Laurie Gould: Don


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What is the sound of one hand blogging?

Early in March I took a tumble on some black ice and definitively separated my supraspinatus tendon from the shoulder bone to which it had hitherto been attached.  By the end of March, when it became apparent that no, my shoulder was not going to heal on its own, I took the obvious next step.

I started tomato seeds for the spring garden. Because a girl has her priorities.

I had the surgery to repair my rotator cuff in mid-May.   Rotator cuff surgery involves six weeks in a sling. Sadly, the sling is not optimized as an accessory to the late spring wardrobe.

It is, however, loaded with Velcro. Velcro has come to play a rather dominant role in my life in the two weeks since the operation. Velcro is the secret to this magnificent ice pack, my very favorite possession in the world at the moment.

You use this big Velcro-fastened harness to keep the ice in place around your shoulder while you go on about your business – say, checking on the progress of the tomatoes in the garden, or watching "The Great British Baking Show," my two predominant pastimes in the past two weeks.  Of course, sometimes the Velcro from the ice pack gets a little promiscuous with the Velcro from the sling, and hilarity ensues.

Then there is this Shoulder Shirt, designed to make it easy for surgery patients to get in and out of their clothing. It fastens at the shoulders so you can step in and out of it instead of pulling it over your head – a big help, especially in the creaky first post-surgical week.  And it closes with – guess what? – Velcro!  

I'm not positive what the surgeon used to close up my incisions. But I have my suspicions.


Here are some things you absolutely cannot do with one arm in a sling:

  •    Fold fitted sheets
  •    Open a storm window
  •    Fasten a back–closing brassiere


Here are some things that are surprisingly possible to do with one arm in a sling:

  •     Bake bread (if someone helps you get it in and out of the oven)
  •     Open a tightly closed jar of sauerkraut.  The technique required involves securing the jar between your knees, anchored with dry rubber gloves to prevent slipping. (I call this my "Genius Move.")
  •    Write texts - thank you, iPhone voice recognition! The software's limitations are a bit puzzling, though.  My iPhone knows absolutely everything about me: my location, all of my passwords, my bank balance. But when I ask it verbally to sign an email, it spells my name wrong, every single time.



After rotator cuff surgery you have to sleep sitting up for a while. It is not delightful, kind of like taking a red-eye flight every single night. Except that there is nobody farting in the seat next to you. You don't have to pay extra for blankets.  And instead of liquor in tiny bottles, you can have all the medical marijuana you want.


Most of the post-surgical instructions my doctor provided were pretty clear. But there were a few things that were left rather vague. For example, they put compression socks on me before the surgery, and I was told to continue to wear them afterwards. But for how long? Compression socks, like big-assed Velcro slings, are not optimized for the late spring wardrobe.

Naturally, I asked the Internet. I was deeply intrigued with this answer:

A Brazilian Butt Lift!  Vastly more interesting than rotator cuff repair. I think I want one, if I can only figure out what it is. To where, exactly, is one's butt lifted?


Everything is about attitude: you can't choose what happens to your rotator cuff, but you can choose how you respond.   A real post-surgical turning point for me came when I stopped bemoaning the fashion-backwardness of my big black accessory, and decided instead to take advantage of its miraculous quantity of Velcro. 


There's fashion!

And function!


I am very happy to report, two weeks after surgery, that my tomato plants are doing quite well.

Of course, we are still quite a long way from actual tomatoes. They will be ready to harvest in mid-August, right around the time that I will once again be able to lift things with my left arm. Which means that I will be able to pick even the biggest tomatoes with either hand.

And then I will go inside and fold the fitted sheets.


From Milena738 | On June 18, 2018 @05:00 pm
Diane Lane received the Sarasota Film Festival's Award for Cinematic Excellence on Saturday, exactly where Paris Can Wait was the closing night occasion. my web page;
From Delia Boylan | On June 05, 2018 @03:45 pm
The visuals are priceless Laurie...You Go Girl!
From Sheree | On June 04, 2018 @07:45 am
Ahhhh, Ms. Gould, (or Ms. Could, according to my autocorrect- which may be different from how your iPhone autocorrect, but which nonetheless I find eerily appropriate in your current circumstances...)- As ever, your wit, wisdom, and wonderful way of working humor into even your most painful experiences all prevail. You are, as we say in these here pahts, a winna!!! Thank you for making visible the varied virtues of Velcro. I do, however, hope that's not what's keeping your lifted butt on that Brazilian perch. Dios mio!!
From Steve | On June 02, 2018 @11:34 am
Welcome back Midlife Mom. You were missed.

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