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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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Beowulf was here....

Beowulf was here

Once again I received a reminder that Im not as young as I used to be.  This time its bursitis.  Its pitiful when you get so old that all you have to talk about is your aches and pains.  So, I tried to ignore it.  Mind over matter -- if I dont acknowledge it, maybe it will go away.
Unfortunately, this ache was in my right shoulder and Im right-handed.  It was starting to affect my computer arm.  As much time as I spend clicking a computer mouse, it was starting to get down-right aggravating.
You can only ignore pain for so long.  My mind over matter theory was melting quickly.   I tried warm showers, long soaks in the tub, ice packs, and the old stand-by favorite, menthol rubs.  Have you tried those new stick-on patches with icy-hot menthol built in? As good as they are, it was obvious that I needed something more than a stick-on patch.
I feel like the monster in Beowulf!  I told my honey.  Most people have studied the ancient story of Beowulf, probably in a high school literature.  To refresh your memory, Beowulf was the young hero of the story.  To make a long classic short, Beowulf saved the mead hall when he killed a beast named Grendel by pulling his arm out of the socket. 

Maybe that was how arm wrestling was invented?
Regardless, it was time for me to see a doctor.  I couldnt wait for an appointment by now.  I was in too much pain.  I considered an emergency room, but I was rather embarrassed to go to an ER for something that had had been hurting for two weeks.  Why do we do things like this?
I went to the local urgent care clinic, sometimes called a doc-in-the-box.  Doc was sympathetic and gave me a shot of cortisone and prescription for muscle relaxers. 
Ah, sweet relief!
I quickly forgot that I was as ancient as the Beowulf epic and went right back to my regular routine.  As you have probably guessed, as soon as the cortisone shot wore off, my pain came back.  By this time the bursitis was a raging monster, threaten to devour my entire arm. 
Down beast!
Id better go to an orthopedic doctor.  But I couldnt wait.  I had let it get out of control again.  So, it was back to the old urgent care clinic.  I knew the routine by now.  

But this time the doctor was a different one, a female.  She was not as understanding.
Youve been here for this before? she asked.  I nodded in the affirmative.  Old grouch, I thought.  

You need to see your primary care doctor, she said.

The doctor is telling me to see a doctor?  What is she?  Anyhow, she did give me another short of cortisone.  Funny thing about cortisone, it can makes things hurt much worse before it starts feeling better. 
Now I know why Grendel died of a displaced arm.  I thought I was going to die too.

I finally called my primary doctor and made an appointment.  Dr. Grouch at the clinic mentioned that I might need physical therapy. But, my arm is starting to feel much better today.  I dont know why Im going to the doctor Monday when I feel fine on drugs.
As I said, its pitiful when you get so old you have nothing to talk about but your aches and pains.  If my arm comes out of the socket, though, I wont be able to type; so I figured Id better get my column written while I still can.
If there is no column next week, you will know I have died of Beowulf syndrome. 

Copyright 2008 Sheila Moss


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