I’m in Los Angeles most of today ….
I’ve been trying to keep a positive outlook since I re-injured my bum arm in mid-November.
I think I ran out of “positive” yesterday, though.
I was really down in the dumps after my morning PT session with Paul Newman.
He’s frustrated because he’s watching my arm disintegrate in front of him.
I see his frustration and absorb it as my own.
I know he’s put a lot of heart and soul into helping me.
I’m allowing myself a one day pity party and then I need to get over it.
If you guys learn nothing else from me, please learn this ….
YOU HAVE TO BE YOUR OWN HEALTHCARE ADVOCATE.
I’ve spent nine and a half years in a nightmare.
A lot of my nightmare could have been avoided if I’d known more about doctors, physical therapy, insurance, and the need to stick up for what I believe.
I’ve made so many mistakes along the way because I didn’t know better.
Will I make more mistakes?
But, I’m trying my best to apply what I’ve learned.
My “normal” orthopedic surgeon weighed in on my arm in November.
He didn’t think anything was wrong with my arm other than the usual stuff that is always wrong with my arm.
I cried after I left his office because I was in pain and I knew something “new” was wrong.
Today, I meet with a surgeon up in Los Angeles who specializes in orthopedic arm injuries which are the result of trauma.
It will be my second time meeting with him – I’m taking him my two recent MRIs to look at.
In my first visit with him, he immediately identified a problem my normal doctor had never seen.
A third orthopedic surgeon, a family friend, ordered and read my last two (3T) MRIs.
(Actually, I told him to order the elbow MRI because all the doctors I had seen at that time seemed to think there was nothing wrong with my elbow. “It hurts because of your shoulder,” was the common thought. Family Friend Doctor ordered the MRIs I asked for because he believed me when I said “something is wrong and I really need your help.”)
[Family Friend Doctor specializes primarily in leg injuries which is why I’ve never gone to see him.]
It was from the elbow MRI I insisted on, I found out I have a torn tendon in my elbow.
I’m stressed about all of this because:
- Having painful injuries is stressful no matter what. It’s been eight weeks (!!) since I “re-injured” my arm. Eight weeks with almost zero function and tons of pain.
- I leave for New Zealand relatively soon and I want to be able to enjoy myself.
- I have to be able to shoot while I’m in New Zealand.
- I know there’s a good possibility I will need surgery on both my elbow AND shoulder. (Surgeries #10 and #11!) I want to cry just thinking about it.
- I don’t want to have surgery before New Zealand. I can’t imagine having post surgical pain while traveling!
- I don’t know if I can handle the current pain if I don’t have surgery until AFTER New Zealand.
In the meantime,
What are my options – and what are the recovery times to go with them?
What’s fixable and what’s not?
In what year will it become possible to remove my arm and give me a prosthetic, bionic, arm?
These are the type of things I’ll be discussing with doctors as I try to plan the next steps for my life.
It never hurts to get a lot of educated opinions.