Tonight marks two weeks since it all went down, and by down I mean me. It wasn’t pretty, there was never a shot at that, but it did prove something: I am not a true attention whore. I did the whole thing, curtain to curtain, without an audience.
To bring us up to speed since everything slows to a crawl from there, I stepped onto our 4th-floor balcony in the dark, unaware that the light layer of snow I saw was camouflaging a sheet of ice, and ended up doing a fairly incredible amount of damage in record time. Caught a toe on the threshold, crashed onto a heavy metal patio chair with my shoulder, bounced onto the chair arm and introduced it to my rib cage, did a belly-flop onto the snow/ice/concrete, slid to the railing and knocked over a clay pot with my mouth. It had to have been a show worth paying to see.
Making short work of a long, sad, boring tale, let’s just say that I sustained a nasty break to the top of my left humerus where it cradles the ball portion of the joint — it’s shattered into little pieces; rib #7 is cracked; mouth split open, top and bottom; and I’m peppered with various bruises and abrasions. Could have been worse — I didn’t break teeth or jaw, and my glasses stuck the landing instead of free-diving to the parking lot. Not a screw-up I like talking about, really, but some of you have hung in here over the past few years and it doesn’t feel right to leave you in the dark. Luckily, one-handed typing is part of my resumé, so although it’s tiring I can communicate.
The all-girl crew in the ER was outstanding, leaving me to marvel at their skill and knowledge relative to their ages. Who becomes a PA or RN or MD by their early teens? Survey SAYS! — entire gangs of adorable and capable children. They glued my mouth up with artificial skin (up, not shut, sorry not sorry), put my arm in a sling, shot me up with morphine, patted me on the butt and sent me home. Saw an orthopod two mornings later — Dr. Pro, I love that! — and consensus was that surgery would entail plates and screws, would require a far longer recovery, and the shoulder would never feel normal again in this lifetime, so we’re going with time and TLC, taking periodic X-rays to monitor progress. Last Friday’s films show the humerus starting to self-correct its wonky angle, thus cradling the ball closer to kosher, and the pieces at the top are nestled in proper puzzle fashion and starting to get sticky with each other. So far, so good.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I’m living in Kim’s recliner, reading my eyes out, and doing the maximum-allotted amount of crying and complaining while maintaining a sub-par state of Zen via chemistry. Good shit, man. Doesn’t stop the pain but you feel so much better once you no longer care. Kim’s been with me for almost a dozen years, and on my part it’s been one medical issue after another. He’s patiently (mostly) nursed me through all of it, but what’s especially grievous this time is that it was self-inflicted. Nobody my age wants to feel this stupid. My sense of balance is so compromised that I’ve been known to fall down from a standing-still position, so it would be easy after this mess to lose my nerve and give in to being strictly a spectator. I refuse, however, to look back on 2016 as the year I got old and buried my confidence, so the only choice is to get through it and win, which day by day is seeming more do-able.
And that’s the way it is.