Well, that was unexpected

I have not posted on this blog for a while and want to give my 2-3 loyal readers an explanation. For those pessimists among you, my previous post might have been an indication of the disaster to come – as Nelly Furtado sings, “all good things come to an end”. However, I do not like to be negative, and now that I am back on my feet, I am ready to share my life with you once again!

Ironically, my medical problems had nothing to do with the pandemic taking place around me. Or maybe everything. Because after spending almost a year living a very sedentary lifestyle, my back was not happy with all the traveling, hiking, almost daily sports, and long nights I was subjecting it to. In the beginning I thought the cause was bad sleep, but after increasing pain over a few weeks led to a weekend not being able to move without being in extreme pain, and was followed by visits to the student health center and a doctor, and finally to an MRI, the problem was evident. The diagnosis: A partially (thank goodness!) slipped disk in my lower back. The prescription: No sports, including bike rides, until the summer, lots of bed rest for the first few weeks and maybe months, a back brace, frequent physical therapy, and initially lots of painkillers.

Now having completed some aspects the regime (I am still in physical therapy but my pain has been greatly reduced and I no longer need medication or the brace), I am feeling much better and have been attempting to once again increase my physical activity. I am saddened that I was “kicked out” of the tennis class I had just started when all this began, but eager to continue to practice once I get the go-ahead. I am also grateful for this unique chance to get to know the French healthcare system from the inside.

Coming off of my final break for this school year, I am joyful to enjoy the warm weather and the Easter season. Sadly, I have not been able to enjoy much outside of Lyon as new restrictions limited personal activity to a 10km radius in addition to the curfew already in place. I am now awaiting the lifting of the former next week and perhaps I will be able to get one more trip under my belt before leaving France (much to my disappointment) at the end of June.

One of the best days of these last two months was our trip to the lake and park Miribel, located within the legal 10km radius from my residence. My friends and I got to spend the whole day having a barbecue, playing lawn games, and swimming in the lake – it was cold but warmer than the Mediterranean in February. Look for the mountain line in the background!

I was also able to visit some friends in Grenoble, France, right before the new restrictions were enacted. Although I spent a good part of that weekend as an invalid, I had company, as one of my friends had broken an ankle, and still made it up to the famous Bastille for some great pictures using the “eggs”. I took the opportunity to improve my photography skills:

I took some walks through the city (along the Rhône) ...

... and the countryside (a gentle back-friendly hike up the Mont d'Or northwest of Lyon).

Do you see the skyline?

Finally, enjoy these pictures of me just chilling around town.

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