Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Shoulder Rotator Cuff Surgery

by Dr. Margaret Aranda

A couple of months ago, I had left rotator cuff surgery for a full thickness tear of the supraspinitus tendon. I tried to hold off on the surgery, knowing full well that the recovery was worse than the surgery (I had the right shoulder done, too). I'm in pain every day to avoid the claim by some that I'm actually a "drug addict"; have been in pain for over a year.

How did I get the injury? If you follow me on FB, you remember when the doctor allowed me to drop during his neurologic exam. He had me close my eyes, and that totally 'ungrounds' me in space. Then with my eyes closed, he expected me to simultaneously touch my finger to my nose. When I was about 8" away from my face, it dissolved away as fine grains of sand, or pixels of a picture. Whew! POOF! My face was gone. The doctor was standing to my right, and I completely lost my balance, falling full-force to the left. Onto the hard-wood floor.

Then he started "blaming the patient." He wrote in the chart that I was psychotic, that I got up with him helping me (Ha!) and had no complaints of pain. I suppose all those ice packs I asked for during the duration of my hospitalization (for my left neck) were just a pretense, too. I'm done complaining because there's nothing I can do about it any more. I'm not going to let him take my life or my energy away. I simply fired him.

The recovery has been so bad that when the lights are off, the 70's music is gone, and I'm done typing, all that is left is bone pain. My Caregiver is so great at hearing me in the middle of the night, and she knows when I need a pain pill. She doesn't want to see me cry. She says I've already suffered enough. She prays for me and oh, at 2 am or 3 am, I'm asleep.

I am blessed to have an awesome Physical Therapist who is a perfectionist, much like me. We tell stories between exercises, and Ouch! my muscles are sore every single day. I keep hearing our daughter calling out to me, and I wake up with a tear running down my cheek. It's the same thing that used to happen to me with my dear Father. It seems  so real.

Two more days. Two more days and I'll be giving my first lecture to disadvantaged high school students for career advancement. I've always wanted to do this, but I don't know why God picked 'now'. But I die to myself and live for Him every day....so whatever His plan is, He has it covered.

Just wanted to catch you up on my silence and relative quietness. My biggest issues right now are 1) no Gardasil(R) vaccine for teens; another girl died last week; 2) no morcellator with a hysterectomy; 3) no hysterectomy unless you get at least two opinions, and 4) no taking out your ovaries unless you are at risk.

I wrote a forensic novel about this, Two Sides of the Same Coin: Bliss & Misery. It starts with postpartum depression that can lead to suicide; not drinking, smoking, or taking drugs during pregnancy or while breast-feeding; and it is Josephina who is pregnant first, having her child go up for adoption to Elena, whose husband, Mohammad, is a rather rote, get up, go to work, fill out all the paperwork, make all the phone calls, and then go home kinda guy. But he always seems to have a black cloud over his head, and as he ages, the cloud gets grayer and bigger; he turns into a Scrooge and you know that he has to be cheating on her. In a drunken stupor one night, he tells Elena that he never would have married her, if he had to do things all over again. He never holds hands any more. He never wants to do anything with the family, and it breaks Elena's heart when he routinely just walks right by one of the girls, especially, and completely ignores them. He never should have married anyone. What was he thinking? He'd get a free maid, free sex, free dinner, and a free partner playing tennis? He married a Barbie doll, but the years went by and the doll was decaying, the hair was tangled, the waistline was gone, and his Barbie was gone. Maybe he didn't marry 'for better or worse.' He married 'for when she is a Barbie doll, but then I'm outa here.' And he wished he never had any kids.

I also wrote a huge reference book for girls at puberty, Archives of the Vagina: A Journey through Time; you take it away after two chapters. Then you read it again with her to look at pads, washable pads, sponsoring a girl in Africa with a set of washable pads so she can go to school and not be a dropout because she has her period and no pads. I do preach chastity before marriage, because there are too many diseases out there, and waiting is fun. I give good explanations why this is best. Like waiting for a Christmas present. Then, when your daughter gets married, you give her the whole book, as it explains how to put in a man's part, the three trimesters of pregnancy and vaginal bleeding: what to notice and how to explain it to your doctor so she can decide if you need to come in or call an ambulance. I take you through eating disorders, teen cutting, and spend a chapter dissecting the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), and then another chapter trying to apply it to your life. (But it was bad science and they didn't ask me first.) Humph. We go over immunonutrition, telomeres, eating for longevity, and then long-term care, end-of-life, and the process of dying. As an anesthesiologist, I think that Hospice care would be best served by an anesthesiologist. The least we can do is take away the air hunger and make the patient comfortable, with a respiratory rate between 8 - 12 breaths/minute and relief of air hunger with morphine. Mouth swabs for thirst. Basics.

I won a Top 12 Picks from Nancy Mills for one of my books, Little Missy Two-Shoes Likes to go to School
. I'll check in with you again soon, because I have some homework for you to do. I'm asking nicely, because we want to make a difference in health care delivery for women. Right?
Right? ROAR! I didn't hear you! RRROOOAAARR!  There we go.

Just as an athlete gets ready for a race by stretching out, warming up, and setting her mind on her goal, we must do the same. We can not be disarticulated any longer. We have to act as one. I have a sequential list of things that we can all do together, and each one should take less than 30 minutes. If we all did this together, we could bombard the FDA and our governors and our Senators and Congresspeople together.
This has to be a precise move.
So they all 'get it.'
We are serious.
We want patient safety to rule, not Panel bribery.
We want transparency, not hidden data.

We're going to find it.

ORDER NOW! Dr. Aranda's books, please click here:


Dr. Margaret Aranda's Books:

No More Tears en Espanol
Face Book Page: Stepping from the Edge
Little Missy Two-Shoes Likes to go to School
From Menarche to Menopause: A Journey through Time

To Order Dr. Aranda's books, please click here:

Short Stories about Dr. Margaret Aranda

Age 31: The Color Blue

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