Friday, April 16, 2010
Some of you may be wondering, if my arm/shoulder is worse, why don't I just go to the doctor? Why am I trying to self-treat it? I'm wondering that myself, actually, but I know the answer.
I don't trust my doctor of the past 6 years.
Well, it seems as if, every time I mention a symptom, he reacts like I have the plague and signs me up for several tests that turn out to be expensive because my insurance doesn't agree that their cost is reasonable. I had around 4 CT scans and an endoscopic ultrasound last year, trying to track down a problem that was really nonexistent. This cost a bloody fortune, and the ultrasound office tried to get me to go back for another one! I refused, deciding to take my chances.
My doctor has also branched out into cosmetic surgery, hanging out an additional shingle for removal of spider veins and skin rejuvenation! That strikes me as just plain odd at best and, at worst, money-grubbing.
I haven't identified an alternative doctor and find it a bit daunting to even think about that, given that I'm starting to believe that no doctor can be trusted.
If any of you NH sparkers has a good, trustworthy doctor at Portsmouth Regional Hospital, please let me know!
Thursday, April 15, 2010
For the last couple of weeks I've stopped doing my routine pushups and curls, to try to heal an occasional shooting pain I've been getting in my left arm. (No, guys, do NOT call 911! It's definitely muscular and can no doubt be blamed somehow on th' dog.) I'll be going along fine, then end up doing something out of the blue that causes me to groan and have to massage out what feels like an intense cramp in the outer part of my upper arm and shoulder. Last night I decided that it was NOT going away and that pushups and curls weren't affecting it at all, which is true. It felt great to be doing them again and not to have lost any strength in two weeks, which I was really afraid of.
So today, I don't know what made me think of it, but I looked up rotator cuff injuries on the web. Sure enough, my symptoms are a perfect match with rotator cuff tendinitis, which can turn into a tear if you're not careful. And, wonder of wonders, there's a delightful Brit orthopedist on YouTube demonstrating rehabilitative exercises for just such an injury! (What did we DO before the Internet??) So now I'm doing these bent-over arm-swinging movements that make me look like a drunken caveman, but never mind. I feel like I'm doing something more positive about it than the negative of not doing my upper-body routine.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Every once in a while something happens that upsets your whole routine. Like now, when both of our vehicles are seriously ailing and money is tight.
My car was bleeding oil and now is in the garage being fixed. Bill's truck is starting with so much difficulty that he had to leave it running while he went into the store to do the grocery shopping. (Guess he figured that anyone who stole it would get what they deserved!) So we might, at any point now, be down to one vehicle. (None, of course, would be worse.)
At times like these, which are, granted, mild compared to what some Sparkers have to deal with, the urge to overindulge is almost overwhelming. Somehow I managed to be aware of that and not to give in to it yesterday. About as bad as it got was my eating more than a couple of roasted red potatoes and more than half of one of Bill's incredible wine-and-gouda burgers.
Trying to maintain some kind of a routine at the worst of times is reassuring and can help keep you on track, I think.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
This Saturday I set out as usual to go to Massachusetts to visit with my son. It was a gorgeous, sunny day, and I was enjoying “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” on NPR. Before I knew it, it dawned on me that I was driving down a country road that I didn’t recognize. I’d driven straight ahead at a spot where I usually bear left. So I said, okay, I’ll just turn left here and get back on track. Well, that detour took me through the most lovely rolling farmlands with barns and fields and old NH clapboard farmhouses with porches. I came eventually to a dead-end stop sign, and not knowing which way to go, said to myself, “Hell, it doesn’t matter. Whichever way I go, I’m lost anyway.” I turned left, and ended up at the summit of a farm hill that I usually gaze at while driving by, thinking, “Gee, one of these days I’ll drive up there. It looks interesting.” And there I was, rolling down that same hill, going, “Whoopeee! I’m on that hill!” (Okay, okay, it doesn’t take much to entertain me sometimes.) Then I was back on track.
(At about this point, DDHEART or RWETHAIRYET would use this experience as a stunning metaphor for slipping up on your Spark plan and eventually getting back on track. I’ll leave the metaphor making to you, though, because I’m too lazy for that today.)
Then, at the other end of my drive I’m running late with 10 minutes more to go before meeting my son. What does the car decide to do? Take the wrong left-hand turn, one stoplight before the one I usually take. So, I go with it, and once again am treated to rolling farmland and a drive through an area by the Concord River where the road was closed in the flooding last week and declared part of a federal disaster area that President Obama visited. I’ve never seen that river look so magnificent! It was rolling well beyond its banks over the Nashawtuck Golf Course, submerging stuff that looked like it was once outbuildings, and it had WHITECAPS! The bridge I crossed was heavily sandbagged, which told me that it had gotten higher than I’d ever seen it, in all my years of living in that part of the country (I was born there). Another moment!
For the rest of the day, my son and I proceeded to follow our noses and see what serendipitous fun we could have, which we did well with very little money spent and very little driving around. First off, he wanted to return a library book and pick up another that was waiting for him. Lucky us, the library just happened to be having a Book and Bake Sale. We passed on the baked goods, but he left with $3 worth of reading and VHS viewing. Then, even though it was only about 55 degrees out, we bought Subway sandwiches and had a picnic on a park bench, then went to see “How to Train Your Dragon” (highly recommended, if you’re not too proud to take in a Pixar movie, which I’m definitely not) and later got ice cream at a farm-based ice cream stand that had opened up for the year and was packed with natives. Their “kiddie” size is so immense that you can forget whatever healthy eating plans you might have had for the day. I ate an entire kiddie-size key lime sorbet cone. Early on, the sorbet fell entirely off, I caught it in my hand like a left fielder, and I stuck it back on the cone before polishing off the entire thing in spite of myself. Remember the old Alka-Seltzer ad? (NOTE: I finished the day only a little bit over my calorie limit.)
I also had my son rolling on the car floor laughing when I told him a story that a young friend of ours told us. Think about whether you believe it or not. He doesn’t. And both he and I are intimately familiar with the syndrome involved in the story, because his sister/my daughter has it.
A young NH man with Asperger’s syndrome, a “gentle giant” in his twenties who has his own apartment, reports to his mom that he’s all excited because he has happened upon a lucky troll.
“Oh, that’s nice, honey,” she says.
The next day, she’s over at his apartment visiting and asks where the lucky troll is. She’d love to see it.
“Oh, he’s in the closet. Why don’t you go knock on the door?” replies the young man, grinning happily.
Humoring him, she does so … and hears an answering knock from the inside!
Astonished, to say the least, she opens the door and finds a dwarf in the closet who, it turns out, is the door-to-door U.S. Census taker, whom the young man has apparently seized in delight and stored for posterity.
Believe it or not, but I know for a fact that my dear daughter would never imprison a U.S. census taker, dwarf or not, believing him to be a troll! Still, our friend insists the story is true and can tell it over and over with a straight face, despite our eyeing her closely for telltale signs of lying or of perpetuating an urban legend.
May all of you follow your noses to a delightful Sunday afternoon!
Thursday, April 08, 2010
I reached every one of my daily goals today (except, so far, for posting a blog!). I don't know what set me up for such success, but in recording it I've reached my last goal!
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