Saturday, June 25, 2011

What? Me, grouchy...???

So it seems to me that ever since I heard the pronouncement from my doctor about my left shoulder, I have begun to be somewhat of a grouch. Really... I find myself being short-tempered and snappish, even with my wife who wants only to help me through this continuing ordeal.

I guess it's possible that I have let myself sink into this feeling of helplessness. That somehow doesn't sound like me. Not even to me. I will admit that it has taken a tremendous amount of energy to keep my spirits buoyed and my attitude positive throughout this. God knows some days it was not the easiest thing to do. I feel as though I'm running out of steam. I need a shot of something good to get me over this hump.

Yes... yes... I know. "But consider that you're still alive", or "It could have been a lot worse you know". I have heard and thought these same lines on many, many days. I am reminded of this everytime I go outside for a break and run into a young fellow-resident here, who had a leg amputated below the knee following an ATV accident out in the country.

But that does not mean to say that my grief over my own situation is not valid, or legitimate, or deserved. It's like back when I was a child and my father left us. I could not grieve for my loss of him, or even talk of him. He was 'the bad guy' and therefore my grief at having lost my father at such an early age, was deemed illegitimate. It was a process that I was never 'allowed' to begin, let alone complete.

But I digress... I have to believe that it is this final realization of my diminished capacities, which has caused this shift in temperament. Up until now, I have been harboring this dream that some wonderful and routine surgical procedure, would return my arm's range of motion, while banishing this ever-present pain. Now I know for certain that this will never happen. That's a pretty big dream to have squashed.

As I heard my doctor intone his dispassionate assessment of my current condition, I was taken back in time. I was, by my own admission, quite a hellion as a young man. I had plenty of run-ins with 'John Law' and truth be known, spent most of my teenage years behind bars. After 56 court appearances in Quebec's juvenile justice system (Judge Gaston Lacroix became almost a surrogate father...), I was no stranger to hearing sentences pronounced on myself and others. And here I was so many years later, hearing yet one more sentence pronounced on me. But this time by my doctor. And this one had no liberation date. It was for keeps...

Sure, I tried to appear upbeat and cavalier about it. That's how I deal with stress, disappointments, near-death experiences and horror shows of all types. Put up the walls... that'll hold the world out. But that takes a lot of strength. A ton of energy. I need to let down my guard so I can replenish both of these. I have no other choice.

So in the meantime I will have to monitor myself. Surely there are better ways to get through this, without becoming a grouch or an asshole. I'm working on it, but so far... it's an imperfect art. 

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