Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Knife Awaits

The Doctor swaggered into the examining room glancing down at a chart, shutting the door behind him. "How you feeling, partner?" 

"Better, actually." I answered. "The shoulder hasn't been as painful for the past couple of weeks. That's good, right?"

"It's always good when it stops hurting." 

My shoulder surgeon is my kind of doctor, direct and to the point and doesn't seem to like hearing himself talk. "Ok, your MRI shows two small tears in the same tendon, one on top and one under the bottom, and several bone spurs. The good news is that it doesn't look as bad as your left shoulder was two years ago, but the bad news is, at some point you're going to have to have it fixed. I would suggest you getting this done before the end of the year. That way you won't have to have another MRI and since you've probably met your annual deductible by now, your insurance will pay for all of it."

"But, I might could just live with it for a while if it's not hurting, right?"

"You can live with it as long as you like partner, even if it's hurting. I'm just telling you that those tears aren't going to fix themselves, and if unattended will probably become bigger and harder to fix the longer you wait. But, hey...suit yourself."

That's about as high pressure as this guy gets. Another reason why I like him.

Driving home, memories of my last shoulder surgery came back in vivid black and white, since color would have been too optimistic, the pain, the ice packs, but mostly the torturous rehab. By the time I got home, I was feeling pretty sorry for myself.

But this morning has brought with it a new perspective. In this I have been aided by this girl, who decided to come downstairs to sit with me while I write this. Perhaps she has sensed that I was troubled by something and couldn't be trusted downstairs all alone!
       "OK, what are you whining about now??"

With Lucy's help I have realized that things could be much worse. It's not like I was given a cancer diagnosis, for goodness sakes. Yes, it's shoulder surgery, my second in three years, but you know why? Because I live an "active lifestyle" which means I'm not a couch potato. I do stuff, physical stuff and that's very good. But sometimes when you work out a lot and do things like swing golf clubs, lift weights and take out the occasional frustrations with a trip to the batting cage, it messes with your joints once you reach a certain age. So what am I going to do...give up having fun? Not a chance. So, if this sort of thing is the price I must pay in order to stay in shape, then so be it. I'm a long way from being ready for a sedentary lifestyle.

So, sometime over the next 90 days or so, I will submit to going under the knife. Being right handed, this one will seem more inconvenient, but hopefully since I fully know what to expect it won't seem as difficult.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!