I haven’t written for a long time. The reason why is twofold. First, work has been busy, to say the least. Second, I have one arm.
Well, that’s not entirely true. I have two arms, but I can only use one of them.
A few weeks ago, I was driving to work on a misty Monday morning. I always listen to podcasts on the way to work. It was hard to focus on the subject, though, because the bus driving next to me was so loud. Sadly, once the bus drove on, I noticed that the noise was actually my back left tire exploding.
Rush hour highway blowout!
Luckily, I was able to pull off the highway and into a parking lot. Quick inspection confirmed the worst – my tire was eviscerited. It was like my tire had picked a fight with Wolverine and lost. It was like my tire and my wheel broke up. Very publicly.
Anyway, I didn’t have the best tools to fix the flat, so I called my trusty uncle to bring his industrial jack and help me out.
After I hung up, I reached into the back seat to grab my puny jack and get started.
Boom. White light.
Let’s pause here. If you know me personally, you know that I have a horrible right shoulder. It dislocates all the time. It’s been popping out for a decade. Usually, I can knock it back in by ramiing it against a wall, a bleacher, a boat dock, etc. Or it spasms back into place.
Not this time. My shoulder was out. As in, below my armpit out. As in, I couldn’t use my arm out. As in, I created new bad words out.
Keep in mind I’m half-way in the back seat, with my butt in the air, right off the highway during rush hour.
I tried all the usual tricks. Wiggling, pushing it against the seat, flexing it to help the spasms, nothing. I could feel everything inside my shoudler rubbing, scratching, maybe tearing.
I managed to prop myself up by my forehead and dialed my uncle and Sam with one hand.
My uncle tried to get me out but I could get up without my arm going nuts.
With nothing left to try, Sam and my uncle called the ambulance.
Talk about embarrassing. Hi, I’m Joey, you’re talking to my butt because it’s in the air and my face is down and my arm fell off and I’m accidentally using adult interjections.
Anyway, these pros were able to get me out of the truck, hit me with some crazy pain meds 8x stronger than morphine, and get me to the hospital for x-rays.
Props to my wife for taking away my phone when I kept calling my boss. And for not taking any pictures of me when my butt was in the air, surrounded by EMTs.
That’s the bad shoulder part. Now the God part.
First, I’m blessed to have an uncle and a wife willing to drop everything to help me. Second, my boss and co-workers have been amazing. Even though we’re really busy, they’ve let me know it’s ok to heal and get better. It’s been great to have that support.
Finally, there’s the issue of finances. I don’t have great insurance so none of what I described was covered. When our tax return almost exactly matched the ER and ambulance bill, it became pretty obvious where the money came from.
So thanks to family, friends and God for having my back. And my sad, exploded shoulder, which probably looks like my blown out tire.
The shadow proves the sunshine, as they say.
Also, I hope I get a robot arm.