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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Man Down!

(Originally posted on my blog on 12-13.)

Ow ow ow ow ow ow OWW!There's something that happened last Thursday, but I've been too busy posting other stuff to mention it.

Besides, I was hoping to see how it would all shake out before talking about it.

Well, today was Shake Day.

See, last Thursday was when we had our mini-ice-storm, so most of us went in late, especially those of us with a zillion miles to drive.

So about 11:00, when I was five miles or so from work, I decided that the smart thing to do would be to stop into Whataburger and pick up some lunch, so I wouldn't have to take what was left of the day to go back out later for lunch.

So on the sidewalk into the restaurant, I paused to reflect that suddenly my feet were up even with my face.

I didn't have much time to ponder the significance of this turn of events, since my thoughts were interrupted by my right elbow slamming to the ground, and the weight of my upper body jamming my shoulder down onto my upper arm.

The next thing I knew, I was rolling around in the icy Whataburger drive-through lane with a non-functional right arm, and people were hurrying over to pick me up.

Long story short: My arm hurt like holy heck all day, but I figured it was just muscle strain and would go away soon.

Now it's five days later, and the major components of the pain have not in fact gone away. It got to the point that last night I was concerned that maybe there was a fracture in the bone somehwhere, a fracture that was causing the immense pain I was having whenever I reached for anything, or exerted any pressure at all.

All night long my fitful dreams were of full-arm casts and painful bone resetting.

In recent years I've noticed that I never go to the doctor for any given condition until that condition starts depriving me of my sleep.

Once you've messed with my Sleepy Time, you've crossed over into the territory in which I am motivated to take action.

So, after a quick call to my insurance company, I called my chiropractor's office to make an appointment. I called her instead of my regular doctor because it's easier to get a quick appointment, plus the regular doc would send me deep into a neighboring medical complex to get the x-raying done, whereas my chiropractor has her own equipment.

And anyway, the only real difference is that the regular doctor could prescribe pain pills and the chiropractor can't, but no doctor has ever given me any of the good pain pills I keep hearing about; they probably all suspect that I would enjoy them too much. When I had my carpal tunnel syndrome three years ago, all he gave me was that stupid Vioxx, which did a big fat diddly-squat for the pain, and upset my stomach, and now it's being shown that there are health risks associated with the drug.

Oh yeah, thanks, Doc; please sir may I have another?

And besides that, after sending me all over Hades and back to get x-rayed, I had to call his office four times to get the results, and when I did get to talk to one of his office people, she said, "Okay, your x-rays came back okay, so you're good to go!"

"Um ... I'm good to go?"

"That's right!"


"Uh ... I'll have to get back to you on that one."

So I finally talked to the doctor, and he told me that I did NOT have carpal tunnel syndrome, even though my wrist was aching like a mother-duck, which is a chief symptom of CTS, which afflicts people who sit at computer keyboards for ten or more hours a day, which describes me just dandy.

He still didn't know what I DID have, but it wasn't carpal syndrome.

Then he wrote me that prescription for Visuxx, and couldn't figure out why I wasn't satisfied.


Anyway, long story long, I got in to see the chiropractor, and she put me through some range of motion exercises and determined that there was probably not a fracture involved, and a couple of x-rays confirmed the opinion.

The other doctor would have taken a week to tell me that, once I finally got in to see him, and then he would prescribe some semi-poisonous placebo.

Anyway, Dr. Smith (my chiropractor, not the guy on Lost in Space) did an adjustment of the problem areas, as well as some of my long term problem areas, and hopefully we'll see an improvement.

As for the whole injury experience, I'm at a point in my life where I see these little mini-disasters as God's way of nudging us one way or the other.

In this case, maybe He's saying that it wouldn't be a good idea to ditch it all and become a lumberjack.

Another dream deferred ...

Mark Bryant

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