Sunday, June 5, 2016
Just A Post While The Aspirin Is Doing Its Job For The Wrist/Arm
Last night I took off the wrist support because I'd been out walking in the heat and sun. It turns out the wrap can get sweaty when one isn't even really all that sweaty anywhere but under the wrap. Anyway, I took it off and cleaned it. It's bad enough that has a rubbery smell that doesn't seem to go away. I don't want to live with sweat germs in the mix. So, because I didn't really want to type much I figured I'd try to be funny (ish) and create a "motivational poster" (more "motivational" for me than for anyone else, although I don't lack this particular type of motivation anyway; so let's just say I was fooling around and thought I'd post some "attitude" on Facebook (mainly because Memorial Day is past, and I wanted something to replace my Memorial Day picture).
Being both tired and kind of lazy (not to mention in the mood to settle for half-baked), I whipped up the quickest words I could think of. I don't put much effort in any Facebook posts I do.
The words I came up with are (in case they don't show up well above; as I said, "...half-baked"), "The Older I Get, The 'Me-er' I stay". It occurred to me that someone who didn't know where I was coming from might take that to mean that I'm not willing to grow. That's not what I meant with those words. The fact is, no matter how old I get, I'm always interested in, and willing to, grow as a person (and also, since I'm a mother of grown children, as a mother too.
There are people who think there's no more growing to do when one reaches twenty-one, or even forty. I've never been one of them. Then there are people who kind of know there's growing that will happen; so they wait for it to happen. I suppose because I knew I'd eventually (and most likely) have children, I've always aimed to make it a point to seek out growth. Besides my own person interests, I knew that being a mother is so much more than just making sure children are clean, fed, and sheltered.
So, what really "inspired" my "attitude" post was my thinking about how (now that my "two-leg-injury" challenge has come to a successful end) , the wrist/arm thing happened.
I was in my late fifties when the first leg injury happened and got its start with what seemed like a fairly minor thing I did as a result of climbing and landing awkwardly on the leg. It was an injury, and a minor thing in the beginning. But, as it got worse I wasn't too thrilled with the number of people who suggested it would never heal and/or that "when you get to be a certain age stuff just happens". Then there were times someone hinted at, or out-and-out said, that maybe I had "weak bones". Either it didn't matter to them, or else they didn't know, that in years of walking miles each week, there had been a few times when I'd tripped on ice or slipped off a wet curb, landed smack on my knees, hopped up, and never had a hint of a problem again (no matter how many years had passed).
The second (and less extreme) leg injury happened when I expected the "good" leg to do more than its share of the work while the injured one was "being an issue". That "good" leg had had its own history, and wasn't entirely what it should have been, but it was only after three years of expecting too much of it that I sensed it was becoming yet another "issue". Even with that, though, the awkward move I did that caused a big problem in the "good" leg was sudden and awkward and probably could have dislocated the youngest or healthiest of knees.
Of course, the age remarks and some of the expressions I was seeing in some people's faces kept coming (not to mention someone's comment about "assisted living"). Here I was, living my life around the "leg thing", and a couple of days after I did the second one I was hearing "assisted living".
After the "Winter of nine-feet of snow" and another Winter and limited opportunity to get non-injury-related muscles used to walking several miles again, I can finally say I'm very comfortable to walking miles (provided I'm not carrying a ridiculous load of, say, groceries).
The thing is, in all that time of having one or another (or two) leg issues, I've been asking my han ds and arms to do the job that legs and knees are supposed to do. I've often joked that when there are big steps down or up involved (even since all the other knee/leg issues were ironed out and the only real issue was with big steps like getting into high vehicles or dealing with really extreme steps up or do9wn), I've "swung like a monkey" by grabbing onto something like a vehicle door frame. Or, I've used inexpensive folding canes the way the directions tell people not to use them ("Do not put all your weight on the cane.") by, say, putting the cane on the ground that I needed to get down to and essentially using it as a risky railing as I either swing or work my way down to the ground below.
So, when I talk about about "carpal tunnel thing", while it's certainly true that there are all kinds of computer-use-related, chair-choice, and angle-related issues that have, in fact, been letting me know I should be careful; now that I have this wrist/arm thing I just wanted to put it in writing (whether anyone ever reads this or not - I have my reasons) that this isn't about my age and isn't about any "condition" I may have.
When you're active you get injured, and when you keep being active you may get injured again. The alternative, however, is not to be active and suffer the damage of THAT.
I'm going to be very careful with the wrist/arm thing. It's my strong hand and arm, so having a problem with it is very inconvenience. Of course, if it weren't my strong hand and arm I wouldn't have been able to use it "instead of a leg" for over six years now. Between that and all the typing and general mouse-use I do almost non-stop when I'm home, I don't want to hear any suggestions that I have some "weakness" or "condition" or "age-related issue" (with the wrist/arm thing "just being more proof of that"). Yes, you get defensive when you're over fifty and have had occasion to hear some of the remarks that I have I have.
It's clear to me, with the improvement I've seen with the wrist wrap, that if I play my wrist-support cards not just right, but long enough; the wrist and arm will be find.
I do have to find some supports other than this smelly one, which I got because it's black and looks "less orthopedic or medical" than some of the other ones. Think I'll find some pink or purple ones that can be washed once this initial "crisis" is over.
And that is PARTLY where the "...the 'Me-er' I Stay" got its start. It's only partly because there's a whole bunch of other stuff that has gone on and that makes me want to make sure one or another person knows that one or another thing has not resulted in my being any less of who/what I've been just because of that one or another thing. (It's a big, complicated, story that I'm not about to get into here).
The one thing I do want to mention, however, is that I wasn't going to post this because after I wrote it I realized that I might look as if I'm not aware of all the big issues/problems so many other people in the world have; and as if I'm making some big thing out of what - in the scheme of all of life and all of, say, injuries people can have - are minor things.
"Either/Or" thinking is common. "Either one doesn't say anything about some problem because one knows what a minor problem it is, or if one tries to discuss/explain something about that problem that must mean that one can't possibly have such a minor thing in perspective". "Either/Or" thinking is something I'd love to write a big, long, post about one day (just not today). For today, I just want it "on record" here that I'm more than well aware of how minor something like the wrist injury is.
As I mentioned in the post right before this one, I'm these days kind of regretting that I didn't get some minor things down in the past because now I don't know where to begin as I try to put together some ideas for future (and "legitimate", as opposed to "fooling around") writing.
've learned from past experience that if one doesn't explain why one does some things there are people who will then fill in the blanks about why one does something.
Anyway, I'm about to hit "publish" on this post that I'd decided I wasn't going to post after all, mainly because it's about the wrist injury (to which I may eventually refer in other, more "legitimate", postings/notes).
Posted by ME Whelan at 10:58 AM