I thought I had today mapped out. ‘Get up at 6’, ‘Quick 5-mile run’ and ‘Write some hilarious jokes that people will pay for’ were just three of the things that I was certain I wouldn’t be doing. I did, however, expect to collect my sister and go to a meeting at our mother’s care home.
In time, I picked up my sister. So far, so good. We arrived at the care home in good time and went into the lounge, an area full of senior citizens, arranged in a vague oval of comfy chairs, like some sort of geriatric Roman amphitheatre but with fewer gladiators and more crocheted rugs. I looked at the empty chair nearest to my mother’s seat and wasn’t entirely happy to sit on it. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against rubber cushions, per se, but this one had a suspiciously shiny look about it and I was somewhat concerned that a recent occupant may have had what is euphemistically termed ‘an accident’ and not of the ‘just fell off my skateboard’ kind.
“Okay” I thought. “There’ll be somewhere else.” And I looked for the longed for ‘other vacant seat’ without luck. My gaze then alighted on a foot stool and, although it’s generally a bad idea for me to attempt to sit on anything low, it seemed infinitely preferable to sitting on the ‘accident’ chair as I had by now mentally christened it. I walked over and, holding onto a large, but occupied chair, I lowered myself to the foot stool. It wasn’t what I’d thought. Yes, it was a foot stool, but no, it was not a sturdy object suitable for use as a seat, because in place of the four stout legs I had assumed were part of its design, was a rudimentary frame topped with a vertically swivelling seat upon which one might rest tired feet at an optimal angle, but not a wide arse … at any angle.
I was instantly flung sideways and, realising I was about to hurtle to the floor, grabbed the (occupied) chair to halt my fall. In fairness, this tactic worked, but only at the expense of my shoulder, which, unable to take the entire weight of my Hobnob addicted body, simply dislocated, achieving a shape hitherto only seen in shoulders that have featured heavily on programmes such as ’24 Hours in A&E’, ‘An Hour to Save Your Life’ and ‘Cirque Du Soleil: The outtakes’. In what was probably a really short amount of time, but felt very, very long, my brain asked the question “Are you going to continue holding this chair while your shoulder’s doing … well, THAT, or are you going to just fall on the floor?” I fell on the floor. Well, against the chair, containing a reasonably startled old lady who probably thought the entertainment had finally arrived. I felt my shoulder relocate; not to the country or abroad, just back to the socket. It was not one of my favourite moments of 2015, although it wasn’t the worst either, sadly.
So, now, sitting on the floor, leaning against a chair, in a lot of pain and being watched by every resident with a clear view of my shenanigans, I quietly said to my sister (with what I feel was remarkable restraint) “I’ve just dislocated my shoulder!” I’m expecting my ‘Certificate of the Bleedin’ Obvious’ through the post any day now. As luck would have it, there were painkillers available, not the morphine I would have liked, unfortunately, but better than nothing. After a brief trip to a different part of the building to load up the mother with crisps and tea, we went back in to the scene of my previous humiliation, only to be told that the meeting wouldn’t be happening. Good stuff. My biggest worry is that they’ll expect me to have a slapstick routine prepared for every visit. I don’t think my joints can cope!