January 14, 2010


At the end of fall semester, I hurt my right arm. I was carrying a bunch of stuff, including a bag filled with 60 student portfolios, and I twisted my arm in a weird way. I shrugged off the injury, figuring the arm would heal on its own. But when it was still hurting a few weeks later, I went to the doctor’s office to make sure the pain was muscular and not something more serious.

Our family doctor is about my age, a local like me, and we’ve known each other for years. We talked about my kids and his, while he poked and prodded my arm, asking, “Does this hurt? How about this?” On this visit, I had all my clothes on, which of course was unusual. It was nice to be able to chat fully dressed for a change, even if he was yanking and twisting my arm the whole time.

Finally, he said, “Yeah, I think it’s the muscle. It’ll heal.”

“Why is it taking so long?”

"When does it hurt?”

I stopped to think. “When I carry logs in for the fireplace, when I shovel snow, when I carry a box of books, when I move a stockpot of soup from the stove to the counter, when I move the cat litterboxes to sweep underneath, when I —”

“You haven’t rested it AT ALL,” he said. “Stop doing all those things.”

So I’ve been trying not to lift anything with my right arm. Instead, I yell for one of my teenagers or my husband if he’s home. It drives me nuts to keep asking for help; I am very much the kind of person who just prefers to do stuff myself.

Shaggy Hair Boy is the most obliging of my sons, and he’s been a great help, but he cannot resist a double entendre. “What’s that? You need some wood?”

I’ll be happy when my arm heals, and I can carry the firewood in myself.


Kim Reed said...

Probably the hardest part of being in my third trimester for me has been having to ask people for help, especially lifting and carrying heavy things. I didn't realize how independent I am until I had to ask for help with so many little tasks! Hope your arm heals up quick and I'm glad you have help when you need it.

heidi said...

feel better soon!

dp said...

How funny, you are following in my foot steps... I hurt my elbow last fall, and I haul fruit and groceries to school each day for kids who don't have snacks, or lunch, plus my school bags, lunch, work out clothes etc. I just couldn't make two trips to the car, when I only had to walk like 100 yards to the door.. My elbow just got worse and I really couldn't ask people to go buy 40 bananas, 10lbs of apples each day... so I trudged on... hurting... until... da ta ta ta.... I got that stupid H1N1 flu... and I lay in bed for 10 days.. not even lifting my own dinner plate... and once I got back to school, and back to normal.. I realized.. my elbow was better... yipee... soooo... all you need is that damn flu back, and you can fix your elbow.
PS.. I still haul bananas, apples and oranges to school each day.. but I am way more careful how I carry them.. and I do ask for help now.
sorry for being so long winded!

Seeking Solace said...

Hope you feel better soon!

Lomagirl said...

"That's what SHE said." (as a response to your son).
Last year I had sciatic nerve issues and a back problem. I'm finally back to lifting things- very carefully- but still avoid certain things. I hate not being able to do everything myself. The worst was that I had to quit picking up my 3-year-old son.

liz said...

Ans: We need to get FIRED UP!

YourFireAnt said...

So you must be resting from blogging too.