Progress Report 4

Brian J. Sullivan

By now I imagine that most of you career artists have been sweltering in the summer heat and making the big bucks. I feel your pain. Well, OK, not really, but at least I'm thinking about you while sitting in my second floor air conditioned apartment. Secretly I'm jealous because I'm still confined to my wheelchair and would rather be outside with you hustling art.

To occupy my time I have begun to train for the wheelchair Olympics, but have been somewhat thwarted in my attempts by lack of knowledge/skill on how to get my wheelchair down a long flight of stairs. I guess I could ride it down but then I'd be faced with the daunting task of trying to muscle it back upstairs.

My weight has exploded even though I've cut back on the chocolate covered Bon Bons, Swiss truffles, and Margueritas. And don't think I don't get my fair share of exercise. First there's the middle of the night mad sprints on crutches to the bathroom through an obstacle course in total darkness (at least several times a night!).

Then there is the one-leg stair climb followed by the stair-bump as I scoot down each stair on my butt.

And don't forget about the painful toe crunches, or should I say toe crushes, every time my cast leg bangs into something. It's enough to make a grown man cry.

Each day I look forward to the refreshing effects of water-aerobics. Sitting precariously on the edge of the bathtub, I extend my cast leg outside of the tub area high into the air while I try to fit the rest of my body underneath the faucet. Sometimes I even get wet!

Then there are the belly crawls initiated when I fall and can't get up until I finally reach a chair or some other stable object by which I can pull myself up.

My favorite are the head-bobs, commonly referred to as "forward neck snaps," usually caused by watching mindless TV for hours on end. What's even worse is the fact that my remote batteries died and I can't get out to get new ones.

Let's see, Richard Simmons or Jane Fonda—who should it be today? I know both tapes by heart (not that it does any good). "OK girls, 1-2-3 lets go! That's right! Stretch those pups! Come on, you can do it! And now relax for the count of three!" Of course none of this would be possible if not for my nifty green hospital socks with the anti-slip grippers on the bottom. These complimentary socks, discreetly listed on my itemized hospital bill as "miscellaneous enhanced foot wear" actually cost me $85. Quite a fashion statement I'd say. Anyway, that's enough of Richard for today; besides, I don't want to wear out my expensive socks within the first month.

My driving skills have also improved since the accident. I'm driving everyone crazy. Some I'm even driving to drink! And just think, I still have two more months to go before the cast comes off.