Thursday, March 17, 2016

“Too old to scold”

Just 'cause I liked it

    THE PORCH – The pollen is back and there’s not a thing we can do about it, so just dust off a place to sit and join the group. Don’t look at me, I was hoping we’d be on the roof, too, but Kay threatened to tell the doctor.

    This is the last time I’m bringing up the biceps injury, okay? About three weeks ago the doc went inside my arm, found my torn tendon and then refastened it somewhere around my elbow. Hours later, I left the hospital with some ace bandages wrapped around a brace and a bunch of paperwork.

    Somewhere in the paperwork was a sheet or four that explained the do’s and don’ts of injured arm usage. Instruction reading is not my strong point. I assumed the “arm rules” were made up just to cover actions that are beyond a reasonable doubt. I’m fairly sure that each box of paperclips has a warning label that reads “Do not swallow, or pull the wire apart and stick the sharp part in your eye.”

    During my post-op visit to the doctor, I walked in not wearing my brace or sling. You’d think I was shirtless with tassels. That guy let me have it. – “Didn’t I tell you to keep your arm stationary, to wear the brace, keep gauze on the wounds? If you trip or grab something in a reflex motion this thing could tear again.” He obviously got no pleasure in the thought of putting me or himself through that again. He wasn’t yelling, but I’m pretty sure he would’ve sent me to the principal’s office had they had one.

Then to make a point, he told me some of the intricacies of the operation. He had to reach into one of the two incisions with his hand, and venture up my muscle to locate the torn tendon… all without nicking an artery or nerve or my spleen; and then tug the torn tendon back to the elbow where it belonged, I was this close to throwing up during the telling. I felt a bond with the man after that. How could I not?

    During most of the scolding I kept nudging my head toward Kay. Kay is the one responsible for things that come with instructions. She should’ve looked after me better. I coulda been a contender… instead of what I am, a 66 year old man getting scolded by his doctor. (See: On the Waterfront starring Marlon Brando.)

    So, as you can see, my arm is neatly packaged and all is right with the world. There is something to be said about having to favor my right arm. There’s nothing really big I can do. My injury was caused while helping a guy with a couch. That’s never happening again. I can’t move people anymore. Forever. I thought I made that point clear when I sold my pickup. And, I can’t mow the lawn, reach for my handkerchief, give directions, shake hands, open a jar, or play the drums on the tabletop while reading the paper. I can’t even fold the paper right. – “Kay, I’m ready for page 3.” 

Worst of all, I had to learn to operate the remote with my left hand. I can hold it with my right hand, but I can’t point it. I could be opening the neighbor’s garage door for all I know. Oh, and all my coffee cups have the handles on the wrong side. – Okay, that was just stupid.

Fortunately, I’ll likely be well enough to handle all the important stuff that’s coming up this month. Daylight Savings Time starts next Sunday. I always hate springing forward… even more so before I got retired. I always had to get up an hour earlier to go to school. The first morning of Daylight ST made first period class pretty much uneventful. – “Does anyone remember what I was talking about? Anybody?”

I don’t worry about that anymore, but I do have to change all the clocks in the house. We haven’t invested in any of the clocks that have grasped the concept of springing forward and falling back. I have to reset everything. It’s in our household bylaws. – “Mark resets the clocks, gets the cars inspected and oil changed.” -- There are no tradeoffs on these jobs. It’s just one of those battles I choose not to fight.

This year Spring hits the first Sunday after Daylight Savings Time. It’s weird because it falls on the 20th. It usually falls on the 21st. I believe once it fell on September 3rd, but that was in North Korea. (Ba dum dum) I’m thinking Leap Year caused Spring to go a day earlier this year. Seasons don’t understand what’s going on, they just do what they do.

The last Sunday in March is Easter. If I’m not careful I’ll end up involved in the giant Easter Egg grab. Plastic eggs are tossed all over a field, and kids step on ‘em or trip over ‘em on their way to the eggs that are further ahead. And, these are the people who are going to be in charge of the government one of these days.

By April, my bowling coach will probably-- What? Oh, yes, we’re out of time. You guys go ahead, I’m going to wait here for Kay to come out and check on me. She’s become rather vigilant since the doctor got after me. Apparently, we’re never too old to scold. Hey, the man almost made me cry. – Next time.


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