Wow, it’s been a while since I last entertained my three or four readers with a thrilling dispatch from my life in the uncivilized reaches of the American Middle West. What’s been going on? Not a lot, to be honest.
Much to my own dismay, my organizing, tossing-out, and packing efforts have been, largely, non-existent. I just can’t seem to overcome the inertia I feel when I think about it. I’ve always been a pack rat, and it’s not easy for me to take a pile of stuff and separate it into piles of treasures-to-keep and junk-to-toss. In one week minus two hours, the new house will be ours, but moving day is still several weeks away, and, somehow, I haven’t quite felt the approaching deadline yet.
I’m nearly finished with physical therapy; my last appointment is next Monday. I’ve been feeling perceptibly better every week — sometimes, even, on a day-by-day basis — and I will be very glad for a measure of normalcy to return again to life. Though therapy will soon be ending, I likely won’t feel completely “normal” again until mid-summer, and my last appointment with the orthopædic surgeon is in early July.
I have so much correspondence to catch up on: cards and notes to acknowledge from February, when I was mostly unable to write. Whether by letter, ‘phone call or email, I’m notoriously bad at keeping up with people on an individual basis. My best intentions are usually thwarted by an odd work schedule or other commitment, and a letter I intend to write in March often isn’t finished until May. After I organize my stuff — there’s that word again – and we move into the new house, I hope to keep up with these things in a more responsible way. I have decided that my desktop computer will not inhabit the room I intend to use as my office (where I end up storing it remains to be seen), which will contain a bookshelf, a writing desk, my piano, and, I think, a comfortable chair where I can read. Hopefully, the lack of electronic distractions will allow me to be more focused in regards to my reading and writing. I do intend to purchase a new laptop once we’ve recovered a little from the shock of making the down payment, but that won’t happen for several months yet. I find that I use my desktop computer less and less all the time — mostly only when I need to store or manipulate large files — so that all I really need for day-to-day use is a laptop.
Sometimes I really hate the entries I post here. They’re so unstructured. I wrote such good academic papers in college; structure in writing was one of my strongest talents. I really feel that I’ve lost that. I’m just out of practice, I guess, but sometimes…
I’m substituting tonight for a coworker who usually works the late evening shift. It’s been a long time since I’ve worked these hours, and, as I can usually curl up and go to sleep at 10pm, it’s definitely a challenge to keep myself up and running at this hour. Still, everyone deserves a day off now and again. It’s been a busy evening, and I’m taking a late-evening coffee break at the moment. I desperately need the coffee, actually, as I’m still not sleeping well (a continuation of my post-humerus-fracture troubles).
The recovery is progressing nicely; I’ve more than passed the halfway mark in my physical therapy. My range of motion is almost back to normal, and what remains now is to regain the ability to bear weight on an arm that hasn’t lifted more than a pound or two since the end of January. While I’m supposed to be on “light duty” at work until June (not that I frequently lift heavy objects at work anyway), I am feeling stronger as the weeks pass, and I hope to be able to fill something slightly more than just a supervisory role by the time we’re scheduled to move.
When we placed an offer on the house, I honestly thought that the time leading up to the settlement and moving dates would fly by. Instead, I’ve found that time seems to have dug in its heels, determined to stand still. I haven’t felt quite this much anticipation since I was a small child waiting for the joys of Christmas when the joys of Christmas still held some mystery.
Back to work tomorrow. I’d thought that I would have returned to work after my appointment last Tuesday, but the doctor suggested waiting out the remainder of the last week. It was just as well, I guess, as the extra time allowed me to try to get some things in order. Some of my insurance statements are coming back with not-altogether encouraging results, so I guess I’m going to have to make a few calls this week. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I don’t get bad news, as the surgery was expensive – more than I would have thought.
We’re getting torrential rain with embedded thunderstorms tonight. At 11:30pm, it’s 50 degrees outside. Spring is on its way.
I caught myself holding the toothbrush with my left hand this morning; I even tried to start brushing left-handed, but things got a little too uncomfortable to continue with that. Even so, it’s a sign, I suppose, that my arm is healing and that life is slowly returning to normal. I haven’t driven a car since January 30, and I haven’t cooked anything (with the exception of cups of tea and coffee) since the 31st. I’m going to try cooking at least part of tonight’s dinner, though I will still need help with lifting heavy pots and pans as I can barely pick up a full glass of water with my left hand.
My follow-up appointment with the orthopedic surgeon is tomorrow (after a night of snow and ice — ugh), and I may be back to work on the 23rd. February has been a strange month; it has passed quickly, yet time also seems simultaneously to have stood still.
I’ve been through two slings since I broke my arm on the first of the month. The first was a horrible, hot, straight-jacket sort of thing that I wore in the days leading up to the surgery that pinned and plated my bone back together. As tight and uncomfortable and immobilizing as that sling was, I could nevertheless hear and feel loose and broken bones jumbling around inside my arm every time I shifted my position even a little.
After surgery, I was given another sling: one designed less for holding one together in a fixed position and more for supporting an arm not yet strong enough to support itself. This one has proven to be significantly more comfortable and much less irritating and obtrusive. It’s most bothersome at night; though I’m able to take it off for periods during the day, I’m still obliged to sleep with it on, and it’s not easy for me — a side sleeper — to adjust to sleeping on my back propped up by pillows arranged to ensure that my arm doesn’t go anywhere it shouldn’t while I’m asleep. Still, it’s an improvement on the old straight jacket, and it’s nice to have when I do need the extra support.
I’m feeling a little better every day: slowly starting to sleep better, moving a little more freely (though I still have little strength and a very limited range of motion in my left arm), and I’m working from home for three hours a day every weekday. I’ve felt so useless around the house that working from home is actually pleasant as it gives me something to do; it’s also saving me from completely running out of sick time, as I haven’t a lot built up since I’ve only been benefits eligible for a little over year.
I am going a little stir crazy, though. I’ve only been out of town once since my accident; we drove to Columbus for lunch last Saturday, but in retrospect I really wasn’t ready for the trip and I was pretty miserable, even though I (obviously) wasn’t driving. Now that I feel stronger, we might attempt a lunch trip to Granville or somewhere close on Thursday or Friday, since we’re supposed to have warm temperatures near 60º.
Just before my birthday, I bought a copy of John Cheever’s complete short stories. I finally cracked the book open yesterday and read Goodbye, My Brother, which was originally published in the New Yorker in 1951. Given my taste for Sloan Wilson’s novels of the ’50s and early ’60s, and for the world inhabited by characters who could have stepped out of Mad Men, I think I’m going to like Cheever.