When I took Del to the US last week, a trip sandwiched by one to England and one to Holland, it was one reminiscent of the kind of hyper-intense traveling I used to do on a regular basis. While pleased that my slightly-older being yet much-older feeling self held up gracefully, I did have a shock.Remember when I lamented that my days of hoisting myself up into air-conditioning shafts were over? Well, those feelings have subsided with time. Part of me has regained the sense of defiance; part of me has just learned to let it go. Since my surgeries, the range of motion in my arms is back to about 95%, but the upper ranges certainly don’t have a lot of power behind them. When I am traveling with my trusty roll-aboard suitcase, I have managed to avoid confronting the possibility of my limitations by (luckily) not having to hoist my suitcase up into any high spaces – at least when its packed full. This has been both conscious and unconscious on my part. I never thought “I don’t want to put this up there cause I might not be able to”, but it’s not like I was unaware of the fact I hadn’t done it yet. This might not be a big thing to you guys, but let’s face it, hoisting my heavy suitcase into an overhead bin was once part of my daily work experience (and will be again). It represents only one of the inherent tasks of the gig. Like Sydney Bristow changing hair color. (You know, the superspy and all around kick-ass chick from Alias.)
Anyhow, when I came back from America last week, I strolled onto the plane and found no casual way out. I refused to give it pause, so even though I had my doubts about succeeding I just plowed forward. (I often find that’s the best way to get things done.) I look up at the bin so high. I first lift the case onto the armrest in a baby-step strategy and then hoooi……uh….aahh… (*ahem*).
I would never ask a flight attendant to help me, as this is a prickly issue in our job. (You might think we’re mean to begrudge, but if we get hurt lifting your bag we are not covered by worker’s comp.) Thankfully, the nice F/A came over and she did help me. She didn’t have to do that, and I was grateful.
I was surprised by my gross failure, and – ok, sorta not too. I do now have to admit openly to myself that I am no super-spy. Damn.
Am I terribly concerned? Anh, no. Whatever. Might it indicate an issue for work? Yeah. But I’m sure once I’m back to lifting things on a regular basis, that arm muscle will come right back. And if I’m wrong, just don’t tell me, or I’ll be forced to prove you wrong.