So far, in 2011, I have only 8 visits to my oncologist scheduled, one surgery left, and a mammogram. With proper planning, I might only have to enter a medical office every other month, which as you can imagine, is a great relief after the past years of sitting in hard chairs several times a week listening to Joy Behar scream on some CRT TV.
Thus, my New Year's Resolution: No medical appointments in January.
Be careful what you wish for.
It would seem that I have not quite recovered from my last surgery November 18th. Oh, the boob looks good, in clothes at least. (Gentlemen, don't look down my blouse or you are going to get a shock.) But, once the surgical pain wore off, once the swelling went down, I was left with a reluctant shoulder - one that refuses to do what I tell it to, just like my greyhound when he spies a squirrel.
|No squirrels were harmed in the taking of this photo|
Fly like Superman? (Okay, realistically, reach for a coffee cup?) Nope, only one arm goes up - my mastectomy side won't cooperate. Reach around to snap a real bra, (which I am very excited to put on again?) Well, not without a jangle of pain and some creaking and stiffness. Lift a carton of milk? Hah! Not a chance.
Good thing I don't like milk.
Something has gone awry. Not only does my shoulder feel like it's burning, I've lost range of motion in my right arm.
How did this happen? Why now, after a year of carting around that rock-hard expander under my skin?
In my imagination, on the surgical table after my last surgery, the doctor said, "Let's sit her up and see if they look even" and some nurse hauled my unconscious body up by the right arm, damaging my shoulder ligaments. In real life though, it may just be a complication related to breast cancer and reconstruction, and a not uncommon one at that.
The truth of the matter is, I don't care how it happened.
Now, the old Ann would have ignored this shoulder problem forever. Either it will go away or it won't. But, now I know that some things not only don't go away, but they can get worse and sometimes even kill you. Like, you know, breast cancer. So, after a month, I realized this stiffness and pain is here to stay, and while it's not life threatening, it might not get better on its own, and pretty soon I'll be doing nothing but chasing squirrels.
So, I called my doctor and I was given the choice: Physical therapy or a consult with an orthopedic surgeon.
Guess which one I picked?
Give yourself a point if you said Physical Therapy.
I know you doctors. I know what you like to do. First chance you get, you'll stick me in a machine. And, as much as I enjoy those MRIs and CAT scans and the little break they provide during a hectic day, I've been baked enough. Not to mention that anybody who has the title "orthopedic surgeon" is probably going to want to fulfill his destiny and cut something.
So, physical therapy it is.
My first appointment is January 11th.
I blew my New Year's Resolution before the year began.