Spread it Like Glitter

In 2001, I went to a party at a lady’s house for work.  It was a fundraiser, I was sort of the Y staffer hosting the event.  Before the guests arrived, the woman took me on a tour of her really nice home.  Next to my Grandmother Tanner’s, it was the cleanest house I’d ever been in.  As we walked around, I mentioned how nice things looked.  She told me she vacuumed EVERY room in her home EVERY DAY.  She had four or five bedrooms and all of her kids were grown and had moved out of the house.

“Do you vacuum the bedrooms every day?  Even the ones that no one stays in?” I asked.

She laughed, “Every single one of them; every single day.”

There are some things I’d like to do every day, I won’t go into that, but vacuuming is not one of them.

I don’t really clean very much.  There are only two of us living full time in this house anymore, and I have a beautiful lady (she’s just a really good person) who helps me with housework every other Monday.  I LOVE IT when she comes.  I walk in the door after work and can smell her Pine-Sol scent.

That was not always the case.  All three of my girls enjoyed art projects as kids, particularly glitter.  They could flat crank out pieces of construction paper with sparkles galore.  Even after cleanup, I’d find silver specks of glitter from my eyelids to my chest hair; from the car to the kitchen to my office.  It was like the Norwalk virus on a cruise ship – it spread and spread and spread.

My team at work is reading the book Everybody Always by Bob Goff.  Bob writes about love.  He is a Christian and is all about meeting people where they are – regardless of their background of beliefs – and simply loving them.

I love this quote from his book:  Spread kindness like confetti.  Or in my case, perhaps like glitter.

I just don’t think that is so hard.  Kindness is easy.  It can be shown when driving, or when listening to others, or by saying something nice about someone rather than tearing them down, or by a wave or hug or handshake.  There are a million ways to be nice!  And man, like confetti or glitter, once it is out there, it is virtually impossible to clean up.

I think it would be great if we could give everyone a virus – the virus of kindness, and just sit back and watch it spread.

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Where did she go?

beaker

On Saturday I went to get my hair cut.  Although I want my hair to look good, I don’t invest in it.  I use $1.79 Suave shampoo.  I get my hair cut about every two months.  I get it cut short.  I let it grow long.  Then I pay $15 to have it pruned again.

I have Supercuts saved in my contacts so I can call about 15 minutes before I arrive.  That way when I walk in the door, I get to jump in front of the big haired dudes sitting on the purple benches who got there before me but hadn’t called in advance.  I LOVE that feeling.  I feel so… special.

This time, right when I walked in, my stylist, I use that term loosely ‘cause there ain’t that much style, called me to the chair.  She was a short, plump woman with long, thick, curly blonde hair.  She wrapped my body in a black, plastic cover and tucked a dryer sheet looking piece of cloth around my skinny little neck to keep the clippings out of my shirt.

She began her work.  A number 5 clipper guard in the back of my head, a number 6 on sides.  The top is hacked with scissors.  As she was nearing the end of the clipper stage of my cut, she abruptly left the room.

“Excuse me,” she said.

She walked quickly to the back of the salon and disappeared.  I thought it odd but assumed she had a little stomach issue or something.

I waited.  After 8 or 9 minutes, I grew tired of looking at myself in the mirror and pulled out my phone.

After 12 or so minutes, I’d glanced through my emails and had begun to wonder if my friend was OK.  What if she’s out cold in the break room?  I wondered.  What if she’s had a medical emergency?  What if she had grown weary of giving haircuts and had left for the Caribbean?

I looked at my head.  My hair had been sheered with the trimmers three quarters up my entire skull.  The top was the exact same length as when I’d walked into the place thirty minutes before.  I looked like Beaker from the Muppets.  If she didn’t come back, would another employee finish the job?  Would I have to walk out with a bowl cut?  Would there be another salon open on a Saturday afternoon that could fix this issue?

At around 15 minutes another staff member disappeared into the breakroom.  It had become noticeable to all that she might not return.

I glanced around nervously concerned for her (and for me).

At 18 minutes she appeared, her face was blanched.

I wasn’t sure if I should say something, but it was obvious that I noticed she was gone.

“Are you OK?” I tentatively asked.

“Un.  It’s hot in here isn’t it?” she responded.

“Yeah.  Sort of.”  There was a temperature change that day and the heater seemed to still think it was 24 degrees outside.

Then she began to explain.  “Well I’m wearing a wig.  It’s squeezing my head and heating me up!  I bet I’m 15 degrees hotter than you.  I was about to pass out.  I had to go take that thing off for a little while.  Get some blood movin’ up there.”

I wasn’t quite sure what to say.  I didn’t know a wig could do that.  In fact, I had no idea she was wearing a wig!  I had not seen a wig since I opened my grandmother’s closet in 1972 and a Styrofoam head with blonde hair fell down and nearly made me wet my pants.

I’m not sure what I said to the woman after she confessed that her hair wasn’t real.  I think I came up with something like, “Well.  I’m glad you got that worked out.”

I left her a big tip and told her maybe she should take the rest of the day off.  Or maybe, just remove the wig.  I mean, she’s a cosmetologist.  I saw her credentials hanging at her booth.  Couldn’t she fix her real hair?

License to Fill

(The youngest Tanner, Michelle, is a sophomore in high school and is taking a creative writing class.  Her latest assignment was to create a blog.  Michelle’s blog’s theme is being the youngest of three girls.  This is her most recent post. Oh, and I did have permission to publish!)

Lucy graduation

She’s the one in red

By Michelle Tanner

Recently, I got my driver’s license. You may be asking yourself, “Michelle. What does this have to do with being the youngest child or growing up in a weird family?” My answer to you is A LOT.

Up to November 27th, 2018, I was the queen of the carpool system. I was constantly asking my dad or sisters to drop me off at the movie theater, library, etc. I often received an eye-roll in return. While I was thankful for the ride, I will admit, it was sometimes embarrassing.

Last year at my school dance, my friends and I got ready at my house, and our dates came over after we primped ourselves. The before is always awkward. Taking pictures with a boy from your middle school that you rarely talk to throughout the year is not the ideal situation… Anyway, after pictures, we all piled into one car with my dad as our chauffeur. I had faced the fact that this was the only way to get to the dance. I’m sure you can picture my dad, like any other father, playing his old tunes and asking questions to fill the silence. It’s such a relief to know that this year I will be able to avoid this situation.

For the readers who don’t know how a driver’s permit works, you have to practice driving for a year and log sixty hours of driving with your parent. That meant that every trip to the grocery store was another stressful experience filled with corrections from my worried dad. One day, I drove my sisters and dad home from a movie. I gracefully pulled out of the parking spot, put the car in drive, and began to take off. I planned to slow down so that I could turn out of the parking lot, but instead I mistook the gas pedal for the brake pedal and jerked forward. I quickly corrected myself. Everyone began to yell at me! In my defense it was the early stages of my driving career. I was mortified, and my sisters are still scared to get in the car with me.

It was unbelievable to me that my sisters could be so judgmental. They were in the same place I was just a few years ago! One of my favorite stories is about a fifteen-year-old, too cool for school DJ Tanner, my oldest sister. After a long, treacherous trip to Fayetteville, North Carolina, to visit my grandparents (when I say long and treacherous, I mean an hour long drive with a new driver on the highway), my dad corrected how DJ was holding the steering wheel. I believe the conversation went something like this…

Dad: “DJ, you’re supposed to hold the steering wheel at 9 and 3 o’clock! Why are your elbows slouching?”

DJ: “DAD! I HAVE BEEN DRIVING A WHOLE HOUR! MY ARMS ARE TIRED! GIVE ME A BREAK!”

How could she possibly make fun of my little mess up?

Now that I have my license, life is good. I have all of the freedom and responsibility in the world—I take that back. Don’t get me wrong, the freedom is great, but the responsibility is different. I have an issue with getting gas. My biggest fear is that I’ll put the wrong type of gas in my car, and it will explode. The first time I got gas, I called my sister, Stephanie, to have her lead me through the process step-by-step. I got my gas, and all was good.

All was good, until yesterday, when my “low fuel” light came on. I decided I had to face my fear, so I went to the nearest gas station prepared to leave with no worry of breaking down on the side of the road. I pulled up to the Shell gas station down the street and stopped at the closest hose to find out that my gas tank was on the other side of the car. “No problem!” I thought to myself as I pulled around to the next open spot. I pulled around, and I even shooed the friendly man working there sweeping and got an annoyed look. I felt bad, but I just knew I had to get gas no matter what. I got out of the car going over the steps in my head, “First, put in my card, then type in my 5-digit zip code…”

Turns out, I parked on the wrong side again. At that point the other gas hoses were taken and there was no more room for me to make a 7-point turn especially with my mediocre driving skills. I left the gas station defeated, but in order to get home, I would have had to make a U-turn on a busy street. There was no way I was doing something that risky, so I went through the shopping center next door where I struggled to figure out a 3 way stop with unspecified rules. I received a few glares and nearly got honked at. I was finally on my way home. But as I drove, the orange “low-fuel” light mocked me.

I turned my car around and went back to the same gas station. I drove in, parked on the right side, and I got my gas! Victory was mine, despite a concerned look from the not so friendly gas station man that recognized me from earlier. At that point I didn’t care about the glares and stares because I knew that I wouldn’t have to get gas for at least another two to three weeks.

Today as I drove my car to pick up a friend, I looked at my gas meter all the way up to the top. I felt accomplished. I felt like an adult with real responsibility that I could handle on my own. It’s funny how such a little thing made me forget I was the baby of the family for a split second.

 

Oh My Aching Back

I’ve done it reaching for toilet paper.  This time it was bending down to pick up a cup – a very light, unheavy, glass half full of water.  I pulled my lower back out on New Year’s Eve morning helping Julie straighten up for the cleaning ladies who showed up unexpectedly.

That begs the question, “Why do we cleanup for the cleaning ladies?”  I don’t do any prep work for the yardman.  Well, if I had a yardman I’m certain I wouldn’t pre-mow.

There is a guy at work who has a ton of back pain.  I have jabbed about it – referring to him as Broken Back Boy.  I will not do that again.  This is not funny.  Not funny AT ALL.

It has been a week, and I can just now wipe myself without excruciating pain.

You know you’re in a bad spot when…

IT HURTS LIKE HELL TO WIPE YOUR BUTT!

It is the little things I take for granted.

Who knew putting your socks on could be such a challenge.  Julie did it the first day, but then she had to go back to her house.  Then it was up to me.  I’d bend over as far as I could, hold the very edge of the sock with my longest fingers and then toss the sock toward my big toe in the hopes I’d get some traction so I could pull back into my comfort zone and get those little boogers up my calves.  It was a loafer kind of week.  Tying was out of the question.

Thank goodness I’m a slight guy.  At night I’d gently lie on the edge of the bed, then take my left hand, grab the side of my boxers and drag my body toward the middle of my Mattress Firm, which it ends up is not even that firm.  The nightstand was my grip to get out the next day.  I didn’t even consider a mid night bathroom run.  OUT OF THE QUESTION.

My children are ribbing me, mocking me when they walk past in a bent position with their hand on their back yelling strings of sentences with silences to represent the bleeping out of curse words.

A lady at work left a walker in my office.  I tried to use it but it was too short.

I’ve been to a chiropractor three times.  I got a therapeutic massage.  My MD gave me a muscle relaxer.  I’ve taken more ibuprofen than there are stars in the sky.  And my back is still as tight as a tic.

Is this what old looks like?  Will this happen more often?  Are other things going to go out of whack?

No.  That can’t be the case.  I’m only 53.  This must be a fluke.

 

 

Merry Christmas

BradyBunchjpeg

xmascardbackjpeg

The Listener

Judy Bright Photo

Have you ever met someone who listens to you?  Like really listens?

Judy Bright, my other mother, did just that.

I wish I had her skills.

Sometimes when I visited her house, typically once or twice a month, I’d make a commitment to ask her questions before we broached the subject of Danny Tanner.  The conversation went something like this:

“Judy, how is your health?”

“Danny, we’ll get to that.  But first, I have a question for you.”

An hour and a half later, about the time our conversation had to end, we’d move back to the topic of her.  She’d share for a minute or two, and then, the conversation would end with a hug and a kiss and a promise to talk more about her at our next visit.

Oh she shared bits and pieces about her life during our time together.  But that was secondary – to add to the conversation, not the primary focus.  I was the primary focus.

Judy was more interested in others than she was in herself.  Admirable.  Unusual.

We would grab lunch periodically.  She was the queen of using condiments to visibly guide me through strategy to help me get through the problems I was facing.

“Danny, now you’re the Sweet and Low, and (pick the person I’m having a tough time with at the moment) is the salt.”  She would then move the condiments around the table as we strategically worked through the problems bringing the mustard bottle or sugar packets in for supporting roles as appropriate.

Judy was one that freely said, “I love you.”  Not just to me, but to everyone she loved.  And she loved a lot of people, deeply.

She was a person who made each person she came in contact with feel like he was the most important person in the entire world.  We all thought she was our “other mother.”  We all felt special in her presence.

She encouraged and challenged us all to be more than we ever thought we might be.  She had more confidence in me than I ever did in myself.  She gave me the gift of self-confidence.  She gave that gift to others too.

Judy passed away last Thursday after an 18 month battle with colon cancer.  She was 72.  It breaks my heart to lose people like this, good people in a tough world.

At the end of many meals at Camp Seafarer where Judy was the director for many years, she would give a closing charge to the eight hundred campers and staff.  She would say, “You know what to do,” and the campers would respond, “Now let’s go do it.”

In her absence, I think that’s what she’d want us to do.  She has taught us well.  Now, we must just go do it.

The Final Driver’s License

Michelle got her driver’s license yesterday.

These transitions, they are glorious.  These transitions, they are painful.

How happy I will be that I can sleep a few minutes later each morning, I do love my bed especially before 7 AM.  How nice it will be NOT to have to spend 8 minutes of my day at the stop light at the corner of Wade Avenue and Dixie Trail.  Seriously, you could cook a 20 pound turkey on low while you wait at that light.  How nice it will be not to be running into the office with my hair on fire, the last one at the meeting, ALWAYS.  How nice it will be not to have to rush out of the office at the end of the day, the laptop constantly needing to update on my way out the door, knowing my kid is likely the last one sitting on the bench outside wondering if dad will ever come.

And SAT-TUR-DAY MORNINGS!  How does this kid end up with so many stinkin’ activities on Saturday mornings at 8?  When I was a kid the only activity we had on Saturday mornings was quietly watching Shazam so I didn’t wake my old man:

Chosen from among all others, by the immortal elders Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Achilles, Mercury – Billy Batson and his mentor travel the highways and byways of the land…

I loved Billy Batson and his mentor.

Michelle can now go on a weekend morning.  I can give her a hug and wave goodbye, still in my sweats with a warm cup-o-joe.

It’s a wonderful rite of passage.

It is breaking my heart.

My favorite time of the day is when I ride around with Michelle.  It’s when we debrief.  I tell her about my day, she shares about hers – unless she is cranky, and then we just ride.  We laugh.  We run errands.  We solve the problems of the world.  She shares new music with me, I’m hip like that.

Now it’s just me.  Me and my tired Spotify playlist.

I remember the last lunch I packed for her over a year ago when she was a student at St. Timothy’s School.  Before that day, I cursed the turkey sandwich.  The Zip Lock bag was my nemesis.  I wished for a lunch fairy to meet me each morning with the bag packed and the water bottle filled.  I dreamed of a day when I wouldn’t slop greasy lunch meat at 6:30 AM.

My dream came true.  Now I miss turkey.  Funny how that happens.

So often I ponder and wish for the stuff that will come.  Then it does, and I wish it weren’t so.

Yeah, I’ll enjoy a few more minutes of sleep.  I’ll get used to her new independence.  But damn, it went by too fast.

The Ads, Good Lord, The Ads

Deviere

I am thankful, thankful that political ads are OVER!

What the heck?

Apparently Kirk Deviere, a candidate for the North Carolina Senate, dresses nicely, with cuff links and  pocket squares – a criticism from his opponent that he looks good on the outside but apparently is a scoundrel on the inside.  I don’t give a rat’s behind how Kirk Deviere dresses.  I just care about what he might vote for!!  And whether he’s competent!  And I also have cuff links!  And his opponent, who had a photo, very small, at the bottom of the ad, looks sort of messy.  AND, Kirk Deviere is NOT even in my district, yet I am subjected to this hourly bashing of him!

One Super Pac, whatever that is, found the worst photo that has ever been taken of a North Carolina US Senate candidate, and accused her of not paying her taxes on time.  Like not paying them on time 66 times!

I’ll have to admit, I was quite appalled, until I read an article in the local newspaper that quoted her OPPONENT as saying that the ad was unfair and misleading to her explaining that the candidate in question received her property tax notice that says it is due by Sept. 30 each year but delinquent if paid after January 1.  Apparently she paid before January 1 like EVERYONE else in Wake County but missed the September 30 “due” date.

Guess what?  My property tax bill, which was due on Sept. 30, is sitting on my kitchen counter.  It will be paid by January 1, and my $5,000 will be collecting interest in the interim.

What ding dong would pay it in September?  Maybe the guy who ran against Kirk Deviere?

By the way, I don’t even know Kirk Deviere, whether he is a Democrat or Republican.  I also don’t know his opponent, not even his name.  The ad just annoyed the crap out of me.

You can tell when an ad starts if it is going to be snarky.  The images are gray, clouds are surrounding an unattractive candidate wearing workout clothes with her mouth wide open, a sprig of spinach tucked in her front teeth.  And then, suddenly, like the second coming of Christ, the clouds part, the sun comes out, the photos become clear and spring flowers descend upon the screen while the professionally taken photo of the sponsoring wannabe politician slowly comes into clear view.

Give me a break!  I know what they’re doing, and it makes me want to vote for someone else!  Stop it!  It is rude and distasteful.

I have an idea.  What if folks running for office honestly told us what they believe?  What their values are – what issues they would vote for and what they would vote against.  How about disqualification if they mentioned their opponent?  And what if we limited their commercials to two.  Only two.  And only the week right before the election.  We could all go to Singapore that week to put us out of our misery.

I recorded CBS Sunday morning before the election and turned it on last night to catch up.  Because it was a week old, I walked in the room and heard a political ad.  I had a visceral reaction.  It threw me back to a time of my life I didn’t want to return to: last Tuesday, pre-election.

It’s just a sad, sad state.

Parent Weekends, Here We Come!

Georgia Parent Weekend

Elon Parent Weekend

St. Mary’s Parent Weekend, the day after shoulder surgery – un…

Whew.

Julie and I have attended three Parent Weekends at three educational institutions in three different cities over the past three weekends.  I have slept in more beds this past month than Marco Polo did when he traveled through China.  I have met folks from all over the country and hung out in multiple dorm rooms.  I have eaten cafeteria food, attended ball games, partied in a Frat house and listened to seven acapella groups.  I have walked, Ubered, driven and ridden in a train.  I feel like a Fed Ex package.

Our first affair was in Athens, Georgia, at the University of Georgia, with Julie’s sophomore son.  This two day event was sponsored by his fraternity.  I know nothing about frat life so I have no idea which one he’s in.  Alpha Gamma Phi Epsilon Mu Pi Omega – or something like that.

This weekend was a bit different than the others.

On Friday night, after a nice dinner under a big white tent with a swanky port-o-potty, we went to a bar which the brothers had rented out for our pleasure.  When it was suggested that we hit another bar at around 10:30 PM, all the parents put on a smile (it was past our bedtimes) and began the trek down West Broad Street.  At our second stop, I received a high five from a tall young man when I walked out of the bathroom enthusiastically singing the DJ’s current tune, Remix to Ignition by R. Kelly.  It actually made me sort of proud although it’s a pretty old song so I’m not sure I should feel so hip.

I became quite uncomfortable when six young college ladies climbed up on a table in very short shorts and began twerking right before our eyes.  I gave them a disapproving look and then turned away.  It was like watching a train wreck – I could tell something bad was about to happen.  Fortunately we left so I didn’t have to see it.  If I’d had their parents phone numbers, I would have called.  Had it been my child on that table, I’d have snatched her down, put her in the car and sent her to a convent far, far away.

We ended the night at a dance club across the street from the Twerking Tavern.  This place had a movie screen larger than my house with videos that accompanied the 275 decibel music.  I was offended when I was walking in and two dudes yelled, “Daaaad,” as if I didn’t know I was too old to be there.  But when you have the moves, it don’t matter your age.  And I have the moves.

Our second weekend was with Stephanie, my freshman at Elon.  It was different from Georgia.  Her dorm room was immaculate.  The music was an acapella concert in a huge concert venue in the middle of campus.  We met several of her professors on Saturday, went to a ballgame where it was 106 degrees, and ate lunch with one of Steph’s best friends and her family from Texas.

Our final romp was at St. Mary’s, Michelle’s high school.  It was rather tame, and I’d had shoulder surgery the day before.  After walking to the science building a quarter mile from our previous destination, I nearly threw up.  I think it was the Oxycodone, but it may have just been the bad memories that overwhelmed me from my days in Mr. Boyd’s biology class in 1982.  I can still picture that enormous, gray worm he made us dissect.

But I did get to see my kid perform with her chorus in an incredible concert on the lawn.

Julie’s youngest doesn’t have a Parent Weekend, so we’ve only one left.  For DJ, the senior, we’re gonna skip the formalities and spend a casual weekend in DC next semester.  We had to have a breather – we are just so tired.

Ouch, that hurt.

ice pack

My Ice Machine

My shoulder hurts worse than it did before surgery.  I don’t think that’s right!  HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR ME TO BE ABLE TO SLEEP ON MY LEFT SIDE WITHOUT AGONY?  I LOVE sleeping on my left side.  It’s my favorite side.  I MISS that side so much.

They called me at 3 PM on the day before surgery to inform me that I should be at the clinic at 6:30 AM the next day for the decimation of my arm.  I was also informed I could not eat or drink 12 hours before.

“Can I at least have black coffee?”

“No Mr. Tanner.  Don’t even swallow water when you brush your teeth.”

I immediately opened my snack drawer in my office desk pulling out my stash of M & M’s and Sweet Tarts.  I knew I should begin packing away nutrition immediately understanding the food sabbatical Dr. Isbel was putting me on.

When I was taken back to be prepped the next morning, the nurse asked if I needed to go to the bathroom.  I did.  She then asked if I had any concerns.  I said, “Yes.”

“So, what are your concerns Mr. Tanner?”

“I don’t like needles in my veins.”

“We will deaden the area before we stick one in.”

“Anything else?”

“I’m afraid of blood clots.”

“You’ll take an aspirin a day to help ensure that you won’t develop a clot.  Keep moving around, don’t be sedentary.   Wiggle your feet often.”  She showed me how to bob my feet and toes up and down to avoid this potential crisis.  I began immediately.

“Mr. Tanner, you won’t need to move them until AFTER surgery.”

“I just wanted to practice.”

Another nurse came in and pulled out a syringe.  She said, “This will deaden the area where we put the IV.”  She shoved the needle in my hand.

This is unhelpful.  They stick a needle in your hand to deaden the area so they can stick another needle in your hand.  She was right, the IV did not hurt.  However, I almost came off the bed with the initial injection.  Maybe next time I’ll ask if they can give me an injection to lessen the pain for the injection that lessens the pain for the IV.

The anesthesiologist was the father of a kid who went to middle school with Stephanie.  Because I knew him, I decided I had to act braver.  I didn’t want him to go home and tell his daughter that Stephanie’s dad was a weenie.  It’s a good thing because he shoved a needle the size of an ice pick in my neck and left it there four of five minutes while he maneuvered it around to deaden the nerves in my shoulder and arm.  Had he been a stranger, I would have simply left.

Once they had me hooked to the IV and I had my hospital gown on, I had to pee again.  Geeze this bladder.

They rolled me into surgery and two muscular dudes lifted my frail lifeless body onto a coroner’s type table.  That’s the last I recall.

When I woke up, my fiancé, Florence Nightingale, was in the room.  She helped me dress and fed me Cheez It’s.

My arm had no feeling.  The neck needle had totally deadened my left side which would last about 12 hours.  It felt like I had a two by four attached to my body.

When we got home, Julie told me to rest and headed to the store to buy some provisions.  I wanted to do as she instructed, but the Weed Man had just aerated and seeded my lawn, and I needed to water it.  She left, and I headed out to line up the sprinklers.

When Florence drove up from the store and saw me shoving the sprinkler head into the hard ground, she was NOT happy.  I never knew that sprinkling your yard could have the adversarial affects she described including additional pain, extended healing time and potentially more surgery.  But my lawn is beginning to take shape which is healing in and of itself for me.

I had planned to use bags of peas to ice my arm for the next week (I also had some Green Giant corn kernels in the freezer).  Instead, Florence purchased a machine that pumps ice into a pad that you attach with Velcro on your shoulder.  The doctor suggested I purchase it at my pre-opt appointment but it cost $150 and peas are $1.79 at the Food Lion so I declined.  I’m glad she got the machine.  It feels really good and will have ongoing use.  I plan to fill it with ice next summer and Velcro it to my armpits after jogging.

All in all, surgery went well and a couple of people at work who don’t really like me that much were extra nice on Monday when I wore my sling.  And in approximately 10 – 12 weeks I should be able to lie on my left side.  Eureka!