Too Old For This Crap

As expected, I have been doing little else than working the last month. The food in my fridge has gone bad (partly because I had mistakenly unplugged it) and if I had a dog, it wouldn’t recognize me anymore. The newly hired crew chiefs too, are already beginning to experience the usual problems that come with the job- a constant sleepiness and a relationship ready to crack.

Of course, I’m not going into how much I love my job again, but it does come at a cost. With my 3 years I am one of the very few longest working employees in the company, and this has a specific reason.
Unloading trucks, lifting trusses, hanging up lights, all this will break you after a few jobs if you don’t have, for instance, a proper lifting technique. Ask 4 newcomers to load a truck and there is no chance they will come out unharmed. We all had to learn of course, but if for example, you don’t get that each is supposed to grab a corner and ONLY that corner, you will either (figuratively) break the back of the person opposite of you, or your own. If a newcomer isn’t properly explained these things, or he is too daft to realize, he will be injured within his first month and too scared to try that again.

Just like the next guy, I need to learn this stuff. Often it might seem only logical, but still feels quite unnatural until you’ve gotten the hang of it. I think I pretty much got it all covered now though, from scaff climbing to forklift driving. There’s a lot to learn, but nowadays there’s little that needs to be explained to me.

Despite this, it’s only a matter of time before I get injured. Out of sheer stupidity, of myself or those around me. Also, I have the dumb habit of ignoring certain safety rules, such as not taking a ride on a passing forklift. I haven’t broken anything my whole life and obviously I’m still alive, but eventually this is coming around on me.

My shoulder has started giving me trouble. I dislocated it once during jiu jitsu class back in school, and since then it’s become an increasingly urgent problem. It didn’t give me any trouble for years but lately, it’s started hurting for no obvious reason. It gave a good snap as I was passing a ledger during the building of the stage of Rock Werchter, and has caused pain ever since. I took a week off to let it rest and asked for forklift jobs as much as possible, but it has far from passed. I don’t know what the exact issue is, I just know that it’s annoying the fuck out of me. I need to be careful with this, I am aware that it is prone to popping out again.

My right ankle is back. I sprained it very badly once when jumping off of a fence when I was a kid, and rather than follow the doctor’s orders I had begun walking on the cast after less than a week. Repeat this 2 more times throughout the years, and you can guess that my ankle has little to no ligaments left. I always wear boots now, as opposed to sneakers, as they steady my feet much better. Nevertheless, I again twisted it a few days ago, during preparations for the recent Bon Jovi show in Brussel. I’ve begun wearing a (sexy!) supporting bandage to avoid too much stress on it. But, in a few hours I’m going squashing. I’m not willing to let any pain get in my way.

My left foot has something it’s had since I was born. It’s hard to explain: the joint at the base of my big toe seems to be slightly misgrown. It’s no problem in itself, other than a dull pain when I walk a lot (as in, around the site) or put too much stress on it (for example, kicking rubber mats in place). Once it’s started, it takes quite a while for it to go back to normal. In that time, I can’t hold my foot up for longer than an hour without the pain becoming unbearable (no sleeping on a couch for me) or even tapping anything with the nose of my shoe.

Each of these has the potential to put me out of commission for any amount of time. All it needs is one more dumb move, or a miscalculation of the lessened strength in each of these joints, an I’ll be out of comission for any length of time.

I know, I know, I should be careful. I should get this looked at, get that treated, stop putting stress on it or else…!
But please understand, I honestly, seriously don’t want to bother with it. I just want to live on and keep in denial for as long as possible. I have bills to pay, and like any man I crave the illusion of being untouchable. To be healthy, without the inability to take care of business when needed.

I always said I would do just job until I no longer could, but never before has that point been this close. If I’ll have to switch to an easier job after that, so be it. But if I start having my shoulder looked at, Ill be told not to put stress on it for at least 6 months and voila, sitting job here I come. I don’t want that, I want to live as I am, without the worry of soon not being able to do so. If I can close my eyes for it, I will. If I can curse and ignore the pain, I will. As so far, I still can.


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