Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Horsing Around

Rats, now I'll have to have to retract:

Clearly even a red Congress knows when they're sounding like complete morons.

I could probably make some kind of witty remark about having their arms twisted, in order to segue into this next notation, but that would require me being witty. So:

Went to a specialist today. Been having a pain in the shoulder since oh, say, June, which primarily flared when I went to stretch my arms over my head. (Which sounds like one of those: "It hurts when I do this, Doctor!" "So don't do that" ailments, and I figured it would go away. When it didn't, I waited some more. And then I went to the doctor, who is this great friendly older guy with a fantastic name like Basil Dalavagas. "Guess where it's from," he asked me. I suggested Brazil, since it didn't sound quite Spanish, and, well, come on, Basil. Nope: He's Greek. Three visits, a cortosone shot and two MRIs later (the first one tweaked me, as it felt like I was being put in a tennis ball tube and I can get claustrophobic, so I did the "open" MRI later, which was marginally more livable) he sent me to a specialist/surgeon who works with the Rangers. The new Doc was this dynamic cool guy -- and the first doctor I've ever seen with a soul patch. That cracked me up; I could see him with his own series. As he prodded my shoulder and had me do a few pressure exercises he asked what I did for a living, then noted some of his patients are big in Hollywood. A producer from "Alexander," someone in "Phantom of the Opera" and so forth. He wanted to know how this had happened.

And for months, I really wasn't sure, but about a week ago it hit. A week before my trip to England at the end of May/beginning of June, I went on a horseback ride afternoon with a group of people. Went cantering -- and the horse kept going when I wanted to stop, so I lost balance and fell off while it was running. Amazing I wasn't crushed underfoot, truly. Following through on the cliche I got back on the horse, which later tweaked when its lead came loose (for some reason they left them on the horses) and kept rearing back in terror. I couldn't reach the lead, so all I could do was hold on and yell for help. Then at the end of the day the horse again got tweaked by a passing biker and bucked me off. You had to laugh, it was getting comical at that point. Anyway, other than some bruises I felt fine and went on with life. Except: Came back from the UK with this shoulder thing. So that must have been it. I told the Doc. He told me that the sport with the greatest number of related injuries was ... horseback riding. Figures.

So the MRI has revealed I have this tear, and both Basil and Soul Patch say it won't repair on its own and have now recommended me to have arthroscopic surgery on the arm. Which means months in a sling (though apparently I can take it out to type on the computer) and related therapy. Fortunately, I have insurance. Unfortunately, this is going to be a total, complete Pain In The Ass. The only good news right now is that it isn't an emergency, so I can pick my time. I'm thinking Spring will be better; this way I won't have coats to pull on all summer. But man, getting around NYC with one good arm is going to be ridiculous. At least it wasn't my leg or knee. At least!

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