Tag Archives: tan

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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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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Maturation Transmigration

by Richard

I’ve got a theory here, based on some recent observation. I’m beginning to think that there’s only a finite amount of maturity in each family, maybe even the world, which would go a long way toward explaining some recent-ish behavior here on the Jones Compound.

You know the old theory about how this sort of thing works. As a little dude grows up in to a young dude and thence into dudehood itself, he andor she gradually matures, taking on adult responsibilities and eventually quits doing stuff like, oh, just to pluck an example out of the air, deliberately annoying someone just because you know it’ll make him andor her mad. It’s called growing up and, no matter how much we might dislike the idea, it’s something we all do. Eventually. I hope.

Over the last year or two, I’ve been seeing a lot of that maturity out of one of my young dudes, who shall remain nicknameless. It’s actually quite amazing how much he’s matured this last little bit. I was looking forward to having two mature young dudes in the house and seeing them exert a beneficial effect on the youngest little dude. It was going to be great.

Here’s the deal, though.

As the one young dude has grown and matured, the other young dude (obviously not Hyper Lad) seems to have regressed. It’s almost as is one of the dudes has been siphoning off maturity from his brother.

Hyper Lad, who’s all of 11, and the regressing young dude keep getting into almost knock-down, drag-out fights over, literally, nothing. I don’t know about you dudes, but it’s a bit disheartening when I’ve got to appeal to an 11-year-old to be the mature one in a fight with a brother who can already drive.

I’m not sure what else we can do other than pointing out the inconsistency and hoping the older young dude’s still-growing frontal cortex will eventually kick in and start regulating his behavior. Or maybe he just needs some more space. Like, for instance, going away to college. I know living four states away from my sister did wonders for our relationship.

Of course, if my theory is right and there’s only a set amount of maturity for each family, that could also explain my obsession with Cartoon Network and be the reason my favorite sentence these days seems to be “So’s your face.” Or maybe that’s just me.

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