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‘My uncle’s motto was ’’Always leave them wanting more.”

Lovely guy, terrible anaesthetist!’

After an unexpectedly ‘bloody marvellous’ night’s sleep I slide the window open to take the above photo, gasping as the freezing air rushes in. Another beautiful morning in Bordeaux - we are expecting 19 degrees centigrade later this afternoon as I leave the hospital. I shall enjoy it but realise it is a false Spring - météo predicts snow next week, despite the huge numbers of cranes flying overhead.

Shout it from the rooftops - I can have a shower. Enormous hurrah as the smell of my hair is beginning to make me squirm.

It’s certainly not the easiest thing to undertake but it leaves me more than relieved in three ways. For the lack of acrid sourness that was permeating my general vicinity, the relief to feel clean and that I can actually do it myself unaided.

I was hoping to be able to start the post with ‘bingo!’ too, but it seems the bowels are still too sluggish. Maybe TMI yet again?

The well oiled machine continues. Dr Gangnet’s secretary arrives with a bundle of documents: prescriptions for a melange of tablets, legal paperwork, a prescription for another support belt, something to tell the authorities I’m signed off work until 11th June, another to ensure a nurse comes in every other day, yet another for an X-ray to be done a couple of days before the post op visit to the surgeon and more besides… you name it, it’s there. Everything done with a big smile and a ‘ Je vous en pris’ , ‘You’re welcome’.

Exercises and walking done, I collapse onto the bed exhausted.

The lovely physio then immediately arrives to see me here for the last time, so I log roll off the bed again. As we walk, he tells me they are very pleased with the results but gives me the general warnings about unusual pain levels, fever, infection, and swelling. Bones bleed. Of course they do, but until a few days ago, I had never realised or even thought about that.

Great care needs to be taken for two ‘munseez’.

My brain searches for what he means. But then the penny drops and I realise he means ‘months’. It makes me smile every time he says it as he insists on speaking in English, ‘to practice’. I’m to be careful for a full twelve munseez until they know it’s all worked or not. No work for four munseez and no gardening at all for however munseez Dr Gangnet tells me.

‘Impeccable!’ declares the nurse as she changes my dressing for the last time before I leave. I confess it looks pretty good to me too.

As I telephone the ‘district nurse‘ (infirmière à domicile) she confirms she will be with me at 18h00 this evening to administer my daily anti-phlebitis injection. While I’m calling her Dr Gangnet arrives. All is in order and I’m good to go.

Thanking him and the entire team too, I almost catch a crack in his steely demeanour. Nearly a smile, though not quite. Surgeons are a different breed.

I will see him in two months. For now, it’s time to move forwards into a new chapter. A back in the future.



Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I’m Jill, a RHS gold medal winning English professional gardener, garden designer and landscaper living in South West France since 2012. This is a personal account of my gardening life, some of the jolly and occasionally not so jolly japes that ensued while working, that probably caused my subsequent back problems.

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