Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Stupid Shoulder

It was weird looking at the inside of my shoulder. Some pictures make me think of steaks and pork chops and others remind me of a big slice of roast:
I made an appointment and while it's at my hand doctor's office it is with another doctor. Apparently my hand doctor is a hand doctor after all. The appointment is at 10:40 am tomorrow (Thursday). Yuck. I will have to get up very early. Anyway, I had to go pick up my MRI from the imaging place to take with me.
Not only did I get to look at all the images, but there was a detailed written report. It's looong. Apparently there is a lot more going on than the one tear. My Sweetie looked up most of the words and apparently of the four rotator cuff muscles, I have tears in three of them, as well as some other irritated and swollen things. And there were some early signs of osteoarthritis also. Yay me.
Not all of the report was horrible. There was no atrophy of something and something is intact. But those were two short sentences in a very long paragraph. Anyway, so I've been having a little pity party for myself for the last couple of hours. Having thoughts like, I won't even be able to tie my shoes! Now I'm going to make a list of things to ask and tell the doctor because nothing is more irritating than remembering something you forgot to ask. Well, maybe not being able to tie your shoes.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The MRI and Christmas

I pretty much went through the list in the previous post without a hitch, except the neighbor visiting was moved from Thursday to Saturday and the Friday kitchen part took about 10 hours. I was starting to feel like some sort of kitchen prisoner in hell.
Of course that was the point: to have everything done the day before. On Christmas eve, it all went pretty easily: basically displaying things on platters and trays. We had ten guests, which may not seem like that many to some of you, but to me it felt like a million people were here.
There was a lot of fruit left over, and that surprised me because that's what I eat at parties. I had blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, grapes and blueberry craisins. In fact I am finishing off the strawberries right now.
Christmas day was supposed to be a rest day but I seemed to be busy until about 7:00 pm, so I will use today as my rest day.
Thursday's MRI was very interesting. My main concern was that I would fall asleep. To try to keep myself awake, I made up things that the noises sounded like. Some of them were amusing. But I caught myself almost dozing off FIVE times! And in case I didn't mention it before, I didn't want to fall asleep because people move and jerk when they fall asleep and you are supposed to stay perfectly still in the MRI chamber. It went by pretty quickly actually, and she showed me the video. It just looked like some 1974 hippy acid video except it was in black and white.
My doctor's nurse called on Friday and said that I did in fact have a tear in my rotator cuff. (I knew that.) She gave me two referrals for orthopedic surgeons and one of them was my hand doctor, so I picked him. I called his office pretty late on Friday and left a message. I have no idea when I will hear back. It was odd that it was my hand doctor, because for some reason I thought my hand doctor was just that: A hand doctor. I don't know why I thought that. Anyway, he struck me as a competent fellow when I used him before, so I'm good.

Now I am looking forward to January 5th. My Sweetie and I are going to New Orleans. Also I booked the beach cottage for May. We've upgraded to a five bedroom so everyone can be there at the same time. Yay! Wow it's almost 2012. It seems like I waited forever fo my 50th birthday and now that was 8 months ago. Time flies.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wednesday ~ House cleaning, neatening up

Thursday ~ Visit neighbor, go for MRI and drinks with daughter, grocery store

Friday ~ cooking, prepping food

Saturday ~ celebrate Christmas Eve with family, go out to play

Sunday ~ Rest

I think I have this down.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Best Laid Plans....

I kind of wanted to talk about this sweet little thing I bought:
And how I plan to use it for my finely grated provolone and horseradish spread that I plan to make for the roast beef sliders that will be part of my Christmas eve finger food and how I have a strange fascination for spreaders:

(The steak knife on the right was for size reference). But I guess I should (ha! "should" almost spells "shoulder!") get to the nitty gritty about what's going on.


I have two little pills left of the Prednisone and there has been no change in my shoulder. Whenever I've taken this before, I got instant relief. Everything I've read online about torn rotator cuffs describes my symptons exactly. The good news is the Prednisone has been great for my poor thumb. My right hand is doing a lot more work because my left side is so pathetic, but I have had no thumb pain at all. And because I had to eat low fat, low protein in order to avoid a gall bladder attack, I actually lost a few pounds. Which was weird because I always thought this was all beer fat, and believe me, I have been drinking a lot of beer.


So when I wake up today, I will call my doctor and I guess he will either hook me up with a specialist or send me somewhere for an MRI. I really don't want to get surgery before my January 5th New Orleans vacation, but I'm also not sure if I can take this for 21 or so more days. I'm sure I'll have a better idea of everything in the next few days.


So that's where my shoulder stands. I do have a great menu for our Christmas eve and I'm also happy we are having it in the afternoon, so our night and our Christmas will be free. Oh, and I am SO SO VERY happy that my gall bladder held up, but I sure am craving some cheese.

~~~UPDATE: MRI is scheduled for Thursday at 3:30 CST.~~~

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Not Shouldering Through The Pain

I haven't mentioned it before but my left shoulder is all out of wank and quite painful. It's been like this for about three weeks. When it comes to physical irritations, because I have a pretty high tolerance for pain, I try to ignore them, thinking they will go away. They usually do. But not only is my shoulder not getting better, it began to interrupt my sleep. That doesn't fly with me.
I am a great sleeper. Granted, I get to wait until I am sleepy to go to bed and then sleep until I am ready to get up. Yes, I do appreciate that. I remember those horrible "Insomnia Sundays" from back in my working days. They sucked big time. So at this stage of my life I have really good sleeps and I enjoy them.
Well this wanky shoulder and sleeping do not have a good working relationship. It wakes me up. A Lot. So today I did what any normal person would have done two weeks ago. I actually went to the doctor. Okay, I have to confess here that besides not being a doctor goer type person, I was afraid he would say: It's osteoarthritis and you will just have to live with it for the rest of your life. Because that is what the hand doctor told me about my thumb. And I'm no longer a big fan of my thumb, but we tolerate each other. A shoulder however is a bigger deal.
And by a bigger deal, I don't just mean size. You may not realize it, but unless you are a knitter, or maybe a hitchhiker, or someone who is paid to "autograph" things for a famous person, you use your shoulder way more than you use your thumb. And when it comes to sleeping, you hardly use your thumb at all. And if you do, please tell me how.
We looked at the x-ray together and I was happy to see my bones were all smooth and rounded and nicely spaced. He thinks I have a small tear in my rotator cuff. So he gave me that steroid dosepak thing. Yeah, the thing that gives me gall bladder attacks. I refused them the last time I was supposed to take them for something, so that should tell you how bad my shoulder hurts. I did however ask him how to avoid the gall bladder attack. He said to avoid proteins and fats. If I had known all of this, I would have had a ribeye yesterday.
But my shoulder hurts, and gall bladder attacks are hideous, so I went to the grocery store and bought very healthy things to have for the next few days. And the doctor said if I am not good after the medicine is finished (which will be Monday) then I will have to have an MRI and possibly rotator cuff surgery.
The timing seems kind of poor considering it is Christmas and we are going to New Orleans on January 5th. But I think I'll always remember this Christmas season as the one with the bad timing. I forgot to tell you that we had to buy a new hot water heater ($$$$!) on Tuesday. Gotta have hot water. A good working shoulder would be nice too. I hope the medicine works.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Shower Chemistry

As I was taking a shower today I was trying to decide which conditioners to mix. Then I wondered if anyone else does this. That's my shower and my husband has his own shower. I counted and I have eight shampoos and six conditioners. I don't know why.
The odd thing is, I'm a real stickler about certain things. For instance, I've used the same soap for at least 20 years (Pears) and I've used the same toothpaste for longer than that (Colgate). But when it comes to shampoo and conditioner, I love variety. I'm always looking for something different. And then I like to mix them together. Not mix shampoos with conditoners of course, but shampoos with shampoos and conditioners with conditioners. (And I think "shampoo" is a really funny word if you think about it. It's like a combination of "Shamu" and "tattoo" which are two things that really do not belong together. You shouldn't get a tattoo of Shamu and you shouldn't tattoo Shamu.)
Anyway, does anyone else do hair chemistry in the shower? And to be quite honest I really just want everyone to listen to this song:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Good Art

I first posted that picture over four years ago. It is Caravaggios' The Cardsharps. It's my second favorite painting and it makes its home right here in Fort Worth at the Kimbell Art Museum. On Saturday we went to The Kimbell to see the exhibit "Caravaggio and His Followers in Rome." I was excited to see more Caravaggio work. It was also fascinating to see the paintings of his students, followers and admirers.
There are many reasons I love this type of art. Most people who have an interest in art have all sorts of different tastes. Impressionism is very popular as well as modern art. I really love the very old, very realistic paintings. I was thinking about this today and I think I figured it out. Most of the paintings in the exhibit were painted between 1590 and 1620. There are no photographs from that time so these realistic paintings give us a snapshot, if you will, into the past. Because such objects as an apple or a stein look almost photographic, I think it is safe to assume that the other objects (not the angels, of course) are also very realistic. And a lot of these old paintings feature books.
Books were not commonly owned objects in that time and so I imagine that it was because they were special that they were included in so many paintings. They did not look like modern books. They were always curvy, wavy and somewhat crinkled. I paid particular notice to the books in the paintings. There were also some things in the paintings that were unidentifiable by me. I wish I could have asked someone what they were.
I also got a big kick out of seeing from where the paintings had been loaned. There were paintings from all over Rome, some from Spain, at least one from The Louvre and even one from the museum in my home state of North Carolina. I've always thought it was fascinating how these great old paintings travel around the world. On the one hand, I am thrilled about it and on the other, it makes me nervous to think these fine old irreplaceable, delicate masterpieces could be damaged or lost forever.
I guess I should just appreciate being able to see great artwork. I'm sure there are millions of people on the planet who have never seen great art. I'm lucky because I have seen my two favorite paintings. And of all of Caravaggio's work that I saw today, I still say The Cardsharps is his best.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Watching Time Flip By

My best friend gave me a silver photo album as a wedding gift. It's very pretty and is a single picture page book with a photo slot in the silver cover and stands upright like a picture frame. As we did did not have a huge amount of pictures - it was a small family event at my in-laws' house - there were many pages left empty.
I remember getting all the pictures back. Yeah, back in the day when we had to get pictures developed. I had fun arranging them in the book and then I was out of pictures. As I looked with dismay at all the blank slots, I decided that every year, we would have our picture taken on our anniversary and put them in the book. This is this year's pic:

It's very strange to flip through the book and watch yourself change. It's like Boom! Turn the pages and watch yourself age from 40 to 50. Or from 34 to 44 if you are the groom. It might be funny to do a 10 year slideshow.
And speaking of time passing, my dashboard says this is my 1000th post, but I know that's only partly true. They count half finished posts that you deleted or any post that you deleted. My guess is that my blog probably contains about 985 posts. But I'm not going to count them. It was bad enough counting from 40 to 50. Turn the page.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Organizational Madness

I checked back over my blog to see when I first mentioned the Tupperware and it was two weeks ago. Since then I have continued with this finding of places for things. That old expression: A place for everything and everything in its place, or something to that effect, has apparently taken over my mind. I can't seem to stop. I found a good place for all of My Sweetie's school books (schoolbooks? I don't feel like looking that up). They were in a stack in the bedroom and that's fine when you're twenty, but at our age it seemed silly. I found a shelf for them in here. I also found another shelf for all of his big hardback video game guide books. And those actually seem like something you would own when you are twenty.
Saturday, I decided to rearrange some stuff in the library. To move bookcases in the library requires removing all the books. It was daunting but I HAD to do it. And I did. One bookcase only had to be slid four inches to the right, but take out all the books, I did. And it is all better. And I enjoyed seeing all the books. I found all kinds of things I had never noticed. I have decided to read Jane Austen's Mansfield Park. Especially since I have never read a Jane Austen novel and her fans all hate it. I digress.
On Friday, one of my MOW ladies asked if I could come over some day and help her organize her clothes. I was all WHAT ARE YOU KIDDING YES!! I did that this afternoon (yesterday - Monday- chronologically. I haven't gone to bed yet.) She could not have picked a better time to ask me. I was The Wizard of Clothes. I was more than just the mover of things from place to place: I gently chastised her for having clothes with tags on them. I also told her how I keep my clothes to a workable minimum. She liked the idea. But considering that she had eight or nine nearly indentical red shirts, I doubt she will heed my advice. I made a point to hang all of the red shirts together so she will see that she has an unnecessary redundancy in her closet.
This afternoon I am going to tackle a built-in storage area in the house that I don't think I've opened in six months. I can't wait. But I'll have to. I have to go to sleep now.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Pictures in Pictures

One of my FB friends wanted to see my polymer cover on my porch light and so I took a picture.
After I took the picture I saw so many things in the reflection as well as the picture. It's almost like a picture puzzle.
For instance, you can see my beer in a red huggy and that's inside the house although it looks like it's sitting on bricks. The bricks are on the front porch.. You can see through my house to the backyard. You can see my neighbor's house across the street from the front of my house.
You can see the back of my mailbox out on the street.
You can see me taking the picture.
And Snoopy.

And Charlie Brown.
I was tickled that I was just taking a picture of the porch light and all these other things happened. Have fun. Let me know if you see anything else.