Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Never a Dull Moment

Last month, I went to see the orthopedist who'd done the second surgery on my arm last year, Davis Hurley MD. He's the one who nearly gave me a heart attack by phoning the night before surgery to ask if I had any questions. Imagine that: A surgeon who actually calls his own patients! No wonder he was in 5280 magazine's list of the best doctors in Denver. He restored the use of my first and second fingers, plus he bears a striking resemblance to one of my painting instructors Way Back When, on whom I had a most unrequited crush. So I'm always glad to see him.

Well, almost always glad. I'd gone to see Dr H about having the plate taken out of my upper right arm, as it still hurts and I have pain, dysfunction and numbness in my hand. He sent me for Xrays and MRIs of the upper arm and shoulder, to see whether the humerus had healed enough for the plate to come out, and whether I'd need rotator cuff surgery.

Good news:
Rotator cuff's OK; looks like bursitis.

Not-so-good news:
Bone may not be healed enough for plate removal. I'm going for another opinion.

Totally unexpected, get-out-the-Kleenex news:
The egg-sized lipoma (benign fatty mass) under my shoulder blade that was discovered when I was smashed up by Gomez the horse 18 months ago is now, in Dr H's technical assessment, a "big-ass tumor" and has to come out ASAP. And the lipoma is so large and so stuck between layers of muscle that Dr H doesn't feel comfortable excising it himself. So he sent me to a tumor removal specialist at Colorado Limb Consultants (who knew? but this is the land of ski injuries), Cynthia Kelly MD--the only female orthopedist I know of--who's going to do surgery in mid-December.

Yesterday, referred by Dr Kelly, I saw hand specialist #3 to see whether carpal tunnel surgery is warranted (it would be done during the shoulder op). Dr. H said it is, another hand guy he referred me to said not. This one said maybe, and shot my wrist up with steroids to find out. If things get better, surgery would help; if not, then not. Along with hand guy #2 and my D.O., I'm thinking not, as the shot made the median nerve ache at the site of the original fracture in my way upper arm, while the hand feels the same as ever.

BUT WAIT...That's not all the excitement!

On Sunday morning, my mom in Maine called to tell me that my stepfather had landed in the hospital at 3 a.m. with atrial fibrillation, possibly a heart attack. (He got electric shock defib yesterday, same as Dick Cheney, but guess who got all the media coverage.) AND Mom's going into the same hospital on Wednesday, as previously scheduled, for the first of two knee replacements.

So instead of chilling out at home before my own surgery, as of Nov. 29 I'll be chilling out (literally) in the evocatively named Gray, Maine, for 10 days. Which means: running errands, shuttling between my mom's & stepfather's rooms at Maine Medical Center, tending to their enormous cat (17 lbs! with long hair that makes me sneeze), visiting with old friends, reading lotsa books (I'm stocking up at the Tattered Cover tomorrow) and writing.

I fled Maine's cold, damp winters for Virginia 12 years ago on Nov. 30, vowing never to return in winter. Hahahahaha...never say never.


Bill Peschel said...

Crimeny, you can't seem to catch a break, no pun intended.

Well, this too shall pass. The dogs bark and the caravan moves on. Maybe you should take some Stephen King along with you to Maine, to put you in the mood.

When my wife was living in Hawaii, she talked about friends who got rock fever, and would fly back to Connecticut in the winter. A week there made living 51 weeks in paradise bearable. Perhaps you'll gain a renewed appreciation for your homeland when you get back.

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

Yikes! Here's hoping that things calm down soon.

Bella Stander said...

Hmm...All alone, in a creaky house on a dirt road, way off in the woods, nothing but a skittish Maine coon cat for company? In MAINE?!?!

No, I don't think Stephen King would be a salubrious pick. I'm tending towards THE LETTERS OF NOEL COWARD.