Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cold-Shouldering The Discomfort!

It is amazing how confident we are that nothing will ever happen to us. Confident to the point of being arrogant. We are smug in our belief that things happen only to others.

It all began when I stepped out into the balcony three weeks ago. Now, this is a small balcony that I use to hang my laundry everyday. So it is a familiar territory. But that day, it had rained for a short while just before the washing machine played the usual tune announcing the completion of the spin cycle. Determined to finish the chore of hanging the washed clothes, I went to the balcony with my basket. Looking at the wet floor outside, I did something that I never do. I took off my slippers and went about finishing my task barefoot.

It took one uncontrolled step on the wet surface to bring me down. I fell flat on my stomach, my left shoulder bearing most of my weight. My glasses flew away to one corner. The parapet wall was too far to hold onto it for support. Luckily there was help at home. But even with help, I could not bring myself to move for about ten minutes. Tears rolled down my face as I lay there. Shocked and dumbfounded, I was hurt as much by the fall as by the incredulity of having fallen, having slipped.

Then began the guessing game: will it be a fracture or won't it? Of course we hoped not and continued to believe so till the CT scan report was positive, confirming a fracture in the left shoulder. Before the report came, we looked for obvious signs. There was pain, but no swelling. An icepack made hastily by shoving ice cubes in a plastic bag was pressed into action. Slowly it dawned on me that I could not lift my left hand behind my head to tie my hair in a clip as I normally do.

The doctor made sure that I don't do what I could not do anyway, namely use the shoulder joint. For more than the past three weeks, my arm is tied in a sling pouch, rendering it inactive. The men in the house have risen to the occasion, "manning" the kitchen and doing sundry chores around the house. They are standing shoulder to shoulder with me in helping me cope with the situation. Sometimes they have to put their shoulders to the wheel, but they have demonstrated that they have broad shoulders. I am waiting to take the weight of these additional responsibilities off their shoulders, but for that to happen, my shoulder has to come back to normalcy. For now, opening a water bottle or a sugar or coffee tin is a challenge. Simple tasks that I performed daily look formidable.

But as they say, this too shall pass. We are not getting any younger and I should remember to look over my shoulder while moving around. The gift of having a healthy body has been underlined afresh in my mind. I look forward to having a nice shower and smelling the shampoo in my hair. We take these small pleasures too much for granted! In the mean time, I am trying my best to give the cold shoulder to all my discomfort.

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