I’ve survived my first session of kiné (short for kinésithérapie i.e. physiotherapy) I’m delighted to say.  However, I wasn’t as delighted as Mme X, the physio (kinésithérapeute). She is probably the happiest person in France. I’m the fourth one of our family to have physiotherapy with her. (It’s not that we’re a particularly decrepit family, far from it. It’s just that French doctors like to prescribe physio at the drop of a hat.) And Mme X is as jolly as the day I first met her about four years ago now when Chris was at the receiving end of her ministrations. I guess that a career in inflicting pain on helpless patients does that to you! She laughs the whole time. It is admittedly very slightly freaky but preferable to being in a gloomy environment.

My kiné was actually very gentle with a neck massage, some very tentative head turns and shoulder movements, ten minutes of a TENS machine (électro) on my shoulder (at least I think that’s what the huge, clanky, old-fashioned device was)  followed by hot pads on my neck and shoulder. Not too draining or demanding. Something tells me the head turning and shoulder moving around exercises will increase in intensity over the next 9 sessions. Ouch. However, I finally picked up my prescription which consists of a carrier bag of painkillers so I’ll be OK even if things get rough!

Chris and I had a fun night out last Friday. It involved eating doner kebabs in a bus-stop in Montlucon and apart from the French setting, reminded us of student days. Mind you, the previous two hours spent at a rheumatology clinic most definitely didn’t! The joys of being 50. I’ve got the all clear though. I have névralgie cervicale (neuralgia, trapped nerves of the neck) and tendonitis in my shoulder and not the old rheumatics, thank goodness. It’s the rheumatologist I have to thank for my pain meds. He even threw in some sleeping tablets as he thought I seemed nervy! (Well, I suppose you could argue I would be, suffering from trapped nerves.) I firmly denied it, since I tend to think of myself as fairly sensible and a coper, but he prescribed them anyway.

I’m finding it hard being so limited physically. I’ve always been very active and happy to tackle most physical tasks but now I’m down to doing everything with one arm and a non-bendy neck. Chris is having to do all the heavy stuff on his own at the moment which isn’t great. I couldn’t even wave my arms at the llamas today to contribute usefully to proceedings when Chris was moving hay bales out for the pigs and sheep. Not that they take any notice anyway – they merrily dance behind the reversing tractor with its very long, pointy hay-bale prongs at every opportunity. They’re so nosey! They can’t bear to miss out on what’s going on.

Moan, moan, moan. I know, it’s pathetic and things could be a heck of a lot worse. I’m a very impatient patient and want to be up and doing when I have to be down and resting. Grrr.