By Alan Sorensen
This pity pot thing has a lot of edges. Once I fell victim to one injustice, I began playing victim to numerous others.
Im getting tired of it and I think Ive had enough.
Its nothing new, really, but my broken arm has exacerbated it. The constant pain, lack of sleep, and guilt at not being able to do everything I want to do at home and work is making me snippy and owly and just generally miserable to live with.
When Im not at work, Im on my couch with my arm resting on a pillow searching for a position less uncomfortable than the one I already occupy.
I have little appetite but a great thirst just water, thank you.
I make such a miserable patient that Chy-An and Spud are seldom home when awake. They find any excuse to leave the house so they dont have to put up with my whining nor cater to my every whim.
Actually, what Im really feeling, I think, is my age and my mortality. Ive broken numerous bones over the years, but none so easily as these last two. And in the past, it was just days before I was back at work with all of my enthusiasm and energy intact.
Ive been healing for five weeks now, and I really dont feel a whole lot better. Sure, the nerve damage will take longer to heal. But the bones seem to be healing a lot slower than they used to, too.
Just how physically draining it is for an old person to heal I didnt realize until after work yesterday. I was barely able to get myself home. I fell asleep immediately and slept right through the night the first time I slept for more than an hour or so at a time in five weeks.
I awoke at 7:30 and was immediately driven into a frenzy. I still had a story to write for todays church page and had yet to lay the page out. Both jobs were due at about 6:30 a.m. And I still hadnt begun this column, due at 8.
I threw on a shirt, marched down to the office, entered to find the janitor vacuuming and Val doing his accounting thing, and turned on my computer. The lights were on in the back, but no one was there putting the paper together. I looked, but Hugh, Roger, Butch and Ron werent in the alley palavering, either.
I went back up and asked Val where everyone was. He looked at me like I was crazy (probably was) and said something about no one having to be there. All I could think was that Saturday had somehow arrived without my knowing it. Then he told me it was 7:30 in the evening.
I know now that I really am getting old and that healing is going to take longer. Im being forced to learn patience whether I want to or not.
This isnt the first time that Ive come back to work from an injury before my body was ready. It is the first time, though, that my body has stopped me in my tracks, slapped me across the face with a 2-by-4, and told me to back off.
Vincent V. and I met outside his office Wednesday afternoon and exchanged hellos. He also has an arm injury. He incurred it while pulling on a faucet that had crystallized. The faucet snapped off in his hand and he required medical attention. He said he hoped our injuries werent signs of aging.
I think mine certainly is, but his could be a sign that hes just stronger than he thinks he is.
That was one of those moments, commiserating with a fellow human being, that can lift me off the pity pot, even if just for a moment. Another came when fellow east-end native Jack B. stopped to let me cross in front of his pickup on Fifth Avenue. As I reached the curb and he accelerated by, he leaned out the window and yelled, I dont hit anyone with a cast.
I took it to mean that he doesnt drive over pedestrians whose limbs are encased in plastic or plaster tubes. He may also have been letting me know that I, as a person in a cast, should follow his example, and refrain from striking people with my cast.
That I can do, at least until I get the doctors go ahead. And then, I think, Spud and Chy-An will have an even better reason for leaving me in peace.