Tag Archives: Orm

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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In The Land Of The Armless, The One-Armed Man Is King

by Richard

To quote Mel Brooks, “It’s good to be the king.” Or at least it would be if I really were in the land of the armless. Unfortunately, I’m in the normal land here where most everybody has two arms, two hands and can actually get stuff done.

Yep, you guessed right. It’s time for a whine-fest.

It’s been almost two weeks since I had my shoulder operated on and I’m already getting very, very, very tired of walking around with one arm in a sling, strapped to my body. My right arm is basically useless. I’ve been told I can’t even hold things with my right hand because I don’t want to strain the newly repaired muscles and tendons in my shoulder.

I never realized how much I actually do during the day until I couldn’t do any of those things.

I have to get help from my young dudes to tie my shoes. Zipping up is a monumental task. Putting on deodorant requires a few acts of contortions that would strain the credulity of India rubber men at the freak show. I can’t even wash dishes.

See, the thing is I know I have ADD. I can’t sit and do just one thing. If I’m watching TV, I’ll also need to read a book at the same time because I can’t just watch. During most evenings, I will be doing stuff in the kitchen while also keeping an eye on the TV or something similar. Now I can’t.

TV, by itself, is just so boring.

Sitting at the keyboard to write is a chore now. I have to type so very slowly. By the time my fingers have hunted-and-pecked their way to being even with my brain, my brain has moved on and forgotten what I was writing about in the. . .

Still, I can’t get too annoyed. I know I will get the use of my right arm back. Eventually. I’m a lot luckier than a lot of people who are learning to adjust to life with only one arm.

Still. . .

Still. . .

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Freaky Friday: Bully Brains

by Richard

This is actually kind of scary. We know that being bullied makes for some big-time backlash for the young dudes who get bullied. What we didn’t know until recently is that being bullied also makes some physical changes in the brains of those kids who get bullied.

Yeah, that’s right. Young dudes who get bullied actually suffer permanent changes to the structure of their brains because of the bullying.

If we thought there was a reason to crack down on bullying in schools before, brother, you’d better believe there’s more of a reason now.

They lurk in hallways, bathrooms, around the next blind corner. But for the children they have routinely teased or tormented, bullies effectively live in the victims’ brains as well — and not just as a terrifying memory.

Preliminary evidence shows that bullying can produce signs of stress, cognitive deficits and mental-health problems.

Now University of Ottawa psychologist Tracy Vaillancourt and her colleagues at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario plan to scan the brains of teens who have been regularly humiliated and ostracized by their peers to look for structural differences compared with other children.

“We know there is a functional difference. We know their brains are acting differently, but we don’t know if it is structural as well,”said Vaillancourt, an expert in the biology of bullying.

According to Vaillancourt, she finds changes to the hippocampus, the area of the brain responsible for memory.

Bullied young dudes have already been found to score lower on tests that measure verbal memory and executive function, a set of skills needed to focus on a task and get the job done. Mental-health problems, such as depression, are also more common.

Come on, dudes. This is ridiculous. We need to have a zero-tolerance policy for bullying in schools that’s actually enforced all the time, every time.  Kids need to feel safe when they’re at school, trying to learn.

I mean, come on. How can you learn if you’re constantly looking over your shoulder, fearing the next push or the next time someone starts name calling?

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