It didn’t bode well when the Botox I got to perk myself up for the holidays presented me with an eyelid droop for New Year’s Eve. Who’d ever be noticing my smooth forehead? Stereoid eye drops for the fix.

A couple of months later, when eating a dark chocolate peanut butter cup in the candy store’s parking lot, I felt a jarring of my jaw.

I reached up to find a crown loose. Easy, I think. Oh, no.

After the crown was cemented back on, pain. After a few visits to the dentist and the endodontist, it’s suspected that the old root-canaled tooth underneath might have a crack.

After a tug of war (verbally), I got permission to have the tooth extracted. More pain. My teeth never treat me right.

So when I tripped and fell in eager pursuit of an ice cream, I shouldn’t have expected an easy fix. (And, yes, I did have the ice cream.) A broken right wrist. Surgery and “hardware” put in.

I didn’t want to see the X-ray or hear the grim details. I wanted it done and over with. My biggest worry at that point was finishing up teaching my summer class.

I went back into the classroom four days after surgery, aided by the nice helpful students I had. One volunteered to write for me. Another carried my books. Another lifted the podium.

I had naively expected to recover in a few weeks, but that hasn’t been the case. It’s been a long and frustrating experience for someone independent like me.

I am amazed by both the kindness of some people and the callousness of others. I see inquisitive looks and I see other people glance at my splinted wrist and avert their eyes.

It is a humbling experience. One day at the grocery store, I see a man wearing two braces trying to reach something up on a shelf. I’m at the salad bar trying to manage putting together a salad and getting it into my shopping basket.

The man looked over at me and said,”They don’t make it easy for us, do they?” I realize how difficult it must be for people who have permanent disabilities.

I have a new talent. I have become a human barometer able to predict the weather thanks to my new hardware.

I am lucky to have friends who have helped me from taking me to and from surgery (thanks, Lisa) to bringing me prepared meals to writing out bills to entertaining me.

I am blessed by great medical care: kind Kristen and dapper Dr. Scott at Maine Ortho; sensible Sally, my physical therapist. And what would I do without magnificent Momen at Moby RX?

“It is what it is,” someone said when I complained. (What is it?)

“It could be worse,” I hear all the time. True, but it could be better.

My friend Michael reassured me on the phone that I will get through this since I’m a “tough Mainer.” Tough enough, I hope.

— Special to the Telegram