When in life have I ever shouted out in pain….again and again, with an open-mouth grimace to go along?
NEVER! is when! I’m quite positive that I have been very ladylike in the rare instances when I have been visited by that gruesome phenomenon. In fact, just six weeks ago, when I dislocated my right shoulder and the ER doctor diagnosed it as tendonitis and sent me home without fixing it, I bore up silently until my afternoon appointment with an orthopedic doctor, expecting a magical steroid shot; through his announcement that I now needed surgery (in a week! What a waiting line!); through a second ER visit to set the dangling appendage; through the past month’s (only five months to go) recovery with an arm brace and major inconvenience plus pill-popping pain.
Yes. A lady, stoic and cheerful, though sleeping more than ever in my own personal attempt to let my body heal.
After all, I have given birth twice in the natural way with no anesthesia. I have hobbled around Romania…in flip-flops and a backpack, in my sixties with a broken little toe. Did the same thing just this year in Brazil when a revolving glass door crushed a different toe on the same foot. Broken toes don’t splint too well, but it healed just fine, albeit a little shorter than before.
Yep! This is one tough Mama here! But this morning, probably while squeezing out my toothpaste, I, apparently, met my waterloo. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome seems to have set into my wrist and the entire palm side of my good left hand. Now, my bum right hand is, by comparison, my Good Hand! Things started gradually but now, I’m screaming. A lot! I mean, really, really unladylike yowls whenever I even move it slightly.
What am I to do? I live alone in a house with stubborn patio doors….where you have to twist your wrist and pull really hard because the tracks need cleaning….(I actually have some of those suction handles…in the shed….better dig them out); where keys need turning and things need picking up and putting down and fridge doors need opening. Last night, I turned up at my neighbor’s door, so they could cut my steak for me!!!
Two weeks ago when I returned home in a sling, suitcases still needed hauling, hoisting, unpacking, though said neighbors, Walt & Dottie Williams, have rescued me at every turn. Thank God for angels like them and I’ll sure miss them when they go north for the season next week. I’ve put off my doctor’s visit until I can shift gears and turn the ignition key. Forget that now…I can’t even steer! For fourteen days, this scrawny little left arm has done the work of two and now she’s DONE…for a good long time, it feels like. Today is the equivalent of a pink slip!
Looking back over the year just past, I don’t know when I’ve really rested. The six months after the death of my son, Randy, were crazy busy; and the most recent six months were jammed with backpacking and hosteling again, out on the world trail….this time, throughout South America. I did very well, actually, and called that a rest after eight years of caretaking during Randy’s decline. I convinced myself that I was as young as my fellow dorm room hostellers…and they treated me as such.
“When did I get so old? I’m only seventy-four, for goodness sakes!”
Oops! Now, my right hand is getting carpel feelings along its outer palm! Help! Yelp! So, here stand I; my two broken wings pulled protectively up to my chest; singing plaintively and screaming now and then:
“THE OLD GREY TURKEY, SHE AIN’T WHAT SHE USED TO BE….MANY LONG YEARS AGO….”
Update: Next day – Now, this is why you have to do your writing while the pain is upon you…or you’ll lose your chance. I’m much better today. Still twingey and needing to be protective….but at the same time, capable of typing again…. Maybe it’s not carpal – yet? Maybe it’s just plain old finger fatigue?
Even my operated-on arm has risen to the occasion and is feeling much more limber…a little bit like the toddler who has to grow up rapidly when the newborn comes on the scene.
We’re still going to sleep a lot and hold off on the deep-cleaning urges, but just possibly, we’re not out of the game yet! Stay tuned!
Next Day: Nurse Dottie tells me it must have been a “Stinger,” which many athletes, particularly baseball players, get. That’s when a nerve gets temporarily pinched but will relax fairly quickly with proper care, such as immobilizing and ice-packing, which I did. It feels like a hit on the funny bone all over the affected part. Whoosh! Glad that’s gone! My right shoulder is still acting all grown up and not reverting back to toddlerhood, so that I hardly notice it and don’t take any pain meds now. That was almost worth the agony, right there!