I’ve been in some pain this week. A lot of it in in my left pectoral (again). Some of you may remember that I’ve had pains there on and off for a while. This time around, it hasn’t been as intense or frightening (there were times before that I thought it was my heart, it hurt so much)…but it has been more specific and localized. Part of it has to do with something that’s supposed to actually make me feel better…
As you probably know, I sometimes walk with a cane due to a bad knee that I’ve developed over the past few years. The trouble with the cane is that it helps the knee, but then I have to spend WEEKS rehabbing my shoulder, peck, and/or back. Kind of a catch 22. I think. I’m not really sure what a catch 22 is. I should really read that.
It’s also–I don’t expect you to understand this–a bit embarrassing to be 28 and walk with a cane. As a result I sometimes don’t use the cane when I (sometimes BADLY) need it. Maybe it shouldn’t be embarrassing. After all…what’s that old parable? “A one-legged man went his whole life being depressed and wondering what good there was to living until he met a man with no legs…then he knew there was at least one guy out there that he could take in a fight.” Something like that, isn’t it? I’ve always wondered if that metaphor’s supposed to make one-legged people feel better or make no-legged people feel worse.
I kind of like the cane. It makes other people nicer. People open doors for you. They get out of your way. They tell their kids to stop running around and acting like idiots, less they trip the dude who kind of looks like House. Plus (as House himself would attest) you can get away with being a little bit surly and no one will get too mad at a guy with a cane–or at least they won’t say anything. Sometimes people even let you get away with coming in late to work. The phrase, “My leg hurt” goes a shockingly long way. I don’t mind any of that.
What I mind is that people who I know begin behaving differently towards me when I need the cane. Usually well-meaning (Christian) people that I know will treat me with extra sympathy when I’ve got the cane. I get it. It’s the same thing that makes otherwise anonymous strangers open doors or grab things off particularly high (or low) shelves for me…but it’s different when it’s a friend. They shouldn’t feel obligated to do that. They should treat me the same way if my balance is off or not…though, I do appreciate it when someone helps me carry something. (The worst part about the cane isn’t having the bad knee, it’s only having one available hand.)
Alright…so that SHOULDN’T be embarrassing… In fact, I do kind of celebrate the cane when I have it. It gives me something to do with my hands as I’m sitting around. I play little games or do things that require a lot of dexterity (like flip the cane around in the air through all of my fingers–which even Hugh Laurie can’t do, as he’s only ever gotten to THREE fingers on the show!). Plus, as I said to someone who last week said, “I notice you’ve got your cane,” “Yeah, but it’s okay. It’s a nice cane.” It is. It cost me $85. Still, there’s a slightly miserable part to being pitied by someone you know. It’s not fun.
…all that to say my shoulder and peck hurt, and the Feldman gig (at Kokomo’s, on Mid-Rivers Mall Drive) tomorrow is going to SUCK. (Apparently last time Mike played there with a session bass player, as I was unavailable, there was absolutely NO audience at all…and we’re playing there tomorrow…for four hours…………………… ….. ?)
Anyhoo…don’t know why I wanted to talk about that…but it’s my blog and I don’t really need to qualify it, right? 🙂
- Hugh Dillon Redemption Choir – “High Cost of Low Living”