January 30, 2012

Offline Again

Since my last post, I've exchanged one cast for another, larger cast. When my doctor removed the original cast, my hand still felt wrong, and my suspicions were confirmed when X-rays revealed a broken bone. He put ma in a larger cast, further delaying my recovery from shoulder surgery in December. Worse is that my finger--the break is in the area of my index finger, around where carpel meets metacarpal--feels better elevated, which, depending on where I'm sitting, causes pain in my shoulder to kick in. At times I need to lie down simply not to hurt. I'm spending a lot of time that way. It sucks.

I see my shoulder surgeon tomorrow. I last saw him three days before hurting my hand, so it'll be interesting to see his reaction. As for me, having only the use of my thumb makes even the most rudimentary of skills almost impossible, but it's stretchy pants and camis with shelf bras for the foreseeable future...and as little time online as possible.

January 23, 2012

What's Going On?

I started having pain in my left arm this summer. I thought I had pulled a muscle, so I rested it for a couple of weeks. It didn't help, so I saw a shoulder specialist, who took X-rays and explained that it was referred pain from my shoulder. He gave me a shot of cortisone and sent me to physical therapy. Though the physical therapy worked to an extent, my second visit to that doctor showed me he didn't really understand what was going on with my shoulder.

My physical therapist recommended another specialist, whom I learned was in partnership with the shoulder specialist my husband saw a couple of years ago when he had trouble with his left shoulder. (He had had shoulder surgery shortly before we got married because his shoulder kept dislocating. Though his surgeon had long ago retired, he referred his patients to the specialist my husband saw a couple of years ago.)

Although I didn't know it at the time, it turns out it's my husband's doctor is the top shoulder specialist in the city. Luckily he saw me right away, looked at my older X-rays, and gave me a 2nd shot of cortisone, one which actually worked for a few days. Both my physical therapist and I noticed an immediate improvement in my shoulder, but a week later it had started to regress. So I went back to the doctor, who indicated that the shot had been as much for diagnostic purposes as it had been for pain. We talked about it, he sent me for an MRI, and after getting those results, scheduled surgery for a few days before Christmas.

Everyone in my side of the family has a very low threshold of pain, so after surgery when the doctor said my shoulder had been really messed up, I was actually relieved. Not only was there a tear in the rotator cuff, but the bone spur he had expected in my shoulder had actually broken off, leaving everything inflamed and disgusting. I had just started physical therapy again, a week after my surgery, when my husband, daughter and I went to see A Dangerous Method. I missed the last step going down a large flight of stairs and landed directly on my left wrist. After trying to ignore the pain through lunch, I noticed a huge blood clot had developed on my wrist, and we ended up at a nearby doc in the box. Two hours later I learned nothing had broken but that my left arm, hand, and fingers were badly sprained. They splinted my hand and wrist and sent me on my way.

When, a few days later I realized I kept re-injuring my hand, my husband suggested I see a specialist. He agreed that nothing was broken but I left his office with my wrist hand and fingers in a cast. I am supposed to have the cast removed this week, and I hope most of the swelling, pain, and general ickiness will be gone. I did take a break from PW duties for the last week in December, and have muddled through my last three reviews using DragonDictate, a voice recognition program I am using to write this very blog entry. I wish I had had Dragon Dictate back in November when I researched and wrote my 1st publishers weekly feature article, which required me to interview 20 authors, then writes eight hours a day for two days to complete the piece.

All of this explains why I've not blogged in months, but this weekend, when I went to look something up in my old blog, I discovered it was gone. Blog-city.com apparently went off line on December 31. I did not know they were going bye-bye, because all their e-mails to me must have been sent to my old AAR address, which has been defunct for 3 years.

This had a very disheartening effect on me; that's more than 6 1/2 years of writing, including probably 100 reviews. Even worse was discovering that I did not have complete archives for the blog. When I switched from PC to Mac this summer, I needed to jettison old files, all of which I had backed up. Unfortunately, the process of transferring files did not go entirely as planned, and not everything made it through the process. Among the lost files was a huge XML file containing the old blog in its entirety. I contacted blog-city.com's owners this weekend, and have requested they try to send me another backup. In the interim, I decided to upload here on blogger the files I did retain, which includes everything from the original blog's inception in 2002 to early 2007. There is simply too much good stuff for me to let go entirely, and it's a shame that all those links from AAR and Heroes and Heartbreakers are now useless. But by my uploading the blog here--each month is a single entry--I will feel better. I can only hope that those missing months can be accounted for. As for the password-protected portions of blog, I have no clue whether or not they were/are included in the archive files, but I'll soon find out. So far I've uploaded August, September, and October 2002.

As for my injuries, I plan to work through any remaining discomfort associated with my shoulder and arm in trying to get back into online writing. The hand may slow me down, but now that I know that anything I do to my shoulder cannot damage my shoulder, I'm going to grin and bear it.

See you here and there!