Through the French countryside — on my back

Yes, you read that correctly — it wasn’t “on my bike,” but “on my back.” In fact I was flat on my back in an ambulance, which made for an unconventional view of the countryside as we drove through southwest France. Mostly we were on a highway, so I got some great glimpses of signs passing over us.

This all happened last Wednesday, as I was finally transferred from the clinic/hospital in Toulouse where I had had spinal surgery in mid-April. Because surgeons want to be especially careful when a spine is involved, I was not to ride in a normal car to my new home-away-from-home, but travel by ambulance. Even though the distance was nearly 150 kilometres.

No, the siren was not employed.

And so just after noon on April 30, the ambulance driver, the attendant, and I arrived at Centre Médical La Roseraie, Centre de Rééducation Fonctionelle. The clinic is in the little (and lovely) village of Montfaucon, which is located in the Lot, a département adjoining the Dordogne, home to our village of Daglan.

The place itself is quite amazing. It’s large, and very well equipped — with all sorts of equipment to help surgery patients recover, regain motion and so on. Today in my room, for instance, a young physiotherapist administered electric muscle stimulation (getting jealous?).

The stone building itself is another matter, dating back to the start of the 1800s, when it was a school for Latin, then becoming a seminary, and then a POW centre in World War I. From there, it was  transformed into a hospital for soldiers with TB, then a public hospital for TB patients. Finally, when tuberculosis was effectively defeated, the authorities eventually decided to turn La Roseraie into a place for rééeducation — what we would call physiotherapy. Today it’s a private institution, with some 130 beds for patients like me (although few who are as good-looking).

So, in case you were wondering, here’s the view when I look out of my room towards the right:

The church as seen from my window.

The church as seen from my window.

Quite a lovely old church, with a bell that rings out the hours just like our church in Daglan. (I had actually missed hearing the bells when I was in the hospital in Toulouse.) And here’s the view from my window if I look down and to the left — a small road, a bit of a courtyard, a disused building, and a bunch of vines. Plus a glimpse of the countryside in the distance:

Another view from my window.

Another view from my window.

So this is home, for now, as I get into my rééducation.

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This entry was posted in Exercise and fitness, Life in southwest France, Travels in and out of France and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Through the French countryside — on my back

  1. Double D's says:

    La Cheminee got decent ratings near your location but no doubt you have already established this. We continue to send positive energy towards your recovery. Hugs and Kisses.
    D2

  2. loren24250 says:

    Thanks much, Double D! But no, I don’t know about La Cheminee, and I couldn’t find it anywhere near Montfaucon. Where is the one you found?

  3. Double D's says:

    Umm sorry about that. Evidently there is a Montfaucon near the Swiss Alps. Glad we didn’t make a reservation. Kind of like ordering Duff’s wings from the College Street location instead of the original. Kind of like Archie Bunker sending a package to London England instead of London Ontario. Kind of like arranging to meet K2 at a chain restaurant last week but we went to different locations and proudly texted each other that “we are here!” We settled for a virtual lunch with photos and texts back and forth. But enough about us, we are confident you will find something in your new temporary location.

    • loren24250 says:

      France has many, many instances of towns/villages with the same name. It’s whjy the department number (24 for the Dordogne, 46 for the Lot) is so important and used so often in identifying a place — for instance, Montfaucon (46).

      Good story about you two and K-2!

  4. SusieandSteve says:

    Wow! You’ve been out for so long. All the very best for your recovery. It just sounds so serious — the spine! I hope you’re able to get home — and back to your life — soon! Love your posts!

    Susie.

    • loren24250 says:

      Thanks, Susie. Yes, for sure, serious — you should see the scar! Seems at least a foot long. And there are now titanium rods helping to keep the vertebrae apart, so the nerves don’t get squeezed (as they were before). Not sure about timing for departure, because a lot of physiotherapy is needed. But I’m just getting on with it!

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