Being injured changes your daily routine. Gone are the many moments formerly taken for granted…moments like getting in the car to go shopping or taking the dog for a walk. Having my freedom of movement severely restricted has seriously slowed me down. For at least another month, maybe more, I can’t just hop in my car and go wherever I like. I can’t take my dog for a walk. I can’t do the laundry (darn, and I was so looking forward to the next load of whites). I can’t do my schoolwork. My daily routine has been turned upside down with the most mundane task turned into a chore of herculean proportions. Something as simple as brushing my teeth became about as easy for me to accomplish as asking my trusted canine companion, EmmaLou to brush her own teeth. In other words, it just wasn’t going to happen — there were days I was doing good to get the top off the toothpaste — what a pitiful accomplishment and yet there I was grinning into the mirror over the wash basin because I had gotten the top off the tube. And the day I actually got the toothpaste onto the toothbrush – well, I was ready to jump for joy.
I used to laugh at the commercials for the medically impaired — you know the ones…the chair that the lady sits in and the chair helps lift her to her feet? The tub you open a little door to and walk in? The “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” device? Suddenly when this stuff happens to you it isn’t so funny any more. I was telling my friend how difficult it was to simply go to the bathroom and she couldn’t understand what the big deal was — until I explained how I had hurt the back muscles that allow you to sit up or sit down. I had one arm that was useless and I couldn’t get back up once I got down to begin with. Thank goodness the toilet paper dispenser was on the same side as my good arm or I might still be in that bathroom trying to figure it out. It was such a horrid experience I made myself laugh at how silly I must look because in truth it was such a horribly helpless feeling to struggle so hard with such a basic task that I knew if I didn’t make fun of myself and laugh I would fall into a terrible depression and just give up. And I don’t give up. Ever.
Will I look back on this and laugh? I don’t know – although the day it happened, when the paramedics arrived I must have looked comical with my arm in the sling my husband lovingly fashioned out of a picnic tablecloth.
It’s just a little too soon to guffaw I think. Let me get the full feeling back in my right hand first. Let me stop having to sleep on the couch with my arm immobilized so I don’t flail around. Let me get over my hurt feelings about who hasn’t called me or cared about me when I needed it. Then we’ll think about how funny this has been. I know the humor is in there.