If I Don’t Laugh, I’ll Scream

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.


7 thoughts on “If I Don’t Laugh, I’ll Scream

  1. I feel you pain, girl! When I had my first hip surgery, Coach left me at home one day when I was on crutches and I had no way to carry a glass of water or to carry a plate of food. I finally got a fork and stood in the open refrigerator door and just ate whatever I could. I drank from the milk carton and never told him about it. Everytime I saw him pour a glass of milk I just smiled and thought about how upset he would be if he knew. You just have to find a little humor or you will go nuts. I’m sending you lots of hugs and hope you are on the mend. Take care!
    I knew you would understand. I have found a way around everything and I won’t tell Coach about the milk carton! I must be on the mend coz I’m getting surly and I’m too old for PMS. LOL hugs back atcha!

  2. I can’t even imagine what this has done to your daily life, but I’m glad you can find moments that make you laugh or at least smile. Hang in there, girlfriend. It will all be over soon, although I’m sure not soon enough.
    It is getting better and I know you guys are sick to death of my whining & writing about it. But sharing some of the more difficult aspects of this has been helpful and so I appreciate ya’ll hangin’ in there w/me and coaching me along. I promise to work hard on getting out of my funk.

  3. Just wanted to check in with you…Last week I asked your husband how you were doing. Hope to see you soon…you are missed!

  4. We just had someone in our office have an incident with the same result happen on a bowling alley floor…she did not look good when she TRIED to come into work. She left quickly!
    I feel for her, it’s not fun and I wish her a full and speedy recovery.

  5. you might laugh…but it won’t be for a while!
    One of these days…in the meantime I’ll just have to settle for the occasional giggle as I try out my newest skills, like using my right hand again. Yesterday I put on some makeup using my right hand and it didn’t turn out too bad. However, I’ll probably never play the piano again. But then I never played it to begin with so who cares?

  6. hi crony,
    it’s so true when they say, “when you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything”.

    soon this will come to pass.
    yeah, I know, I just want it NOW. I’m actually going to allow Devoted Spouse to accompany me as I try and shuffle around the block this afternoon now that the ice and snow are gone and it’s going to be up in the 50’s today. I’ll still have the arm wrapped up so I should elicit plenty of pitiful looks from the neighborhood biddies peeking out behind their curtains!

  7. You are just in the middle ground of healing and it is getting old fast. Been there – done that and it sucks. The weeks of healing all seem a month long and you wonder if you will ever be back to “normal” whatever that is. I know sometimes it is hard to hang in there. Sometimes you just have to cry about it before you can laugh about it again. You are entitled.
    Silly me thought this was going to be no big deal – instead I got a helluva bumpy ride! Well, at least I get to spend quality time w/Devoted Spouse, and EmmaLou and I sure am catching up on my reading.

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