By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016
Moncton Times & Transcript
Sometimes, simple solutions to seemingly complicated problems are found by accident. Other times, we just lack confidence – and often knowledge – to fix them on our own.
I’m the farthest thing you can get from being a handyman. I really admire those jack-of-all-trades who can do anything. I can barely hang a picture on the wall without the nail going all crooked. Seriously, I would hammer nails into blocks of wood when I was a kid and they’d usually end up sideways. I can assure you that you don’t want me helping you to re-shingle your roof or build your deck. You’d have to burn down the house for the insurance money.
Imagine my horror a couple of years ago when I couldn’t figure out something on my electrical panel after many attempts. Finally, I swallowed my pride and called an electrician. He arrived, went in the basement, took one look at the electrical panel, showed me that I hadn’t switched the offending breaker completely off and on and then watched me as I handed him my ‘man card,’ hung my head in shame and told him to tear it up. I was unworthy. It took two seconds to fix. And yes, I paid him for his troubles.
Here I was, thinking that I was going to receive some astronomical bill and have the power turned off in the house for days while a bevy of electricians worked feverishly to fix the problem. But no. One guy. Click click. Problem solved. He was richer. My ego got flushed down the sewer. With that said, I never forgot. The joys of being a visual learner! Show me something once and I usually get a grasp of it. That’s why I find online how-to videos so helpful.
Over the past several weeks, my left knee had been hurting quite a bit. I thought to myself, ‘Oh great. Here we go. I need a new knee. Wait, no, a new hip. Wait, no, they’re just going euthanize me at the clinic to get it over with.’
Whenever I’d get out of my office chair – where I spend a good part of my day – I would limp for the first few steps. It was really awful. It was OK after that, but the first few steps were always a bad limp as the pain in my knee subsided. Painkillers definitely took the edge off. Meanwhile, some online sleuthing had me either dying of blood clots, needing a new bionic knee, complete amputation of both legs from the hips down, or a relatively minor ligament injury that could be treated with some ice, physiotherapy and time.
As with anyone who has searched online for medical symptoms, however, the simplest thing is never what we are certain we have. I go right to death and amputation. Sore toe? Dying. Migraine? Dying… probably soon. Eye twitch? Lie down on the floor right now because death is imminent. Before going to sleep, I would wonder what it would be like to die so young and beautiful.
Being a typical man, I put off doing anything about it. Sure, I could just go to physiotherapy and get a consultation about it. I’ve been to physio before and it was amazing. “Just do this and this and this five times per day for a week and you’ll be as good as new!” Well, I did that and that and that five times per day for a week and I was indeed as good as new! It worked before, I’ll call tomorrow.
As you can imagine, tomorrow never came. Typical man, I tell ya!
So between all these concerns about multiple amputations, certain death, watermelon-sized blood clots travelling to my brain, and never walking again, I decided one day recently that it would be a good idea to raise the height of my office chair a bit. It was at its lowest position. I pulled the hydraulics lever on the side and the chair rose a few inches. I sat down and felt comfortable – really comfortable. ‘Well, that’s nice,’ I thought.
Eventually, I stood up and assumed I would limp for a few minutes again. Nope. Nothing. No pain. Yes, I raised the chair in my office and it cured my pain. Now, you’d think that I would have perhaps thought of that before, considering I’m practically tied to my office chair most days, but no. I didn’t. I’d been suffering and worrying for weeks. One pull of a little hydraulics lever on my office chair and ta-dah! Cured!
At least I saved the health-care system some money. If you’re sick, I hope your cure is just as simple.