One of my work gigs is transcribing disability record reviews. In many cases, a person starts out with a somewhat debilitating injury, say a torn medial meniscus or rotator cuff, which makes it impossible for them to work (for a time, or forever depending on how their surgeries and recovery processes go).
Many of these cases unfortunately snowball into weight gain-related issues like diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, based on the fact that the person can’t work, is sitting around a lot and might have their head stuck in the fridge, which leads us also to the avalanche of continued problems including depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, sexual dysfunction and migraine headaches.
Then, to top it off, the person is also taking meds for the pain, for the gain and to combat the myriad of emotions. These meds then cause gastrointestinal problems such as reflux or ulcers.
Basically, the person gets a sliver at work, and the next thing you know they’re obese, pill-popping, constipated (or loose-boweled) TV-watching fools!
I’ve always worked on these summaries “as if” this would never, ever happen to me.
The entire time I was working on these summaries, all my other work AND all the things in my life, this was happening to me!
I’ve had degenerative arthritis in the thumb joints of both hands for over ten years, just recently having had the surgical repair. Despite that malady, I was the super worker, the super woman, the super everything, and so my surgery and recovery were also going to be super, right?!?!!?
Well, the surgery was just under a month ago, and there was a hellish first week of pain while still in the cast, a less hellish and less painful second and final week in the cast and then the application of a hard/fitted splint, which has now been on for 10 days (coming off only for showering and range of motion exercises) and must stay on an ADDITIONAL TWO WEEKS AND TWO DAYS, but who’s counting?
And I’m going nuts!
Though I have not (as yet) developed loose or constipated bowels, sexual dysfunction, high blood pressure, heart disease or obesity, I already have a hiatal hernia and an esophageal ulcer, depression and anxiety, but I assume (or over think) these maladies as same-same, unless I’m screamingly over-anxious, think my depression (and bipolarity) are worsening and that my esophagus is going to bleed out with my next over-anxious heartbeat (or run-on sentence)!
This keeps me up at night, so you guessed it, I then nap during the day because nighttime sleep is not at all restful, and so NOW I HAVE A SLEEP DISORDER!
And I’m talking to myself!
Every day I get up and say the same things over and over (but in two different voices):
“Self, don’t even go there!”
“Self, don’t even go there!”
“You know very well where, there!”
“I wasn’t even going to say it.”
“Yes you were. It was on the tip of your tongue you were getting ready to say, ‘I’m bored!’”
“I was not.”
“You were too.”
“Okay, too! Yes, I’M BORED!”
And let me also continue to say, I’m not only bored I’m stirred up and crazy.
I’m all the things I said I wasn’t going to be during my recovery.
I’m bored. I am going insane, and I’m bored with how insane I am!
I wish I could accomplish more with my work but transcribing/working past the hard brace is painstaking and uncomfortable! All the ideas I had regarding working off to the side of work are just as painstaking. Rome was not built in a day, but Jesus! (Yeah, I know, what kind of mixed up metaphorical mess is that?!!?!?)
I wish I could do more than one-handed, half-assed chores around the house!
If I read one more book, watch one more movie, I WILL DIE!
It kills me that I’ve started hating on books and movies!!!! WTF?!?!?!?!
GET THIS THING OFF ME NOW! THIS BRACE, THIS PLASTIC ARM PRISON!
There, I feel better … well, slightly better!
Five minutes from now it’s going to be all rinse and repeat with the boredom, grab another nectarine and some more iced coffee (my current food drugs of choice), read another book, flick a dead leaf off this or that plant, rearrange the silverware drawer and call it a day, AND THEN READ OR WATCH MOVIES ALL NIGHT, so I have a reason to take a nap tomorrow!
Sixteen more days, 16 … 384 HOURS! THEN I’M GOING TO BURN THIS HAND BRACE!
The upside … My strength is returning (slowly) as I can now make a full fist, flex and extend, give the "thumbs up" sign and do a massive amount of (USELESS!!!!) circles in the wind, both directions.
My pincer grasp has returned (though it has no strength whatsoever) but at least I’m back to monkey land (opposable thumbs)!
I can extend my arm without the harvested (and what’s left after the harvest) tendon area in my arm “tugging.” I can swing my arm without (much) pain in the joint repair or forearm tendon harvest area.
And the other day I tried (though it was depressing) to write, with my right hand, and managed one full painstaking sentence.
I look forward to the day when I don’t have to rip sugar packets open using my left hand and my teeth, when I can hold that pen again, rip paper and CUT MY OWN STEAK!
But today, omg, OMG!!!!! I AM BORED! I am losing it … I am inches away from a sleep-disordered bout of diarrhea and then constipation, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and the resultant sexual dysfunction!