Saturday, November 13, 2010


I wrote this list on Saturday, which is also the last day I took ibuprofen. Have managed my pain since then with homeopathy, and have recovered a fair amount of range of motion. Still have point tenderness over my biceps tendon and my deltoid feels bruised, like I got a tetanus shot, but the pain is so much less, and I don't have the stomach upset from the ibuprofen.

Okay, I mentioned I tore my right rotator cuff, but I failed to mention this is my dominant arm. Yeah, good times. I've mentally been keeping a list of things I am finding rather challenging to do with my left arm. I'm not whining, it's actually kind of funny. Some of the following are impossible to do, and so they are in bold, others are just...a challenge.
  1. Drive (dang standard shift)
  2. Eat steak (unless someone oh-so-kindly pre-cuts it for me)
  3. Go to the bathroom (T.M.I?)
  4. Put on my sling
  5. Sweep
  6. Pick up said sweeped items (much more challenging than sweep)
  7. Use a knife, safely, I must add
  8. Open a jar
  9. Open a can (that may be impossible, but haven't actually tried that one, yet)
  10. Open pill bottles
  11. Raise the roof (woot woot)
  12. Walk the 85-lb dog
  13. Get dressed (SLEEVES! *shakes fist at the heavens*)
  14. Get undressed (SLEEVES!!!)
  15. Shake fist at the heavens (the left hand has now taken over this duty)
  16. Shake hands (again, thank you, left hand)
  17. High five (left only)
  18. Make a bed
  19. Wash, shave or dry armpits
  20. Apply deodorant
  21. Make a ponytail/braid
  22. Untie knots
  23. Tie shoes
  24. Rake leaves
  25. Do two things at once (that's probably for the best)
  26. Brush teeth.
  27. Floss teeth.
Have you ever torn your rotator cuff? If so, what was your biggest challenge?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Woulda, coulda, shoulder

I have been struggling for almost a week with a sore right shoulder. I woke up Saturday morning with a dull ache. Didn't think much about it, the whole right side of my neck has been tight for months, and the muscles on the right side of my upper back have several knots. As I went about my day (got a mani/pedi, helped a friend paint her living room, ran errands, bought groceries), the pain increased and the range of motion decreased. When driving, I found myself needing two hands to push the stickshift into reverse. I massaged some Inflamyar into the shoulder and took some ProTrauma, figured it was just a strain.

Woke up the next day with even more pain and less range of motion, and as the day progressed, so did the symptoms. By Sunday night, the pain was so intense, I couldn't sleep and several times thought about walking a few blocks to the Emergency Department. By Tuesday, I lost the ability to raise my arm to the side (abduct) more than 10°, couldn't externally or internally rotate the humerus (upper arm), or touch my opposite shoulder. Miraculously, I got an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon for the next day. Three x-rays were taken and after reviewing them and performing a physical exam, the doctor told me I had a torn rotator cuff, and probable labrum tear. Yikes.

Did I recently hear a "pop" or feel a click in my shoulder, the surgeon asked. My joints often click, and I didn't recall hearing any "pop" or feeling a sudden onset of pain. I figured it happened Friday night, when I was trying to manage the dog at First Friday. But thinking back, my shoulder hurt when I went to Chicago a few weeks ago. And it was kind of achy when I hauled pieces of a tree fallen by a tornado a week or so before that. Then there all those times the ginormous 'potamus has pulled on her leash really hard to meet another dog. Multiply that by seven years.

It's easy for me to blame the dog, but it's not her fault. If I ever felt a twinge in my shoulder after a dog walk, I most likely worked through it. This past Saturday, my arm was achy and I still painted a wall, just limited my movement. Not going to let a little soreness get in my way. I am woman, hear me roar. Owwww. Multiply that by 30 or so years (I'm guessing as a little kid I was pretty intolerant of pain).

Won't know what's going on until the MRI arthrogram this Thursday. I'll meet with the surgeon the following Monday and we'll discuss my options. Surgery scares me, not because it's surgery, but because I will be limited in what I can do. Because I will be dependent on other people (it's happening already). Scary. Oh, the things on the internet about how painful recovery can be...yeah, that's scary, too. I warned the nurse that I'm one of "those" patients, who looks everything up on the internet. She didn't seem to mind.

We'll see what the next few weeks bring. I have been using naturopathic protocols so I can use less prescription and over-the-counter pain meds. Am about to walk to the Farmers' Market to get soup bones to make yummy, healing mineral broth. I just accepted a neighbor's offer to help with walking the dog. I'll be updating this blog with my experiences (OMG, MRI!), hopefully it will be more humor than whine.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

First Friday: Juju's night out

I brought Juju to First Friday last week for the opening night (re-opening) of From Pet Scratch Bakery/Pampered Pet Boutique. The bakery used to be around the corner on Washington Street, and has now moved to a larger location on Main, joining forces with Pampered Pet, formerly located in Shipshewana.

Lynn, from the bakery, has created some all natural and organic dog treats that really are beautiful. I keep trying to convince her to bake equally beautiful treats for people! Most of the dog treats are wheat- and corn-free, two grains that many dogs can't tolerate. I bought a dozen treats and a very special birthday cookie for Juju; she turned seven on November 3rd.

Here are some highlights:

Carob dipped bars and "Cupcake" cookies.

Snowmen! (That's yogurt icing)

Savory pizza treats. Okay, I did take a nibble of this one (hey, it's wheat-free!), and it tastes very pizza-y. All of the ingredients are posted, and are fit for human consumption.

"Donuts" and "Eclairs" with yogurt filling

Cookies! How cute are these? I love the cookie sandwiches with the insets of mittens or snowmen. Lynn is truly an artist!

"Whoopie Pies" and "Cannoli."

There are quite a few more versions, including the classic peanut butter treat. She's even created a little bite-sized, training treat and there are several selections for cats. Mail order is available, check out the website for more information.

This Sunday, November 14th, there will be an open house, part of Shop Outside the Box, encouraging holiday shoppers to buy locally, instead of at the giant box stores.

From Scratch Pet Bakery/Pampered Pet Boutique
108 S Main Street
Goshen, IN