This is a Post.

To be honest, friends, I have a new writing project that deserves my attention but my creativity is as fractured as my mind and body are at the moment.

So here’s hoping blogging is as therapeutic as the non-licensed therapists claim it is…

Things I’ve Been Taking For Granted

The Incident, as it’s come to be referred to in my house, has opened my eyes to all the little things in my life that I’ve never considered valuable/important – until I could no longer accomplish them easily.

Getting in and out of a car:  The front seat of an automobile was designed for someone who can bend both of their legs. I’m spending the summer in a leg brace. I’ve been spending more time in the back of a van than a wannabe actress during her first summer in Los Angeles. And I’m pretty sure the actress is having more fun.

Climbing stairs:  Actually, that term is misleading. Most of you walk up and down stairs. I’ve been climbing them – on my ass. Staircases with sturdy railings that can easily support my 225-plus pounds of girth aren’t too bad but I look like a human pogo stick while navigating them.

Being able to change seats:  In the last several weeks my world has shrunk faster than Bruce Jenner’s manhood. Now that my mobility has been severely limited my days are spent in one of three places:

  1. Bed. I’ve done many thing in my bed: Devoured snacks while enjoying my favorite mind-numbing shows, contemplated a plan of attack for the day ahead, apologized – Lord, have I apologized – but I’ve never been a prisoner. Until now, that is. (Actually, I have been a prisoner before, but “Sexy Librarian Disciplines The College Student With Overdue Books” doesn’t count, right?)
  2. The living room couch:  Daytime television is a vast wasteland populated by bar rescues, repo games, retro game shows, something called The Chew (I was praying a jet engine would fall through my roof after the first five minutes), and other programs too banal to mention. And summertime prime time is no picnic either. Thank God – and Stephen King – for Under The Dome. But the couch is comfy – though not after ten hours – so there I sit, day after day, after day…
  3. My front porch:  Someone put me some kids in my yard so I can shake my fist at ’em, please. Seriously, my father-in-law and I have spent hours on my porch this summer. We’ll engage in stimulating conversations that involve the following phrases:

“Looks like rain today. They said it was going to be sunny, but they appear to be wrong.”

“Whatever happened to (insert name of an old family friend here)?”

“The damn government!”

“Looks like the foul-mouthed, randy divorcée across the street snagged another one. Poor bastard.”

Yep, welcome to my world. By the way, these days the answer to whatever happened to most of our old family friends is the same: they died.

Bow chicka wow wow:  Want an extended break from the ole “in and out”, fellas? Break a fuckin’ leg and you’ll be in sexual limbo before you know it.

Going to the bathroom:  This is the Big One, kids. When all is said and done and my leg heals fully (hopefully), I’ll never forget my summertime trips to the bathroom while in a leg brace. Urinating can be a chore on a good day – if you’re drunk, tired or sick – but when you can only bend one leg? Well, then it becomes an energy-sapping exercise worthy of a Navy SEAL.

During the day I can use my crutches, although they’re pretty much useless when it comes to actually sitting on the throne and doing your business. In the middle of the night, however, all bets are off.

Our 2nd floor bathroom is right across from my daughter’s room and it’s about 3, 000 miles – give or take – from my room, so in the interest of maintaining the evening stillness… I crawl on my butt… every… single… night. Half of my knuckles resemble uncooked pork chops, my home’s floors have been polished to a nice sheen but only in a very specific path, and my dignity is deader than Lindsay Lohan’s career.

And sine we’re down the Rabbit Hole anyway… Have you ever tried to wipe your behind while perched on one leg? My hands are far too large to fit in-between my legs which I’m unable to spread far apart, so I have to hover – again, on one leg – while cleaning myself.

Bathing sucks too. At least we have a bath chair. I refuse to imagine a scenario where I’d have to rely on someone else to clean me that doesn’t involve me as a 103-year-old man.

No matter how strange your life is at the moment, I’m guessing I have you beat.

Feeding myself – at the kitchen table:  The healing process dictates I keep my leg elevated, so I eat my meals – which I cannot risk preparing on one leg – on the couch. Having a sexy butler/nurse sounds great on paper but I die every time I see the exhaustion in my wife’s eyes. And so there I sit, day after day, munching away in front of the tube.

And speaking of my wife, and for that matter, the rest of my clan and my friends, both in-person and virtual…

Thank you, everyone who has reached out to me these last few weeks. Your support, love, jokes, good wishes and other acts of kindness have touched me. And after a few weeks of celibacy, I really appreciate being touched…

See you around, folks…

 

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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38 Responses to This is a Post.

  1. Oh Hook! I know how hard it is for you and the family, but I am sure it’s all going to healed soon and you’ll be back doing a jig in the lobby. (Sorry, I forgot that even though you are funny, you are not Irish :-D). Only you could put such humour into such a miserable time. Hang in there and please keep your sense of humour, I look out for your funny posts every week because they always brighten up my day! *hugs*

  2. Paul says:

    Hook, Hook, i know what the problem is! That picture you took of your keyboard at the end? There’re no letters on the keys! Ha! Oh, buddy, I hope the cloud lifts.soon. Could you maybe rent some kids to yell at in the front yard? I’ve seen rented deer, rented pink flamingos, rented elves – surely they rent kids? And, what’s the phone number of the lady across your street? if I may ask? Get well soon!

  3. Reminds me of the time I crushed four vertebrae. I was put in a cast that started at the armpits and ended 1/4 inch above my man part. It was also a compression cast so it was cantilevered in such a way to force my chest out to unsqueeze the vertebrae and make them go back in place. Your tales of living, walking and pottying were descriptive of my six months in that torture device. I lost a girlfriend since as you can imagine hugging a cement boyfriend is about the bottom of anyone’s list of things to do. My reason for writing is to let you know it will eventually pass and you will have learned many new things as a result. Hang in there (of course not much choice).

  4. Thank you for the best update only a humorous and humble Hook could provide. You’ve been in my thoughts and I send you and your family good vibes every day.
    I just came off of 6-week, post-surgical no-hubby-love-nooky as well. The good news? Everything will work when you come back…maybe even better 😉

  5. I have to say, Robert, you certainly go above and beyond to always bring us a perspective of life that most of us would never dare trying…always with your usual charm and humour. I think you have outdone yourself this time. We love to laugh vicariously through your life but, Dude, we would rather have you whole and in a lot less discomfort. Here’s to you mending quickly!

  6. Jennifer says:

    What’s the betting your wife will hurt herself when your better (not that I wish it on anyone, but you get it..)

  7. Although I’m not in your shoes right now, I can relate. I’ve been on crutches for months on more than one occasion and had a few major surgeries where I couldn’t do much (Or shouldn’t have done much) for myself. It sucks big time. Take heart though it will get better. Grab onto the good where you can find it even in the midst of the bad. Thinking of you.

  8. Poor Robert….I’m so sorry it is such a hard time in your life right now. And your right, it would be difficult to top your sucky summer thus far. I know there are some somewhere but everyone has their own trials, eh? You are in thoughts and prayers for safe healing and return to us mere mortals who live your daily adventures with you. Learn from your new perspective to be grateful for the things that we all take for granted from time to time. In the meantime……we are still here! 🙂

  9. Desiree G says:

    I now truly understand the correct use of “Bless Your Heart”!!!!

  10. It great to have you back and blogging — for your similes alone.

    Keep strong, my friend. We’re all rooting for your speedy recovery.

  11. Robin says:

    I feel your pain. I really do. To a degree. I had a hard cast on my broken foot, broken ankle, and a removable cast, but only for very short 5 minute periods of time for my 5 surgeries on my left foot. Hence my blog about “Shoe Porn”. Crutches are barbaric and hugely ill-designed. Try putting a cast cover, aka foot condom over your foot/calf and try to shower on one foot (non weight bearing). By the time you get over your initial pain, you sleep like a baby due to hauling your sorry, one-legged ass around the house. I’ve slid down the steps on my bum, and pulled myself back up those stairs using my incredibly weak triceps. *kisses the guns in admiration*. I could go on, but I don’t want to. It’s starting to depress me and currently I’m cast free . Know this: one day you will be free of your brace and life will once again be worth living. God speed.

  12. 1jaded1 says:

    Yay, a post from you…Only you can convey this with just the right balance of humor. So many things we take for granted til we can’t. You are in my thoughts, friend.

  13. You are an incredible man Mr. Hookey. I admire you in so many ways, I am always excited to see your posts pop up in my email as I connect so deeply with your writing. I can only imagine how shitty you’re feeling, and I hope the healing process goes at lighting speed for you!
    XOXO

  14. Hey – I just realized you’ve finally got time to watch that Bieber clip of Beiber getting clipped that I posted on your About page a 100 years ago. If that doesn’t give you a moment of mirth, I don’t know what will. Now, go watch it.
    Talk to you soon – R

  15. Littlesundog says:

    I was down for about three weeks one time. Crawling on my hands and knees and in bed most of the time, due to a back injury while working in the woods. We generally come out of the difficulty with a renewed sense of spirit and thankfulness. Try to think of this time as therapeutic both physically and psychologically. It can be good if you let it be so! 🙂

  16. I can’t vouch for how effective blogging will be for you in regards to gaining therapeutic insights but I can assure you of one thing, the price is right! I saw a therapist quite a few years ago and it was bloody expensive. Get well soon, very soon.

  17. I hope, my friend, you are not letting this drag you down. It’ll all soon be a fading memory and we’ll have lots of stories to read about! I know first hand how hard it is for the whole family, which comes back and makes you feel even worst BUT 1. a family is like the 3 musketeers: “all for one and one for all” makes the bonding even stronger. 2. it’ll heal, 3. take advantage of the situation for more contemplation, 4. start thinking of ways to help yourself for a healthier life.
    About those weather conversations on your front porch, surely they aren’t all that bad!
    What can I say, I always see light in the darkest situations! 😉
    Happy to see you writing a post. Seriously, take care of yourself! 🙂

  18. I feel for you I really do, I spent the summer of 2012 in a leg brace and can identify with most of the things you are saying. Suffice as to say my leg will never be the same and I miss it. If only I hae appreciated it more lol
    Hope you heal well and soon. I can understand the whole heap of frustration, I only wish I had had my blog then to keep me sane.

  19. List of X says:

    One word: Netflix.
    I’d type more, but I’m also busy keeping my own leg elevated, though it’s not nearly as serious as your condition.

  20. I’m grateful that thus far, I’ve managed to skate by with nothing but minor injuries. I shuddered at the idea of losing out on Bow Chicka Wow Wow. :-/ Keep healing my friend.

  21. Nadia says:

    I work with people with physical disabilities, and every time I return from work I feel an amazing sense of gratitude for being able to do things without so much as thinking. You are in my thoughts, friend. xxx

  22. You will get there

  23. mergellus says:

    Keep your leg up, keep your spirits up, and remember, you won’t have to shuffle around on your ass for ever.
    Hope things improve very quickly for you.

  24. stephrogers says:

    What a crappy thing you’re going through. At least you haven’t lost your sense of humour! xx

  25. So sorry about your leg! I’d always wanted a broken leg when I was a kid, but I’m sure as hell glad it never happened, especially after reading your post. Get well soon!

  26. Thank YOU, Hook! I laughed out loud at 5:45 am reading this post, whilst drinking my decadent cup o’ joe.

    I can only believe that starting the day laughing means it’s gonna be a GOOD day!

    Sending so much love and healing to you,
    Lindsey

  27. What a horrible summer to disclose in your upcoming memoir. I feel for you, I do. At least you’re living in the west where pedestal toilets are aplenty. Can you imagine the ramifications if you had to use a squat? NO. I am NOT laughing. 😀

  28. Now that does totally suck, but I gotta admit – I giggled mightily over you dragging your butt to the bathroom in the middle of the night!
    Sending you good, healing energy!

  29. “Human pogo stick?” “Spending more time in the back of a van than a wannabe actress during her first summer in Los Angeles.” Forgive me , I laughed. Cheered to see your post.
    Hey, front porches are a world of their own (no matter the season or year, those are the only topics on any front porch…shiver.)
    Know you are suffering, but one thing, there is no more valuable gift a parent can give a child than have them see a difficult struggle through terrible hardship – to see a fight to survive and overcome. Really. It’s important. (Still ugly you have to slug through this.)
    Hang in there! They always say writing is so much more authentic if you’ve lived it…so there you go – not necessary to repeat the experience.
    Appreciate the update – you are still the master of wit.
    Hope for rapid improvement – especially on the TV shows (that may be beyond hope – but we can dream) or perhaps a stray squirrel in the yard to throw sticks at.

  30. jlheuer says:

    Boy and I thought bunion surgery was an inconvenience. Nope, you’ve got that beat. Tiny bit of advice ( yeah, yeah, you are sick up to here with advice), but if you want to keep your pogo-stickian 225 lbs, watch the sitting and eating all day. Can be fun now but remember when this is all over you have to go back to chasing hookers with your luggage cart. Okay, I am taking my Mom hat off now. Ps: Great post, love it when people say things you only think about.

  31. Carolyn says:

    On the plus side, using crutches regularly creates some pretty bad ass triceps! When I was in an immobilizer with a knee injury and having difficulty showering (couldn’t get my leg wet) my grandpa brought over some body part bags from his days as a funeral director. It made showering more like a shower than a sponge bath. Call the local funeral home to help you out 😉

  32. Doug in Oakland says:

    Hang in there, it’ll get better. And I hear you on the bathroom stuff. When I was in acute rehab from my stroke, they counseled us against returning to our stroke-risky behavior when we got home, because people do that and then have more strokes. And I do mean strokes plural; one guy was there for his fourth time. I told them that if I felt tempted to do any of that kind of stuff, I would just remember the time between my stroke and the day my OT cleared me for toilet transfers and the temptation would pass.

  33. maurnas says:

    I never thought I would say this, but wow with the details! I’ve been there, man. Just remind yourself that there is an end in sight. This isn’t forever. And never take your mobility for granted. It is wonderful to be physically able to do a bunch of shitty, mind numbing chores.

  34. TJLubrano says:

    Just twirling by to send a hug! I hope your recovery is going as planned (even though I know you’d rather be healed in a flash) and that you can keep yourself busy. Everything will turn out okay in the end!! I’ve faith in that. 🙂

  35. Oh, no. You do not have mine beat (Phil Mouse sent me over). I broke my ankle (bi-malleolar fracture) on 1May. I am only now learning to hobble on crutches remotely half way decently. I spent two weeks in hospital waiting for the fracture blisters to go down before they could operate. My surgeon told me my bones were so weak that it couldn’t consider weight-bearing after the op for six weeks. I have hopped around the flat complete with a heavy plaster cast. I have struggled at the toilet, and still don’t trust the one leg of supporting me in the shower, done the arse down the stairs, and back up, and am so unsteady that I can’t go out alone. I live on the sofa. With age (I’m guessing I’m older than you) and a sedentary career, recovery takes much longer. I’m pleased you’re up and moving around without crutches. I daren’t even think about that. Next time, if you decide to use a ladder, maybe get someone to foot it for you too…

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