Looking Inward

  • Friday / March 12, 2010
Looking Inward

Looking Inward

Looking Inward 1No. This is not a post spewing esoteric, aquarian, philosophical navel-gazing ideology. It’s also not an exploration of my deepest darkest secrets and longings. Through tremendous fields of magnetism and abhorrent forces of nature and science, it’s a deep slicing look into inner mechanics. My inner mechanics.

As you may or may not know, I was in an auto accident back in November of 2009. November 2nd to be exact. I was fully stopped and waiting to pull into the parking lot of our condo complex Bridgehaven. Both hands were on the wheel, left foot depressing the clutch, and right foot resting above but not pushing on the accelerator. Waiting. Within a fraction of a moment I would have been in the process of turning my wheels to make that left turn. Normally before this happens, I’d look at oncoming traffic, look into my rear-view mirror for people behind me, again at oncoming traffic, and if clear, making the turn. I’ve done this a million times with no surprises, eventually reaching my destination beyond the other side of the south bound lane of 15th Ave NE—the parking lot. On this day, things were different. Very different. Before I could finish my left turn “event sequence” / ritual, I got to the point of looking at oncoming traffic, the first time, and was about to look to my rear-view when BOOM! I was struck in the rear of my car by a woman driving a white Nissan. Did she break? No. Did she hit at (probably) 30 mph? Yes. Did she push my car 6 feet? Oh yes she did!

I guess, in the plus column, if there is a plus column, I did not see her before impact, so I didn’t tense up. Which according to all my doctors would have made things worse. Worse? Things could have been worse? Okay I know this is true in theory, but every time I think that I’m not in the gym, or feel any amount of pain I’m still being caused by her “impact” both figuratively and literally … dead wouldn’t have been half as bad. Well …. for me at least. (It’s not a cry for help. Please holster the psychoanalytics.)

Anywho …. this is a very long winded way of my saying I FINALLY went for an MRI on Wednesday. Physical therapy has not been working too well. Maybe it’s come too soon in the process. But if I’ve learned anything about medicine, it’s more trial and many errors before a diagnosis, or a solution is reached.

Looking Inward

I was scheduled to get an MRI and arthrogram. If none of you have had the (dis)pleasure of being on the receiving end of one of these … they’re lots of fun! NOT! After I was asked to get into surgical scrub pants, and a gown, I was lead to the X-ray room. There the nurse proceeded to tell me the litany of things awaiting me. Are you allergic to anything? No. Have you been injected with MRI dye before? Yes. Any reaction? No. Okay. The technician will be coming in to inject you with lidocaine. First he will do a shallow injection. Then he’ll keep going deeper. Then he’ll insert a long needle to inject you with a solution containing the radioactive dye and saline. The combination will help expand the spaces around your joint so we can see more clearly any issues you might have. With any procedure there is the possibility of infection into the injection site. So if your still feeling pain and discomfort after the normal two day healing period, please see your doctor, or call us. Oh boy!

She also explained to me that the technician would also be using the X-ray machine positioned over my head & shoulder to “find the best path” to the joint area. Yippie! Let’s go! All in all, there was a bit of discomfort … but nothing my stoic self couldn’t handle. (More on my stoicism in another post.)

The biggest pain was sticking my “large upper body” into the MRI tube that they must make make for anorexic glamazonian model types. Certainly not for your average American male body. And especially not for one who’s worked out a bit. I was probably crammed in there for over 45 minutes, listening to BAD mall jazz. It was either that or listening to AC/DC, or the Eagles. Pass on both. I think this all may pass as a method of torture surpassing water boarding! So when it was all said and done. I got a CD copy of my tests and was on my way.

Called my doctor today to see if she had gotten the results, but she was already “gone for the day” at 1:30 PM. But she’ll call me on Monday. Yeah right …. and the check’s in the mail! Like any good (self)caretaker I called the MRI lab and requested a copy of the report. After reading translating the “doctor-eeze” I’ve beed diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff, biceps tendonosis (… the degradation of tendon tissue due to cell death due to insufficient nutrient delivery to the tendon cells. This tendon damage primarily shows up as a significant problem in the Achilles tendon and the shoulder cuff tendons.), and a type II SLAP tear (most commonly occur in patients who have fallen or who have received a blow to the shoulder). So before I diagnose myself into pandemonium … I’ll wait to see what Dr Cho (Seattle Spine & Sports Medicine) has to offer on Monday. From what I’ve read so far, anti-inflamitories, cortisone injections, and physical therapy can help decrease inflammation, and strengthen the surrounding supporting muscles, but it can not heal the tear. Only surgery can do that. Again … let’s wait and see.


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Joe Streno

Joe Streno

artist . musician . photographer . retired apple computer consultant . residing on planet earth with his two cats rudie, & rocco & living to tell tales about it

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