Becoming a Toilet Southpaw

In just a few short weeks, I will be undergoing shoulder surgery for a busted rotator cuff.  Because nothing says “Happy 40th Birthday” better than surgery.

Back in December, I tweaked my shoulder trying to act younger and stronger than I really was.  The lesson I learned?  I’m old.

Toilet Southpaw

While I iced my shoulder religiously after the injury occurred, I never fully got rid of the pain.  After a round of physical therapy and months of rest, my right arm still doesn’t have full range of motion.  While I’m no longer in Yelping Out In Agony pain, this injury has certainly puts some limits on my lifestyle.

Taking off a bra results in wincing and muttered cursing.  Upper-body weight-bearing yoga postures feel unstable and shaky, like I’m trying to twerk but doing it wrong.  If I thought my throwing was pretty pathetic before my injury, it’s downright embarrassing now because my arm resists the follow-through.  I aim for my son, but the ball ends up in the bushes.

I’m over it.

An MRI revealed that I have a high-degree partial tear in one of my rotator cuff tendons.  And there’s probably a bone spur swimming around the pool party.   The options I were given were:

1. Just learn to deal with it

B) Get injections for years, or

III) Opt for surgery to repair the tendon and clean the shoulder out.

While this surgery isn’t required, I’m at a point now where I’m tired of feeling gimpy.  I want to be able to do fun activities with my kids like rock-climbing and not stress out that I’ll one day tear the whole tendon apart.

I worry that if I don’t take care of this now, it will only get worse as I get older.

So, August 16th I’ll be getting arthroscopic surgery to repair my tendon.  Afterwards, my shoulder will be immobilized from anywhere between one to four weeks.


I’m hoping that with my incredible strength and youthfulness (note sarcasm here), recovery will fall in the short end of things.  But I won’t know how bad things are until they go in and take a lookie-look around.

Basically, I might just be useless for a while.  I won’t be able to drive, and luckily my husband won’t be traveling and will be available to help out with the kids.   The bonus?  I get a free pass on cleaning the house and will take a hiatus from my current title of Sherpa.  And I might be able to skip out on wiping my daughter’s butt for a while.


But then, I realized, how will I wipe my OWN BUTT?

I’m right-handed, and that delicate matter is handled by my dominant hand.  I have never, ever even attempted to wipe with my left hand.  Is it awkward and unsuccessful?  Will I need to resort to screaming on the toilet like a potty-training toddler?

“I’m DONE!!!!”

I’m close to my husband, but that is territory I’m not willing to embark upon together for at least another 30-40 years.

So, for the next couple of weeks, I’m going to have to start practicing performing that job with my left hand.  Because I like to be prepared.  And because I don’t like to ask for help.  Especially with my underwear around my ankles.

I will become the switch hitter of bathroom breaks.  The Ambidextrous Ass Wiper.  The Toilet Southpaw.

Ditto goes for brushing my teeth, eating, getting dressed, and generally feeling like a functioning human being.

I’m dreading giving up control over the cleanliness of my home.  I’m afraid my kids will get tired of me not being able to play with them.  I’m not looking forward to asking for help with simple tasks that I’ve been used to doing on my own for over three decades.

And having someone wipe my ass for me?

I’d like to feel youthful again, but not that youthful.


Bodily fluids…

Two things happened the other day that I’d always heard about from other parents, but never actually experienced.  And the simple fact that they happened on the SAME day?  Well, that’s parenting for ya…

Item #1:
I came home from rehearsal and went in to get Miss P out of her crib when she woke up from her nap.  I noticed that her sleep sack was still draped over the side of her crib, but chalked it up to it being a warm day.  Perhaps our babysitter thought the fleecy number might get Miss P too hot, I don’t know.  As I get closer to Miss P, I realize something.  Huh.  Is that a DIAPER in the middle of her crib?  Why, yes, yes it is.  And there’s her pants, all the way over there.  And that dark spot in the center of her sheet?  Do I even need to say it?  Pee.  Urine.  All over her crib.  And her woobies.  And her kitty cats.  Then, Jon called me today to let me know that Miss P didn’t take much of a nap today, because she spent that time figuring out how to get OUT of the freakin’ sleep sack, take off her pants and diaper, and shit all over her bed.  Fantastic.  How do I get this to stop?  Cement diapers?

Note to self:  Miss P will need to be straight-jacketed in to that sleep sack until she’s in college.

Item #2:
I’m reading books to Mr. B before bed time and happen to look up at the wall just above his bed.  And that’s when I see it.  Booger wallpaper.  Smeared snot all over the wall.  It was utterly disgusting.  I looked at Mr. B and asked him what that was, and he just shrugged and said “I don’t know.”  And in that moment, he seemed like such a Boy.   A nose-picking, underwear-digging, demolition-loving Boy.  And I want to figure out a way to stunt his growth and development.  Not permanently, but just a little longer.  Just long enough so that I can wonder at his imagination, envy his innocence, and, of course, squeeze in more cuddles.