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Suzanne White

Author • Adventuress • Astrologer

Life on the Run

The Longest Plane Ride

by Suzanne White - on Friday, February 23, 2018
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Callas, France, February 22, 2018. After fracturing my hip and having surgery to replace the broken bit, I have been in this rehab clinic to learn how to walk for more than a month. I committed that hip fracture crime by means of a spectacular tripping episode, full body flight and crash landing in my bedroom on January 15 of this year. I have been out of hospital post op with a prosthesis where my hip bone once was for quite a spell. I am currently looking at another month or more of physical therapy here.

When I fly across oceans and continents, it sometimes takes 15 hours to get to my destination. In preparation for these junkets, I arm myself with toys to play with during the flight: Crossword puzzles, Books. Magazines, Laptop, Good Earphones. Same with the clinic. I have all my toys with me here. But this incarceration is not just a 15 hour plane trip. It is more like a 15,000 hour sojourn in medicalized limbo.

Let me say this is the very best clinic I have frequented here in Provence. It's in a very old building that used to be the town train station. It has of course expanded and been completely renovated. It now has 3 floors and as many as 100 rooms. It's the best convalescent clinic I could ever dream of.

The village is called Callas (like Dallas) and the clinic is named "Les Oliviers" (Olive Trees). From my window, I see the gentle Maures mountains which rise just behind the sparkling Mediterranean Sea. The weather is mostly clement with only a bit of rain. We enjoy mostly sunny days with crystal blue skies and striated clouds à la Provençal.

Despite the sun and the blue blue skies, if I hadn't asked Patricia to bring all my toys to me here I would surely have been transferred to a mental health facility by now. Training a new hip to function with an old leg is not a walk in the park. In fact it's not a walk anywhere at all. It is an excruciatingly painful inchworm process. I am told over and over that one cannot speed it up. Rehab is a slow process through which one must not only live - but work. First, you learn to use a walker - a clumsy 4 legged aluminum contraption you lean on and move about with. Takes a few terrifying days to trust it not to tip you over. First, you shuffle stick-legged and little by painful little you learn how to walk again. Why? Because your body has forgotten that simple skill and refuses to cooperate with your brain's dictates. Moreover every ligament and tendon and muscle that was cut in surgery is screaming, begging you to stop trying. Their only language is dagger-like pain. Monday, I graduate to a 4 wheel walker and finally will walk with a cane. I have already chosen a magnificent cane made of local olive wood. (see below)

Yes. I am given pain killers. But just paracetamol and a pill called Lamaline which contains codeine as well. I don't want heavy pain killers. They make me hallucinate. I would rather deal with acute pain than watch my grandmother fly overhead at ceiling level on the back of a giraffe. Funny part is the codeine makes me sleepy. As soon as I am back in bed after PT, I sit up tall and open my computer. Then, I almost immediately, nod out. Like a junkie. I disappear for a few seconds and see double. Inevitably I surrender and take a short nap. My life now is like a cat's. Ambulation peppered with brief snoozes. This intense drowsiness put me off at first. But I have learned to enjoy these swoons into sleep. I even made a dream in one siesta and it re-appeared and carried on in another hours later - like a TV series.

Anyway that's my news. I haven't written much for you in a long time. Has to do with a traumatic event (not my accident) which caused me to have what my mother called "a case of nerves". I was shaky and insomniac for a few days. Some very nasty people did me an inexcusable wrong. I will write more about that when it is less fresh and not so stressful to recount. Meanwhile, my lawyer is dealing with it. I'll keep you posted.

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Author Suzanne White

About Suzanne White

Suzanne White is the High Priestess of Chinese and Western Astrology. She's American and has lived in France for 50 years. She spends some months in America every year on house swaps. Suzanne says: One day I'm a rip-roaring Yankee and the next day I'm an dainty, elegant Parisienne My totally bi-lingual life is a kind of "managed schizophrenia". It's fun. I live for fun. I will probably die of it too.