Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Brothers (and Sisters) In Arms

In times of distress, it often helps to be embraced, emotionally at least, by those similarly situated. Whether one is battling addiction, illness or loss, it can be both educational and comforting to share war stories with others who fully understand the difficulties you are attempting to comprehend and conquer.

And so it was recently when my wife and I strolled the streets of our town as I began my trek back to what I was before what I am now, my arm in the black sling serving as ever present advertisement of my condition. When who, or more accurately, what should we chance upon moving steadily in our direction. Yes, another black sling, resting on another left shoulder. Sling to sling, I asked as I approached, what happened to you.

What are the odds of another rotator cuff, biceps tendon tear bumping into me (at a safe distance) on my meandering? Since we both wore our hearts on our sleeve, we became instant comrades. His insult, I learned, caused by the trauma of age, not injury. His recovery a few weeks my senior. His limb a few strides in front of me. As we parted company, much like the Lone Ranger, I knew not this masked man's name, but I was now aware of his rank and serial number as a soldier in our struggle against a common enemy.

And then, last evening, the cell phone rang, another left shouldered, recent rotator cuffer having learned of my circumstances and checking in to see how I was faring. Giving me the wisdom borne of her experience, seeking to reduce my discomfort as to the known and unknown I will encounter on my journey. Had I tried this remedy for sleeping, that one to lessen the physical trauma. Informing me as to a rehab therapist with excellent hands. Acting as a mentor to teach me the tricks of our unsolicited and unwanted trade. 

I am grateful for their guidance, and the knowledge that I am far from alone in my battles. In fact, residing in a town with a disproportionate percentage of those in the latter stages of taking up their allotted space on this sometimes not so firm terra, I now suspect I could put my fishing stick down on just about any corner and land me another left shouldered sling.

Here we are one for all and all, at least in our travails, as one.

Brothers (and sisters) in arms.


Anonymous said...

Great one.


Anonymous said...

4 times, yes 4 times I have fallen since my move to new territory. Call it what you will, I'm a clutz! No damages, yet.

Anonymous said...

Good to know you have other hands (I mean shoulders) on deck with you for comfort, consultation and kindness!!
Glad you are beginning to get up, out and about!


Anonymous said...

You are so gifted! Loved reading this!