But my right arm was free and my mind was active as ever, so I spent my time reading, replying to e-mails — tapping away with one finger — and even playing Scrabble on Facebook.
(Bear with me; I will come to my point soon.)
Two of my students had come home a couple of days later to shoot pictures for a story about home libraries in a soon-to-be-launched books magazine — the sling is at a comfortable angle in the photograph below and I can afford to smile.
But two days after their visit, I went back to the hospital for a check-up as advised. The orthopaedist then ordered me to have my arm "locked in position" for the next 4-5 weeks — he referred to this phase as "commando training" — and the sling was then attached at an "acute" angle:
I had to lie down every now and then to relieve the pressure of the strap on my neck.
But life went on.
What can you do with one arm bound in a sling?
I discovered you can...
...make (tea-bag) tea
...take out the garbage
...bring in the newspapers
...wipe and put away washed dishes
...fill water in the purifier, fill the water bottles
...make simple breakfast (toast, cheese, jam) for yourself and your spouse
...correct answer sheets, evaluate TV news bulletins
...hang clothes to dry
...slip your legs into shorts or trousers
...walk with your spouse to the neighbourhood store to buy groceries
...take the (automatic) car for a drive in the safety of the basement parking area (to keep the engine tuned)
...read, watch TV, answer e-mail, update your blogs, play Scrabble on Facebook
Any wonder, then, why I was counting my blessings?
And now to come to the "message" of this rather elaborate story. It's very simple, three little words that I always utter in class when I meet our new students for the first time:
SLING? WHAT SLING?
Commits alumnus Dipankar Paul, a brilliant photographer himself, did some nifty Photoshopping to transform an injury-hit teacher into an able-bodied warrior:
- AND, IN THE SPIRIT OF "SUCK IT UP!", I GIVE YOU... "EAT THAT FROG!"