Most people are familiar with the temporary limitations imposed by illness; Perhaps the flu causes us to be weak and easily fatigued or a broken bone causes us to modify our activities until the bone is healed. I have to admit that this injury continually smacks me in the face with new limitations, new realizations that it was not just the bone but the muscle and it is screwed up but good.
Today I went to perform a monthly chore, buying feed for the chickens. Normally I go to my favorite little store, Carson’s, and they haul the bag out of the storage room and put it in the back of the truck for me. I get home, throw it across my shoulder, carry it across the yard, open it and dump it into the can. Relatively simple.
Well, not today. Carson’s is closed on Sundays and this required I go to Tractor Supply. They only had one person on duty, it seemed, and they were behind the counter with a long line of people waiting. So I gamely got my cart and pushed it down to the poultry feed aisle and selected the Layena Pellets. Good. Yes. Now, how do I get that in the cart? I can’t. Of course. So, I’ll put it on the bottom level. How hard can it be? 5 minutes later….It was on enough that it was not dragging on the floor. Much. The hardest part was that there was no brake on the cart so that it kept moving when I tried to umph the bag up. Grrr.
Okay. That wasn’t so bad. Check out, wheel the thing out to the car. Now how am I going to get that thing up into the truck which is an easy two and a half feet off the ground? Heave bag onto ground. Boost bag onto running board which suddenly went from being an accessory I dislike to a really helpful tool. Heave up onto floorboard of back seat and shove in. Pant profusely and get behind the wheel.
Wow. That was tough. But it’s done. Now I get to drive home and have a well deserved swig of the soda that I bought while I was in the store. Take cap off before I start car, get going, stretch over with left hand and grab bottle. Good so far. Raise bottle with left hand to mouth…. Let’s try that again….Raise bottle…..Stupid, stupid arm!!!! This should be a physical therapy exercise!!! Why don’t they prepare you for this? Stretch, stretch, okay, I got a sip but I would never be able to drink the whole bottle using my left arm to raise it.
By the time I got home I had resigned myself to the fact that this was going to be a day for accepting help. My husband came out when I got home and he carried the bag into the chicken yard and emptied it out into the can. I think I could have done it with the wheelbarrow and patience. Time will tell.
While the arm feels 75% better, it works about 50% better and that’s really not enough. I haven’t been challenging it enough to even see all the ways in which it is limited, obviously. I know I’ll never change a ceiling light bulb again; There are too many parts of the activity which require the reaching up of both arms above the head. It is ridiculous that at 54 I am restricted from such basic activities.
But there you have it. It is what it is. I’ll suck it up and keep going and look up ways to modify how I do some things so that I can continue to do them even with the limitations. I know that I still have another six weeks of therapy and much of this may be a moot point by then. (Although my surgeon himself was the one who told me I will never have full over head motion.)
So, today may have been a rude awakening, but at least I’m awake now.
And that’s a good thing.