Tag Archives: Ela

Shouldering The Load

by Richard

I get it. By jimminy, I get it. I really, really do. You dudes can all stop now. Please.

Here is a typical conversation with a stranger, pick a stranger. Basically anyone who I bump into during the course of my day. Anywhere. Anytime. Anyone.

“Hey, what’d you do to your arm? Shoulder?”

Me: “Shoulder,” trying to move on because I know what’s coming.

Stranger: “Rotator cuff?”

Me: sighing, “Yeah, among other stuff. Had the biceps tendon reattached and had some of my clavicle bone shaved off.”

Stranger: “Wow.”

Me: “Yeah,” trying to leave, but knowing it won’t work.

Stranger: “You know, a (insert relationship here; friend, relative, acquaintance) of mine had that kind of thing. He said it was the most pain he’d/she’d ever gone through. I mean, it’s agony on wheels.”

Me: “So I’ve heard. I’m doing all right, though.”

Stranger: “You must not have started the physical therapy yet. Boy, that’s when the pain really kicks in. I mean, she/he told me she/he was crying like a baby every time she/he went to physical therapy. And it kept hurting all the time. For months. Said it was like having a knife jammed in there and then stirred around for good luck.”

Me: wincing in anticipation and starting to feel sympathy pains for my future self, “Um, yeah. Thanks for sharing.”

Stranger: “No, really. I mean, he/she had (insert some horrible, appallingly invasive surgery or medical procedure here) and he/she said that was nothing compared to getting his/her shoulder done and the rehab after.”

Me: feeling nauseous all over again, “Uh, yeah. Thanks for sharing. Again.”

Finally feeling my oats enough to be rude, that’s when I turn around and walk away. Very, very quickly. And normally bump my shoulder into something hard and unforgiving.

So, yes. I get it. I understand that it’s painful. I also know I don’t need to be reminded — constantly — of that fact. You’d think people would get the hint.

Unless — you don’t suppose? — it’s some sort of conspiracy, maybe. Maybe they are all out to get me. That must be it. I’m sure of it. You’re all trying to hurt me. I see it all so clearly now. I —

UPDATE: I’ve cut down on the meds a bit now and I think I should be all better. Just sort of ignore the previous. I know that’s what I’m trying to do.

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Bored Games

by Richard

The past is making a comeback in the Jones household.

Despite the fact that we have (in the opinion of the parents) far too many electronic games, game systems and other assorted pixelated attention grabbers in the house (and reading that feels like the 21st-century equivalent of yelling “You kids get off my lawn.), the games that have been getting used the most lately are, in fact, board games.

I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I and my wife, known to the young dudes as She Who Must Be Hatin’ On The TV, have basically forbidden the use of the television, video game systems and computers during the school week. Well, we’re not absolutists. We’ll let them watch something educational occasionally, or sports-related, but plain cartoons or other junk shows? Nope. Nada.

All of which means our young dudes are really quite upset with us for this. However, the white-hot hate has banked a bit as the year has gone along and the young dudes have become used to the restrictions. Now, especially with Hyper Lad, things seem to be turning around.

In the last week or so, we’ve had a Hyper Lad-led Scrabble tournament. Not a tournament, per se. Just a lot of playing of the word game. I actually won a game this time around. Normally I’m terrible at Scrabble. I know a lot of words, but trying to make what I know fit the mess on the board. . . Not nearly the best at it. And, yes, I know it’s tacky to brag about besting an 11-year-old at a game, but, well, come on. It doesn’t happen all that often.

The older dudes have been seeing Hyper Lad, his mom and I having so much fun they’ve started to get interested in playing. So far, Sarcasmo has destroyed me in chess a number of times and Zippy the Monkey Boy is trying to figure out how to whip my butt in what I’m calling laser chess. (No, really.)

Anyway, I’m quite enjoying the return face to face fun, where the competition is based on mind vs. mind, rather than thumb versus electronic thingy. And, yes, I freely admit to being a bit old-fashioned on this one. Not that I don’t love a good round blow-’em’up with Nathan Drake in Uncharted 2, but I like being able to interact with my young dudes without his serving as intermediary.

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Freaky Friday: Rubbed The Right Way

by Richard

I figured it was time I took my own advice.

About a month or so ago, I wrote about how scientists had been doing some actual scientific research on some good stuff. They’d been looking at massages and found that getting a good massage actually altered your body chemistry, leading to a reduction in cortisol, the stress hormone.

So I went out and booked myself a massage. Now I have only one question: Why in the flark did I wait so long to get a good massage?

After an hour of subtle, delicious pressure, I was barely able to get off the table. I felt that relaxed. Plus, you know, getting rubbed with oil. When is that ever a bad thing?

Anyway, I went to see a certified massage therapist in the Charlotte area named Rachael Schrader. First a disclaimer: I’m not writing about her because I expect to get free massages out of this. I didn’t even tell her about the blog here. I just really enjoyed the massage and want to tout its benefits to you dudes.

I will say I’m not all that enamored of the New Agey stuff that comes along with the massage, but I’m willing to put up with it if it leads to me getting a great rub down. And I did get a great rub down.

First I got asked to disrobe to my comfort level. For some people, that’s stripping down to their birthday suit. To me, that was keeping my suit on. Well, I did strip down a bit, but I stayed (barely) clothed. That’s me, though.

So Rachael oiled up her hands and got to work. I don’t know how she did it, but she found every tight muscle in my body and rubbed, poked and prodded there until those muscles finally unclenched. There was some pain involved, but it was really worth it. The feeling as those muscles finally let go was magnificent.

I really can’t say enough good things about the experience. At the end, Rachael asked if I wanted to schedule another massage, but I demurred. I was floating somewhere above cloud 10.7 and wanted to wait a bit before deciding, not wanting to spend more money based solely on the euphoria I felt in the moment. Well, I waited long enough.

I’m going back. If you can, I recommend you start getting this done. Find a good massage therapist and get into the rub.

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