Rugs, thresholds and garden hoses are the bane of my existence. And vacuum cleaner cords.
"Rotator cuff," pronounced my go-to physician, after maneuvering my right arm up, down, right, left, this way and that.
"You have a torn rotator cuff, probably from one of your falls," he said. He left off what I know he was thinking: . . . "as it's apparent you don't play any sports."
Really? What was your first clue?
"Ice it twice a day, take ibuprofen and rub this topical gel on the area until the inflammation goes down; then it's physical therapy."
Oh, goody, physical therapy. Can I bring my couch?
I've said it before: I like this doctor. He's thorough, takes his time and answers my questions - and nevermind that he's younger than our youngest son. (An aside: Because he's so thorough, it's best to secure an early appointment or the exponential factor kicks in and you'll need a good book and a sandwich if you arrive in the afternoon.)
Wait just a minute, and hold that thought.
I have a pet peeve to air, and here's a dandy window of opportunity: There is no "m" in sandwich. I bite my tongue every time I hear someone order a "samwich," and my tongue is fed up.
OK, peeve over. Where was I?
Oh, right. Rotator cuff, ice - hello, couch.
Rotator cuffs, lest you aren't already familiar with such, are where one's arms attach to one's shoulders. Complex joints, these, with a mess of connecting muscles that run this way and that and a tear is a mean thing.
In other words, you should be feeling sorry for me.
Well, and I'm not the only one wounded around here. Walter Matsui got into it with something - another cat, I'm thinking - and has an owee on a hind leg and a little poke over one eye. This is his first fight, and he's 10 years old, which ought to tell you what a scaredy cat he is.
Harley Davison, on the other hand, never backs down.
I've been ministering to cats for most of my adult life and am pretty good at treating minor injuries once I chase them down. Millicent Fenwick is too old and plump to get away from me and Harley cooperates to a point with Fearless Leader's help, but Walter is having none of it and I'm exhausted.
I have run myself ragged chasing him around the house with a cotton ball loaded with antiseptic lotion formulated for cats - a house mined with rugs and thresholds and, on this day, the vacuum cleaner cord. You see the problem.
Wait. Hold that thought. I have an incoming phone call.
Nevermind. It was just Private Caller, who calls twice a day, five days a week, and whom I ignore and dislike very much. He/she has our number, but we don't get to know his/hers, which is clearly unfair. I have made the mistake of picking up twice, informing PC that I'm not interested in whatever they're selling or asking for and want our number removed from their call list.
These people are very polite, apologize and agree to take us off the list - and call again the next day.
Mrs. Z used to be my only Private Caller, which made things predictable, and I could pick up and say things like "What's up, witchy woman?" - until the day a man's voice said, "I beg your pardon?" and went on to ask for a donation to Save the Whales.
Mrs. Z has thoughtfully changed her unlisted number status and now I can call her a witchy woman upon answering the phone.
What are friends for?
Walter has fallen asleep on the staircase landing, and I am loaded for cat. If I tiptoe I can probably get close enough to swab his leg before he knows what hit him, and - nevermind. He's gone, and I'm going to take care of this nasty scratch on my hand.
* Lynne Horner is a former Maui News features editor and writer who now lives in Springfield, Ore. Her "Second Thoughts" column appears every Tuesday. Send email to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.