This Would Have Been D-Day

So, this has been one hell of a week. My Aunt Jeanie passed away Wednesday, yesterday was six months since my mother died, and today was the date when I was supposed to go in for shoulder surgery.

Obviously, that still isn’t on the agenda.

To be perfectly frank, I’m starting to care less and less. The insurance company is being a-holes, and at this point, I figure the bicep will eventually detach, and I’ll just go to the hospital to get it repaired. I honestly don’t know how our medical benefits turned to shite in just a few years, but it is noticeably worse than it was even last year.

I’ve been told it could be weeks – or months – until I am approved for the surgery, and to be honest, I don’t even care anymore. When it happens, it happens, and I’m downing aspirin and drinking beer before bed to stave off the pain.

When I am closer to retirement, the city allows you to purchase a few years of insurance by using your accumulated sick and vacation time. At this point, I don’t see why I would even bother. What used to be a great plan has gone to crap, and medical benefits were the only good part of this job. No longer.

Canceled

So yesterday I was stuck in classroom training, learning about legal updates and human trafficking. You know, upbeat stuff. Our phones have to be switched to silent during the classes, and when I got home, I noticed I had a missed call. It was from the orthopedist’s office, so I immediately called back, hoping everything was a go on the surgery front.

Nope.

The scheduler called me – and apparently six other patients – to let me know my surgery was canceled.

The scheduler – Cathy, a very nice woman – said my insurance provider first stated the insurance wouldn’t cover the surgery (which is ridiculous) then added the surgeon was not in their medical group (which is a lie). The insurance company approved my surgery Wednesday, then decided to revoke is Friday. This after I passed the surgery clearance and was ready to get the Covid swab. I guess I should be thankful they told me eleven days out and not the night before…

Continue reading “Canceled”

I’ve Got A Hot Date!

Well, it took twelve days, but I have finally been scheduled for my shoulder surgery. The scheduler called yesterday afternoon, and after apologizing profusely for the wait, she gave me all my information.

Apparently, the douche canoes at Blue Cross Personal Choice were dragging their feet on approving the surgery. Literally the only good benefit of being law enforcement in this town is the medical benefits, and lately even the health insurance has been going south.

The scheduler, a very nice woman, by the way, asked, “So, do you want to do the surgery last week?” I replied, “It hurts more every day, but I see your point.” I have to see my primary doctor for a surgery clearance – bloodwork, EKG, etc. – then a Covid test. If both come back okay, I’ll be ready to go.

The surgery is scheduled for Friday, March 5th, and barring any issues, I’ll be home the same day.

As for the blog, I have no idea how I’m going to proceed. If I can type with one hand without too much discomfort, I’ll put up three posts a day. If I can’t, I’ll figure something out. My primary concern is getting through the operation and going gangbusters in therapy.

I’ll get some pre-written posts up the weekend of March 5th in case I’m too tired, woozy, disabled, etc.

In the meantime, it’ll be business as usual here.

Halfway There

So I had an appointment with the orthopedist Friday, but yesterday while sitting in work, the office called and said they could fit me in. I jumped at the chance.

When I arrived the nurse asked how I was feeling and I was blunt. “The first two weeks were great with the cortisone shot, but this week it feels like I’m being stabbed in the shoulder every five minutes.”

“Really?”

“Yes. It feels like one of my kids grabbed my hand and started pulling downward. It’s not ideal.”

The surgeon came in and reread the MRI. A moment later, he asked if I wanted to do physical therapy. I replied, “I was expecting surgery, because I thought you said therapy wouldn’t work.” He asked what I wanted to do and I said, “Surgery.”

The surgeon agreed, so I’m looking at surgery at the end of this month or the first week of March. They have to find a slot in the doctor’s surgery schedule, and will contact me with the date. In the meantime, I need to get a surgery clearance from my primary doctor and need to take a Chinese Wuhan Virus test – which I’m dreading.

The doc is ordering my post-op medications – Percocet for the win – and will set up my physical therapy. He stressed the PT is important, and I reassured him with “I fractured a bone in my foot and I had a severe contusion on my knee. I went to therapy every day, so no worries.”

Surgery should be fine, but the doc said he may have to “clean up” a few things near the shoulder. As long as he doesn’t find anything crazy, I’m looking at a four to six-week recovery.

The Cold Shoulder

DISREGARD. THEY CANCELED AGAIN BECAUSE OF THE SNOW. I NOW GO FRIDAY. MAYBE.

Today is (supposed to be) the follow-up appointment for my shoulder, three weeks after the surgeon decided he needs to go in there and fix everything.

The surgeon had to cancel the Monday appointment because of the snowstorm and asked if I could come in today. I obviously said yes because the shoulder hurts more often than not. I seriously need to see the surgeon soon because I’m hoping he’ll give me a date for the operation. I imagine the office will be open, but if they reschedule again, I will be very displeased. I can’t even help shovel because it’ll just make the shoulder worse.

I welcome this day because the pain has become progressively worse. (Saturday at work was unbearable.) I think the cortisone shot did help, but the throbbing pain is continuing. I’ll let you know how things turn out, but if I’m scarce for a while, its because the appointment took longer than expected.

Shoulder Of Fortune

Today I was able to see the orthopedic surgeon about my shoulder. I’ve already had my x-rays and an MRI, so today was judgment day. The surgeon was great; very friendly, very knowledgeable, and my primary physician said he’s a genius in the operating room.

The doc pored through the MRI and had me stand up to twist and turn my shoulder and left arm. The tests were very painful, but necessary. My primary doctor called me yesterday, and after reading the MRI, he concluded there was a partial tear in my labrum and my tendon. The surgeon disagreed.

Instead, the surgeon said my bicep is hanging on by a thread, and I have tendonitis in the shoulder and bursitis. The labrum has a partial tear, but the surgeon said he would reattach that to bone. That means surgery.

The good news is surgery isn’t too terrible. Recovery time is expected to be four to six weeks, and I’m not allowed to go to the gym – with the exception of doing cardio – until after I’m recovered. The surgeon did give me a shot of cortisone in my shoulder, which should relieve the pain.

I go back in two weeks for a reevaluation, but the surgeon doesn’t believe physical therapy will fix the problem. As it stands, I’ll likely go under the knife sometime in late February or early March.

Shouldering The Burden

By now most of you know I talk about everything and anything here, and much of it revolves around personal matters. Such is the case today, since 1. I have literally no ideas for posts, and 2. I’m looking for advice from you good people.

A few months ago, my left shoulder started bugging me. For years I would throw a football, baseball, or Frisbee to the kids, and my shoulder would hurt immediately. It’s like I would throw my shoulder out at the first toss. After a while the pain would subside, and I’d go on with my life.

When the gyms were open – thank you for nothing, Herr Wolf – I would experience some pain while shoulder presses. So, I’d either stop or adjust my body so the shoulder wasn’t a problem. I didn’t want to go to my primary doctor during the Chinese Wuhan Virus, because I figured they’d poo-poo it because of the “pandemic.”

Now the shoulder is worse. Shock, right?

Continue reading “Shouldering The Burden”

Back To Cruel

You may remember a post I made on Wednesday, chronicling my seemingly insignificant back injury. I pulled a muscle while using the rowing machine at the gym, but I assumed I’d be good to go back to work this past Thursday.

Nah, brah.

I spent my days off alternating between ice packs and heating pads, plus short walks to keep my back as loose as Lindsay Lohan’s va-jay-jay. The first few hours of the day were excruciating, but by mid-afternoon, everything felt better. This trend continued until Friday morning – the day I expected to go back to work.

My first issue was sleep. I compiled approximately four hours sleep between Tuesday night and Friday morning. The pain was that bad. I rolled out of bed at 5:15 Friday, giving myself enough time to loosen up, use the heating pad, then get ready for work. The problem was my upper body felt like it was crushing my lower body, and the pain was unbearable. I tried to suck it up – I have a really high pain threshold – but after almost an hour, I gave up.

I climbed the stairs, woke up Mrs. Earp, and told her I needed to get to the doctor’s office immediately. I couldn’t bend over, so Mrs. Earp had to help me put on pants, socks, and my shoes…

Continue reading “Back To Cruel”

True Detective Gym Stories

You may know I have spent that last year or so getting myself back in shape. I’m still hovering about 188 pounds, but I have been biking ten miles every other day, and going to Planet Fitness on opposite days.

Being a spry 76-year old, I occasionally have aches and pains after a workout. My left shoulder is a complete mess, and while I think I should get it checked out, I’m worried they’ll tell me I need surgery. Otherwise, it’s usually aches and pains.

Until yesterday.

It was a great day. I was powering through all the machines, feeling good, and staring at the occasional babe in yoga pants. I would be out of the gym and on my way home in less than an hour. I sat at the rowing machine and added an extra ten pounds, since I have been easily doing reps with the previous weight.

I was on my third set of reps, and as I pulled the row back, something popped. I think I pulled a muscle in my lower back and when I went to stand up, the pain was excruciating. I skipped crunches and the back extensions, and was able to do a few leg exercises without too much discomfort.

Sadly, since I want to lose a few more pounds, I walked to the gym. It’s only a half mile, but when walking feels like a knife sticking you in the back, the trip took a little longer.

I made it home, sat on a chair for most of the day with the heating pad strapped to my back. I’m going to try to make it to work – I’m writing this Tuesday afternoon – but if I can’t put on clothes or my shoes, that’s not happening.

Thee worst part is I’ll be sidelined from the gym and the bike for a few days, which really pisses me off. God it sucks getting old.

Mom Could Use Some Prayers

I haven’t talked about my mom in a while, mostly because she is still in the New Jersey nursing home – something which keeps me up at night considering what the Wuhan Virus has done – but also because everything has been fairly stable. Yes, she is still in the throes of dementia – like her mother before her – but everything was fine.

That changed last week.

Apparently mom fell at some point and either didn’t tell the staff or… forgot. My sister went to see her and her knee was swollen, so naturally she went ballistic. The home took mom to the hospital, and after looking at the leg and taking x-rays, they decided she was fine.

My sister is a nurse, and knew immediately everything was not fine, so she had the home take her to another hospital. The docs there said something to the effect of, “I don’t want to sound unprofessional, but there is no way the other hospital could have missed this injury. Your mother’s hip is broken.”

Are. You. F**king. Kidding. Me?

After more tests, the surgeon determined mom would need a partial hip replacement, which I guess is better than a full replacement. My sister called me and asked what she should do. Mom will be 75 in November, she’s dealing with progressive dementia, and has been beset with health problems for the last decade. On the other hand, we can’t let her live the rest of her life with that pain.

I suggested the replacement was worth the risk of surgery. My sister agreed.

Obviously the rehab would be trying, especially with mom’s state, but what else can we do? She fell once already. What would happen if we said no to the surgery?

Anyway, it’s going to be a long and painful recovery for mom, so if you can send a prayer or two toward the Big Man Upstairs, I would appreciate it.