Earlier this month, I embarked (love that word!) on a difficult, frustrating volunteer project which I thought I’d be committed to for as long as I live in my condominium. It was a tall order because I expect to be here for as long as I’m capable of living independently. It was awkward to imagine doing such heavy work at age eighty, but that was the plan.
Now my ambition is history. I was sifting through recyclables and compostables which my neighbors had failed to sort properly, and in complete modesty I have to say I was doing a rip-roaring job of it. It was an art I had perfected years ago in a rental building where tenants were failing to sort properly, and there was a sense of pride in firing up an old skill.
Recurring stress injuries in both hands/wrists have marked the end of my comeback. Lifting heavy boxes out of the bin and cutting through thick cardboard brought back pain I first suffered while doing some heavy lifting in 2009. The original injuries occurred in my apartment while packing and lifting boxes of books, and I still haven’t seen an orthopedist. The idea of surgery is scary, and the thought of a doctor telling me to go easy on lifting for the rest of my life is even more frightening. If a specialist had told me to take care of myself, I never would have attempted the two week adventure this month which brought back the nightmare. I’d never be faced with my own stupidity, unless you consider that time in New York when…
Whatever. Now I’m licking my wounds, which is surprisingly ineffective when the injuries are in your joints.
No matter how bad your problems seem, there’s always someone who has it worse. The photo below shows a Walgreen’s window display in San Francisco. That poor duck.
I was a volunteer, and accepted the fact that I was not covered by worker’s comp. In my “resignation” e-mail, I also admitted to the management company that I had concealed the injuries in question when agreeing to take on the fateful chore. My fault entirely.
The duck is blameless. She’s just merchandise.
Never again will I grumble about my own pain.