Nearly a year ago, I wrote a post about how 2013 had kicked my ass. It was one of maybe 6 0r 7 posts I have written in the past 18 months. You see, 2013 was a bitch – but 2014 has conspired to make its predecessor feel like an old, fondly-remembered friend. I will tell a tale about an altercation I had with a tropical fruit this week that illustrates what I mean.
In this year of our Lord – 2014- I have been diagnosed with not one, but two painful, chronic and potentially debilitating maladies. One affects my joints; the other affects my muscles. Both involve fatigue and weakness. Depression is an “interesting” common denominator. Neither is curable but, I am told, are manageable by utilizing an amazing array of poisonous chemicals, copious amounts of rest balanced with exercise, and a good attitude. Some days only my joints are affected – other days my muscles ache. On “perfect storm” days everything, including my eyelashes and fingernails hurt. Some days I cannot even turn over in bed. Many mornings I cannot walk when I get out of bed which makes that first trip to the bathroom rather entertaining. Usually after 10 – 15 minutes of stretching and range of motion exercises, I can maneuver around with only moderate pain. Good insurance being what it is, I have amassed an incredible schedule of specialists’ appointments.
I have been referred to the pain clinic where I am treated like a wild-eyed drug-seeking addict…I must bring my prescription bottle with me to have my remaining pills counted; I must submit a urine sample at every visit to be tested for illegal substances; and I must make an appearance every 30 days. Heaven forbid that I have a prescription for more than 30 days worth of relief. I am fairly certain I could get heroin more easily (and more cheaply).
On the worst days, my left arm is virtually useless. I am right handed, so that is a small blessing. If you have ever had a bum wing, though, you know how difficult it is to maneuver through your day using only one hand. Your less-dominant hand is important for such tasks as pulling up your underwear, holding the cookie jar so you can pull the top off, or flipping off passing vehicles. I cannot hold anything for any length of time in that hand, including a wine glass. A cup of coffee is too heavy for my weakened arm and attempts to lift one are likely to result in a spill, a burn, or both.
I am recovering from yet another abdominal surgery this week (Merry Christmas to ME), so I am even weaker than usual. My beloved Sweet Cheeks, who has had to assume most of the tasks of running this crazy train we call home, purchased a beautiful, perfectly ripe pineapple at my request. So on Christmas Eve morning, I zig-zag staggered to the bathroom, managed a quick shower concentrating on the parts I could reach with my right hand. I shaved my right leg and the right side of my left leg plus my left underarm. I dressed slowly, pulling up my underwear on the right side and managed one-handedly to get both my 38L boobs (that’s L for long) tucked into a brassiere. I styled the right side of my hair with the blow-dryer and ran a comb through the left. I staggered to the kitchen and prepared to wage war on the splendid tropical bromeliad.
I chose my weapons carefully: my best knife and a new-fangled pineapple corer/slicer/peeler purported to make quick work of the task at hand. I selected a cutting board and prepared the pineapple as if offering up a tropical sacrifice. I laid the fragrant golden fruit on its side to make the first cut to remove the spiky top. With my stronger right hand I grasped the knife and…nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero. I pressed harder and the stubborn fruit squirted off the cutting board and onto the counter. I laid my useless left hand on top of the fruit and leveraging my weight onto the knife blade, managed to just cut into the firm flesh. Juice ran onto the cutting board, somehow making the surface both slick and sticky. The fruit slipped again with the blade stuck about an inch into the side.
By practically laying on the pineapple, utilizing an exaggerated sawing motion, and employing a multitude of standard and newly minted curse words, I was able to separate the top of the fruit from the body. Feeling victorious, I stood the pineapple up and attempted to use the new-fangled device. So simple – just press and twist the device into the pineapple and when you are finished, the fruit is sliced, cored and peeled. I managed to twist the apparatus about an inch into the dripping yellow flesh. I could not make further progress. I gathered the fruit into my useless left arm and held the dripping fruit next to my body. Grunting and sweating, I somehow managed to twist another half-inch. I was covered with juice, sweaty with effort and frustrated as hell. My blood sugar was falling and my blood pressure was, undoubtedly, on the rise!
Finally, in an uncharacteristic fit of common sense, I decided juice and toast sounded like a much better breakfast choice. I waited for my beloved to wake up and complete the job I couldn’t do. Which he did, rather easily.
I threw the pineapple out yesterday. It was perfectly ripe, beautifully sliced and cored, and very juicy. I just couldn’t bring myself to eat it.
I guess I’m just a sore loser. In more ways than one…