A Chip Off The Old Shoulder


“You’re a big girl’s blouse,” seemed to be the consensus at work about my sore shoulder last week.

Things have been getting progressively worse since, like the supreme athlete I am, I tripped up a step and landed unceremoniously on my face in front of half the staff and a number of customers recently. After a week of x-rays, scans, physio, doctors, ever-stronger-painkillers and some truly world class whinging and moaning, they worked out why my right arm wasn’t working and booked me in for a small procedure to remove a centimeter and a half long bit of calcium which had struck out on its own and was causing havoc with my rotator cuff.

Unfortunately for me they told me what they were going to do before they did it, allowing me to pre-imagine the world of hurt I was about to endure.

“I’m not the best patient when it comes to needles and pain,” I told the two doctors, although I’m sure the panicked look on my face had already informed them of this.

I lay shirtless on the table. Both doctors were fairly buff in much the same way I’m not, but rather than feel inadequate I reminded myself this body, with the help of my wife, has produced seven children, so of course it’s looking less than pristine.

“Did you drive yourself, or is someone here with you?” they wanted to know.

“My mum’s waiting for me in the foyer,” I told them.


“You brought your mummy?”

I nodded weakly. Ouch.

“Would you like us to bring her in so she can hold your hand?”

Double ouch. Whatever happened to the days of doctors having nice bedside manners? On the other hand, I was chuckling so that was good.

And did it hurt? Oh, yeah. But seriously, it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as what I’d been enduring during the worst moments over the past week. During the procedure I just kept telling myself it would all be over in less than fifteen minutes. Well, that was what I was saying in my head. What was coming out of my mouth was more of a cross between the mating calls of a whale and snake.

An hour later I was home with a cup of tea. The anesthetic was still keeping my shoulder happy and I was telling Tracey everything which had happened, and trying to make myself sound worthy of sympathy. I knew I wouldn’t be able to pull off heroic but I seriously thought I had a shot at brave and manly. Not a hope.

“There was one odd thing which the doctors said,” I told Tracey. “I asked them what causes this sort of thing?” I had partly asked the doctors to distract myself, but also partly because I’m determined to give up everything short of sex and beer to avoid needing to do this again. “They said no one really knows but usually this is a complaint which affects women.”

It was out of my mouth before I could stop it. I’m blaming the painkillers. Usually I don’t hand these sorts of opportunities to her on a silver platter.

“At least you’re through the worst of it now,” she said, leaning in to give me a kiss on the cheek. I really expected her to kick a goal with that one. She stood to leave the room. “You’ll be able to do up your own bra again in no time.”

Ah, there’s the woman I know and love 🙂 I’m surprised she didn’t pull her shirt over her head and do a victory lap of the house.

When not typing away over here and checking his stats every two minutes Bruce Devereaux hangs out at his ‘BIG FAMILY little income’  Facebook Page.

 ’raising a family on little more than laughs’


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