The Fall Guy

At least “The Fall Guy” got paid
to take a fall or two!

I hate falling but seem to be perfecting the skill and the effects don’t heal as quickly…That last Decorah fishing trip has come back to haunt… While trudging in the boonies along a creek, I took a heckuva fall trying to climb up an embankment and landed on my right side.  The rotator cuff hasn’t been the same since then.
The last few days have been kind of a pain, literally…  Toward the end of last week I had worked a couple of busy shifts at the gas station, with little sleep between them.  The body was crashing and somehow I did a number on the shoulder again.  The only thing I can remember doing was stretching to reach a pack of Kool cigarettes in the overhead rack when a shoulder tendon went “boing”.  It felt like a nasty electrical shock racing through the arm.  By the next day the inflammation was so bad that the hand went numb and the arm would not raise and lower properly. 

The doctors gave me some anti-inflammatory pills (not even the good stuff!), five days off from work, and starting this coming Friday, physical therapy.  The time off to rest has helped a lot.

Rotator cuff problems suck!

I’ve been in constant contact with work (the gas station) and will be returning on Wednesday.  We are staffed with a crew of all 40 something aged people who get along well and like working together.  Rock and roll!  Overnights have opened up so I’ve suggested that maybe I could take some of the graveyard shifts.  A person could work all night and do his/her sleeping anywhere during the day… It might be a vandweller’s dream!


In other news, I’m sad to report that my father’s health is quickly declining.   I had to scrap the plans to move to the country and am spending spare time helping him get to near daily doctor visits.  It’s a labor of love.  As Dad is slowing down, he has said that he thinks he may need to go to a care facility such as the Old Soldier’s Home in Marshalltown.  Wherever my father ends up, the van and I will be there often to visit. 

That’s about all that’s new right now… nothing exciting… just a lot of rest.  Thankfully, with no rent or utility bills there is zero (perhaps even less than zero) stress from being laid up for a while and missing work.

Once this arm/shoulder thing is better, it will be fun to do some real camping (other than the nightly snooze) and also try some new recipes such as one I dreamed up for a healthy curried cashew chicken salad with cranberries.  Of course, the wanderlust is still ever present.

For now, enjoy the rest of your week and I appreciate you taking the time to drop by.  Make it a super good one.

Bradford, the Van Trekker

About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"
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8 Responses to The Fall Guy

  1. Pat says:

    Take care of yourself. Best wishes for your dad.

  2. Brad says:

    Thanks for the kind words, Pat! It feels good to rest up a little bit in the van and let the crock pot work on the new recipe for the other blog. 🙂

  3. Been there, done that! Take care and heal. I finally had to have a couple surgeries on my right shoulder to get it working again… and now the kayaking has gotten it up to about 98% of normal.

    • Brad says:

      That sounds like a fun therapy! From the looks of your kayaking map, you are doing well with the shoulder. Maybe I’ll have to try that this summer! It would be a really good upper body workout and a fun activity to add to the van treks. Nice to hear from you Charlene!


  4. Hi Brad

    Speedy recovery for you and the very best wishes for your dad, i’m sure he really enjoys the time he is spending with you.

    • Brad says:

      Thanks for the kind words. I’m also enjoying the time with Dad, too. It’s not always easy but life seldom is. It has been tough but worth it to let him stay on his own as much as possible. 🙂

  5. JO says:

    Sorry about the shoulder. Hope you heal quickly.

    A few years ago my dad was failing also. He asked me to move in with him and I did. It is hard to become their care taker but they took care of us. I wouldn’t trade out last few months together for anything in the world. Best wishes to you and your dad.

    • Brad says:

      Thanks for the kind words. I had physical therapy this morning and it’s going to take a while to get the shoulder better.

      Dad’s doing better. He doesn’t like it when I take off for a couple days of camping but it’s important to stay sane. A person needs a little alone time.