Saturday, January 30, 2010

I would opt for my spark to burn OUT in a brilliant flame!

On my eBay "about me" profile I've written that I believe in being the best that I can be; you know, trying to be myself and treat others as I want them to treat me. I've been a member of eBay since July 15, 2000 ... that's nearly a decade of time since I first published this life principle.
Be Fashionable! Be Unique! Be the best that YOU can be! We're all individuals, truly unique in our interests and abilities. Exploit yourself. And, most importantly, treat others as you would have them treat you! --JaguarJulie

Revisiting a core "principle" of my meaning.
I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant flame
than it should be stifled by dry rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor,
every atom of me in magnificent glow
than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The proper function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.
--Jack London

So, I am sitting here on a rainy Saturday morning in Jacksonville, Florida contemplating how I will "use my time" from this point forward to accomplish my goal to be the best that I can be ... to be original and authentic ... to not be "stifled by dry rot." Got to go now ...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Why doesn't the MRI show everything?

I just had a telephone conversation with my doctor to get the results from last week's MRI of my wrist, hand, and forearm. It seems the "only" unusual thing noted in that MRI was "ulna minus variance." I Googled that, as you knew I would! I found references to "ulnar minus variance" and "ulna minor variance" and even took a look at some of the Google images in that search.

I really love Google for information! You know I've talked about Google LOTS and how much I love that search engine; which is my favorite you know. Well, even my doctor confessed that she too Googled "ulna minus variance."

One thing leads to another in that searching for a little understanding about my "ulna minus variance," I happened upon a discussion at Medscape about right wrist pain. OK, I am impressionable, so my eyes popped when I read this there:
Kienböck disease is the eponym for avascular necrosis of the lunate ... Most patients are in their third to fourth decades and present with dorsal wrist pain with use. The association of Kienböck disease with ulnar minus variance is well documented, estimated to occur in up to 74% of patients with ulnar minus variance. It is thought that these patients are predisposed to abnormally increased stresses across the lunate resulting in microtrauma leading to necrosis.
OK, now I have a bit of a headache too! In addition to hand and wrist pain.

I've been undergoing massage therapy for the past couple of weeks, but we've stayed clear of my writing hand! What I did share with my doctor today is the fact that my MRIs have never truly indicated the scope or severity of the injury. I've had MRIs of my shoulder, knee, and foot. It was probably only my torn meniscus that appeared accurately in that MRI. The MRI of my left shoulder did not fully show the detached bicep nor the torn labrum -- which resulted in repair surgery lasting over 3.5 hours.

So, the next step is a consultation with a hand orthopedic specialist and possibly a neurologist to assess the pain. You see, the too much information that I could share with my readers has to do with my previous pain management for RSD -- reflex sympathetic disorder connected with my shoulder surgery. Let me tell you THAT was a bit of a nightmare. I've not talked about this online, but probably should have as going through RSD, pain sufferers really do need support groups ... support groups of their peers. It helps to talk with others who can fully understand the depth of the pain. If I have to have the RSD journey again, I will be reaching out to connect with others out there who UNDERSTAND.

Friday, January 15, 2010

It pains me to tell you this!

If you've ever experienced an injury to your writing hand, you might know how it feels to do the simplest things in the course of a day's work. For me, my normal job involves working on the computer and having the dexterity to do design too in addition to writing.

Do you know how painful it is to type after having a car trunk slam on your hand? The day it happened, I couldn't look at my hand and wrist because the overwhelming feeling of sickness was, well OVERWHELMING. That moment of impact and pain will stay with me I fear a very long time. After all, this is my livelihood! I am a writer, a designer, a photographer and everything else that I can think of that requires me to be able to use my hands.

The "accident" occurred on Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at about 3pm in the afternoon in the parking lot of our local Publix grocery store. I sought urgent care treatment that same day. I waited 5 weeks to seek further medical evaluation and treatment. That's me! In the past, when I've had "injuries" -- a SLAP tear, meniscus tear, ruptured disc, achilles tendon tear, and morton's neuroma -- I have never gone directly to a doctor. I do the "wait and see" approach.

This past Wednesday I was talking to my dentist as he numbed up my mouth to remove the large broken crown. He is into "neuromuscular aesthetic dentistry," so I asked him for his medical opinion. He told me he had a similar issue with his forearm and recommended someone to see in "neuromuscular and myofascial therapy." So, that's where I went when I left the dentist. Luckily, I was scheduled for an evaluation with a doctor who previously worked with pain management. Pain management for me is a LONG story for another time ... "been there and definitely done that" ... like square one!

It's two days later and the pain from the massage therapy is pretty intense. Yesterday I had to cut my work day short and lie down. Today I suspect it will not be another full day for me either. Sorry guys! At the moment I'm thinking that maybe I should have had a MRI before launching into that massage the other day. I'm going to be making a couple of phone calls to offer up that thought.

Bottomline? My health insurance has about a $1,500 deductible and I've not met it. Oh, and the dentist bill will exceed that amount, however I don't have dental coverage. Darn it. I think it was my mom who suggested calling my car insurance company, first of all, to ask them about problems with car trunk hydraulic struts ... you know, any recalls? I am considering myself very lucky right about now that my PIP coverage will cover my medical bills 80/20 up to $10,000. Thanks for small favors I say!

So ... it has pained me to tell you all this today ... but it was important for posterity should anyone else be in my shoes! Oh, size 9M. ;)

See that hand and wrist? Hubby took that picture not quite 5 days after the trunk slammed on my hand.

It gives you an idea, if you use your imagination, of how hard it might be to work on the computer and rest your hand on that mouse.

Along the outside of the wrist is where the latch unit of the trunk made contact!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Reflecting on 2009 -- It was a pain-FULL year for us!

So, I haven't written a blog post in many days -- a couple of weeks actually. Why? If you read my last blog post, you know that I had a bit of a weird accident with my car. At first, my hubby said that "I smashed my hand in the trunk." Well, that really is incorrect as "the trunk slammed ON my hand and forearm." It's been over 4 weeks since that happened. Today, I am contemplating a follow-up with an orthopedic surgeon because of residual pain I have in my hand, wrist and forearm.

That is just one of the pain-full moments of 2009. As Squidoo lensmasters, we have been encouraged and prodded to write about our New Year's resolutions. I personally have gone with a concept, to "be the best that you can be." That is not something new for me as I've always aspired to improve myself and be the best that I can be hopefully at all times. With that in mind, I have further prodded myself this year to "reach for the stars." Perhaps you have caught that "inspiring and positive theme" on my twitter profile?

2009 was probably our most difficult year. You have heard and read a lot about the homeless? Well, we rather directly were responsible for 2 separate families not being homeless for the past year. They are our tenants in our two rental properties. It's been a cost to us of some $20,000 plus out of our pockets for non-paying tenants. This has been a really tough "issue" for us as we have not wanted to evict these families, yet we have bills to pay ourselves. It would be too much information to talk any more about these rental matters ... just suffice to say that we are quite charitable people.

Just this morning, I was talking with my hubby about challenges with a recent loan I secured. The bank officer set up the automatic payment directly from my checking account with that bank. However, I just got a reminder call yesterday that my December payment hadn't been made and was I planning on making that payment? "Say what?" I asked the caller. "It's on automatic pay." Yada yada -- a word of caution -- check any newly set up automatic payments to be sure they are making those automatic payments!

Oh, automatic payments? I come to find out that my hubby had a reverse issue ... and I want to raise a caution over that! It seems that he had two automatic payments set up to a company for insurance. One was for his son; his was the other. Over a year ago, he went into the bank to STOP the one payment for his adult son's insurance premium. It got stopped for the one month; HOWEVER, the accounting department attempted to collect the payment the following month. The first "debit" attempt didn't work; but the second one did! Long story short, a so-called "closed" insurance account collected monthly payments for the next year or so. Hubby didn't catch it either. When he finally did "catch" the wrong payments, he had paid over $1,000 for a closed account. I have bravely stepped up to go to bat for my hubby to recoup this wrongly COLLECTED money. Hubby is pretty upset about that, among other matters, and doesn't feel he can deal with this right now.

So, happy Saturday eh? Looking to 2010 to be a brighter year. We have had issues as shared in this blog post, AND issues that I have not shared here. 2009 was an incredibly pain-FULL year for us! We are turning the other cheek(s) and looking to learn from what some might call our mistakes and incredible challenges of 2009. You know, it is indeed interesting that our local newspaper had a headline about 2009 being a pain-full year for others. I'm thinking 2010 HAS to be better!