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Opinion

Left with the right

SINGKIT - Doreen G. Yu - The Philippine Star

It’s a day I won’t soon forget. With the rest of the world I was shocked by reports of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the news getting worse with each new update. There have been, over the past days or even weeks, reports of the massing of Russian troops, the drums of war getting louder, but the actual invasion was still a shock when it happened.

The effects of all that crept closer to home as analysts spoke and wrote about the soaring price of oil ($112 a barrel!), the supply of wheat and other commodities that Ukraine exports and the impact on local prices of basic goods. It was not easy to wrap my little round head around all of it.

On a personal level it was also a day I won’t soon forget. I tripped over my frisky 15-month-old Yorkie, lost my balance and fell on my left side. Everything seemed OK; I got up, I could move my arm, nothing hurt. Then the upper arm started to swell, and hematoma appeared. Icing helped, or maybe not. I tele-consulted with a friend who’s an ortho-surgeon; I was to put the arm in a sling, ice it, use an anti-inflammatory gel, take a painkiller if needed (usually I avoid it, relying on a high tolerance, but this time I decided I wasn’t into pain) and get an x-ray.

The x-ray technician was very patient and considerate and helpful, even taking photos of the x-ray on the negatoscope so I could just viber it to my doctor. I was relieved I could see no break, but my doctor pointed out a hairline fracture near the shoulder which, thankfully, would heal by itself in six to eight weeks. On Day 6, the doctor taught me mobility movements so the shoulder wouldn’t freeze.

A friend texted to check how I was, and it must have been the pain meds that made me text back such a philosophical reply: “There are times when things flow smoothly along, then times when there are bumps along the way, sometimes one after the other…but that’s life! It can always be worse, so I’m still thankful.”

Indeed, it could have been worse, much worse, so I am thankful. I’m adjusting to the inconveniences, such as driving with one hand (at least it’s my working right hand), having food cut up into bite-size pieces, sleeping on my back (I’m a side sleeper). Typing with one hand isn’t all that difficult, but putting on a face mask can be tricky.

I can brush my teeth but not floss, I splash water all over when I wash my face and need assistance to shower and even to put a clip in my hair. I choose clothes that zipper or button front or back; no t-shirts for now.

In the general scheme of things, these are mere inconveniences, not major disruptions or tragedies, certainly nothing compared to bombs raining down on your city. But it has made me value little things that I have been taking for granted and made me realize how each moment can, literally, be life changing. There are lessons to be learned when one is left with just the right.

RUSSIAN

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