Published in the Rains County Leader on October 2, 2018:
Dr. Graves gave me this hot, heavy boot.
This past Wednesday was the six-week anniversary of my shoulder surgery. Thursday at 9:45 am I had an appointment with my surgeon for a post-op checkup. Since he had said I would have to wear my sling for six weeks, and since my physical therapist said I was doing really well, I was sure Thursday would mean freedom for me.
However, as the time drew closer, I began to worry. Five years ago I broke my ankle, and the same doctor took care of my injury. It wasn’t the kind of break that required surgery, but I had to wear one of those plastic boots that looks like something that should have a ski attached to the bottom. It was very heavy and uncomfortable, and I counted the days until my two-month checkup, sure I would be healed enough to wear a regular shoe again. After looking at my x-rays, he breezed into the examining room with a big smile. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on September 4, 2018:
I tried to think of a topic other than my health for my column this week, but there’s little else going on in my life right now. I’m almost three weeks post-surgery, and the worst of the initial trauma has past. Over-the-counter pain meds and a gel cold pack take care of most of the pain, and physical therapy has settled into a manageable routine. It’s still painful and hard work, but I’m making progress, and I’ve cancelled the contract on my therapist. Still, I have almost four weeks until my next appointment with my doctor when he will hopefully release me from my sling, and the little inconveniences of having my dominant hand bound up are driving me crazy. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on August 27, 2018:
Physical therapy began Wednesday, one week after rotator cuff surgery on my right shoulder. I was excited when we received a call from the doctor’s office informing me that it was time to begin and asking where I wanted to go. I was also excited to learn that Lake Fork Physical Therapy is one of their approved providers, both because they are local and because I’ve heard great things about Paul and Angie. On the other hand, I was apprehensive.
When people hear that you are having a rotator cuff repair, they all have a story to share, either a personal one or the story of someone they know. Most of the stories I heard were encouraging, but a few not so much. The ones about how painful recovery would be didn’t bother me too much. I was already in pain, so I assumed the pain of surgery would be bearable. I wasn’t too worried about the discomfort of the therapy either, because many years ago I had several months of PT to treat a disk problem in my lower back. Nothing Paul did could be as painful as an elbow on a cramping muscle with the full weight of the therapist behind it – or could it? (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on July 17, 2018:
At the church where I work, there’s a twelve-month calendar on the wall behind my desk along with a multi-colored collection of dry-erase markers. The idea is that each staff member and each ministry uses a different color so it’s easy to see at a glance what’s happening on any given day. The problem is that we have no color key on the calendar, so we don’t always use the correct marker. One day last week, Pastor Jason came into my office to make note of a few days he is taking off in August. He stared at the calendar for a few minutes.
“I don’t remember what color I am,” he said. “I think I’m green.”
“It isn’t easy being green,” I quipped. When he looked confused, I continued, “You know – Sesame Street – Kermit the Frog.” (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on November 10, 2015:
Last week I talked about all the “national” months, weeks, and days that are on the American calendar. Specifically, I mentioned that November is National Family Caregiver Month and National Novel Writing Month. One very important month I didn’t mention is October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Some of the months are pretty low key or have limited media appeal, but with all the special events and promotions, it’s hard to miss this month, especially when 300 pound linebackers wear pink socks. (more…)
A little over a year ago, I wrote several posts about the Wheat Belly Diet. I had seen the doctor for my annual check-up, and he suggested I adjust my eating habits by cutting out wheat and other processed grains. He said it might help me lose a few pounds, but mostly he hoped it would lower my triglyceride level which had been on the high side for several years. Since he was diplomatic about the weight issue, I decided to go along with his suggestion and see what happened. My husband David, who isn’t a picky eater as long as there’s black pepper and hot sauce on the table, agreed to join me in the adventure. (more…)
I subscribe to several newsletters that deal with caregiving, Alzheimer’s, and related issues. I don’t always read the articles because a lot of them report medical studies that I don’t understand. However, since I’m always on the lookout for blog topics, I usually scan the headlines and the first few sentences. Recently I’ve seen several articles announcing scientific progress in identifying people who are at risk for Alzheimer’s years before they actually develop symptoms. Some of these early detection methods involve simple blood tests while others require a complicated analysis of DNA to identify certain chromosomes. The most recent test I learned about was an analysis of the spinal fluid.
The one article I haven’t seen is the one announcing a cure for this insidious disease. Since the results of existing treatments are questionable, I’m not sure I would want to know if I had Alzheimer’s.