Comrade in Arms



When you need painkillers to numb the pain, the last thing you want to deal with is a childproof container.  A hammer did the trick, smashing the container open, no questions asked.

In case you’re wondering why I haven’t been writing, well let’s just say, I was invited over to someone’s house for dinner.

Yada, yada, yada, five minutes after arriving, without a stinking drink to blame, without an ounce of grace to my name, I fell.  Flat on my face.

No, make that my side. Yeah. My right side. The dominant-hand side.

And, with nothing to catch my fall, no one nearby to hold onto for dear life, I had a most catastrophic, high-highfalutin, slam dunk fall.


You know, the kind that is so embarrassing you hope no one notices?  Fat chance. And yada yada yada, for reasons I can’t explain, a member of our dinner party backs her car into mine, leaving me with quite a mess on two fronts.  Holy Mother of Mercy!

Dinner was delish, by the way. The best Indian food you can imagine. Totally vegetarian, and don’t get me started on the cauliflower. I savored every bite. With my left hand, that is, because my right hand (did I mention it was the dominant one?) was having a meltdown and I didn’t want to make a fuss.

In fact, nobody knew the pain I felt that night. Tears running down my face? Oh no, I’m just emotional by the kindness you’re showing me.

And thankfully, no one stared incredulously at my arm, which lay motionless, all curled up in the fetal position, kind of like a wounded child, by my side. Sure I yelled, “Don’t touch it!” to my host when she tried to put an ice bag on it and nervously backed away.

“It’s okay,” I said, as shooting pain coursed through my arm. “I’m fine.”

Fine? Yada yada yada, at 2am in Urgent Care, I discovered I had fractured my elbow and would need complete rest for at least 3 weeks. After five weeks, I’m finally on the mend, except pay no attention to this arm of mine that cannot straighten out, not at all.

My L-shaped arm will get better one day, but not soon enough, if you ask me. It’s been rather futile trying to get it back to its old self.  Thank goodness, I have a spare.  A spare that I feel is deserving of my appreciation. Which is why I wrote a letter to my amazing left arm.


Dear Left Arm,

You are my hero. Though you were never destined to be my dominant arm, in a moment of crisis you stepped up.

And I certainly won’t hold it against you that when catastrophe befell us, you were nowhere to be found. MIA, truthfully.

Without you to help, I came crashing down on the unforgiving cement. Guess you didn’t hear me shout, “All hands on deck!”  That meant you.

Oh the pain and agony of it all!

Since that fateful night I have come to appreciate you in ways I could never have predicted. When my right arm could no longer brush my teeth, you figured out how.  You also washed my hair and learned other daunting tasks, like cutting my food and feeding me. A bit awkward at times, but you made it work. You’d even walk both dogs, holding both leashes so that said dogs wouldn’t yank on my feeble arm.

A friend dubbed me the One-arm Bandit. Another, called me Calamity Jane. But you never flinched, my brave arm. You stepped up and came through with flying colors.

I will never again take you for granted. So thanks for all the help and for being such a good sport about it.  I’d hug you but I don’t want to embarrass you.  My disastrous fall put you through enough already.

Now, go get yourself some much-need R&R.  You deserve it.

Yours always,


17 thoughts on “Comrade in Arms

  1. Monica, amiga, so sorry to read about your accident! This makes me wonder why bad things happen to good people! I’ve not been active on the blogosphere but now that I’m trying to make a comeback, the first post I read and it’s this bad news about your poor elbow. Sending happy thoughts your way and wishes for a speedy recovery! Hugs!

    • Bella, my elbow is so much better. The physical therapy did the trick. I was just approved for four more sessions, and that should really do the trick. There was a moment when it felt like it would never heal. Thankfully, that is no longer the case. Whew. I really dodged a bullet there.

  2. Oh my dear friend, I am sorry you experienced such a calamity – I did find the name Calamity Jane funny though. I have missed you. I am no longer writing as often as I should, so imagine my jaw drop when I found your post and read what happened. Such an awful fall, that pain is miserable. My mum went through it. I do like the ode to your left arm though. Your humor is spot on, nothing that I didn’t expect from you in spite of such a horrid setback. I have been meaning to email you. Since I began my elementary art teaching position, as well as juggling the girls schedules in-between, I have no more time to devote to posting – I miss it so. I will be back. Can’t keep me away. I hope you are much better now…

    • Calamity Jane was a movie starring Doris Day. Check it out. I’ve noticed that you don’t blog as much any more, but then neither do I. My workload has changed and I am so busy attending to my job, that I’m exhausted on weekends and can’t think of what to write. I feel guilty about it, but life is crazy–what more can I say. Except know that I’ve missed you. You have become such a dear friend in this blogosphere. I definitely feel a kindred spirit in you and I hope that no matter what, you’re doing well, and so is your family. Teaching art is a beautiful thing and I’m glad you’re helping little children develop an interest in art. So important. Are you as crushed as I am with world politics these days? We must email soon to discuss further. Sending you hugs and good vibes, my dear friend. Always.

  3. Hey there lady! You’re giving that left arm far too much credit. You’re the deserving one. You stepped up to life and mustered the courage to live boldly, despite the inconvenience and what sounds like searing pain, my dear. Pat yourself on the back, smile at yourself, because you endured what I believe is just a setback, albeit a painful one. Life slows us sometime through no fault of our own. I’m just delighted that you are well enough to write to your fellow comrades, including your #StrongArmWonder. Sending Spring light your way! xoxo

    • You’re right, Avril. It was me all along. But at the time of the injury, it never occurred to me that my left arm would step up. It’s always been awkward and child-like when it comes to trying to write with left hand, so I had no expectations. But suddenly my left arm was acting like it’s always been the dominant arm and doing it quite well. I was pleasantly surprised!

  4. Ohmigosh, Monica! I’m so sorry to hear about your mishap but glad that you weren’t more seriously hurt. Kudos to your left arm, and best wishes for a smooth recovery to your right.

    • Thanks, Pat. But you know me. I’m a survivor. And when I thought about how bad it could’ve been, well it was okay. Just another story under my belt that I can tell for years to come. Breaking my elbow and getting my car hit all in one night! Oh and let the record show, I was not even in my car at the time! Who knows? Maybe if I had been in there, I would’ve broken my other elbow!

  5. Yikes, no wonder you’ve been MIA in these parts! (I’d missed you, too!). I hate hearing about your mishap, but I can totally relate. After all, I, too, am about as graceful as a ballerina … NOT. In fact, I tripped over Dallas’s bed a week or so ago and still have an immense ugly bruise on my forearm to show for it. Rest well, my friend, and do take care of yourself!

    • Thanks, Debbie. It’s funny, you know how you always hear about some elderly person (usually a woman) who falls and breaks their hip? I always wondered, why do they keep falling? And then this happened. I’ll never question it again. No sirree, Bob. It can happen to anyone. I got off lucky.

  6. I have in fact been wondering about you . . . and I’m so sorry to hear about the mishap, but leave it to you to write about it all with characteristic humor. Here’s to all the healing it takes for you to be back in full swing 😉

    • Deborah, that night was a comedy of errors. One calamity after another. I was a train wreck, so naturally it was ripe for laughing at myself. I still chuckle when I think of all that happened. Too bad I was in so much pain, though. That was the downside. Sigh.

  7. Monica.

    Sorry to hear of your problems, we did wonder where you were, your posts have been missed greatly.

    Take care and you rest and recover fully.

    • Thanks, Robert. I’m doing much better. And since I’ve resumed holding Henry’s leash in my right hand, even better yet. He pulls on it, sometimes abruptly, in order to help me straighten it. Soon I’ll be back to my old self!

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