This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm
July 23rd, 2007

Rotator Cuff

There are times when I hesitate to write something about me. Maybe I'm concerned it will upset or worry you, or perhaps I think I'm 'dumping'. However, this one may become obvious, so I better fess up now.

A week from this Wednesday, August 1st, I'm having some surgery on my right shoulder to repair a rotator cuff tear and arthritis. It appears the damage has been there for some time, but because I take pain meds for the nerve damage to my face (yes, I know, it's killing you too) I wasn't as aware of how bad the shoulder was.

My regular health provider thought I had 'sprained/strained' the shoulder and prescribed some muscle relaxants and the heating pad. The chiropractor thought it was a 'frozen shoulder' and put me on exercises I couldn't do. An X-Ray and then the MRI revealed the tear. We scheduled an appointment with the local orthopedic clinic.

About that time our neighbor Bill showed up at the front door with a couple very nice Dungeness crabs - cooked and ready to crack and eat. He noticed my right arm in a sling and the conversation quickly turned to the surgery he had on his shoulder and a knee. The next day, I called over to Orthopedics International and made an appointment to see the doctor Bill had. Turns out the doctor, Larry Pedegana, is the go-to orthepod for the Seattle Mariners. He is also a very avid fly fisher. Small world.

Then there are days which somehow just go wrong. I need an EKG, a bunch of blood tests and a complete physical. Made the trip down to Bremerton for the EKG, they didn't have the paperwork, and could not reach my medical provider. Sorry, go home. Well not quite, I still had the blood work. Went to the lab, and they didn't have the paperwork either. I knew it had been called in and suggested the lab tech make a phone call. It took two calls. The blood was drawn, I was on the way out of the office when the tech caught up with me, more paperwork was faxed over and she needed more blood. At least that is one down.

Headed home, almost there when the cell-phone rang. It was the Cardiology office, they did have the paperwork, could I come back now? Opps. Made arrangements for Monday morning. That just leaves the physical, and I'll have that on Tuesday.

The surgeon likes to have all the labwork, EKG, physical and anything else (in my case the records from the last surgery so they can see what anesthesia was used since I don't tolerate anesthetics very well.) We went to the local hospital when I'd had the last surgery only to find out they don't keep any of the medical records there. Everything is kept at the main hospital in Bremerton. It's okay, we'll be in Bremerton on Monday, I'll take care of it then.

The next problem is I need to work. I'm in a sling most of the time, but I can't type with it on, and somehow I have to figure out how I can manage to get the next couple of issues of FAOL up. We're considering a cordless keyboard, which maybe will work if I can put it on my lap and type.

I talked with a friend who tried a voice operated program for her computer. She said she spent more time correcting mistakes then she did doing the piece. Too much of a learning curve. The ideal solution would be to have two issues (at least) already produced and 'in the can.' But trust me, that isn't going to happen.

I'm told there will a period of time required for physical therapy. Our neighbor Bill (with the crabs) said he went every day for a couple of months. And he warned me not to miss any sessions.

The goal here is to get it done, (where did we hear that before?) Do the necessary therapy so I can function nicely, without pain, by the time the Idaho Fish-In comes up. The date on that one is the last week of September.

If I work really hard, just maybe I'll get to fish for those lovely cutthroats on the Selway. ~ The LadyFisher

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