Thursday, January 5, 2012

Motivation and Pity Parties

By W.S. Gager
Today I thought I would whine for a while. No, don’t stop reading. I really have a point but first I get to develop a bit of sympathy before I move on. This past couple of months have been incredibly frustrating and painful for me. I’ve had a shoulder problem for over a year and thanks to “I can fix that easy” doctor, my calcium deposit in my right shoulder turned into a full blown hole in my tendon resulting in rotator cuff surgery before Christmas.

The thing is that I could have lived with the annoying pain for a while. (Yes, it hurts a bit but I can still function.) The quick fix turned into a I can’t even think pain. (Stabbing bursts that shoot down my arm on a regular basis or at least whenever I tried to type or move my appendage.) Enter doctor number two who showed me the hole, the reason for the pain and loss of strength and two weeks later I had surgery. Recuperating with lots of family and holiday distractions kept me from my computer. However the last week I’ve been waking up early with lots of great ideas running through my head and no idea how to capture them. Holding a pen for very long really kills and my family hid the laptop which I’ve now found. The stabbing pain is mostly gone except when I do something stupid, like try and lift my arm for anything. Have I mentioned it was my right arm and guess what handed I am? I have this lovely sling that I must be in for at least three more weeks that straps my arm at my side to protect it from injury while it heals, according to my doctor. It has two straps that wrap around and over me and another two that Velcro across my arm making my lower armed affixed to my side with great force.

The good news is my mind and imagination are back. Pain is not conducive to creativity and the last couple of days I’ve been trying to get back to the keyboard. That d$&# sling blocks my arm and my short fingers from reaching the keys. This morning, thanks to that great imagination, I woke up at 5 a.m. with a great idea how to defeat the sling. I’m still wearing it as ordered but tipped my laptop down at a 45 degree angle and moved my arm a bit further out of the sling than it was designed for but I’m not out of the sling. Typing this only gave me a few tingles. No pain, at least not yet and the doctor said I could type but not for long periods of time at one sitting. I don't think he figured that I would defeat the sling.

If I could, I would be doing cartwheels but I’m pretty sure that is not in my recommended list of activities. And since it is very early morning and my kids can’t see me work, they still have to cook and clean and all those activities that poor mom can’t do because she can’t move her arm. Yes, I’m still whiney but just for the kids’ motivation. I’ve figure out how to write and that is the best medicine! When you are a writer, the most painful thing of all is not being able to. If I can write with my arm in a sling, you can find a minute to jot some words down. What more motivation do you need?

Come met me in person and hopefully without the sling from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25 at Literary Life Bookstore & More, 758 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids.

W.S. Gager has lived in West Michigan for most of her life except when she was interviewing race car drivers or professional woman's golfers. She enjoyed the fast-paced life of a newspaper reporter until deciding to settle down and realized babies didn't adapt well to running down story details on deadline. Since then she honed her skills on other forms of writing before deciding to do what she always wanted and write mystery novels. Her main character is Mitch Malone who is an edgy crime-beat reporter single-mindedly hunting for a Pulitzer Prize. A Case of Infatuation won the Dark Oak Contest in 2008 and A Case of Accidental Intersection took first place in the Public Safety Writers Contest in the unpublished category. She loves to hear from readers at or on her blog at Check out my blog later today and maybe I will put up some photos of me in my sling!


Patricia Gligor said...

I think you have every right to whine! As a matter-of-fact, "they" say it's therapeutic to voice what's bothering you and that people who keep their feelings bottled up have heart-attacks. You've got enough problems now, right?
The important thing is that you're on the mend and it'll be business as usual before you know it!

Anonymous said...

So glad you are on the mend!

Did you look into voice recognition software?

Hope to see you at a meeting this spring!

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Oh, my goodness, I had no idea you had his problem. I'm the same way about pain, I don't function well. When I broke my ankle, hardly did any writing at all.

Get better quick!


WS Gager said...

Patricia: Thanks for your permission to whine. I shared it with my son who will be dusting and vacuuming today and received an eye roll! I'll be laughing inside. Hope that doesn't put me in for heart trouble!

Suzanne: Thanks for the suggestion. I thought about the software but instead am hoping for speedy recovery.

Marilyn: Thanks. It was a good thing the Mystery We Write Blog Tour was so much fun. The laughter helped me manage the pain.

W.S. Gager on Writing

Patricia Kiyono said...

How awful to have to go through this through the holidays! I'm sorry you had to go through this, but I'm glad you found someone who correctly diagnosed your problem. Hope your recovery goes smoothly!

Cheryl said...

Ow, I feel your pain. I had a frozen shoulder (right side) then two years later I had it on the left side. Physical therapy took care of it. Putting my hand in my back pocket was a major breakthrough.
I hope you're feeling better soon and able to type some of those great ideas!

J.C. Hanks said...

If you have a smart phone, you might be able to download a voice recognition app, tell the phone what you're thinking and then email it to yourself. At least, that's what I would've done.

Glad you got it straightened out. Just a reminder to double check your doc when talking about surgery. :)

WS Gager said...

Patty, Cheryl and J.C.: Thanks for the best wishes. Hope to see you next Saturday.