luxer (loox-ay) verb
: to dislocate
luxer l'épaule = to dislocate one's shoulder
avoir l'épaule luxée = to have a dislocated shoulder
Samedi matin, j'ai fait un faux mouvement et je me suis luxé l'épaule. Saturday morning, after an awkward movement, I dislocated my shoulder.
A Day in a French Life...
by Kristin Espinasse
In the emergency room parking lot there were people picking cherries! This, I decided, was a good sign--and not at all the atmosphere of panic that I had imagined. If all went well, we, too, would be picking cherries before long....
I drove up to the ER entrance, turned off the engine, and hurried around the car to open the passenger door, unbuckle my husband's seat belt, and help him out of the vehicle.
"Amène mon sac et mon portable,"* Jean-Marc instructed, before making his way, painstakingly, to the building.
By the time I had parked the car and entered the ER Jean-Marc was nowhere in sight, but had already been whisked away, into the entrails of l'hôpital.* The prompt secours,* I realized, was due to his injury: une luxation de l'épaule*; this, due to a faux mouvement* (an elbow-turned-all-arm jerk in response hitting his funny bone.* Talk about a freak accident!
The last time he ended up in the ER (after he slipped at the beach in a similar freak accident) he was, surprisingly, admitted before the other accidentés*: those arm-clutching, anguished-faced, crying, and hiccuping patients that waited their turn for treatment. That's when I learned that a dislocated shoulder takes priority over, say, a feverish and howling baby or drunkenness (and the bobos* that ensue...).
On this, our most recent visit to the ER, I was as prepared as usual, c'est-à-dire,* still scrambling for paperwork after the receptionist requested "La Carte d'Identité et Carte Vitale,* s'il vous plaît". Rummaging through my husband's briefcase, I found his Carte Electorale.*
"Will this do... for now?" I asked, waving the card. The receptionist looked doubtful, but collected the voting card in order to copy down the holder's name.
"How about this?" I asked, handing over Jean-Marc's Carte Nationale de Donneur de Sang Bénévole".* When the receptionist shook her head, I flipped over the blood-donor card and offered:
"0+. He is 0 plus... in case that helps!" The receptionist once again offered a doubtful look, which got me wondering what my own blood type was. Never mind, back to rooting through the briefcase.
This time I found a Carte Fidélité* from our local pizzeria, Léo Pizza, and noticed that we were due for a free pie sometime soon. Perhaps tonight, come to think of it! We might need one; after all, who knows how long this ER wait will be? I shoved the card into my pocket and continued my search.
"Et voilà! ça y est. Trouvées!"* I announced, triumphantly handing over both the pink driver's license and the green insurance card.
"Merci," the receptionist replied, before asking me to patienter* in the salle d'attente.*
I greeted the others in the waiting room, "Bonjour Messieurs-Dames"*. There was a family of five, including a young couple, their toddler, and the grandparents. A man in sweats sat alone, crutches at his side. Another large family, the silent women wearing headscarves and long satin jackets, over long pants, sat facing me. I wasn't sure whether to exchange eye contact or not, out of respect for customs. That's when my husband's iPhone rang and, pushing every "button" imaginable, I couldn't manage to answer it. I looked over at the women wearing headscarves, who had trouble hiding their amusement at my predicament. A little comic relief seemed to be a welcome change.
One very sad looking woman was called into the ER room and I wondered whether she was on her way to see her own husband, or perhaps a child... I hoped she would return with a relieved look on her face.
An hour passed and the sad women did not return but two other women, dressed in blue uniforms, came out only to disappear into another room. One of them had hair the same color as her uniform and, for some reason, this lightened my mood. To me, any connection between Smurf blue hair and bad news was impossible or, rather, a wearer of Smurf blue hair would not be a deliverer of bad news. Now if only those women would return before my mind continued with its off-the-wall, or simply anxious, associations.
Another hour passed. I looked out the great windows to the ER parking lot, and those cherry trees, and wondered whether I might do as the others: pick berries! What's the use of waiting and worrying?
Just then, someone called my name. "Madame Espinasse? Vous pouvez venir." I followed the voice into the back room where my husband was en route, via stretcher, to a resting room. He was torso nu* save for an elastic upper-body brace.
"Il a le sourire maintenant,"* the doctor said and I flashed the same--along with a few twinkling eyes of encouragement--back to my husband.
"Il paraît que ça fait très mal," I said to the doctor, not knowing what else to say, besides merci beaucoup.
"Oh, oui!" she confirmed, showing me the X-rays, which made me shudder. So that's what a dislocated shoulder looks like?
"Just how did you get it back in place?" I questioned.
"It took five of us to do so!" the doctor answered, admitting that she was not the only one to take credit.
Back in the ER parking lot, I pointed out to Jean-Marc that the cherry trees were ripe for picking. "These are not cherry trees," my husband corrected, his speech a bit slow (was it the morphine?). "Ce sont des mûriers."*
What a pleasure, after all, to discover les mûriers!--or to identify them, at least. I may not have known the difference between a cherry and a mulberry tree, but quiz me on blood types... group A, group B, AB and O... and I can now tell you which one belongs to my on-the-mend fellow.
Corrections, comments--and stories of your own--always welcome and appreciated. Merci!
Note: no glossary today... I ran out of time due to this edition's deadline! Please look up the terms (below) and note them down, here. Many thanks for your help!
Terms to look up & share:
Amène mon sac et mon portable
une luxation de l'épaule
funny bone (in French)
Et voilà! ça y est. Trouvées
Carte Nationale de Donneur de Sang Bénévole
il a le sourire maintenant
Please report any misspelled or missing words. Thanks so much!
Chambre de luxe for a luxated shoulder!
Would you like to send Jean-Marc a get well message? Thanks for doing so, here!
Three Random Words:
la verrerie = glass factory, glass-making shop; glassware
une secousse = jolt, bump (train, car), jerk; shock
poupard / pouparde = chubby-cheeked => poupard (noun) = chubby baby
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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety