It’s been a tough three months for The Next Phase Blog and not just because of surgery. But I have good news looking ahead. In September and October, I worked as a tour guide almost every day. That meant being out of the house—sometimes 10 or 12 hours a day. Between commuting into Boston, walking to and from the Flynn Cruiseport, giving one or two tours and hitting rush-hour traffic on the way back, I just wasn’t home a lot.
The Bad News: Surgery
Then I had rotator-cuff surgery on November 3 and everything came to a screeching halt. I went from working flat-out to being flat on my back. (Figure of speech.) Days when I was too busy and exhausted to write a blog post turned into days when I went nowhere, did nothing, and slept a lot.
Somehow, I thought I would be able to use my enforced downtime to catch up on my writing. I forgot how surgery also makes you tired and fogs your brain. Still, I wrote a short story, which is now out for review with my Spacecrafts writing group. They will provide comments and critiques at our December meeting.
But being home all the time also means having fewer things to write about. After all, am I going to write a scintillating post about what socks I put on today or how impossible it is to wear earrings when one arm is confined in a sling? No, I didn’t think so.
The Good News: Recovery
Now for the good news: It’s been four weeks since the surgery and I can take the sling off some of the time. That’s relief not just because it feels like carrying a small dog with me everywhere I go. It just gets in the way. Now when I’m watching TV or reading or, yes, writing on my computer, I can do it with a newly usable right arm. That makes a huge difference in speed and efficiency.
Following that, I started physical therapy to return my arm to good working condition. This is a turning point. You go from “That hurts so don’t do it,” to “That hurts, do it again.” And exercises to complete two or three times a day.
TV Healthcare and Reality
This process has given me a whole new perspective on an earlier post about Television Healthcare. That term refers to how heroes on TV shows magically recover from injuries and hospitalizations that would put real people down for the count.
Most recently, we watched a British spy series called “Red Election.” One of the main characters is shot in the left shoulder, right next to the joint. Now, I felt this one personally. I knew how that injury would prevent a real person from using that arm. Like, at all. Even letting it dangle freely would hurt.
But not on TV. Nope. Not only does the character use the arm in ways that would be medically impossible, she runs around from place to place in a normal way. Even when a large man grasps both of her shoulders to congratulate her on a success, she doesn’t react. Me, I would be on the floor screaming.
Despite this glitch, however, we enjoyed the series. I recommend it.
Out of the Fog
So, now that I have my arm back—at least partially—and the brain fog has cleared, I can put more effort into writing. Just in time for Christmas. But that will be no biggie this holiday season.
We stopped decorating years ago, beyond a small, pre-decorated tree I bought at a craft fair. I take it out of the attic, plug it in and we’re done. Sometimes I put out candles. Other than that, we enjoy the decorations in other homes, in stores, and in the city.
Now all I need is the grandkids’ Christmas lists so we can get a few things online.
By Christmas, though, my arm should feel much better even though the PT should last for a few months after that. As long as I don’t have to use that sling, though, I’m good.