Monday, November 8, 2010

Shoulder Injury Update - 11 months later. It's a good one.

On Thursday, it will have been 11 months since I hurt my shoulder. For those who are not regular readers, I was moving on Dec. 11, 2009, and I fell while we were still moving stuff out of the old house. I dislocated my shoulder big time and ended up in the emergency department of the local hospital while the move continued without me. Not being there during the move could be considered a stroke of genius, but my method to absent myself did leave a lot to be desired!

It was tough going to get my shoulder to start healing properly. I have nothing but praise for the wonderful physio team that was following me (and still does) during my healing and rehab. I was discouraged many times because the pain just didn't want to go away, despite our many efforts, which included active and passive physio, therapeutic massage, injections of cortisone, consumption of anti-inflammatories and so on.

Finally, in mid-September, before my trip away with my husband to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary, my shoulder doc offered to inject Orthovisc into my shoulder. He said that the problems I was experiencing weren't so much the dislocation any more but other injuries, including rotator cuff problems.

The medication is a combo anti-inflammatory and lubricant that is approved for use to treat osteoarthritis of the knee. My doctor, however, has been trying it for injuries like mine to the shoulder. So, I went for it. I won't lie and tell you it didn't hurt - IT HURT LIKE THE DICKENS. But, as he explained, my shoulder was so inflamed and so irritated, that there was no way it wouldn't hurt to inject it.

Within a couple of days, I was ready to nominate the doctor for sainthood. My pain scale went down from a regular 6/10 with occasional bumps to 7 or even 8, to 2 or 3/10 with occasional - get this - zero.

He told me not to baby my arm but to be reasonable and careful. So my husband and I went off and had a fabulous, fantastic vacation, during which my shoulder just caused a bit of a problem, but nothing significant.

I went back to see him last week and my shoulder is doing great. Still hurts sometimes but I have the go ahead to become more active, with a few limitations. The journey is just about over.

Anyone who has chronic pain knows how demoralizing it is. It's frustrating and sobering. You just can't live like you want to when you're limited with the pain and, in my case, with the knowledge of moving the wrong way would pop the shoulder right out of place, as I had done a few times already.

But now I can put this all behind me. On Dec. 11, we're here for one year and I still love the place. We made the right decision to move.

So, what will the next year bring? Lots of health and happiness  - that's what!



Sunday, November 7, 2010

Illness Strikes 1 person in U.S. Every 2.5 Minutes - Now Affects Lily Allen

If you heard about an illness that struck down one more person in the United States every 2.5 minutes, wouldn't you want to know what it was? If you knew that about one-third of the people hit by the illness died, wouldn't you want to know about it? If you knew that many of those who do survive are left with amputations of legs and/or arms, memory deficits and other physical problems, wouldn't you want to know what it is?

"It" is sepsis.

Many of you may have heard of blood poisoning. Sepsis is the true term for the illness that used to be though of as blood poisoning. Currently, UK pop singer Lily Allen is fighting sepsis, or septecemia.

Sepsis is the number one cause of death among people who have AIDS. It is a major cause of death from cancer. Most often, if you read or hear about someone who had died of "complications of cancer/pneumonia/influenza," they've died of sepsis.

Did you know that Johnny Depp's daughter, Lily-Rose survived and won her fight against sepsis? Here are some other famous people, most of whom did not win their battle:

Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets - influenza
Pope John-Paul II, Brazilian model Mariana Bridi Costa and singer Etta James - urinary tract infection
Fred Hersch, jazz composer and musician - lives with HIV/AIDS

To read of some of those who were affected by sepsis, there are some wonderful and heart-wrenching stories at Faces of Sepsis, at the Sepsis Alliance site, SA also has a facebook page.

Here's to hoping that Lily Allen wins her battle. The world doesn't need to lose yet another person to this treatable illness.