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Théodore Géricault:
The Wounded Cuirassier
[French: Le Cuirassier blessé quittant le feu]

" … because that's what I do."

I admit to a certain degree of DIYdiocy. I do more than attempt to Do It Myself but sometimes seem to be actively engaging in Doing Myself In! A month or more ago, I finally set about cutting up those shrub trimmings clogging the driveway so that I could stuff them into the green waste can. After that work, an annoying ache took up residence in the region of my right deltoid, a shoulder muscle. I could manage that pain with regular doses of Ibuprofen and did. I tried to avoid activities that annoyed that spot, though just moving my arm laterally up or down could elicit a wince. I added some dedicated rest periods to my schedule and continued.

Repainting the back deck railings and superstructure brought fresh insults to my wound.
The Muse had been after me to schedule a doctor's visit, but even thinking about attempting that effort almost always convinces me that I'm not nearly infirm enough to justify subjecting myself to that gauntlet. I held my water and stood my ground, over the following few days sanding down the deck's peeling surfaces and applying the coat of thick peel-coat primer. Additional increased infusions of Ibuprofin kept me humping, though I felt authentically infirm after finishing, disinterest in supper, nursing my aching arm.

Last evening, my chair collapsed as I attempted to stand up and get out of it. It's an old club recliner, perhaps a hundred years old, and my favorite. Over the years, I've fixed almost every part of it except for those two ancient screws securing one arm. They gave away as I tried to lever myself up to standing, and I fell hard, further wrenching that same spot on my right shoulder. Ouch! That was genuine pain! I searched for The Muse but could not find her. I slinked to bed after swallowing another small handful of Ibuprofen, which did little to nothing to ease anything. The fresh wound forced me to try to sleep on the wrong side, a further insult to my pride.

I prefer unless gravely injured, to just continue working. I'm the guy who runs off the mere loss of a limb, extending my denial of the injury until I leave myself with no real choice. I'll very likely die, denying that I'm dying. I figure I'll have eternity to accept that I'm dead. Until then, I will show up for my shift unless truly physically incapable. I am no wuss. Also, according to The Muse, no genius. I was up early this morning checking my status, which was unpromising. The pain meds seem even less effective this morning, and they might just as well have been placebos last night. Picking up my coffee cup feels just a tad south of excruciating. I'm still plotting how I might, with my non-dominant hand, tuck into applying the next coat of paint on the back deck railing. I imagine Lord Nelson at Trafalgar, one-armed but still engaged in battle, not yet knowing that a sharpshooter was drawing a bead on him. Painting will never earn me a state funeral with honors, but it might leave me feeling WorkingWounded valorous.

I seriously considered calling in sick for my story writing this morning because typing irritates my right arm, where one-and-a-half of my two-and-a-half typing fingers reside. I wince as I type, fulfilling what some might mistake for an innate masochistic urge. I'm just dedicated to my doings and do not, under any conditions, desire to be seen as a slacker. I might limp on and crawl off, but I will be present and accountable under almost every conceivable situation. I might visit immediate care this morning. They have no onerous process for scheduling an appointment. They only require insurance and an inordinate amount of patience. I've been WorkingWounded because that's what I do.

©2023 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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