Friday, April 16, 2010
My appointment was actually yesterday afternoon...and I really like my new orthopedist. Nice guy...younger than I am (what doctors aren't nowadays? I always end up seeing some guy that looks like "Doogie Howser" when I go to the Urgent Care here in Pasadena!)....Harvard-trained and California Board Certified in orthopedics and surgery....
I knew more than he did on one subject, however. He had never heard of Hyderabad!! After my exam, I stood over his shoulder as I had him Googling "Hyderabad" and "Golconda Fort" and "Nizam Hospital"...he was amazed!! He also searched for information on the use of arthroscopic surgery technigues in the Hyderabad area.
Back to the exam. I told him that it had been exactly one week since I fell and hurt my shoulder. I told him that I was much-improved and that, with some pain, I was at least able to lift my left arm...albeit with a bit of difficulty. He had me move my arm for him in several contorted ways. One that was a little bothersome was putting my left hand flat on top of my head. I think my noticible wince was what cause him to go "Hmmmmm."
I was anxious to show him how I could lift my arm forward and to the side. Little did I know what was coming next.
He said, "Hold your arm out straight for me...yes...just like that." He then proceeded to push DOWN on my outstretched arm and said, "Now....fight against me..."
OWWWWWW! #%$#%&$#er - that hurt!!!!
"Yes, you see...that was what I was afraid of. I'm afraid that you may have torn your rotator-cuff."
He said there was only one way to see and be sure...and that was for me to get an M.R.I. as soon as possible. I told him that it would indeed have to be soon...because we are scheduled to leave for India in just eleven days!!
He then explained to me the procedure if the M.R.I. did, in fact, show that my rotator-cuff was torn. He said that it was done arthroscopically and the tear would be sewed up. I asked about recovery time (4-6 weeks!!)...and - - thinking ahead, we decided that if it was necessary, I would have the surgery when we get BACK from our two-week "look-see" trip to Hyderabad.
I then asked him what would be the danger if I DIDN'T have the procedure and the cuff was indeed torn.
He said that at the age of 53, if it could actually heal, (yes, that would be a possibility)...it might not heal correctly...and then at the age of 60, "You wouldn't be able to lift a coffee cup!" Shoulders are evidently nothing to mess around with.
So...in about four-hours time...at 1:45 P.M. today...I'll be getting the second M.R.I. of my life. Being claustrophobic caused me to abort that first procedure after about 30-seconds, when I screamed "Get me out of this &%$#%$@ thing - - NOW!!".... I thought they were going to have to hire an an anesthesiologist for that one!! They gave me two yellow 10 mg. Valium tablets to take, and told me then to come back in a couple of hours and we'd try it again. When I got back, I was pretty relaxed....SO relaxed, in fact, that they could have told me that they were putting me into a wood-chipper, I would have said "Okee Dokie!!"
I guess that M.R.I.'s are a little different nowadays. I'm getting an "open" one - - and it's at a place right here in Pasadena. I hope the results are negative for a tear. I'd really rather not start our new lives in India recovering from shoulder surgery, no matter how minor of a procedure it is.
If I was to make a wager, I'd say that I really don't think it is torn! I am so much better than I was a week ago!!! But it is what it is and what it will be.
So...how come I keep seeing Tommy John warming up in the bullpen snd grabbing his glove to come into the game for a save!?!?