I know this will be very difficult for many of you to believe, but apparently I have a couple of annoying personality traits that irritate the dickens out of my wife. This past weekend one of them was on full display. The annoying personality trait of which I speak concerns my tendency towards over confidence, especially when it comes to self-diagnosing. Let me try to explain...
Ok, readers of this blog are aware that the past few months have visited upon me a plague of back, neck and shoulder problems. The most recent visitation involves a mysteriously cranky right shoulder, which feels an awful lot like my left shoulder felt two years ago right before I had rotator cuff surgery. For a week and a half now, the shoulder has started out the day virtually pain free only to gradually get tighter and more painful as the day wears on until by bedtime I am about ready to bite down firmly on stick while Pam saws my arm off! Well...this past Friday, I had a very good day. No, I had not been divinely healed, but searing pain had been transformed to mildly annoying discomfort. So, when I woke up Saturday morning pain free, my over confident, self diagnosing thing kicked in. I informed the wife that I was planning to take Lucy over to the track behind Pocohontas Middle School and throw the frisbee, then come home and cut the grass. It was then when she shot me...the look.
My wife is too kind of a person to truly launch into someone, so she starts out with a heavy sigh and begins shaking her head from side to side, "Honey, just because you've had one decent day doesn't mean that the last eight days of pain didn't happen! There's something wrong with your shoulder, and you're not helping it by doing everything you always do on a Saturday! You need to REST YOUR SHOULDER!" At that point I began assuring her that I would take it easy and not try to do too much, which to her ears sounds an awful lot like...lies.
After around twenty minutes or so at the track the shoulder began to hurt a little. I made what I felt was an adult, mature, responsible decision to cut our play time short and head back home. When I came into the house Pam was getting ready to go for her morning walk. I smiled and told her that she had been right, but hadn't I been smart for coming home instead of pushing it? Oddly, she was not happy with what I thought was quite a victory. Instead, she huffed past me, without so much as an "it's about time!!"
Then, I made a really stupid decision. There's probably nothing I enjoy more than working on my yard. I know it sounds weird, but I love to cut the grass...and my lawn was crying out to me. But then I remembered Pam's warning about doing too much. It was then that I came up with what in hindsight was a pretty stupid idea. What I was searching for was a way to cut the grass without violating the letter of the law that Pam had laid down. So, my brilliant solution was...I'll cut the entire yard...LEFT HANDED.
There probably isn't any need for me to tell you what happened next. Pam was NOT happy when she returned from her walk to find me mowing the lawn awkwardly with my left hand on the handle, struggling to keep the mower in a straight line. Let's just say that it made for some tense moments later at dinner on date night.
I really don't know what's wrong with me when it comes to this sort of thing. I always manage to convince myself that I am cured of any ailment the minute I can go ten minutes without any symptoms. Part of it is from personal experience, since in ancient times it used to sometimes work...back when I was twenty. The hardest thing on earth for me to do, besides sitting still in church and/or business meetings, is convalescing. Rest isn't as easy as it sounds.
But, unfortunately, Pam was right. Sunday morning, the shoulder pain was back and it got steadily worse throughout the day and this morning it's unpleasant as well. So, she was right. I was wrong. Again. To her everlasting credit, she hasn't yet started with the "I told you so's"