Random Thoughts

So much for shoulder improvement.  It was feeling a bit better, temporarily, but the PT thought that was due to my not using it, rather than any real progress.  I did the exercises and stretches prescribed, but not anything extra. The physical therapist (at least that’s what I’ve been told PT stands for – I’m starting to think that it really means that I pay someone to torture me) finally said that it didn’t look like he was able to help this time, so kicked me back to my PCP.

I promptly stopped using my arm/shoulder, and the rest helped.  I could sleep most of the night (as long as I didn’t roll over the wrong way).  Once I’d rested my shoulder sufficiently (I thought), I resumed the gentle stretches and exercises prescribed by the physical therapist.  As soon as I tried to do anything, the whole shoulder was aggravated again.

I think about the fact that a baseball pitcher can tear his rotator cuff and completely recover to the point that he can pitch again.  There shouldn’t be any reason that I can’t get my shoulder working again so that I can do easier things than pitch a baseball.  Like play my guitar.

The trick is figuring out what it’s going to take to fix this shoulder.  My PCP looked at the PT’s report, asked questions, and referred me to an orthopaedic surgeon.  My doctor’s terrific.  He suspected that I’d be reluctant to have surgery (he might have gotten that impression from the fact that I still have my gallbladder), and reassured me that the physician to whom he’s referring me will have suggestions on non-invasive things I can try.  Surgery will be a last resort.

Googling the Referral

In the past, I’ve known nothing about doctors to whom I was referred.  It was so cool, instead of being in the dark, to come home from my last appointment and google the surgeon.  Up popped his medical clinic.  I was able to see a picture of him and read his bio.  I was surprised at how much less nervous I felt after that.

I also got to fill out all my paperwork online.  Is it paperwork in a paperless office?  I guess it’s easier and more legible than having the office mail forms to me, but it took three hours to do it all.  Next time someone asks my occupation, I’m tempted to tell them that I’m a professional patient.

In Other News

Happy as I was to discontinue the sulfasalazine, I’m wondering if I’m going to have to start it again.  I’ve been wondering if the Enbrel wasn’t working as effectively – not a pleasant idea – but this morning (when I filled my pill boxes) realized that maybe the ssz was really helping and the recent problems are because I’m not taking that med any more.  Next rheumy appointment is the middle of June, so either this is a flare that will go away, or I’ll know something different needs to happen.

Lastly, I’ve overcommitted myself, so probably won’t be online much for the next few days.  In no particular order:  my boys are going camping this weekend, and I have things to prepare for them (laundry, mending…).  I’m teaching tomorrow morning – but not until 10, which is good, because I’m helping someone set up a new database and need to be done by 9. Plenty of time to spare if I finish that project first thing when I get up, then prepare my lesson for 10:00.  I have a sewing project that needs to be done in the afternoon, then two of the kids need transportation to a violin master class in the evening.  By the middle of next week I have three more sewing projects to finish, then we need to pack for our vacation.  And I need vacation overrides so that I can refill my meds.  Fortunately I have someone to stay at my house and take care of the animals while we’re gone, so no worries there.

Hmmm… maybe it’s the busyness and not the lack of ssz that has my feet hurting so much.  I guess if I get better on vacation, I’ll have my answer.

Have a terrific weekend.

Defense Mechanisms

Over at Dr. French Fry’s blog, I read this:

In psychiatry there is something known as a defense mechanism.  Defense mechanisms can be mature, neurotic, or immature, they are ways that people deal with feelings of anxiety, pain, and internal conflict.  One of my personal favorites is suppression.  It’s classified as a mature defense mechanism, and is defined as conscious burrying of troubling thoughts so that you can continue to function.  Just push it out of your head an keep on truckin’. Acting out is an immature defense mechanism. Projection is transference of anger to a more acceptable recipient.  Intellectualization is when one can’t wrap his head around a painful thought or uncomfortable experience so he finds a rational way to process the info.  A classic example always given the text books is that of a man who finds out he has cancer.  This causes him to learn everything he can about the pathophysiology of the disease and instead of telling his son he has cancer he teaches his son about the aberrant cell cycle, P53, and the Rb gene.

My kids are getting used to hearing me burst into laughter about something I read on various blogs.  If I keep laughing, they’ll usually peer over my shoulder to share the moment.  Nobody understood why I thought the quoted passage was funny!

It explains so much.