Just trying to keep me in stitches

A few weeks back I wrote a column about this old dog being able to learn new tricks — dealing with the losses of my dad and my good friend Tommy.

While I have been able to adapt and “learn new tricks,” when it comes to that, sometimes the old dog in me is a bit more resistant.

I don’t think many people, at least my peers, like change. We prefer to do things we know and with which we are comfortable.

Recently, I had to have a couple of minor surgeries, one on my shoulder and the other on my calf.

Both procedures required the physician to sew me back together, and both procedures drew the advice from said doctor, “Don’t overdo things.”

“Right,” was my automated response. I did have to shelf my three/four-mile walks, either at the gym or outside. No golfing, heavy lifting (yay), or extreme stretching of the affected areas — until the stitches were removed.

I was vigilant — for the most part. But the old dog lie lurking.

After a few weeks of heeding my medic’s advice, I grew tired of babying myself.

The leg was feeling good and the shoulder was in another half of the body so I began walking again, shorter distances and more slowly, but it felt good.

One Sunday morning after Mass, on a rare sun-splashed April day, I opted to go to one of my favorite walking spots, Horseneck Beach in Westport.

I got there and it was gorgeous as usual. I walked for a while and decided to sit and watch and listen to the waves lap upon the shore. I spied a large pile of rocks up the beach that would be a perfect nesting area for me.

I climbed the rock pile, but being rocks that come from the ocean, they were well eroded and round. The pile gave way and took me with it. I was swept away by an avalanche of beach stones.

When I came to rest after the rock slide I immediately checked my stitches, top and bottom. Phew! Neither opened. That would have been quite the sight walking back to my car a bloody mess. Bad dog!

Then, a week later, I was watching the Boston Bruins in game seven against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the playoffs.

I don’t have to tell anyone how maniacal I am when watching my Boston teams.

Luckily that night, the Bs scored seven goals. Unluckily for me, I, like countless others, throw my arms into the air when a goal is scored.

For the first four Bruins’ goals I did just that. And four times I had to check my shoulder wound to make sure I didn’t pop any stitches. Nope. Got away with it each time. Bad dog!

By the fifth goal I was conditioned to celebrate with one arm. Not much fun, but it was better than the alternative.

There are no more strings attached now, but I still have to be careful until the wounds are fully healed. Piece of cake.

I love the old dog in me, but with him around, it was a task keeping me in stitches.


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