Two weeks ago, I fell off a ladder in the garage and fractured my right wrist.
Boredom must be getting to me because I didn’t know it was broken. Thanks to arthritis and assorted surgeries, the pain wasn’t that big of a deal. Not to me.
It was to my wife. Fed up with the muttered curses whenever I lifted something heavy, she gave me a choice: See a doctor or sleep in the car.
Daniel Hammon is my go-to orthopedic surgeon whenever I break something. He’s carved on me before. He examined the X-rays of my wrist and gave me his professional opinion. He didn’t have to dumb it down much.
Him • “It’s broken.”
Me • “What? I only fell about 8 feet. It doesn’t even hurt that much.”
Him • “Really? Check this out.”
Doc Hammon carefully turned my slightly hurt wrist to one particular knob that seemed to have gotten larger over the past week. He gently applied pressure. It was like being electrocuted. My hams contracted so violently that I bounced a foot off the chair.
Me • “[Words capable of summoning Satan]!”
Him • “See?”
Diagnosis: I have a moderate to severe case of “geezeritis.” I’m strapped into a rigid wrist brace for six weeks. No more climbing on ladders or even step stools. And I have to apologize to my wife for insisting that nothing was wrong.
“Geezeritis.” Hell, I didn’t see that coming. Not this soon anyway. I’ve always been able to absorb more punishment than the average mope. It’s what has kept me going all these years. Not anymore. Age caught up with me.
It wasn’t always like this. In 1971, I hit a car on Wasatch Boulevard while riding a motorcycle. Here’s the good part: I walked away from it. OK, I limped away. But the point is that it didn’t slow me down. I went right back out there and got hurt some more.
The next year, some friends and I were hunting rabbits on a gravel road near Tremonton. I was perched on the hood when we hit a bump. I tumbled off and ended up under the car.
My friends dragged me out, greeted signs of life with hilarity, and we went right on hunting. Granted, I couldn’t aim as well with all that gravel in my face, but you take my point — it’s hard to stop a really determined moron.
It isn’t going to get better. My elderly mother (who is not a moron) recently broke her ankle by just standing up from a chair. How is that even possible? She stood up — crack — and down she went. She’s been in a cast for over a month.
The Old Man can’t shave himself anymore. That’s a real letdown for a guy who once had hands so steady that he didn’t take me to the emergency room any more often than if I had been a smart and careful kid.
He just fixed whatever happened with pliers, glue or a whack in the head. Now his hands and mind shake badly whenever he tries to use them to hug me.
This is ridiculous. Not only am I quarantined and bored, but now I can’t even go outside without someone tagging along to make sure things don’t get interesting.
Robert Kirby is The Salt Lake Tribune’s humor columnist. Follow Kirby on Facebook.