Saturday, July 16, 2016

WARNING: Shoulder Images . . .

I'm going to talk first this morning about a finished object!  Yay!

I'm also doing this to get my shoulder photos - that you may or may not wish to see - below the fold, to use an old newspaper term.


Over in the Year of Stash Socks (YOSS) Group, we've got a Christmas in July theme going on.  These are my July socks!

The yarn is Blue Moon Fiber Arts, Socks that Rock Lightweight in the Comfort and Joy colorway.  The pattern is the Horcrux Socks (in Fingering Weight).

And just to give you a little Holiday Cheer in the middle of summer . . .

Alrighty then.

We should be far enough down the page now that if you didn't really want to see these photos you could have quit by now  ;-)

I had my first post-op appointment with my surgeon on Tuesday.  My physical therapist joined me there, which was very nice. I had a lot of questions and I got a lot of answers.  I also got a serious wake up call . . .

The steri-strips were removed from my shoulder - and I was more than happy to get them off.  The middle one still had a lot of dried blood under it, and since I was under strict instructions not to get my incisions nor the strips wet, I had been extremely careful to comply.

I should probably remind you at this point that I have been compliant from the very beginning of this journey, and I should also tell you (if you haven't already figured it out) that I am a relatively linear thinker.  That means that I generally follow a stepped progression in my thought process.  This is not to say that I don't have flights of fancy and crazy creativity.  I do.  A lot.  A really lot.  But on things that I don't understand well or have no frame of reference for, I pay attention.  I listen to/read the directions, and I follow them.  I do what I'm supposed to be doing. So I was not getting my shoulder wet, and as long as I was taking even one Norco a day right before PT, I was not getting behind the wheel of an automobile.

Back to the surgeon . . .

Steri-strips off, and the nurse cleaned my up a little.  On the whole, my shoulder looks pretty good on the outside.  I still have a little bit of yellow bruise left, but it's not all that bad.  My scars are small and I think that you might not even know there are there if you didn't know I'd had surgery, or unless you knew where to look.

So . . .  . um . . .  what's the big deal about photographs?????

This is a good website about Adhesive Capulitis/Frozen Shoulder.  I snagged this photo of the inside of a normal shoulder joint from that page.  This is what a normal, healthy shoulder joint looks like!

This is what my shoulder joint looks like . . .

The angles are a little different, but you can clearly see that it's not OK.  Based on that first photo, one's shoulder is not supposed to be any color other than white . . . although there is a little bit of blood here because this was after the manipulation, the pinkish red that you see is inflammation.

Here is a better view of my partially torn rotator cuff:

You can see the pink/red here too.  They trimmed off those frayed pieces and left it alone.  The solid white on the right of all the photos is the bone - no damage, i.e., no arthritis.

Those are the photos - what's the serious wake-up call?

I have known for many years that I "have" inflammation.  I had - and occasionally still have - it in my heels with plantar fasciitis.   I have it in my lungs with asthma.  I've had it on the top of my right foot (mistaken for a stress fracture).  I have it in my right knee.  And I have it in my right shoulder.  I don't know why it's all on the right side of my body - maybe it's not.  Maybe it's just that the right side is where it's chosen to manifest itself for whatever reason.

For years I've had what I thought was a good understanding of what inflammation is, and I know that in my body, sugar exacerbates it.  What I didn't know, was the damage it was doing.

Unlike these guys, I was a theatre/music major, not a doctor!

Yes, I'm keeping my sense of humor through this  ;-)

I'm not a doctor, and I squeaked through both biology and math in undergrad.  I've never really given much thought to what the inside of various parts of my body look like.  I thought that bones were, you know, bone color and pretty much everything else in there was red - I mean, it's the inside of my body - there's blood in there.  But what I have imagined all of my life has flown in the face of what I have actually seen.  I have very real photos of the inside of my own shoulder showing the damage in the joint lining caused by the inflammation in my body.

You want to talk about a wake-up call?????

And so the journey takes a turn - back to the path I have somehow lost over the past three years.

There are many chronic conditions that many people face - diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, inflammation.  Check it out:

29 million people (9.3%) in the US have diabetes
70 million adults (29%) in the US have high blood pressure
25 million people (8%) in the US have asthma

I can't give you a statistic on inflammation from the CDC because the CDC only talks about it in terms of arthritis.

Just because you don't know (or chose to ignore) that something is happening in your body doesn't mean it's not doing damage.

If i can fix at least some of this inflammation in my body via what I do or do not put in my mouth, wouldn't I be a fool not to explore it?  Even before my visit on Tuesday to the surgeon, I had already decided to return to The Strict Program for Three Months.  After my visit I seriously got on the stick.

I mean, really, what am I waiting for???   If not now, when???

There will always be vacations.  There will always be parties.  There will always be dinners out.  There will always be stress/joy/hilarity/sadness - all the things we use food and other substances to celebrate, sooth, and/or avoid. These things aren't going away so it's time for me to learn some better ways of coping with living my life.

There will never be a better or easier time.

 Yeah - let me repeat that:   There will NEVER be a better or easier time.

My choice is made, and yeah, my journey just took a sharp turn - a leap, if you will.  Wanna come along? 

In the meantime, however, I don't take Norco on the weekends and today - for the first time since surgery - I get to drive!

Dude - I'm going to the store  :-D


Michelle said...

I hope you can hear how loud I'm cheering for you!!!

Kristyn McCain said...

I am pulling for you as I work on my own hornet.

A :-) said...

You Guys rock so hard!!! :-)