Monday, September 17, 2007

Bad News? Good News? Confusion!

I leave on my trip one week from today. This week I'm going to be as busy as a one-armed paperhanger. (I can say this because I once helped my one-armed mother hang wallpaper, so I know the reality of the metaphor.) Naturally enough, I am procrastinating already! Today I am supposed to clean house, take the dog to have her nails clipped, go to the bank to fix finances for when I'm away, and take a nap, since I woke up at 3 AM with my daily lists running through my head and never really slept again. Excited? No, not much!

Friday, I had an appointment with my Orthopedist, and got some not so good, but not as bad as possible news. My left shoulder now needs (minor) surgery because of overuse due to the pain in my right arm. This was not the news I had been looking for, or expecting, needless to say.

On the other hand, in July Worker's Comp made me go for an IME (Independent Medical Exam) at their pet medical group an hour and a half away from here. I went, rather reluctantly, having made several phone calls to my doctor's, my lawyer's, and their doctor's offices to make sure they got that he was to examine my LEFT, not right arm.

I have been there three or four times for other IME's on my right arm in the past, and I've learned enough over the last four years to anticipate screw-ups. Got to the appointment, and was told he would look at my right arm, and once again had to throw a small, but polite hissyfit to set them straight on the which arm was in question now.

The doc was nice, though, and I left thinking it was all a huge waste of time. These doctors always (surprise!) side with Worker's Comp, so I expected a copy of his report saying the increasing pain in my left shoulder was absolutely not related to my fall, or any of its aftermath. I never got a copy, though, and now I suspect I know why. The Worker's Comp's doctor, obviously an honest man, said that he believes the problem with my left shoulder is, indeed, related to my problems on the right, and should be considered a consequence of the original fall!

Both my surgeon and I were blown away-this sort of thing practically never happens, according to my doc. The new surgery will be laproscopic, much less in scope than my last shoulder surgery, and Worker's Comp will have to pay for it. I am well aware that we all pay for it in the long run, but feel strongly that my insurance company should not have to pay for a work related injury.

This all feels like good news, bad news, or perhaps bad news, good news, but I won't have the surgery till after Christmas, because I have to go to spend Christmas in Denver. My mother started to cry when she asked if I could come. If she wants me that badly, I'll do whatever is necessary to be there, of course.

A couple more comments on my trip. For my birthday, Meg, the EMT, made and gave me a first aid kit from which I could practically do surgery! It has everything except a scalpel, including little tootsie rolls, in case my blood sugar should fall.

Then she insisted that I go to our local fire/police supply store and buy a window punch/seatbelt slicer in case I go over some precipice in my car and end up in the water. I didn't have the heart to tell her I fully expect I'd be too panicked to use it, and dutifully went out and bought one.

I'm not sure what wilds she expects me to be facing on the mostly highway route I am taking from here to NJ to DC to VA to KY to PA and home, but I will certainly be prepared so she can worry less!

I finally got my itinerary together, for my parents and Meg. If anyone is remotely interested, let me know and I'll send you one. Right now, however, I have to take my dog to the groomer and start my day!

Blessings, Margo

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