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Front Page » October 30, 2007 » Opinion » Staff editorial: the advantages of wearing a cast
Published 2,459 days ago

Staff editorial: the advantages of wearing a cast


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By RICHARD SHAW
Sun Advocate publisher

It seems nature handed me some real problems when it came to muscles and tendons.

Well, at least one.

I went to the doctor a few weeks ago and at first we thought my inability to walk in the morning on my left foot was due to a bone spur, but upon further investigation it turned out I had tendonitis and a muscle that didn't grow in the proper direction.

So for 55 years I have been walking, running and bouncing around on a muscle that didn't come in right; kind of like molars that didn't come up through the gums properly.

But that is no more. Two weeks ago I went in for surgery to fix the problem and when I woke up I had a new little buddy to contend with. No it wasn't the IV pole that usually dances around with each of us who are admitted to the hospital (although I had one of those too) but for the first time in my life I had a cast on my body.

Now I have had broken bones in my life, but they were never snapped off in a spot where anyone could put a cast on them. Instead I had braces or supports, but no cast. Those could be taken off whenever I wanted; kind of like a get out of jail free card. This cast I now have on my leg is more like being in the Carbon County Jail; it's presence is unescapable.

So since then I have been hauling around about 10 pounds of plaster on my leg that goes from my toes to just below my knee. I know it is to protect me from harming myself; I am such a wiggleworm that I would surely break something loose without it. I always test the boundaries of restraints. I remember as a kid I used to bend my wrists back until it really hurt just to see how far back I could get them. No wonder my fingers are always numb now.

So as I have been hauling around this ball and chain, I have come to appreciate those that have permanently limited mobility in their legs. It's a good lesson that everyone should experience.

I have always been one to try and make lemonade out of lemons. You know like turning an IRS audit into a monetary abandonment party, a visit to the dentist into a chance to eat as much candy as I could for the week before I went and having a larger celebration upon my divorce from my first wife than I did when I married her. So I have been making the best of my new friend that clings to me and here are some of the good points of having a cast on your left leg.

•Since you can only wear one sock (if you will go bare toed on the cast foot, which incidentally you can get away with when you are injured) your sock drawer will stay full longer. An addendum to this is that it also gives you a chance to use all those socks of which you only have one half pair due to loss to the mysterious sock eater in the sky.

•When you get mad you can kick over chairs or furniture with you leg and not feel a thing. However, be careful not to hit the place where the injury or surgery was done. A cast is hard and the concussion on the inside is just as graat as it is on the outside.

•You have an excuse to park as close to the front entrance of where you work as you can. Now if you are laid up for awhile, you might even get a handicapped parking sticker; but if not you can justify fitting into about any space by just pointing at your leg when someone protests.

•On Halloween you can dress up like Igor from Young Frankestein and drag your leg without having to act.

•It's a great excuse to make everyone in the office come to you for a change. Get on the phone when there is something to discuss and they can all come to your office. This is good in many ways. You not only do not have to exert yourself, but you are on your home ground in case an argument ensues.

•Everyone will be willing to run to Maverik to get you anything you want during the day and they will all tell you to keep your money because they will pay for it. I have saved $3.43 cents the last week by taking advantage of people.

•Your spouse has do to many of the chores around the house that you normally take care of. Make sure you keep a few to look honest though; other wise post-cast life will be hell.

•You can ride your ATV about anywhere in the yard and get away with it. Certainly, in this condition, no one expects you to walk to the corner of the yard and take down the bird feeder for the winter.

•You need help getting ready to take a shower. That means your wife has to kneel at your feet while she places a plastic bag on your leg to protect the cast from the water. Don't get too cocky though. That bag is held there by tape and if she thinks you are enjoying that ceremony too much she can always place the tape that seals it off on a part of your leg that hasn't been shaved and then she can insist on removing the tape very slowly.

•Finally, the cast is a chick magnet. It's been since I was 30 that so many women looked at me with such mothering instinct. They go out of their way to help me whether they are 70 or 17. They take pity on me. In my younger years I wouldn't have liked pity, but hey when you get my age, any female thoughtfulness is welcome.



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