How can I help? Maybe you shouldn’t ask

You might want to rethink that.

 A few weeks back, I had rotator cuff surgery, the second time I’ve undergone the procedure, which surely means my dream of pitching in the Majors is over. Everyone is so nice now that I’m trussed up in a massive sling, unable to do the simplest things. That the afflicted appendage is my right arm just multiplies the misery.

“How can I help?” “Call me if you need anything?” my lovely friends and family members say. And while I know they mean it, somehow, I can never bring myself to ask.

Right before this picture was taken I was hit by three players and suffered a broken vertebrae that laid me up for months. My lovely friends pitched in to help, but I learned some requests were out of bounds.

One reason for my reticence is the memory of the time long ago when I fractured a vertebrae after having been run over by three players while officiating a high school football game. Like today, friends ascended offering their help. I was unable to walk for a short time and was confined to bed, but once I was packed into a brace, I managed to toddle around on my own. Still that was when I really needed help.

“Anything I can do?” a friend said.

Then I made my request. One that I had been burning to ask for weeks. “Please,” I practically begged. “Would you shave my legs?”


Anyone who has ever shaved a body part knows itching is involved if one stops. That no one took me up on my request is perhaps understandable, and now I face similar issues.

What do I need? First, I can’t pull up my pants. A simple problem to rectify, and yet I sense my loved ones might not want to drop everything to run over every time I’m facing that particular challenge.

Then there’s my daily battle with the newspaper. As a former reporter, the thought of getting through the day without checking the news just seems wrong. I’ve been reading a newspaper daily for going on 45 years. The problem, of course, is turning the pages. If you don’t believe me, give that a one-handed try. Anyone want to stand by my side while I read and then turn and crease the pages for me? (And here’s where I admit that I have always had a secret desire to have one of those old-world butler’s who would iron the daily paper for me, pressing out the folds and wrinkles à la Downton Abbey, but I digress.)  

I need someone to help me pour my tea. Anyone interested?

I’m an avid tea drinker, so much so I have regularly made two big pots of tea daily, which is difficult to deal with left-handed. I am often over shooting my delicate, china cup—Drinking tea from a mug is barbaric. Just sayin’.— so my tea ends up spilled everywhere. Maybe the aforementioned butler who presses newspapers could help, but again, my busy friends and loved ones might not be so enamored of the idea of standing by my side and filling my teacup when its empty.

I have often written about the sorry state of my teeth, a condition I blame on my Irish heritage and my love of all things chocolate. I have put many dentists children through college and probably paid for a few vacation homes, as well. So, anyone want to come over and floss my teeth? I thought not.

I could continue complaining about my small, everyday challenges, but I am reminded of a video I saw recently. A lovely young ballerina dances with a troupe, leaping about the stage, all elegance and grace. That the dancer has no arms matters not at all. I think of that young woman every morning as I wrestle my way into my clothes. She inspires me to figure out how to do things on my own in my temporary, one-armed world. So, I will do what I can.

That said, anyone want to shave my legs?

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is wild-horses-on-the-salt-cover-2.jpg



Published by Liaison – A Next Chapter Imprint

Rebecca Quinn escapes her controlling husband and, with nowhere else to go, hops the red-eye to Arizona. There, Gaby Strand – her aunt’s college roommate – gives her shelter at the Salt River Inn, a 1930’s guesthouse located in the wildly beautiful Tonto National Forest.

Becca struggles with post-traumatic stress, but is enthralled by the splendor and fragility of the Sonoran Desert. The once aspiring artist meets Noah Tanner, a cattle rancher and beekeeper, Oscar Billingsley, a retired psychiatrist and avid birder, and a blacksmith named Walt. Thanks to her new friends and a small band of wild horses, Becca adjusts to life in the desert and rekindles her love of art.

Then, Becca’s husband tracks her down, forcing her to summon all her strength. But can she finally stop running away?

Order your copy here:

8 thoughts on “How can I help? Maybe you shouldn’t ask

  1. Catherine Castle says:

    Anne, having been in your predicament TWICE in 2019, if I lived close enough I’d come over and shave your legs , but sadly I can’t help, my friend. However, I have a work-around for your dental issues. Buy an electric toothbrush and some dental floss sticks. They kept my teeth in great shape during my left-handed stints. You’ll just have to practice poring that tea though. I never did figure that one out.


    • annemontgomeryauthor2013 says:

      Awww…you’re sweet, Catherine. I do have a Waterpik. That helps, though it can get a little wild left-handed. And I have decided to stop caring about all the spilled tea. 😉


  2. sloanetaylor1 says:

    OMG! Even when you are down and broken you still have that glorious sense of humor! Hope you heal fast, you furry cutie.:)


  3. tidalscribe says:

    Just having Carpal Tunnel operations was bad enough, even with family around! Everyone would go off to work and I would realise I had forgotten to get them to take lids off jars etc!


  4. sharonledwith says:

    True we don’t know what we’ve got until it’s gone – temporary or not. Had to help my 90-year-old mom pull up her pants at the nursing home. She never thought she’d be in that helpless position ever. Life can be humbling. Hang in there, Anne, and get well soon!


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