knitnana: The Good and The Bad
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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Good and The Bad

Which should I tell you first?

I guess the bad: I had an MRI of my shoulder last night. After two cortisone shots it was feeling fine, believe me, but I have this lovely new, young doc who wanted to be sure there was no serious problem "lurking" that was being masked by the cortisone.

Ah, well, you know me, I was totally sure of myself. De-bopped in and had that MRI (ohhh I HATE those tubes) and proceeded on with my life. Completely convinced that bursitis was *ALL* that was wrong with me.

This morning my cell phone rang and a voice I didn't recognize asked for me by my "full legal name" which is never a good sign...The next thing I heard was the voice identifying himself as my doc and then saying, "You know I told you if I called you it would be bad news."

And you know what? Somehow, I thought he was going to say "just kidding, everything's fine."

De Nile? MUCH?

Of course it wasn't good news. He told me I have something called Rotator Cuff Disease. He went on (in his African accented voice) to tell me everything that the MRI showed...I remember hearing words like "cysts," and "calcifications" and "microscopic tears" and "spurs" and then I heard "PT" and "surgerical consult" and about that time, my brain began to kick into gear...

I asked again about that surgery thing...and he said, "well, I can't second-guess that the surgeon would want to do surgery, there are non-surgical treatments, you don't have to make a decision right away, we can start you with PT and certainly for now, we can just do cortisone shots as needed if you have another flare. I'll have my nurse check with your insurance company..."

I asked him again to give me the name of what I have: Rotator Cuff Disease.

And then he said, "Basically it's a fancy name for OSTEOARTHRITIS of the Shoulder Joint!"

It's really a good thing I got off the phone at that point. Because I really like my doctor and laughing in his ear isn't a smart thing to do when he's just given you what he considers "bad news."

I'm not going to begin to minimize the diagnosis of osteoarthritis. It's a painful and debilitating condition. But hey, it's *just* arthritis. With RCD, it surely sounded to me as if it were some sort of drastic horrendous condition. The more research I've done about this, the more I'm convinced that I've made a reasonable call. His nurse, btw, phoned and asked me what my copay for PT was. I told her and after she picked herself up off the floor, she said, "Well, I can see why you'd like to avoid it." I've been thru PT for my back, and I, to this day, have religiously done the exercises every morning and every night for the past 18 months. Having taken years of ballet and taught it, and even more years of yoga classes, I think I can learn the exercises in a minimum number of visits and then do my own PT at home...and you know what? She phoned me back after talking with my doctor and said she was sending me the PT order for 1 visit a week to learn how to do the exercises!

So perhaps this won't put me in the poorhouse, just yet?

However, like joining Weight Watchers immediately upon learning about the degenerative disc disease in my spine (which, hey, is *just* osteoarthritis of the spine) I made yet another sensible decision. I bought this:

I have no trouble carrying a shoulder bag on my good shoulder (the OTHER one), but I've been toting a 6-pocket gardener-style totebag I got at Sock Summit 09 fully-loaded to work every day. In it I had my lunch, my knitting, my Nook, nail polish and file, two charging cords (Nook and cellphone), my Thermos coffee mug, my calendar, the odd catalog that I might want to look at during lunch, the grocery store ads, and oh, yes, my Weight Watchers books and Points Plus calculator! Now? All that stuff is in the bag up above. I will no longer heft it. I will roll it.

(Isn't that a cute cat print?)

Now I wish I knew where I could find those wheels, because of course, you know Nana Sadie Rose would just thoroughly enjoy creating an even better bag than this one...but for the moment, sewing is taking a bit of hiatus while I give the shoulder time to recover from the cortisone shots. I figure this weekend is soon enough to sew.

Besides, I'm working on this Very Important Prayer Shawl:

The good news? I put in a lifeline. After I ripped about 6 rows back...I'm on track, I think. And loving how this Unplanned Peacock yarn is knitting up.

The Meezer is not amused...

(but isn't she amusing?????)


Blogger Knitting Linguist said...

I am sorry, as you know, to hear about the results of your MRI, but really glad that there's a plan in place that will a) help, and b) not include surgery for now. I also think that your new bag is wonderful, and the right thing to do to take the strain off that shoulder :)

10:04 PM  
Blogger Plain Jane said...

Good thinking switching to the rolling bag (I think I have a vest that uses that same tapestry material). Arthritis isn't fun, for me, it's my knee, but exercise & losing 35# I didn't need have helped. {{{{HUGS}}}}

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I'm glad it's not some "horrible, terrible, no good disease" but am sorry you're in pain.

10:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.S. That's amazing that your doctor called you himself. I've never had that happen.

10:39 PM  
Blogger Bonnie said...

You have a good attitude, which makes all the difference. I'm sure the PT and your determination will make a big difference. Do something nice for yourself today!

6:05 AM  
Anonymous Carrie#K said...

If you say it's better - okay! Sounds like you're on top of it as you can be.

That bag is wonderful!

4:32 PM  
Blogger La Cabeza Grande said...

I had the same experience of the "impending doom" kind, when the surgeon's nurse called to say, "There were findings" after on of my shoulder MRIs. Same deal as yours. I carry all my stuff on my "good" shoulder too.

Hooray for you getting a sensible rolling bag. Time for me to pull mine out >^=^<

8:24 PM  

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