The weather is getting cooler and it was time to do some yard work again. Monday was Labor Day, and this is the time I pick to do some labor. Actually, I just wanted to dig out some weeds that had grown as tall as I am during the extreme heat. Now, I have never been lazy - well, maybe a little - but I let those miserable weeds get a head start on me. However, that's just the beginning of my story.

I decided that the weeds would come out better if I dug them out, so I went to the side of the garage to get the shovel, where I tripped over a box and fell head first. I put my hands out to catch myself and my arm landed in a bucket. I jammed it hard. It hurt like crazy. I couldn't lift it without the help of my other arm. What a mess it was. I broke the bone in my upper left arm.

So, here I am trying to write my column with one hand. Don't you think that a woman of my age would know better? That's what I get for trying to do something constructive. All this just a week before I am to leave on a cruise to Bermuda - I hope.

After getting confirmation of the break, I have been walking around with my arm in a sling waiting to see Dr. Adams, an orthopedic surgeon, Friday morning. That's four days in a sling. I couldn't get an appointment any sooner, so they tell me, and this arm aches like the devil every time I try to move. The doctor gave me some happy pills for the pain and they make me nauseous. Nice fix I've gotten myself into, huh. I wish it was in a cast so I could do something.

Now, how in the world will I get into my beautiful clothes with a cast on my arm?

And then, there is the possibility of swelling during the long flight. Waiting this long to see the specialist also opens the possibility of a blood clot. It's one thing after another. I may have to cancel my trip.

I never realized what problems you encounter when you lose the use of one arm. First there is the matter of bathing. You can't wash under your arms with one hand, nor can you dress yourself very well. We had to cut off my blouse and undergarment to be able to change to a button-up-the-front blouse. A simple thing like washing the dishes became a major undertaking, but I did it.

Continuing this would be depressing and I am in pain, so it's time for another happy pill and more sleep. At least my insomnia is taken care of until this is over, which can't be too soon for me. There is always at least one good thing that comes out of every bad incident. At least I can sleep.

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Betty Kuhn, of Boardman, can be contacted at bkuhn_1@Msn.com or the East Oregonian, P.O. Box 1089, Pendleton, OR 97801.

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