09 May 2007

A classic situation

I safely arrived at the airport in Honolulu about 7:30 p.m. local time Monday evening. The airport is easy to navigate and, after being collected by my friend, I arrived at his house and went to sleep after a bit of visiting.

Having been in Hawaii not even twenty-four hours, I have sustained the first significant injury of my life. I am grateful that the injury is not a broken bone, but a dislocated shoulder.

Yesterday we collected a dining room table he had ordered and set it up in the dining room. He moved into this house only a short time ago so much work needs yet to be done. After a short drive-by tour of the island – Oahu – we returned for the internet guy to set up his internet connection.

Once that was done we went to Makaha beach, pictured above. It is a beautiful location and we will return there later for pictures of sunrise and sunset. No sooner had I been in the water five minutes than the current took me out from shore over a drop off point.

Now, with all of my education, I should have been smart enough to realize that if the water took me out from shore, the same water would bring me back to shore. But in such unexpected instances panic kicks in.

I began to try to swim back to shore only to be brought back in by the waves, thereby slamming my left arm into the shore. It hurt rather a bit, but at least I was back on land.

About a minute later I looked down at my left shoulder and realized very plainly that I had dislocated the shoulder. I do not recommend this to anyone.

We drove to the hospital and, four hours later, my shoulder was back in place. The nurse described what happened as “a classic situation,” not that that made me feel any better or any less foolish.

I am not to do anything very significant with my left arm for several days, and certainly no over-the-head-or-shoulder motions for a couple of weeks. Most dramatically, this means putting on vestments will be somewhat tricky – though manageable – and the elevation of the chalice and host during the doxology will not be possible for some days. Oh, and collecting my luggage and getting it into my car will be a challenge, but I am confident helpful people will be nearby.

Even so, my sight-seeing will continue and I’ll still return to the beach but I’ll mostly stay out of the water. Today we’re off to Waikiki and St. Augustine’s by the Sea and maybe the aquarium and zoo, too. We’re largely playing it by ear. The only thing really planned is the Mass for Blessed Damien tomorrow morning.


  1. I don't mean to make light of it, but if that's the worst injury of your life, you'll be doing just fine. Thank God it wasn't worse. In fact, I just did.
    Look on the bright side. It'll be easier for your friend to force feed you poi. :)

  2. Sorry to hear about your injury. Unfortunately, these things happen.

    Enjoy your trip and I don't think our good Lord will mind if you can't raise the chalice and host up as high as usual. In fact, I have seen some perfectly healthy and capable priests not raise it much above their chest and they have no excuse!

  3. Poi is known to aid in healing bone/joint injuries. I think I read that somewhere... probably standing in the grocery checkout line. Eat hearty and be careful.

  4. Poi could probably be used to permanently fuse the separated shoulder. It may have healing properties, but only when applied from the outside!

  5. Anyone remember the old line "it'll stick to your ribs"? Looks like it would stick to anything.

  6. Who would have thought we'd have so much fun with something that looks like wallpaper paste?

  7. Jeffrey: Right you are, of course! I am grateful an injured shoulder is the worst I received. The E.R. staff continually mentioned this last night, but of course it isn't much comfort in the midst of it.

    Ellen: You, too, are right. It will probably be more irritating too me, not being able to elevate the Sacred Species properly at the proper times. But, one does what one can. Perhaps the Lord will give me a speedy recovery to give worthy and fitting honor to his Body and Blood?

    Blessed Damien of Molokai: Bring this petition to the Lord for me.

    Brad: I might have known! A hamburger probably doesn't count as healthy for lunch. However, I suspect it's better - though only slightly - than ice cream (vanilla with a brownie, pecans and fudge) for breakfast! Boy, was that good! Oh, I'm very happy to say that DrPepper is avaible on the islands.

    Ellen: Anything that looks like that, I will stay away from! I don't eat oatmeal, grits or cream of wheat for the same reason.

    Jeffrey: Good points!

    There...I think that's everybody :)

  8. For the moment.
    You're on vacation. Eat as you please and enjoy yourself. You deserve it.

  9. Enjoy yourself, Father!

    And, did the nurse pop your shoulder back in the classic way as well? =)

    Have a good rest and don't break anything else!!

  10. I don't know if they popped back in the classic fashion or not, but they did knock me out to do it, and for that I'm deeply grateful. I have no recollection of it whatsoever.

  11. Much better that way.

  12. Sometimes drugs are a good thing!

    But only in circumstances like this.

    Glad to hear that you are feeling better.