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  1. #1
    Other Personal News

    Other Personal News

    I'm starting this because I need a place to drop the personal news that's too heavy to suit the light-and-fluffy atmosphere of "Random Thoughts," but won't - for one reason or another - qualify for "Personal Announcements (which affect RPing)" either. {small smile}

    For example, last week, Dad's shoulder needs to see an orthopedist. He tore the rotator cuff pretty badly a bit over a decade ago. Physical therapy and other treatment worked then, but the shoulder is complaining too much to ignore now. He has an appointment in about a month. The orthopedist is too busy to see him sooner. {pause} Sometimes it's really unpleasant living in a town with a severe doctor shortage.

    As well as a taxi shortage. When Dad's shoulder started complaining, he went to the emergency room because the pain was that bad. He was ready to come home before midnight. The taxi they called first never did show up. By the time they figured out it wasn't going to, the emergency check-in clerk just sent him to bed. The next morning, a taxi could have picked him up after 8 AM, but by then I'd remembered a friend who lives near both us and the hospital had offered to do pick-ups if we needed, so they called her around 6:30 AM, and she had him home before 7 AM... with strict orders to forget the taxi and just call her next time.

  2. #2
    I'm sorry to hear your father is in pain. I hope he can get into the doctor soon. The taxi news is crazy and I don't blame you for not using them again.

  3. #3

    I understand if the taxi company can't afford to keep their cabs out all night. Hilo's not that large a town, and a taxi driver who gets too little in fares loses money. However, you'd think they'd let the hospital know if they shut down after a particular hour. Apparently not.

  4. #4
    It would definitely make sense too.

  5. #5
    Glad to hear your Dad's got through this OK, Anne.

    Over the last two years or so I've been going through a whole load of sessions with consultants, scans and batteries of tests. I have spinal stenosis (from the Greek for to squeeze) where arthritis squeezes the channels through which the nerves run in the spine. This can produce odd effects, because you often feel it not where the nerve is squeezed, but in the place it runs to (sciatica is a more common example of this effect: a displaced disc in the spine might press on the sciatic nerve and make your leg or your ankle hurt.)

    The effect of stenosis on me was an inability to walk more than about 20 yards without a crutch, though very little pain, and Ibuprofen could handle that. I was about to have an op to relieve the pressure when the anaesthetist called a halt because I also have emphysema from 45 years of smoking (I gave up 3 years ago but there's no cure: you can only slow its progress to a crawl.) While the medical profession worried about it's liability insurance premiums I decided my life wasn't going to be put on hold for them any longer and went to a physiotherapist to give me some exercises and went back to the gym (defensive stuff, just riding a bike to get my heart-rate to 80% of max for 20 minutes a few times a week.) The effect in three months was remarkable. I can now walk five miles or more without any sort of stick or crutch, though I don't run any more.

    We also found I also had a problem with my upper spine which affected my left shoulder: in making certain movements I'm about as strong as a kitten, because pressure on the nerve means some muscles have wasted because alternative muscles are responding to the commands from my brain to do day-to-day tasks like cleaning windows. The symptoms were very similar to rotator-cuff damage, though none showed on the scan.

    But today I finally got the news from the last consultant that there need be no operations any time soon. Unlike, say, a hip replacement where healing is automatic, nerves don't heal - they don't regenerate, unlike skin, bones and muscles - so an op to relieve the pressure on them carries no guarantee of repair. And any nerve damage is probably not going to repair itself after as long as mine have been in stenosis.

    So I'm back with my physio for some more exercises to keep me as mobile as possible for as long as possible, and able to go on holiday again without fear of damaging myself. (If it doesn't hurt like it hurts most people, it crosses one's mind that one may be damaging oneself by doing almost anything. But that's not a worry now, as confirmed by specialists of all colours.)

    It's good to be clear to get on with my life again without worries and with near-normal mobility, and my wife is delighted - when I couldn't walk withthout a crutch for all those months she thought she was condemned to the rest of her life nursing an invalid. Two years of hell are finally behind us, as of today.

    Nowhere near as bad as your Dad, Anne, but if my story helps you or him to feel better then its worth telling.
    Sworn, bloody!


    The Old Peculier perpetrator of warm English beer

  6. #6
    Xetal, I'm very happy to read your news. I'm sorry about all you have went through and I'm happy that you and your wife can put this behind you.

  7. #7
    I'm sorry to hear what you and your dad are going through, Anne. I hope it gets better.

    I'm also sorry to hear what you've spent the last two years going through, Xetal. Although that's awesome news you got today.

  8. #8
    Thanks Corey and Xetal. Yeah, I'm really relieved Dad's doing as well as he is. I do hope the orthopedist finds some ways to really help Dad. He's doing okay after switching from the cane he'd been using to a single crutch of the sort that I see in pairs with broken legs. He claims it doesn't hurt, but I think there's other problems he doesn't want to complain about.

    Oh thank goodness, Xetal, that's wonderful news! I'm so glad things have gotten better for you!

  9. #9
    Now it FEELS like I'm coming back from the heart failure I got... I guess it got as far as heart failure this year, but the heart disease and the trouble it caused started fall 2014.

    Anyway, today I walked around the biggest grocery store with Dad while he grocery shopped. It was a short trip - we didn't go up or down a quarter of the aisles - and I was tired by the end, but I didn't have to stop an lean on a built-in while I caught my breath, not even once! {worn but Very Relieved Smile}

  10. #10
    I... don't quite believe it. {bite lips} When I was diagnosed with ischemic heart disease Fall 2014, the cardiologist was all ready to put me on three different heart medications to try to manage my condition and keep me from heart failure. Instead, my doctor put me on a diuretic spring last year, and the cardiologist switched me to another diruetic when I had too much trouble with side-effects. When I could tolerate the new medication, but not increase it, my doctor added a second diuretic that is also a heart medication of some variety. Today was the second follow-up to the new medication.

    The bloating that the diuretics treated is gone or essentially gone. Both my feet and my weight confirm this. The side-effects are manageable, the heart failure is gone, and I'm beginning to get my stamina back. In short, Everything is going well. So the next step? Let's just leave things as they are.

    No more medications with their unexpected side-effects. {bite lips} Just... try to get my life back and move on. I...didn't realize how much I was braced for the next blow until it wasn't there. It's been barely over a year and a half... and I can finally get my life back, or at least try to. Yes, I was trying to anyway... but with no attention to the details. I guess I expected to lose it again far more quickly than usual. Maybe I won't after all. Maybe it's worth looking at those details after all. {worn but hopeful. Smile}

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