ahead of shoulder joint surgery, you bustle about, secure in your project planning moxie. going to have the use of just one arm for six weeks? okay you think, get ahead on some things—start with short fingernails and toenails, check. sweep the floors, check. get laundry all caught up, check. select a roomy cardigan to go over an arm in a sling, set up an easy chair as a temporary sleeping spot, as everyone says you’ll want. elastic pajama bottoms—drawstring isn’t going to work, requiring, as it does, two hands. lay in supplies, from dry shampoo to meals into the freezer. and most important of all, be nice to the fella who is going to get your shirt and shoes on, cut up your supper, and get you in and out of your sling for your few passive exercises. oh, and go for what wasn’t anticipated, like one- handed dental floss gizmos.
then, like a sign that all will not be controllable, a couple of days before the surgery, the special-size cabinet microwave goes out. kaput. Dear husband handles it. the surgery goes well, and you come home the second day, doped with codeine for the pain of all the grinding, cutting, and sewing.
within days you have stumbled on the stairs, ouch, and touched a scalding water kettle to your slung hand, not once but twice. no way would your hand normally be in front of your belly while you hoist a kettle, but there it is, tied into place.
you get hip to the danger of carrying anything up or down stairs, because of course the hand you have for carrying needs to be on the handrail instead.
just as you graduate from nights in the downstairs recliner to your upstairs bed, the downstairs sitting room loses its useability anyway—the ceiling can lights go dark. Turns out you did this to yourself when in another of your green initiatives, you replaced the lamps with LED. the existing dimmer worked for months, then chose this time to decide it really wasn’t compatible.
while you and the fella step through an electrical lesson at Hardware Sales in installing a compatible dimmer, other problems await. the almost new weed whackery wand quits, and requires a trip to burlington. the circulating ice water device likewise doesn’t serve the shoulder (seemed a poor imitation of the kind we heard recommended). other glitches shall remain nameless in the interests of preserving dignity.
but you find you are going for lovely forest walks, including a first-ever sighting of a ring-necked duck on Geneva pond. seemingly mis-named, but with striking white markings ringing its bill, and high-crowned iridescent black head, it was captivating.
no longer in need of anything stronger than acetaminophen, you are now a third of the way with the sling, and ready for the next two weeks.