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Why don't I go to the doctor?

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. emoticon

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!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOIRA48 4/17/2010 6:58AM

    I am so sorry you have not found resolution to your health issue. It is very difficult to find a doctor you trust and have a rapport with. Is there a physician referral line there? Most hospital centers have an 800 number that you can call and someone there can help you. I hate to know that you are in pain with no help in sight. Some doctors are 'test happy'. I've worked with a few of them. They don't care much about the hits to the patients wallet. emoticon

I wish you good health and a pain-free summer! emoticon emoticon

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HJFOGARTY 4/16/2010 11:36AM

    I understand that too - it is hard to find a good dr now adays for sure! and insurance companies don't make it any easier. hope your treatments work and you don't need one after all.

take care of you

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RWETHAIRYET 4/16/2010 11:27AM

    Sue, I understand exactly where you're coming from. I so need to find a new one...but my insurance pretty much has me pinned to the system I work in...and trust me, when you deal with them every day, it makes you even less inclined to hand your health over to them, haha.
So I totally understand why you're putting it off...I'd do the same thing for something like least until it didn't show any improvement.

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BETHGILLIGAN 4/16/2010 10:33AM

    UGH!! I used to go to a doctor like that. I now belong to Kaiser (Northern Virginia) and have been more than happy with care. It is daunting to start looking "cold". Hope your arm/shoulder starts to improve!

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Arm problem

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HJFOGARTY 4/15/2010 8:21PM

    I'm so glad you found a reason and something to do about and for it. You will be 100% in no time at all. Stay strong and enjoy that upper body workout again!

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PATTYCAKE49 4/15/2010 7:20PM

    I hope that your shoulder and arm get well soon. At least you found out your problem so that you can do something about it.

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BETHGILLIGAN 4/15/2010 6:46PM

    Good for your research! Hope your arm gets well soon!!!! You're right~what did we do before the Internet--gotta love it and hate it!!

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RWETHAIRYET 4/15/2010 5:12PM

    Hope your shoulder improves quickly...good that you caught it and have been able to be proactive about it.
Some people (not me of course emoticon) have the tendency to push through it...I'm glad you eased up until you found what you could do.

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 4/15/2010 5:09PM

    You're right -- it's hard to remember what it was like before Google! Inter-library loan?

I hope the shoulder/arm improves quickly.
emoticon emoticon

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When the world gets knocked off its axis

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOHAL52 4/15/2010 10:01AM

    [[hugs]] I ABSOLUTELY understand!! I have the same tendency, to fall back on old ways of coping. I have been reading "Women, Food and God" by Geneen Roth, and I must say that although I don't identify with everything she says, it is a really good read for folks like us. Especially when we are in the midst of stress.
Hope that the cars come back to life!!

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HJFOGARTY 4/13/2010 8:59PM

    I have to agree - when in need I fall back to old habbits that are so hard to break! I have found that by taking a deep breathe and drinking a glass of water I seem to gain a bit of my control back. You are such an inspiration in all you do and how you deal with all life throws at you. Times are tougher and life happens - you always seem to get it done and mostly with a good attitude! Thanks for sharing and hope your situation turns around. car problems stink!

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LADYIRIS313 4/13/2010 6:10PM

    Anxiety and stress can really drive us to whatever soothes us at the moment. I am a poster child for that situation! I was just thinking this morning that I need to make a list of 'other' things that soothe me -- long, hot showers, a dip in the hot tub (which I need to have repaired), a walk, putting on the headphones and listening to some music I love without interruption, doing some yoga stretches. My brain immediately turns to 'chocolate' when I'm stressed. It occurred to me that I still use it as a reward - albeit in a controlled fashion. I suspect I need more practice with 'other' treats, so that food isn't such an automatic Pavlovian response.

Sorry about the vehicle news. I guess next to our homes and our education, the cost of our vehicles is generally a large punch so it is why we worry so much about it -- and there doesn't seem to be a 'good' time for a breakdown. Here's hoping you can keep them chicken wired together for now, and that a really fabulous deal on a reliable, fun ride comes your way soon. And, if you slip .. know that a glass of wine or a burger will not erase all the good you've done already. You'll get right back on track.

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BETHGILLIGAN 4/13/2010 3:22PM

    I totally hear you! It seems I fall into "things are bad so I deserve ________". OR, it may not even be that blatant--just hard to focus on ME when my mind is on the problem. Thanks for sharing~

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Following your nose ... and a lucky troll

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 emoticon 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!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RWETHAIRYET 4/12/2010 2:25PM

    Heehee, no metaphors from me today....just a quote by Douglas Adams..."I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be."
Sounds like a perfect Sunday to me. Some of my favoritest outings have been from just letting the car decide which way to turn. Glad that you had such a wonderful day.
Don't think I believe it though about the troll in the closet...seems to me he would have been yelling bloody murder once he ended up in that closet. I do, however, believe that it might have been a troll, considering who the employer is. emoticon

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LADYIRIS313 4/11/2010 8:33PM

    This was an utterly delightful read! Isn't it wonderful, what you see and experience, when you can exhale and let life just guide you. It also sounds like you and your son have a great friendship - what a joy. Did you scold your car after it decided to take a wrong turn, or did you give it a nice hood pat! I vote for the later.

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LINDAKAY228 4/11/2010 3:23PM

    I just love exploring something I've never seen and many wrong turns have lead to some beautiful sights! That is living!!

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 4/11/2010 2:50PM

    What a happy day! Thanks for sharing!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    What a wonderful day - just goes to show what can happen when we're not so fixated on planning everything to the last degree! Cute troll story, too.

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BETHGILLIGAN 4/11/2010 1:53PM

    Love your story and the troll story!!! What a great day!

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Reached every goal

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!



  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RWETHAIRYET 4/9/2010 11:15AM

I fell a little short on my goals this week...but I suspect I got the priorities done, so I'll feel good about that. Sadly it was the exercise ones that got set aside...but then again all that dusting and scrubbing (and steaming and fuming) must have been worth something, huh?

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LADYIRIS313 4/8/2010 9:36PM

    Look at you go!

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BETHGILLIGAN 4/8/2010 9:33PM

    YAY! for you!! emoticon Now you deserve a good night's sleep! emoticon

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