You get the picture. It was a big day when I graduated to driving. Dr. John followed me to work to make sure everything would be all right. I have to admit I'd gotten rather comfortable with the "Driving Miss Daisy" look. Alas, it was time for more independence. I made it just fine.
In fact, I was more vigilant than ever. No distractions. I didn't turn on the radio -- and I couldn't have maneuvered a cellphone, even if I'd wanted to. All senses needed to be on the task at hand -- driving. I've even carried some of these habits over, and that's a healthy thing!
I only missed a couple of days of work, and I was able to negotiate the keyboard of my computer -- even with the sling -- pretty quickly.
Next challenge: the grocery store. Once I got my buggy into four-wheel-drive mode, I was fine to negotiate the aisles. I had to think ahead though. Things aren't as easy and automatic when one has full range of motion and can spin around at will.
My brain went into overdrive: "Group congregated in Aisle 4. Take the next one and loop back around." "Wait until there aren't any other cars -- or people -- around before pulling out of the parking spot."
There have definitely been some bright moments though. People have been very helpful and considerate. I've had lots of positive energy directed toward me by friends, relatives, co-workers -- and even strangers.
I'm blessed to have such wonderful people in my life -- and to be able to put things into perspective through this experience. Slowing down and taking my time with everything -- because I had no choice -- makes me think about continuing these behaviors even when I do have a choice.
Although I'm not ready to ask for the theme song of "Rocky" to be cued, I have to say I'm getting stronger every day. And that's a good thing. The injury is likely a further aggravation of the rotator cuff tear, and that's something that can be handled with physical therapy. Unless it's so serious that I need surgery on down the road. I'm not ready to think about that though.
For now, I just want to take it a day at a time. Looking ahead to the next Winter Olympics, I think I'll focus on ice skating. I'd be a shoo-in for the "triple klutz"!
Linda Arnold, MBA, is a certified wellness instructor and chairwoman/CEO of The Arnold Agency, a marketing communications company specializing in advertising, public relations, government relations and interactive marketing. Reader comments are welcome and may be directed to Linda Arnold, The Arnold Agency, 117 Summers St., Charleston, WV 25301, or emailed to livelifefu...@arnoldagency.com.