If It’s Friday, It Must Mean Leftovers.


Walking on Broken Glass, by L. Liwag

Now I Know Where The Term “Frozen Shoulder” Comes From

So I finally made it to my appointment to the orthopedic doctor this morning who told me that contrary to popular belief, I do not have a torn rotator cuff. My rotator cuff is just fine. What I have is in fact a locked or frozen shoulder.

I know. How do these things happen to me? Apparently, this thing has been going on with my shoulder longer than I realized, about 14 months longer.  The good news is that there will be now surgery! The bad news is that now I have to undergo physical therapy.

I have gone through so much damned physical therapy already in my life that I have a very strong aversion to it. In particular, the last person with whom I had to undergo physical therapy talked down to me so much that, had I been in any kind of physical shape to do so, I would have tied her skinny little body into a pretzel. I do not take well to being talked down to—ever. Just ask anyone who has ever tried.

So I agreed to do some (in my mind that some is very limited, as in just enough to learn the exercises to do them at home) PT before going back in six weeks for a recheck.

My real question is this: How can so many people read MRI’s and x-rays so differently?

The Brake Job for the Trooper99isuzutrooper

Seems that my oldest son, when he started to drive my beloved Trooper Izzie, not only did not take care of her insides, he also did not take care of her guts and bolts. By the time we found out that the Trooper needed new front brakes, they were worn down past the rotors. We are talking calipers. So what could have been a fairly inexpensive brake job turned into a very expensive front brake replacement job.

Then, when we asked to have the oil changed while they were at it, we found out just how badly the oil situation was: the oil came out in clumps. Excuse me a moment. I have to take a few moments to recompose myself.

When I had my first car , I made my best guy friend teach me how to change the oil and the spark plugs. And I did it. Before my back became truly bad, I changed the oil in my last red Buick. Then when we got the Trooper, we actually had enough money to pay people to change the oil, so I handed over the responsibility.  I kept telling Eamonn that he needed to learn how to change the oil. His sister regularly changes the oil in her Honda.

But no. He has not the time for such trivial things. Hence we have sludge. So Corey picked up the Trooper, and what had looked like an inexpensive repair had ballooned into a bill nearing $400. Need I bother to tell you that this can be ill-afforded.

Second Missed Doctor’s Appointment

So, we are on our way to my doctor’s appointment with the orthopedic guy on Tuesday (my first rescheduling of the appointment I had missed on Friday—different story) when smoke begins to billow out of the engine. The engine cuts off, and smoke is pouring out.  We are sitting in a lane of traffic with our hazard lights flashing, and the hood is up, and of course, some total a**hole blows his horn at us to move.

pushcarIn my more limber days I would have jumped out of the car and asked him if he wanted us to use the wing options on the car. However, this not being an option, Corey proceeds to try to push the car out of traffic. Luckily, the man in the next lane does stop, but no one jumps to our assistance. We get it to the drive in of the gas station that is thankfully just one lane over, but has an incline. At this point, I realize that I am going to have to push as well. Corey is insisting that I not touch the car, that I just turn the steering wheel, this as the car is beginning to roll down the drive onto him.

One man in a truck slowly gets out after watching us and begins to help Corey, but not until after I have already pushed the car a few feet. I still haven’t told Corey this, but it was push or watch as my husband was flattened by my car, which would place an inordinate amount of guilt on my shoulders that I am not willing to bear. Fortunately, I have a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday with my back doctor. But that’s another part of the story.

Corey puts some more gas into the Trooper. Goes to the Auto Zone across the street and buys some oil treatment and some gas treatment just in the rare possibility that they might magically make the car stop smoking long enough for us to get home. They don’t. We drive home, and pull the Trooper into the driveway where it has been sitting ever since, and where I notice when I get out that the license plates expired in December of 08.

As with most unbelievable stories in my life, I am making none of this up.

But Why The Trooper, You Ask?

Good question. Normally we would be in the Dodge Ram as that is the auto that Corey drives. However, two days before, which would have been Sunday, when Corey was coming home from the store, he heard a loud pop and then snap and then he coasted the truck into a nearby church parking lot. (We are fortuitous in having nearby lots, at least). The universal joint in the truck had snapped.

So the truck was out of commission while the replacement piece that Corey had bought, which was not quite long enough to fit the truck, was being extended at the welding shop.

Does This Story Get Worse? Why Yes.

Now, there is another part to this story that takes it almost past the point of reality, but we’re going to go there. My mother had to go in on Tuesday to have a sizable piece of squamous skin cancer removed. This procedure is done as an out patient. I was quite freaked out by the very nonchalant way my mother called Monday night and left a voice message that said, “Oh you know that biopsy that they did. It’s cancer, and they are going to remove it tomorrow. But don’t worry.” This is how my mother tortures me for being an inconsiderate daughter.

We stayed on the phone for quite a while as I tried to determine if in fact I did need to drive her to the procedure, but finally, she said that no, it was local, and she did not want me to drive her. I told her that my own doctor’s appointment was going to be quite near hers at the same time so to please take her cell phone with her and turn it on (turn it on is the operative word), and if she felt the least bit uncomfortable, we would leave my own appointment and pick her up. This after several offers to cancel my own appointment and take her to hers.

However, as the Trooper blew up, it’s a good thing that my mother did not need a ride home as we would have been unable to pick her up, but I found out that she was safe at home from my daughter who had just received a telephone call from my mother telling her that all was well.

Is There Actually More?

Trigger Point Injection Sites

The next day, I went to my own doctor’s appointment with my back doctor where I had to admit that I was in extreme pain because of the little matter of helping to push the Trooper up an incline, to which my doctor could only stare back at me in amazement. (I’m sure that he was thinking the obvious: “This woman has lost her mind.”) To wit, he gave me 12 trigger injections in my lower, mid and upper back.

We left my back doctor’s office and traveled one street over to pick up the piece for the truck. Now if you have been following this saga closely, your real question should have been, “What were you driving?” (I will leave out the part about the wallets as it’s just too much)

Well, since my mother could not drive on Wednesday, my eldest son got a ride to her house and drove her car back home with many promises to drive her car very carefully, in other words, not like he drives the Trooper.

We picked up the part and went to the church where the Truck was still resting comfortably. I called my mother to see if she needed anything while we were out as I was going to wait for Corey to install the part and not tempt fate any further because I could just see it: I would drive off, and as soon as I did, Corey would need something from the automotive store or would need a tool, and I would have to turn around and go back. No thanks. My mother was fine, and I told her that we would be back with her car fairly soon, at which point the heavens opened and rain started to pour down.

The gods were laughing at us. Ha Ha. Tee Hee. It was not amusing.

About twenty minutes later, Corey finished installing the part, which went fairly well. His coat was soaking wet, but other than that, the truck was driveable. I would have gotten down and kissed the ground if I could bend.

Does Anything Else Bad And/Or Stupid Happen?

That depends. We make it home, drop of my mom’s car to her. Make sure she doesn’t need anything. And as we are driving home, Corey tells me an oh by the way, Eamonn smoked a cigarette in your mom’s car last night when he was driving it home. Perfect, just perfect. If he were two inches from me, and if I had any spare energy, I would loosen my motherly wrath, but as neither of these things exist, he will escape this time, even though at some point my mother will ask the inevitable: “Who was smoking in my car?” She has a nose like Cyrano when it comes to cigarettes.

We both walk in the door. Corey sits down in the chair at my desk. I fall out on the bed, and we both fall sleep. It’s 7 p.m. Brett, the only innocent bystander in this whole fiasco, wonders about dinner. Unfortunately, neither of us are conscience enough to answer. I think that he ate cereal. I made it up to him the next day.

And that, my friends, is another chapter of this is your life and I even left out some things. More later. Peace.


Lola’s Terrible, Horrible Bad Day

Christmas Shopping Isn’t For Wimps

It Started With the MRIbeware-pickpockets-and-loose_640480f61

When your day starts with 45 minutes in an MRI tunnel, you know that you probably should not attempt to make the rest of the day normal; however, I did not trust my better instincts, and that is how I lost my wallet with a big chunk of my Christmas shopping money, and how I ended up in tears in a thrift store late this afternoon. Essentially, this day needed a do-over button.

Okay, let’s begin chronologically. I made Corey get in the shower first because I woke up with my torn rotator cuff in so much pain early this morning that I had to put heat on it before I could actually move my arm. This meant that we were going to be behind before we even got out the door. Now the MRI was not for my torn rotator cuff; it’s for my lower back to see if I am going to have to have more surgery on that, which I probably am. The rotator cuff hasn’t even been looked at by an orthopedic surgeon yet because of the two problems, the back was, I repeat was, the more pressing problem in September. However, now, the rotator cuff has progressed so badly that I have pretty much lost my range of motion in my right arm. It’s one of those wonderful damned if you do situations, as in dammit, which do I do first?

So we make it to the MRI appointment only four minutes late because we don’t decide to go back to the house for Corey’s wallet which he has accidentally left at home. This is a significant point that will come into play later in the story. Remember it. I fill out the thousand page questionnaire in three minutes flat because I’ve filled it out at least four times before. I have been smart and not worn any jewelry. They put me into the chute, start the procedure, and I immediately need to cough. Not clear my throat, but really cough. So I begin to count—one Mississippi, two Mississippi, and I keep messing up the numbers in my head, which only makes me frustrated, which makes me need to cough. To make matters worse, my right arm, the bad one, is in a really bad position and is beginning to go numb.

I finish the procedure without coughing, come off the table, and am immediately wobbly. They ask if I need my husband, to which I reply, “yes, please. Corey comes back and helps me get out of the three-armed robe because my right arm is limp. We get me dressed, and get out of there. We decide to go by the thrift store where my daughter has gotten a job to buy the lamp that she wants before someone else buys it. We have to pretend not to know her so that she doesn’t get in trouble. We both find this utterly inane, but agree to do so so that she doesn’t get fired from her thrift store job before Christmas.

On to the Thrift Store for a Lamp

1437320-pickpockets-brusselsWe find a few good bargains; I see a wonderful Depression Glass juicer that I really don’t need, and we get ready to check out. It’s at this point that I realize that my wallet is not in my hand. I went in the store with my wallet. I know this because I decided not to take my purse in because said purse is too heavy, and my arms hurt, so I just pulled out my wallet. I was very careful to hold my wallet. The only time I put it down was when—I believe—I handed it to Corey and asked him to hold it while I looked at some items in the showcase around the register.

However, and this is the big however, when I ask him if he has my wallet, he says “no,” as in why would he have my wallet? At first I think that he is kidding, but then I see the look on his face, and realize that he is not kidding. That’s when I feel the lead in my stomach as I realize how much cash was in my wallet, think about what else was in the wallet: health insurance cards for me, the boys, prescription card for me, contact/eye prescriptions for Eamonn and myself, list of all of my medications just recently updated this past Monday, pictures of Caitlin, a few miscellaneous discount cards. Luckily, my license and bank cards are all in a separate card wallet that is in my purse.

Now, there was also $130 in cash in my wallet, not because I planned to spend $130 in the thrift store but because I planned to put that money on my debit card so that I could finish my shopping by ordering something online today. That $130 was not something that I could afford to lose, but more importantly, my insurance cards have personal information on them. Even more importantly, the picture of Caitlin was a one-of-a-kind snapshot that I have carried in my wallet for the last 20 years. It’s laminated. It is irreplaceable. It cannot possibly mean anything to anyone except me.

Crazy Lady Crying in Thrift Store

So there I am in the thrift store in tears, retracing my steps, trying to find my beloved, black, well-worn Kenneth Cole wallet. My daughter is alerting all store personnel. My husband is walking around the building to see if anyone has tossed it. In the meantime, the floor manager tells me that they can look at the video tapes in the morning to see if they can identify who picked up my wallet, since I can pretty much identify where I lost it: at the counter where I was looking at things in the case for my daughter who is not my daughter who works at the store but we’re not telling anyone. I snuffle my nose, tell them “thamk you veby much” and leave my personal inforkenneth-cole-walletmation.

So tomorrow morning I’ll find out if one of the store’s regulars picked up my wallet. At this point, I just want my insurance cards and my picture of Caitlin. I just want the thief to do what a good thief should do and that’s to take the money and toss the wallet. I know that it’s too much to hope that I’ll get the wallet back with everything; although, that did happen to me once, when I left my purse on the roof of my car, and went into my apartment. I didn’t even miss the purse until the police department called me late that night to inform me that someone had turned in my purse. Everything was inside. The same thing happened to my ex-husband: his wallet fell out of his pocket at a movie theater. It was turned in with everything still inside, so I do have faith that good things can happen.

It’s just that right now, it’s hard to believe in the good part. I’m still full of self-pity and self-loathing at my own stupidity, which I know, will pass. But right now, I want to wallow, so I’m going to get under the covers with the Jack Russells and feel sorry for myself.

More later. Peace.