|The Rambouillet forest which is the view from my room.|
Did you think I had forsaken you? Trust me, it’s nothing like that. That will never happen. Let me explain. . .
On June 2, I checked into a clinic in Paris to have my knee replaced the procedure turned out to be more complicated than expected. It’s a long story, beginning with an accident many, many years ago and the last few years of pain and postponement. My procrastinating nature took me right to the brink until I realized I was ruining the quality of my life by not having the operation.
Now, that part is behind me and last Friday I was moved into a rehabilitation facility for my physical therapy. In other words, for the first time in the almost three decades that I’ve lived in France, I’ve entered into the health system. In a word, it’s extraordinary.
I’ve been exceptionally lucky not to have needed to be hospitalized. Over the next few days I’ll tell you more about “the system” in the hope that you find it as interesting as I have from a cultural point of view.
While I was in the clinic, surrounded as always by my notebooks, I made a list of habits that were part of the protocol that I would like to continue forever. Once out of the controlled conditions of the clinic and rehab center I hope I’ll have the discipline to maintain my good intentions.
You’ll see that we’re quite familiar with most of them, but to have them imposed upon you completely changes perceptions.
Here then are a few of my observations and resolutions:
|An entrée can be as simple as this. The time it takes is worth the payoff|
1.) Actually seeing the serving sizes for each meal confirmed how much I was eating. After a few days one realizes that not much is plenty.
2.) Both lunch and dinner are always preceded by a small entrée (appetizer). Normally I make an entrée at home, at least for dinner. Now I plan on being obsessive about them. They are little appetite control miracles.
|My dessert tonight. At lunch I had pineapple, yesterday evening sliced strawberries, the day before melon. In each case, just enough to finish off with something sweet.|
3.) Meals also always include a dessert, normally a fruit or a yogurt or both. Once a week the dessert is something sumptuous like mousse au chocolatfor example, but again not more than the equivalent of three tablespoons.
4.) I realized I had no upper body strength. That will never happen again. The minute I get out of here, I’m back to full-time exercising.
5.) No dairy products are low-fat and each salad is dressed lightly, but sufficiently.
|The daily must. I was told to drink up.|
6.) In the clinic a glass and one-and-a-half litre bottle of water was placed by my bed. I was instructed to drink it. In the rehab center I have a covered glass pitcher that is filled in the morning and re-filled three times throughout the day.
|My new “lights out” bedtime — I hope. . .|
As many of you know, going to bed at a reasonable hour and rising early helps one accomplish soooo much more in a day. I don’t know whether I’ll drag myself out of bed between six and seven — it’s not like I have a job — but maybe eight. I tend to turn out my lights long after one in the morning.
Ed. Note: Another reason for my absence in this space has been a series of Internet problems. Very frustrating. Everything seems to be up and running as of today, including me — up, but not yet running.