KNEE OP RECOVERY, A LA FRANCAISE

I Thought Knee Re-education Would Be Lazy Days in Thermal Waters

And plenty of free time to write — I was wrong

Janice Macdonald
The Daily Cuppa Grande
3 min readJun 12, 2024

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petit déjeuner — Photo by Author

So I’ve been at the Clinque pour re-education in Lamalous-les-Bains for almost a week. I’m slowly getting into the routine, but it’s far less the languid south of France healing ritual I’d imagined than boot camp a la francaise.

I exaggerate, but only slightly. For first few days, I absolutely couldn’t sleep so I was given sleeping pills which solved that problem. But by the time the nurse slips a tray with a bowl of cafe et un croissant on my bed tray and cheerily chirps, Bonjour Madame Macdonald, it almost requires the cafe poured over my head to wake me up.

No sooner have I finished my petit dejeuner than it’s time for the first therapeutic session of the day, fortunately on the same floor as my chambre. Those more advanced in the therapeutic process than I, carefully step between plastic shapes strewn across the floor. Romper Room for the Elder set. I am not at that stage yet, so I sit on a chair with a yellow ball under my foot and roll it back and forth. This, it was explained, help flex and extend the muscles behind the knee. Remember, I’m hearing this in French and still slightly groggy. I’m not a morning person

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Janice Macdonald
The Daily Cuppa Grande

At 68, I started a new chapter in my life: I moved to France. Alone. It turned out to be quite the page-turner. Still is — even when age insists on a part.