we are emphatic that we want everyone's kids to grow up tall, straight, healthy, happy and educated. That way society & civilisation will work better - and we could all do with that!
  14. Quite a change when I walked in today. Deb was asleep – she remained so throughout my visit – but her breathing was so much better! In nearly 2 hours, I think I heard her cough once. In contrast, yesterday she was in considerable discomfort and coughing a great deal. Her heart rate was much lower today – I don’t think we got an alarm all visit. Blood pressure looked good, and her oxygen level was in the required range, too. Bafflingly, when an alarm does go off on the monitor next to the bed, it is for another patient, a Mr Mohammed Mellah, who is two rooms away. His traces replace all but Deb’s heart trace on the screen, then after a few mins they disappear and we resume Deb’s stuff. Amazing what you take in when sitting with a sleeping partner!   This is a corner turned. I am much happier.
  15. No, I've never been a ciggy person - but for about 30 years I did puff away at small cigars when we were in the pub. Deb did likewise, but almost certainly inhaled, which I've never learned to do. None of this can be helping just now. 4 years ago this morning, Deb and I locked our house in Kent and set off for a new life. Let's hope this is just a blip in the much nicer time we've been having here in France.
  16. Today’s visit could only be described as harrowing. Deb was much more with it, but her breathing is now terrifyingly difficult. Twice I felt constrained to get the nurses in to do something, and both times they seemed to agree I was right. We held hands while she struggled for breath, despite the oxygen tube in her mouth. She repeatedly gurgled and coughed, sending the oxygen pump alarm into overdrive. I was very frightened. I am sure that the shocks to the lungs, compounded by a long period of sleep after the anaesthetic, and the sudden withdrawal of the Gauloises, are causing the problems, which may ease as days go by. If they don’t, well….. On a lighter note, she didn’t know she was in Rouen, nor have any idea how long she’d been asleep. Her eyes went wide when I told her. Holding hands was nice.  
  17. Ah, but for the foreseeable future, I will be able to run faster than Deb, so administering the thick ear may take some doing!
  18. I think you're deliciously naughty to ask, but don't think Deb will mind her pet name being bandied about on here - she's "small girl" and I'm "small boy". When we found a French shop called "Petit Boy" we were amused! Since Deb is 5'5 & I'm nearly 6' - or used to be before the stoop kicked in - neither appellation is really correct, and of course, as a man I couldn't countenance any suggestion that "small" referred to anything else! All those enhancement products in the spam leave me yawning - but then any man would say that!
  19. It's Saturday morning - always a special moment, somehow, even now we're retired! - the sun is shining (but for how long?) and I just thought I ought to record the enormous pleasure I'm getting from Deb's friends on here. This is a formal "THANK YOU!" - yes, I am shouting! - to you all for your kind and in many cases practical suggestions. The discipline of making a daily report to you is also helpful for me, making me think about issues and progress more critically. We have a long way to go, but the first 10 days have been rendered much better as a result of your warmth. If you have made a suggestion and I haven't responded, please don't feel ignored. The point about a thread is that I can refer over the coming weeks - and, sadly, months - to make use of your ideas at various stages in this grim process. Collectively and individually, you are lightening my load! I am SO grateful!
  20. Saturday! Now we've got a result I can't stay away for long, can I? I'll probably do Sunday too, but Monday I have French-speaking friends coming in the afternoon to help with some phonecalls. It's just a shame that the waking process was so elongated, as I'd have happily skipped visits last weekend if I had known that she would be well out of it. I see well-meaning folk are again suggesting I stay at Rouen. No point. I am not really welcome in the hospital until 1500, and not wanted after 2100, and between those hours I struggle to stay in Deb's room for a whole hour before they need to do another procedure that requires me out of the way! Rouen, as I found on Tuesday, is a lovely city, despite the RAF bombing in the last war, and has lots of gorgeous streets with seriously old buildings. Concrete hell it ain't. The Metro is fun, and I caught it from the northern terminus to somewhere on the other bank. It was packed and clearly doing what it was designed for. I have ridden comparable systems in Sheffield, Manchester, Newcastle, Croydon, Wolverhampton, and even Le Mans, but never before have I seen a pretty young woman get on a busy tram, open the cab door, kiss the mature driver, and then take her seat! Delightfuly French! Hooray! The other good reason for not staying in Rouen is that updating you lot (and another website, plus loads of emails) can only be done by me from Chez Nous!
  21. If there was a Trades Descriptions Act definition of awake, I’m not sure Deb would quite meet it yet. I arrived, walked in and called her pet name – instant stir, eyes half opened, and tried to follow me round the room – without success. Still got a mouth full of tubes, of course, so no hope of verbal response. She was aware it was me, and I gave her simple news about all the people rooting for her, how the hospital thought she’d recover well, and the gendarme had said it was not her fault. Result – snore! I sat for about an hour, until they needed to work on her, and as usual the expected 20 mins they needed took more like 50. When I went back in, she was clearly gone again.   Yes, it’s undoubtedly progress; no, she’s not really with-it at all. It’ll get better!   Ian  
  22. Deb is awake! She can't yet speak - too many things in her mouth, but she is awake and alert to some extent, I understand. A sample of tissue has been taken from her lung area and is currently being analysed. I expect they'll identify it correctly as Gauloises! Needless to say, I will be ready and waiting at visiting time - 1500 tomorrow!
  23. I think I'm saying "yes please". The letter is unsigned, but may have come from Lille, so there is no contact point at CPAM. It probably goes without saying that I strongly resent the fact that Deb and I have "joined in" with all the French systems since we arrived here in 2004. Deb has, as you all know, been very precise about doing so. We know plenty of Brits who live here most of the year, but are still claiming to be on holiday. They get none of this justification stuff, while we, because we have "joined in", get the gestapo treatment. This does not suit my over-developed sense of injustice!
  24. I have concluded - prompted by my brother - that until Deb awakes, my visits are simply counter-productive. I can't say that anyone has been offering to drive me to Rouen - but then once she's awake and in a proper ward, there will be plenty of volunteers, I'm sure. Visiting at present is a very unrewarding experience, certainly! Tuesday I was out for 12 hours, and spent less than an hour in her room! Filling in the wretched forms for MAAF I think I have just about now done, but there is another spectre on my horizon. I have just over a week to produce all the data to justify our continuing use of the CMU. Deb spent ages doing this last year, just before the healthcare issue emerged, of course, and she'd have done the same thing in a day on her return. it all adds to pressure which I don't need just now!
  25. Have just come home very tired after another Rouen trip, during which I spent over 2 hours in the waiting room making small talk with MIL, followed by another brief visit to Deb’s room. Some signs of waking, apparently, with twitching toes etc, but then she became agitated, so they had to suppress that. They also remain concerned about the breathing, and though they have taken x-rays, I think she will be given a camera down the trachea tonight. None of this is much fun, and I am running out of steam. Oddly, her left hand has some small bandages on a finger or two - one of which glows red with an internal light source! Is this some sort of LED skin therapy?  
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