It makes me smile to remember his face when he'd sadly shake his head and say, "I'm just fallin' apart. Pretty soon there''ll be pieces of me laying all over the floor and your grandmother will have to sweep me up with a broom." Then he would laugh, his blue eyes twinkling. It became a standard phrase in my family, a bit of humor to lighten the aches and pains of aging for my grandparents, then my folks. It's something funny to say and always brings a smile or laugh.
Except lately, I think I might really be falling apart.
Every morning when I
Saturday I was making Parmesan chicken with sweet-roasted rosemary acorn squash. It's one of my favorite dinners, easy and delicious. So, I have to cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, then make eight wedges. I have never had a single problem before. Saturday, however, I can't get the frigging knife into the thick skin of the squash.
[Let me digress for a moment...
Living by myself means I don't have the option of saying, "Honey, can you do this/open this/cut this with your big manly muscles?" Second, I am always conscious that whilst wielding dangerous utensils, I'm just an accidental slip away from having to drive my bleeding self down the mountain to the ER.]
Okay. So, I'm being cautious in how I'm jamming the blade. I get it more or less into the squash but now the knife is wedged and I can't make it go deeper or come out. I use the palm of my hand to pound on the top of the knife and finally--several pummels later--I get the squash cut. Damn. That seemed like way too much work, but whatever, done now.
I get dinner in the oven, sit down with a glass of wine and my book, and enjoy the hour wait while everything cooks.
The timer goes off. I pull out the baking dish and set it on the stove top. And the most excruciating pain stabs across my palm, through that meaty part under the thumb and around my wrist. Seriously. Drop to the floor, kill me now, I've been stung by a scorpion, pain. I can't move my thumb or my wrist without whimpering. Shitshitshit.
I'm not sure what the bloody hell is going on, but I plow ahead with dinner...and another glass of wine. It takes me until much later in the evening--after I've tried everything from hot running water to finger massage techniques I used to do when I played the flute--to realize this latest body fail is self-inflicted. I must have pinched a nerve, or buggered a tendon, or done some other freakish thing when I used my hand for a mallet.
As there's not much to be done, I down two Advil with more wine (and trust me, dear readers, you would have done the same) while I try not to move my hand. I ponder how I can make a splint. I wonder if I've done something hideously permanent that will require surgery. I curse my stupidity...and that squash.
Sunday I can't use my hand without little bolts of lightning spearing through my hand. And consider how thumb, wrist and fingers fly over the keyboard as you write. Mine totally refuse to cooperate. I spend the day watching movies and feeling sorry for myself.
This morning I get up, zombie-walk through the first ten minutes of the day, and as I'm making my breakfast, I suddenly realize my hand doesn't hurt. It's a bit stiff, but not painful, broken or dangling by a thread from my wrist.
Reprieved! That was a close one. And I learned my lesson: Don't use hand as battering ram.
I'm still think I'm falling apart. Though thankfully, at this point, my pieces don't have to be swept up with a broom...