When 2021 began, I was excited about the possibilities. During 2020 (the year of Covid) I hurt myself at work picking up some weights. I continuously begged my doctor to look at my shoulders because I had such tremendous pain. She determined it was my age, and nothing really needed to be done. Several months later the pain grew until finally in my first of the year consult on the first of January when I set my date for annual checkup, she told me that I had frozen shoulder. To many this should come as no surprise, but to me it did. Frozen shoulder is typically a result of no action with the arms for a period of time. I am an extremely active person. Confused, I agreed with her diagnosis and immediately went into in home physical therapy. Clearly, there was an issue because the pain only increased. But hold on, we will get there…
Every year a woman my age must go through a series of preemptive tests to ensure her health. I decided that this year I was going to do it in the winter, verses the summer, and get them all done. We did blood work, and a batter of questions on the first part of January, 2021.
Around the 8th of January, my middle daughter fell and hurt her knee in softball practice. After an expensive emergency room visit we found out we had to take her to an orthopedic surgeon. I knew of one, having just taken her younger sister a few years earlier. I called, set the appointment and off we went. During the visit, I asked the doc, “hey do you know about frozen shoulder.” He quite knowingly smiled, and replied, “Yes, of course I do.” Then he asked me to show him my range of motion and asked a few questions and then he stated, “your doctor is wrong. You have two torn rotator cuffs and I suspect a labrum tear in your shoulder.” After I gasped loudly, I asked him how he knew that. He simply stated his years of practice and expertise. Then he asked me to undergo a series of tests that included a CT and MRI with contrast. For the record, my daughter had 4 “fractures” that healed in six weeks and she is fine.
The day of the tests come and I am quite rightly scared out of my mind. They put me in a gown, and then they lay me out on a MRI table where they inject a serious needle into the painful part of my shoulder, to put the catheter of die in it. This is excruciatingly painful. I didn’t take pain meds after my C-section, and this was so painful I wanted to bolt upright and hit the son-of-a-bitch who shot me with the damn needle. 4 hours later, I left.
The morning of the 12th I receive the answer of my shoulders. Yes, I have the exact issue with my rotator cuffs as he thought, but guess what, now I have a tumor in my left shoulder. Which one should we do first. The right that hurts more of the left. That’s the day I am supposed to see my PC doc. I go in, and she tells me that my liver is not functioning like it should. Then she tells me that not only that but the pancreas has stopped producing insulin. So either go on a diet, or I may need a liver transplant in no time. So, no sweets, no alcohol, no carbs and I should be okay. She gives me a list of over 200+ things I cannot eat. Great!
The 12th was not a good day for me. Then we discuss the whole sex and aging thing. I had a complete hysterectomy, and the fact I am not on hormones concerned her. She said I needed to go get checked out by an OBGYN in Irving. I did as she asked. Docs orders, right? And so I take my happy butt down to Irving and get violated. The new doc says she thinks I can benefit from putting an electric prod up my hoo-ha, and giving it voltage. She says that it will stop the whole peeing when I choke or laugh. Then as if I am not mortified enough, she says she needs to do it once a week, and that has to last 8 weeks. Then she comments, “It may or may not work, oh and insurance doesn’t pay for it. Oh and by the way, you can’t have sex when we do this.” When I looked at her, steal gaze in my eyes, I couldn’t speak. She took that to talk further. “Oh and here is some cream you can put up your hoo-ha that will give you a better sexual experience. This tube should last you 4 months.”
I had a 45 minute ride home that day. I thought about what the doctor said. Then it hit me, I cannot drink, I cannot have comfort food, I cannot eat chocolate, and now I cannot have sex. I have to have surgery on both my arms, and I have a tumor no one can reach until surgery. Think about that if that was you. I wanted to scream! Who tells a woman my age that?
Needless to say, I fired my doctor, called the OBGYN and told her to take her upsell and stick it, and yeah, I started my diet. New doc says all my blood levels are fine. Still working out the whole rotator cuff. Apparently I have the 5% gene that has nerve issues with surgery, so that’s painful, but I take it one day at time and getting through it.
2021 mid months are proving to remind me how many people love me. My mother has been a tremendous help, putting her life on hold for this woman who cannot use both arms. My daughters have pitched in and are literally doing my laundry and cooking dinners. My husband makes the bed, and does a lot of cooking too. It is the year where priorities switch, and I learned that telling my story matters more than just keeping it to myself.
That is why I created God’s Daughters. We all go through life issues. Not all at the same time, but each of us has her own struggles. I would love to hear yours. If you feel so inclined please share and we can guest post for you. I would really love that. Every voice matters.
I am listening…Reba