I used to do a Thursday Night Supper at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Manchester, NH. I did it for years, just me and Lynn because I didn’t want it to be about the food. I wanted it to be about the people. A place to become a community.
Then in October of 2010, after finishing repairs on a 1951 Plymouth Cranbrook, I tripped over a lawnmower in the dark landed perfectly wrong and absolutely shattered my right humeral head. That I had been living with AVN in that bone since the 2007 collision with the Hyundai in Bow, NH is not a mitigating factor in the eyes of He Who Must be Obeyed. Nope, Art tripped over a lawnmower in the dark.
Thanks to the Manchester Community Health Center and a triage nurse at the clinic who went to bat for me, and compassionate care at The Elliot, and the incredible skill of Dr. Robert Parisien and his team I still have the use of my right arm.
When I’m down for repairs, it doesn’t do me any good to stay at home, well I did rest up after the heart attack in 2001, so I went about my business as best I could. When I went to church on Sunday I asked everyone to respect my space because my shoulder was broken and waiting for treatment. After consultations, x-ray photographs, consultation and a night at the Elliot I was home with my new toy, a stainless steel stem style device surgically implanted in my right arm bone.
When I’m down, I can count on Lynn to take over the physical stuff for the duration. So I was operated on Tuesday and made it to the church, after an afternoon nap, Thursday evening to direct Lynn in the production of a Thursday Night Supper — and yes I was counting on sympathy to get the mess cleaned up for us. Rick Weinstein, an attorney of all things was there to set up his tables for his Introduction to Bridge course, something that is very popular. Now normally when I’m in bad shape I respond to polite inquirys with “Fine, just fine thank you. And you?” But that night I really would rather have been at home in bed with a book over my eyes, reading, so I admitted that I was wiped out because I’d just had me shoulder replaced on the Tuesday before. Rick turned and looked across the room, so I added, no really, it’s such a routine surgery that it’s almost in by Nine, out by Five. And to this rick shook his head in the negative. So I asked if he believed me and he responded with “I don’t see how you could have had that done.” And the tone of his voice and his body language was to say that I was fabricating the whole thing.
Well, I was in pain, I was doing my best to support a program that I thought was necessary for the congregation’s sense of community. I had these staples holding my skin together. I was terrified of infection because that’s another whole world of hurt. I’m standing in front of the guy and he thinks I’m making all of this up! What is wrong with you people?