The last few posts have been rather serious, so I felt a change might be in order.
One of the less obvious side effects of the major surgery is the loss of balance that I am left with. There are three main reasons for this:
- Major surgery does leave you weak and vulnerable
- It also means I have spent a lot of time lying down and not getting enough exercise (despite the physio I have been given)
- Additionally I am reluctant to use my crutches at present, as the increased strain on the chest muscles resulted in a very messy and public bleed when a one of the wounds broke open
This lack of stability is not usually a problem. It’s mainly standing for a long time that is difficult. For example we were recording an episode of an audio thriller for the drama group (advert : Brood of Vipers, to be available soon we hope on local radio). As I explained above, I found standing at the mike difficult, so I just pulled a chair over and leaned on that whilst I delivered my one line of script. It was only one line, but I was proud to be a member of the cast, even though I had only a small part. After all size does not matter.
However, there are times when it is traditional for men to stand for certain activities, well one activity anyway. As the more blessed 50% of the population will already know, the proper behaviour for this rite is to stand with feet slightly apart and just overlapping the front edge of the porcelain, with a stern manly expression on one’s face whilst one thinks of England (other UK countries are also available). Meanwhile, of course, the entire activity should be carried out in dignified, manly silence, unlike Ladies who are well known for being incapable of going to their Facilities without at least one member of a support party.
When one’s balance is effected, the correct performance of the rite can raise issues of a delicate nature. The Germans have a word for it apparently, ein Sitzpinkler, meaning one who sits down to for this task, as opposed to the traditional Stehpinkler.
For me this is a difficult situation, in which I must reconcile my physical limitations with the moral and social issues for my self-image. I would ask for you all for your support in this matter.
Of course such issues are not new, I do remember the sign that used to be present in the toilets of British Rail trains, “Gentlemen lift the seat”. All too clear in mind is the confusion this caused to my youthful understanding. Was this instruction an invitation to aristocratic fraud or or merely a new and hideous weapon in the class war?
Such are the complexities of our modern lifestyle.