Sunday, June 16, 2024

Stroup: Ya Gotta Hand It To Me!

In general I try to write about topics that put a smile on my face and hopefully have the same effect on you as you peruse the page. Unfortunately, my most recent experience was/is nothing to warrant even the slightest grin. And I’m afraid it’s going to be weeks and weeks before it will…much to my chagrin.

It all began with a few bothersome aches in my right shoulder. Slowly it began to hurt all the time. I couldn’t use that right arm to do much of anything. But when it finally got to the point where I was unable to lift my arm above my head I knew I had much to dread (but I sure didn’t know how much)!

I’d been to an orthopedic surgeon who told me in no uncertain terms that I had a torn rotator cuff and was on the road to needing surgery (that’s such an ugly word). This all went down shortly before Thanksgiving. Aware that this wasn’t an ideal time to be tied up with a broken wing I pleaded with the doc to get me through the holidays before doing his thing. Through a series of injections I was able to put off going under the knife but not without an abundance of strife.

So the first of February I took a deep breath and gave the doc the go-ahead. During the operation they do something to the surgical site known as a nerve block. This is supposed to last two days or so and totally numb the shoulder and arm. It worked for me for half a day during which time my hand went astray. The only way I could keep track of it was because it was gray and swollen more than a bit. I sure couldn’t feel it or my elbow or shoulder or part of my neck. What the heck?!!!

What was I thinking when I signed up for this trip? Certainly not about what the medical industry calls “discomfort.” Or another word they use instead of pain is “sore.” I definitely hadn’t considered the limitations on movement I’d have to bear. Call me clueless because I was/am so unaware of all the things I use my right hand for. I’ve compiled a partial list of stuff I can’t conquer. And after 8 looong weeks of this it’s driving me bonkers!

Every day there’s a new thing out there just waiting to hinder my life in the worse way. So just for fun, or not, you might like to try any of the following although I can’t imagine why. Remember you are wearing a sling that prevents any movement/use of your arm including your hand. And reaching for anything is totally banned.

Pull up pants, button or snap them; Pull down pants unbutton or unsnap them; Time to use the Charmin (do be careful); Put on socks and or shoes; Button a blouse or shirt; Open a door by turning or pulling the handle; Close a door by pushing or pulling on it; Open a pickle jar or any other jar with a screw on lid; Cut your meat; Scratch your back; Make the bed; Blow your nose; Put on deodorant; Write; Chase peas or corn around on your plate; Get your fork/spoon into your mouth; Type (Yipes); Brush your teeth; Floss; Use a scissor; Clap your hands (hah!); Take a shower; Wash your hair; Get dressed; Ladies, hook your bra.

This list is just a starter kit of all the things for which I wish. My sainted hubby has been a champ helping with all the things I can’t. The physical therapy we do at home is a daily event that makes me groan. It’s twice a day and looks simple on paper but put into play causes me to whimper…OMG it hurts.

So to put my pity party to rest…
Oh, poor Cindy. There, there! It’s all about you.
You’re the only one this has ever happened to!”

C. Stroup
C. Stroup
Cindy Stroup is a Double Oak resident and has been contributing to The Cross Timbers Gazette for over 30 years. Read her column each month in The Cross Timbers Gazette newspaper.

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