One decade ago, work related injuries left me with two options. EITHER seek the same surgery which has TWICE repaired and TWICE failed me, recover, return to work and get re-injured OR self-inflicted downsizing / acceptance of early retirement’s bare-bones existence.
This damned surgical catch-22 does bring to mind Anthony Weldon’s 1650 AD adage… “He that deceives me Once, it’s his Fault; but Twice it is my fault” (stated less stiltedly… “Fool me once shame on you; Fool me twice shame on me!”). But, as for “Fool me Thrice?” Hell, since wise ol’ Tony hadn’t considered the possibility that anyone could ever be so foolish, I would need to improvise… thusly…
“Fool me thrice and I’m no fool; I’m an outwitted nitwit!”
Never wanting to be an O.R. 3-time loser, I knew there’d be no new surgery for me. Instead, I’d need to learn to live with my injuries… know my limitations, stay attuned my body’s daily, early warning signs and then act accordingly. To not heed such RED ALERTS? Well… to spare you the unpleasant details… let’s just say the consequences could be painfully life threatening.
Fortunately, most of the time, my wellness level has been acceptable… but… as for planning one’s life around unpredictable symptomatology… in particular… to attempt any work-a-day-world comeback? Well… long sigh…
Just how many bosses would stand for a worker literally lying down on the job?
Needless to say… injury necessitated, early retirement sucks… it instantly taps out one’s feelings of self-worth and rapidly tanks out retirement savings accounts. And no matter how many times I’ve done the elementary school math, things are not looking good. I could easily wind up running out of money before running out of life. Hmm, perhaps longevity isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, after all?
Having, long ago, exhausted the easy budgetary cuts, as of late, I’ve begun to consider some further concessions… i.e., my own re-definitions of what are and what are not life’s necessities. To that end… this past May, when my nearly 20-year-old car failed to start, I had opted to run a one month long experiment… one, which would eventually wind up being closer to six months. To add more authenticity to this experiment required leaving my auto dysfunctional… i.e., to better simulate what being car-less actually feels like.
While, admittedly, it might be a bit of stretch to make such a claim, my feasibility study does bear a minuscule resemblance to a downsized, landlubber’s, Thor Heyerdahl-ish, Kon-Tiki Expedition… namely…
Could I successfully keep my larder and bathroom toiletries shelves properly stocked using only my one mind, two hands and two feet?
Literary similarities or not… everything all sounded doable to me, since, for the most part  I’d have only been driving to the grocery store (and refueling station), anyway and  in spite of my injuries… my fast paced walks to all of my other hometown destinations had kept me reasonably, physically fit (walking being my only safe form of exercise).
By far, my biggest car-less challenge wound up being the 2 mi / 3.25 km round trip walks to my supermarket to lay in provisions… cramming as much as possible into the 2-3 shopping bags, which my two hands could carry.
But folks, these past six months have taught me a far more valuable life lesson. One, which far transcends my living with injuries, dealing with dwindling bank balances and juggling the nuts and bolts logistics.
My story will continued. Stay tuned for Part 2