Sunday, August 28, 2022

My Left Shoulder Is Refusing to Speak to Me

 My left shoulder and I are not on speaking terms. Actually, I thought it said hi to me earlier today, but when I turned to respond, I got the cold shoulder. Quite literally.

It was not always this way. In fact, I think until the beginning of this year we were friends. I would even say good friends.

I don't ever recall us arguing. Which is saying a lot since we have been inseparable since our birth seven decades ago. Oh maybe there were disagreements, like the time I banged it into the icy snow after catapulting out of my skis, but really give me a break (and no, I did not give it one). 

No body's perfect. Except maybe Sandy Koufax and his left shoulder. At least from 1961 until 1966. Or even Randy Johnson the year he almost single handedly beat the Yankees in the Series. Not that he only had a single hand.

Anyway, we were very close. Veryclose. It shouldered everything I threw at it with a smile. Until I slipped up. Or more accurately, slipped down.

I entirely shoulder the blame for that one. I never should have descended the stairs in my socks. And my right hand (left shoulder) man (it) willingly absorbed the weight of expectations on crash landing. Taking one for the team. I lay there believing it and I were separated. Just the thought of that causing take away my breath pain. Actually, not just the thought.

It turns out we were not separated but torn apart. Tomato tomaato. Rotator cuff.

And so, a few weeks into 2022 it suffered the unkindest cut. Or so both it and I believed. The doctor putting Humpty Dumpty back together again. Good as new, or at least good as new as old gets. After five months of pulling here, pushing there, racing fingers up the wall, stretching our bond into shape, we were back. Not back but shoulder. And shouldee.

Through it all we remained, if not as tight as before, certainly still tighter than most. Able to share a laugh, lift a glass together just not too high, capable of handling whatever curve life threw at us (unless of course it had been delivered by Sandy Koufax during that incredible stretch or Randy Johnson when he appeared on the mound a giant, or more accurately, a Diamondback that Series).

The next one was not my fault. Ok, maybe it was. But who didn't sit out in the sun all summer, every summer back in the days when my shoulder and I were growing up? So what if I tore off the dead skin from my friend after baking it to a crisp. Year after year.

What are the odds that a melanoma would land with a thud right beside where the previously unkindest cut had just healed? I could have won big on that bet.

And so, just when I and it thought it (not that it, just it) safe to celebrate our win, once more into the breach we went. The scar from this incision far more than merely psychological. My shoulder now resembling Frankenstein's face on a bad hair day.

Good fortune shined on my friend and me as the doctor's subsequent report was that the cancer was nowhere in sight (kind of like the Koufax or Johnson fastball or curveball at their finest). We were now both free to move about the cabin.

Only our relationship is slow to heal. My left shoulder finding the insult in these injuries, as more than its pride had been wounded.

Thus, I am saddened even in my hour of joy. Healed but not whole. Not until my friend forgives my trespasses. When we see eye to metaphorical eye and stand shoulder to shoulder once more.

Well, not really shoulder to shoulder, but you know what I mean.


Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

I read your riddle. Are you ok?


Editor's reply - absolutely fine

Anonymous said...

Very clever


Anonymous said...

With deepest hopes for your healing and no more hurting.


Anonymous said...

So funny. As always, making the best of every situation with words to express it. Love this one!

Anonymous said...

Cute and clever.

Anonymous said...

The wages of getting older.
Only Sandy remains young.

Anonymous said...

Are you looking for a shoulder to cry on?
Feel better, and get back to what's important. Golf!