Human frailty

I have my kidney stones, and my ischemia. I told you about my tennis elbow.

What else can go wrong?

We came back from France a few months ago, which means hoisting things in and out of overhead compartments on airplanes. Then, a few days after arrival, I went to the Providence Public Library without my sweet-little-old-lady library bag and came out with four heavy books and two “I LOVE MY LIBRARY” t-shirts. I walked for at least twenty minutes balancing thirty pounds of cargo – oh, that’s right, I stopped at CVS to buy some candy.

Two days later, my right shoulder began to ache.

Two days after that, I couldn’t raise my arm. I couldn’t put on a shirt without screaming with pain. I couldn’t lift a box of Junior Mints from the table.

I reconciled myself to this, though the blinding pain. I assured myself that I could make it through life somehow with one arm.

Then, after consulting WebMD and applying a heating pad and doing some physical-therapy exercises I learned from Partner, most of the pain went away.

It still twangs once in a while, and reminds me that it’s there. Naturally the words “rotator cuff” peal in my head.

And I remember what I heard a health professional say once: “Once you begin going downhill, you might slow down a bit here and there, or delay, but you never really stop going downhill.”

How cheerful!

Here’s a toast: to going downhill.

I hope the scenery along the way is nice.

About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

6 Responses to Human frailty

  1. John Smith says:

    Just so long as the important part still works, otherwise depression sets in…. 🙂

  2. G. Michaels says:

    I’m guessing it was buying the candy that put your shoulder over the edge!

  3. starproms says:

    I’ve noticed that with aging I am very good at hurting myself. I don’t have to do much these days to strain a muscle and it’s probably the same with you. I only have to look at a heavy bag of shopping and I can feel my back go. If I sit too long at the computer, I get a stiff neck. If I read too long my eyes go ‘funny’. The list is endless. Almost every part of me needs extra care and attention these days.
    I wish I’d been more thoughtful and caring to older folk when I was a slip of a thing!
    Hope your shoulder is soon better.

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