Spose It Could Be Worse

Just got back from the shoulder doctor, and apparently I have the right shoulder of an 80 year old man and my left shoulder is a mess but nowhere near as bad. At any rate, I have degenerative arthritis in both, but a severe case in the right shoulder. Having a CT on the right on Monday because he believes I have a large bone spur in the right shoulder that will have to be surgically removed (fucking awesome- the first surgery was so much god damned fun), and then he will try to do steroid injections if possible, but is leery because of the pins in place and he is worried about the possibility of infection. Physical therapy starts on Tuesday for my left shoulder, and I go back to learn the results of the CT scan on Friday.

He was kind of blunt, which was cool, and basically I can expect to be in pain the rest of my life and look forward to a shoulder replacement in the future, but that will have to wait because they are hesitant to do it on someone as young as me. Physical therapy will help manage the pain, but it will always be there. Sigh. I’ve spent more time with doctors in the last month or two than I have in the previous five years.


171 replies
  1. 1
    Amir Khalid says:

    Hey, at least you still have shoulders.

  2. 2

    Oh you poor thing, that sounds awful. Good luck with the shoulder stuff.

  3. 3
    NotMax says:

    There goes the possibility of a career in beach volleyball.

  4. 4

    @Amir Khalid: That was mean, and here, I thought you were one of the gentler hyenas of the Tunch collective.

  5. 5
    rikyrah says:

    Well, at least you have answers….so, that’s something.

    Cole, I hope you do feel better.

  6. 6
    gogol's wife says:

    So sorry.

  7. 7
    Keith G says:

    The news sucks. And yet, you are intelligent young man with many resources. You’ll get through this just fine. Challenges such as this often add more to live than they take.

  8. 8
    srv says:

    If all the 50 somethings can have hip replacements..

  9. 9

    @srv: Cole is 40 something if I remember correctly, even though he sounds like the human version of the grumpy cat.

  10. 10
    Belafon says:

    You could be eligible for the shoulder replacement.

  11. 11
    shelley says:

    Ugh, John, I’m sorry.
    Everyone seems to be getting knee and hip replacements, so I don’t know why I’m surprised about shoulder replacements.

    Tho, at least you didn’t encounter Betty Cracker’s giant spider.

  12. 12
    the Conster says:

    That’s why god put beer in aluminum cans. Oh wait…

  13. 13
    Belafon says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: 44. He’s about six months younger than me.

  14. 14
    skerry says:

    I’ve said it before. Look into acupuncture for pain management.

  15. 15

    Seriously, I like doctors that can tell me “you’re fucked, chum. Start thinking about another line of work.” At least then I know what I’ve got to deal with.

  16. 16
    Trollhattan says:

    Shoulder replacement? Did not think such a thing existed. One ponders what the options might be. “I’ll take an Arnold on the right and a Koufax on the left.”

  17. 17
    NotMax says:

    As someone who has lived with arthritis in the hands and knees for nigh unto 50 years, can commiserate. At least they didn’t also diagnose bursitis.

  18. 18
    Butch says:

    Last week I went to the doctor for some routine blood work and wound up in a bizarre conversation with a medical technician who was absolutely sure I was there to schedule arterial surgery on my legs and wouldn’t be told otherwise. I ended up walking out. (Realizing this might not be the most relevant comment. I just haven’t found anyone to listen to this story.)

  19. 19
    scav says:

    “Ow” does seem to be the operative word. It’s a sort of Time Lord Dorian Gray. Have you found your bodypart that is of a fifteen year old and growing more beautiful and functional every day?

  20. 20
    srv says:

    Ebolan Doctor cured and credits Jesus

    “Please do not stop praying for the people of Liberia and West Africa and for an end to this Ebola epidemic,”

    Uh, how about a little less prayer and more research on all that treatment you got?

  21. 21
    chopper says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Don’t even say that, he wants to mop the floor later on. You’ll put a hex on him.

  22. 22
    Trollhattan says:

    Jayzaz. They on a commission system or something? “Coffee’s for closers!”

  23. 23
    Roger Moore says:



    I kid, I kid. I’ve had shoulder problems, and I know they can be genuinely awful.

  24. 24
    chopper says:


    That would be a funny imbalance. You’d look like Quagmire a few days after being told of internet porn.

  25. 25
    Trollhattan says:

    @srv: Heard the two Americans who were evacuated to the States for treatment–freaking out the Fox Nation to no end–have recovered and been released. Oh noez, they walk among us!

  26. 26
  27. 27
    Barry says:

    @NotMax: “There goes the possibility of a career in beach volleyball.”

    He could get a support role – masseur, oiler,….. :)

  28. 28
    MoeLarryAndJesus says:

    I’m 53 and haven’t been to a doctor since I was 20. Do they still give you free lollipops?

  29. 29
    Amir Khalid says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    I am one of the gentler hyenas here. But my inner hyena does need to stretch its legs once in a while.

  30. 30
    Amir Khalid says:

    The doctor gave you a free lollipop when you were 20? Damn, I wish I’d known him.

  31. 31
    srv says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: I like my Kaiser doc, but then maybe I’m a shmuck. Had some gastro complaints and he said “Welcome to irritable bowl syndrome! I’ve had it since I was 17. Next problem?”

  32. 32
    chopper says:


    You’d think. I guess shoulder replacements don’t last too long? Dunno.

  33. 33
    wasabi gasp says:

    Maybe get a flowbee.

  34. 34
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    John, that sucks. It really does.

    Hopefully, they’ll find some way to help you manage the pain, and keep it under some modicum of control, but you may just have to learn to live with it, and furthermore learn to ignore it.

    Of course, someone out there in dumbshitistan will insist that you’re a hypochondriac and it’s all in your head and you just love to go to the doctor and be paid attention to because shut up that’s why you’re a fucking moocher and putting your ass on the line in Kuwait doesn’t count nearly as much as touring the country to support your father’s Presidential ambitions does in the big book of entitlements.

  35. 35
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Trollhattan: The cooties, they’re everywhere!

  36. 36
    Butch says:

    @Trollhattan: She had even selected the hospital where it would be scheduled. (Wausau, Wisconsin, which is about a 4-hour drive from where I live.)

  37. 37
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Trollhattan: The Schwartzenegger one will get you into trouble with the cleaning staff that your wife will find out about and you’ll be fortunate to still have your head on your shoulders after that.

  38. 38
    Mnemosyne says:


    I’m assuming you’re not in your 40s. My doctor sent me to the gastro for IBS and as soon as they heard I was 45 years old, they started scheduling my colonoscopy. Which I still need to call them back about since I’ve been dragging my feet because, really, you have to be pretty weird to want people to stick a camera up your ass.

  39. 39
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mnemosyne: The sticking the camera up your ass part isn’t really that bad. What sucks is the prep of cleaning your entire GI tract out over a several day period, followed by a full day of fasting the day before the procedure.

    The procedure itself (for me, at least) was a snap. I was conscious and cracking wise with the doc and nurses as the camera searched my colon for irregularities. Everything was hunky dory, it was all, very good, come back and 10 years and we’ll take another look.

  40. 40
    Diana says:

    I recommend feline therapy. Apparently purring helps bone growth and possibly tendon healing as well:


    I quote:

    “The dominant and fundamental frequency for three species of cats’ purrs is exactly 25 Hz, or 50 Hz the best frequencies for bone growth and fracture healing. All of the cats purrs all fall well within the 20 – 50 Hz anabolic range, and extend up to 140 Hz.. All the cats, except the cheetah have a dominant or strong harmonic at 50 Hz.

    · “The harmonics of three cat species fall exactly on or within 2 points of 120 Hz which has been found to repair tendons. One species within 3 Hz and one within 7 Hz.

    · “Eighteen to thirty-five Hz is used in therapeutic biomechanical stimulation for joint mobility. Considering the small size of many of these cats, especially the domestic cats, it is interesting to note that that all of the individual cats, have dominant frequencies within this range. In fact, some of the cats, have 2-3 harmonics in this range.

    · “The frequencies for therapeutic pain relief are from 50-150 Hz. All of the individual cats have al least 5 sets of strong harmonics in this range.

    · “Therapeutic frequencies for the generation of muscle strength lie between 2-100 Hz. All of the individual cats have al least 4 sets of strong harmonics in this range.

    · “Therapy for COPD uses 100 Hz, all of the individual cats have a dominant frequerncy of exactly 100 Hz. …”

    I recommend that you get Steve on the case. Feel better.

  41. 41
    Trollhattan says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: You’d definitely end up doing your own mopping.

  42. 42
    maurinsky says:

    Sorry, John. I was born with hip displaysia in my left hip, and then I had Legg Calve Perthes so the joint didn’t form correctly, so I had surgery when I was a wee one and lost some use of my hip. I was so young, it never stopped me. Osteoarthritis set in when I was a teenager, very painful. I was told for years to wait until I was 40 and then get my hip replaced. I did wait, I waited until I was 43, and I went in to get a hip replacement and was told no. Got a second opinion, and this doctor explained why they couldn’t replace my hip. Too deformed, my femur is facing the wrong direction, would permanently damage my sciatic nerve and possibly other nerves. Too many things wrong with it. I have to tell you, I was feeling very, very sorry for myself. I left his office with tears in my eyes and the first person I saw was a guy with no legs at all, just a torso in a wheelchair, which pissed me off because it made me feel like I wasn’t even justified in feeling sorry for myself.

    Anyway, hang in there.

  43. 43
    Trollhattan says:

    Attention DougJ: Today, Joe Sturmmer would have been 62,

  44. 44
    James Barnett says:

    Hey John, Try to have the shoulder done at a place where they do peripheral nerve blocks. That’s where they leave in the catheter they insert for the operation anesthesia and send you home with a pump and a bladder full of novacaine (or whatever). It was AWESOME when I had my SLAP repair last Winter. With the pump I was able to almost completely skip the opiates.

  45. 45
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Diana: “John, why is Steve draped around your neck?”

    “He’s there to mend my bones!”


  46. 46
    Ben Cisco says:

    Sorry about the shoulders, John. You mentioned having lost some weight – I don’t know if it’ll help w/the shoulders but it was much help for me with my knees. Hope you can get help.

  47. 47
    Felonius Monk says:

    A colonoscopy is child’s play compared to a camera endoscopy. Just swallowing the thing is a big ordeal — it looks like an Apollo space capsule and feels about as big going down. Wearing the receiver electronics for 12 hours isn’t exactly comfortable. And then having to fish out the damn camera after you pass it is not the most pleasant task. — The only good part was when the Doc said they didn’t find anything. Big relief.

  48. 48
    Bob In Portland says:

    I felt sorry for myself because I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no dick.

  49. 49
    Emma says:

    @Mnemosyne: Please don’t. Don’t wait. It is painless (except for the disgusting stuff you get to drink the day before) and you’re half-asleep anyway and it is IMPORTANT.

  50. 50
    Xenos says:

    Me Dad got a shoulder replaced in his 70s, as post-polio syndrome and 50 years on crutches did so much damage that he pretty much lost all use of the arm… I guess he was old enough they did not worry about him outliving it. That titanium bit of machinery has made an enormous improvement in his mobility and quality of life.

    When the doctors say “yes”, go for it. In the meantime your improving health should make the interim period more workable. If it helps, consider a part of the deferred maintenance you are catching up on. The healing arts have lots of approaches to try, and I am sure one of them can help enough to make the difference. All the best!

  51. 51
    Mnemosyne says:


    Acupuncture is apparently also good for addictions/alcoholism (or so the recovering alcoholics I know tell me), so it could kill two birds with one stone.

    Some people say that all it does is trigger a placebo effect that makes you think you’re in less pain, but isn’t at least half of pain management about perception anyway?

  52. 52
    Gindy51 says:

    @Amir Khalid: My daughter still gets them and she is 25, of course she looks like she’s about 12 so I guess there is that.

  53. 53
    Mnemosyne says:


    I’m all scheduled now, so no worries. :-) You will all have to hear me whine about the prep starting around Sept. 14th. They’re not expecting to actually find anything — it’s more to rule out other possible players in my IBS, plus I’m almost at the age for the initial screening so they want me to knock it out now.

    I will be VERY cranky while I’m fasting, though. I do not do well without food.

  54. 54
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    they are hesitant to do it on someone as young as me

    That makes no sense at all. They are usually hesitant to perform joint replacement on people who are too old because of the likelihood of complications. What’s the downside of being too young?

  55. 55
    Paul in KY says:

    @Bob In Portland: That’s one of the 1st posts from you that isn’t about you-know-what.

    Good job!

  56. 56
    KG says:

    @Trollhattan: I’d like a Brock Lesnar and an Evander Holyfield please

  57. 57
    Bob In Portland says:

    Seriously, John, sounds like you’re going to have to deal with pain management for the rest of your life, which can be trouble if you’ve had problems with self-medicating away the world.

    So an ongoing examination of any personal issues that may have gotten you to this point is always helpful in keeping on the straight and narrow.

    There are those who would advise a complete separation from any pain relief, but I don’t think that that’s realistic. Stay away from the bottle, be very careful about the narcotics. If you were on the West Coast I’d tell you to get a medical marijuana card. My girlfriend (we’re both on social security so you can guess our ages and debilitations) finds some relief with a brownie or a few puffs of the stuff. It also makes watching television in August more interesting.

  58. 58
    Birthmarker says:

    @Mnemosyne: Honestly, a day or two of a light diet and one long evening of..well, we all know of what, is NOTHING compared to colon cancer. Plus, I felt the best I had felt in YEARS the next day, because my body was cleared of toxins, and they put an amnesia med in the IV, which must have zapped a few undesirable brain cells. I had forgotten what it was like to feel that great.

    The only trick is to start the prep much earlier in the day than they suggest. The goal is to be able sleep, by 11pm, or by midnight at least.

    I, too, was told I could go up to 10 years before redoing the procedure.

  59. 59
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @Mnemosyne: Stop bullshitting and have the colonoscopy. Please. Sure, it’s not fun, but it saved my life. If I didn’t, my stomach cancer would have killed me in six months.

  60. 60
    Rob in CT says:

    That sucks Cole. I sympathize. My back is a disaster area (since birth), so I have an idea.

  61. 61
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Bob In Portland:
    That makes me wonder what you use as a prophylactic.

  62. 62
    moderateindy says:

    Make sure you keep a very close eye on the possible infection thing. 1st it could kill you. Second the damage it might do can be irreparable. A couple years back I had a stress fracture in my foot that somehow became infected. There was no real pain to speak of, and somehow or another the infection migrated to my neck/entire spine. By the time I became symptomatic, and ended up in the emergency room, I was fairly close to death. After major spine surgery to literally wash out the infection, and 2 months in the hospital, I ended up in a wheelchair for 6 months and still have to be on a cane, because of constant numbness in my lower extremities. Infections…nothing to screw with. Also, it might be hard to detect, because you might ignore the pain it causes figuring it’s just the normal pain you usually have because your shoulder is screwed up.

  63. 63
    skerry says:

    @Mnemosyne: I hadn’t even thought about the addition part. Yeah, that should help there too.

    I agree that perception is a big factor in pain management. Who cares if it is a placebo if it works.

    The trick is finding a practitioner that you get along well with – a good energy match. I went to a guy for years that was just great. He moved and it took me quite some time to find someone else that I liked as well.

    They might be able to work on balance issues too, but I’d start with the pain management.

  64. 64
    Birthmarker says:

    @The Thin Black Duke: I’m so glad for your good result. A friend had stomach cancer, it’s a tough one. Congrats!

  65. 65
    Amir Khalid says:

    I’ve been colonoscopied twice. I wouldn’t say that either the prep or the procedure was any fun, but I certainly don’t remember it being painful in any way.

  66. 66
    blueskies says:

    Sorry to hear of this. Old football injuries resulted in the same for me. The biggest challenge is to not take a painkiller every time they hurt. That’d be an i.v. drip. The second biggest challenge is avoiding biting the heads off of everyone around me because I’m not on an i.v. drip.

    You’ll make it. Smiling really does help, as do sunny days and kittens and puppies. Really.

  67. 67
    Trentrunner says:

    @srv: It was worse than that: This “doctor” actually attributed his recovery to the thousands/millions of prayers he said came his way.

    He literally said that his recovery shows that prayer works.

    Shame about the 1000+ dead Africans who apparently elicited insufficient prayers.

    Really fucking galling.

  68. 68
    Birthmarker says:

    @Xenos: This makes me feel good about John’s potential outcome. Thanks for sharing.

  69. 69
    BGinCHI says:

    This made me think of that Louis CK bit where he goes to the doctor for a sore ankle and the doc tells him that it’s just worn out. Nothing he can do.

  70. 70
    Belafon says:

    @Trentrunner: Yet none of the people who griped about him being in Africa had any sway over God.

  71. 71
    mzrad says:

    Hi there Grumps McCole.
    Have you heard about Platelet-rich Plasma treatments (PRP)? It’s used by medical aesthetics offices as well as those trying to help athletes heal especially in the low-blood-flow area of joints like shoulders. As an addition to physical therapy: ?

    Hi to Steve and the girls.

  72. 72
    raven says:

    @Mnemosyne: It’s nothin, don’t screw around. Colon cancer treatment is way worse. I get MOHS surgery on my mug in the morning, sounds like a breeze too.

  73. 73
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @Birthmarker: Thank you. The chemo and the radiation and the gawdawful hospital food wasn’t fun, but it sure as hell beat the alternative. And I never would have made it without the support of my wife and friends. They were heroic.

  74. 74
    Mnemosyne says:

    @The Thin Black Duke:

    They’re fairly sure it’s not anything serious, but one of the reasons I got bumped up in the time for the initial screening line is that my dad had kidney and liver tumors when he died. They were almost certainly attributable to his 50 years of smoking (as was everything else that killed him), but apparently everyone will feel better if I get the procedure done now.

    And, yes, they’re going to do an endoscopy at the same time to make sure I don’t have GERD. Fun all around!

  75. 75
    raven says:

    @Trentrunner: Pissed me off too.

  76. 76
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Birthmarker: Yup.

    I had my first one a few months ago after putting it off for a while. The fasting wasn’t bad (but I’m used to eating 1 meal a day, so it wasn’t much of a change). J kept telling me the preparation liquid (Suprep in our case) was horrible and evil, but it was easy for me to drink. I didn’t understand why she thought it was so horrible. YMMV. I was done with the preparation before midnight for the ‘scopy at 8 AM the next day.

    I guess our ‘scope doc was a bit unusual. He uses general anesthesia (pentobarbital – one of the drugs in the lethal injection “cocktail” that has been restricted from that use recently). It was my first time under GA. I was talking with the anesthesiologist one second, the next I woke up and the doc said “everything looks fine and normal – see you in 10 years. You can get dressed”. It was astounding.

    Anyway, putting off a colonoscopy isn’t smart. Get it done if you’ve been putting it off.


  77. 77
    tulip says:

    I’m sorry John. I hope the steroids and physical therapy help with the pain.

  78. 78
    CaseyL says:

    John, it sucks that you’re having to go through this. I have hope that as your general health improves with the huge change in your lifestyle, your shoulders will heal better and you’ll be in less pain than expected.

    Did you ask the doctor about using or not using opiate painkillers?

    I’d be careful about using weed for pain; IME it can sometimes make you too aware of the body parts that hurt. But medical weed is incredibly hybridized; it’s possible a strain is available that works wonderfully as an analgesic without also making you hyperaware of your body.

    @Mnemosyne: You can drink high-protein clear fluids to avoid the hypoglycemia/cranky wolverine syndrome. My doctor specifically recommended Ensure peach flavor, which did the trick and doesn’t taste bad at all.

    Something more to know: Any polyps found during the exam will be removed, and may incur an additional fee. Finding polyps, or any other untoward thingies, may also change the follow-up exam from “come back in 10 years” to “we need to do this again in 3 years.” Speaking from experience, here.

    Good luck, and enjoy the afterwards. I remember feeling kind of dreamy and relaxed the rest of the day :)

  79. 79
    chopper says:


    There was no real pain to speak of, and somehow or another the infection migrated to my neck/entire spine. By the time I became symptomatic, and ended up in the emergency room, I was fairly close to death. After major spine surgery to literally wash out the infection, and 2 months in the hospital, I ended up in a wheelchair for 6 months and still have to be on a cane, because of constant numbness in my lower extremities.

    well, that’s gonna replace the shark in my nightmares.

  80. 80
    raven says:

    @Mnemosyne: I was pissin blood a few years and had to have an endoscopy. Goddamn horror stories in the internet scared the shit out of me. It wasn’t fun but it wasn’t some huge, painful deal either. It turned out that I probably bopped something when I dropped a Harley softail and dead lifted it back up.

    One more thing since you didn’t ask. I did a low fiber diet, white bread, pasta chicken breast for 4 days before the cleansing an it really helped make it easier. I drank the stuff mixed with crystal light and through a straw and that helped too.

  81. 81
    kindness says:

    John be thankful you have decent health insurance.

    Yes, put off replacement surgery for as long as you possibly can. Not sure about shoulders but hip replacements have a 10 year viability. Then they need to be done again. Not fun stuff.

  82. 82
    JoyceH says:

    I’m not sure what sort of physical therapy they do for shoulders, but I’m doing therapy in the pool for my knees (osteo-arthritis, bone-on-bone), and it’s awesome! We’d reached the point where my knees actually didn’t hurt at all, but then I had to have gallbladder surgery and was out of therapy for a month and that set us back almost to where we started.

  83. 83
    Mnemosyne says:


    I specifically asked to make sure that the doctor doesn’t use general anesthesia — my one experience with it made me throw up all over the nice physical therapist who was teaching me to use crutches, so I think I’d rather be hazy and awake than deal with that again.


    You can drink high-protein clear fluids to avoid the hypoglycemia/cranky wolverine syndrome. My doctor specifically recommended Ensure peach flavor, which did the trick and doesn’t taste bad at all.

    Good to know! I need to re-read my paperwork and see what their recommendations are. I like chicken broth, so I’ll probably end up drinking a lot of that. The procedure is on a Tuesday, so I asked for Monday off as well.

  84. 84
    Fair Economist says:

    The problem with shoulder replacements – and the reason not many have heard of them – is that the shoulder is not really replaceable. The shoulder is basically a soft tissue structure where the tendons and ligaments do the work and the bones hold them in place. The knee is readily replaceable as it’s much more of a hard tissue structure where the bones do the work and the tendons and ligaments hold them in place. The hip is kind of intermediate. We have pretty good bone replacements but tendon and ligament replacements aren’t so great.

  85. 85
    Birthmarker says:

    @raven: I’ve known a few who have had this, and they have all done fine, and no major scars, either. Or even noticeable scars. Good luck to you.

  86. 86
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Paul in KY: Not much news from the net about Ukraine these last few days. I’ve posted here for years.

  87. 87
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Amir Khalid: My sperm is so old that it hardly wriggles.

  88. 88
    narya says:

    @Quaker in a Basement: Replacement joints wear out, too, and there is a limit to the number of times they can do it. (I know this because my SIL has had both knees replaced . . . before 40 or so, because of sports injuries, and they delayed as long as possible.)

  89. 89
    Goblue72 says:

    Have the VA install one of these: http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/.....achine_gun

  90. 90
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @Mnemosyne: @The Thin Black Duke: Hey, I had the endoscopy and the colonoscopy at the same time too, but luckily I was knocked out so it was O.K. However, when I woke up from my nap and the first thing I saw and heard was the doctor telling me, “You have a problem”, well–that was fucked up. Oh yeah, it’s funny now.

  91. 91
    Trollhattan says:

    The prep is worse than the event, but once they’re done you can go out and gorge yourself silly. Two words of advice: wet wipes.

  92. 92
    raven says:

    @Birthmarker:Yea, they can’t do much to hurt this mug! The only thing I told them on the phone was that it best not mess with the Clemson game next week.


  93. 93
    raven says:

    @The Thin Black Duke: Sounds like a Tijuana Tuck and Roll!

    or a Tudo Street Round the World!

  94. 94
    raven says:

    @Fair Economist: I have a buddy that was a college linebacker and he had his replaced. It’s ok but not great.

  95. 95
    Trollhattan says:

    @The Thin Black Duke: Jeez, I had the two-fer as well, but they only gave me something that put me about four feet in the air, not knock me out. My only request was that they not confuse the two instruments.

  96. 96
    Birthmarker says:

    @Mnemosyne: I had general anesthesia and asked for an anti nausea med to be added, because an acquaintance told me they had been a bit sick. I wasn’t nauseous at all.

  97. 97
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @raven: Huh, I was making jokes about being the new guy in Oz, and I don’t mean the one in the Emerald City either. Ouch.

  98. 98
    Svensker says:

    Sorry to hear that, John. I do like some of the wisdom that comes with age, but the rest just sucks.

  99. 99
    Birthmarker says:

    @raven: I am so glad I don’t have to sit through that 2012 Clemson-Auburn Chic-fil-A Kickoff game again! The only good thing was that Cam milled around on the sideline in front of us for awhile. My SIL was an administrator at Clemson for several years.

  100. 100
    raven says:

    @The Thin Black Duke: And I was making a joke about the similarity between your procedure and the Saturday night special in a Chinese Nooky Factory I once visited.

  101. 101
    Roger Moore says:


    Some people say that all it does is trigger a placebo effect that makes you think you’re in less pain, but isn’t at least half of pain management about perception anyway?

    AFAIK, they’ve done some good biochemical tests that show acupuncture is more than just a placebo effect. There are chemical markers for pain that are reduced by acupuncture. Those chemical markers have also been used to show that people with chronic conditions like fibromyalgia are actually in pain and not just malingering.

  102. 102
    raven says:

    @Birthmarker: The poor dear. My first Georgia game was the Bulter 60 yarder against Clemson. 30 frickin years!

  103. 103
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    I read through this thread and now feel a little faint. OTOH, my day is looking up. At least I don’t have to swallow a camera or run away from someone trying to make me have surgery.

  104. 104
    Suzanne says:

    Ugh, John, that sucks and I’m sorry.

    Who needs shoulders?! That’s what doggystyle is for.

    All these tales of various -scopies sound dreadful. Ugh. My ass hurts just thinking about it.

  105. 105
    Birthmarker says:

    @raven: Well, good luck to your guys!

  106. 106
    raven says:

    @Birthmarker: We’ll kill da bums! Dabo and all.

  107. 107
    raven says:

    @Suzanne: Suzanne takes you down, to her place by the river. . .

  108. 108
    Susan S says:

    From birth I was the daughter of a mother who had survived polio. For all of my life my mother walked upstairs one at a time, had one good hand and one bad, suffered from multiple back breaks because when she fell she could not break her fall..she would go for weeks covered in bruises, looking like someone mugged her. As she got into her 70’s, a particularly vicious thing, post-Polio syndrome showed up and took away her ability to walk, to stand at anything above a 45 degree angle and so much pain it took 5 people to raise her from her bed in the morning. For most of my life she was mean, sarcastic..truly hard to endure. I thought all mothers took knives to their children..I had no idea how mentally ill she was, and how deeply angry she was.

    But at the same time she could laugh, she led a full life as church secretary, newspaper columnist, mother of four daughters. She taught us all to succeed, gave us an incredible love of art, traveled all over the world..and told me constantly to use color, because I was so plain. I was 55 or so before I even knew I wasn’t plain. Having avoided her calls for years, I was shocked a year or so before she died to get a call from her which started out ” Hi Susie, how are you?” All I could say was “Mom????”

    It turns out my sister Jeri who cared for her had finally talked her into using the Zanax that her Dr. prescribed. The anger, the ugliness, the vicious, knife-like attacks over the wrong gift, or the misplaced deeds [my mother yanked out all the plants I had put in her yard over one summer’s work because she thought I had killed some lilacs by hauling away the dead limbs..lilacs now 20 feet tall..] She was so angry, and so sad..and a tremendous part was due to what she lost in her early 20’s to that ** disease. And then she took some Zanax and it just didn’t hurt quite so much.

    About 15 years ago a good friend who loves tennis walked into my office. Her mother was dying a graceful, accepting death of cancer in her mid-70s. My buddy looked at me and said ” The most horrible thing happened today.” ” My mother can’t play
    tennis anymore.”

    Without thinking, I was so shocked I blurted out in disgust ” My mother hasn’t been able to play tennis for 50 years!”

    I have a little bit of post-polio..my left side is week, my bones are weird in places, I limp when I get too tired or stressed. Face it, nothing is that big a thing except I can’t run like I would like at at 67 I am too chunky. I actually spoke some years ago to a lady Dr. in California who was an expert in post-polio syndrome. I told her that my mother’s doctors at the time assured her the baby she was carrying could not get the polio that put her on her back the last 7 months of her pregnancy. The expert in California laughed and said ” They were lying.” And then she said to me..” You are one of the luckiest people I will ever speak to. Virtually all of the babies were born dead, or severely deformed, because polio is a virus.”

    Now John, if indeed you have waded through all that..think what you do have..a brilliant ability to write, an almost unique for a pale person to understand the real world of men of color..an hysterical sense of humor, a passionate love for animals which they return.

    When I was young, my mom could really go..albeit one step at a time. She always had to lift her left leg to get in a car, shift gears, sit in a chair. She traveled until her back was so broken she couldn’t manage long flights. She sewed beautiful, magical clothes for her young daughters. She had three children with December birthdays.. we each got celebrate celebrations.. and for my older twin sisters, she baked two cakes or two pies every year. Then she couldn’t move so much, so she started in on counted crossstich..then she lost more movement and began to read even more than she had. When she couldn’t hold a book, she got deeply into DVD’s..and all without comment. If you asked why she was no longer painting..it was just shrugged off. John, yes, you are going to be in pain..and yes, you cannot do what you have in the past..but you know what, you are still one of the brightest stars on the Net. Come on..Life is good and you’ve stopped drinking and we are all very, very proud to know you. Thank you all out there for listening.

  109. 109
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Susan S: Wow. That is powerful. Thank you.


  110. 110
    MD Rackham says:

    @Felonius Monk: They made you recover the camera?

    My doc just said to flush it, although he did warn me that the strobe light might still be active and not to be concerned about a bright flashing light in my poop.

  111. 111
    raven says:

    @Susan S: Nicely said.

    I just went down to get the mail and there was a big package on the porch.It’s from an old friend from Urbana that is having a very tough fight with cancer. Seems they were cleaning out their basement and found our 2nd Place softball trophy from 1980 and sent it to me. We were really nuts about playing ball back then and it was really nice of him to think of me.

  112. 112
    skerry says:

    Just made appointments for dermatology screening (red hair/blue eyes/lots of blistering sunburns as kid), colonoscopy, mammogram and some allergy testing. Going to do a sleep study too.

    Trying to check out as many of my parts before I lose good insurance in October.

  113. 113
    emdoyle says:

    John, I have followed your posts for some time. You are a truly amazing person and I wish you to be free of all pain.

    So, this is my two cents: I would consider getting a second opinion. Blunt doesn’t always mean that it’s right. There are other doctors out there who might have a different opinion.

  114. 114
    Trollhattan says:

    @skerry: Jayzus, sounds like a good time for all! Might as well get the tranny, brakes and cooling system flushed while you’re at it.

  115. 115
    Trollhattan says:

    Somebody’s not following the narrative. Quick, call AIPAC.

    The United States on Wednesday charged Israel had targeted members of a Palestinian family whose teenaged son was kidnapped and killed in July along with two cousins, who are US citizens.

    Tensions between Palestinians and Israelis in annexed east Jerusalem plunged to a new low on July 2 when 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khder was snatched from an east Jerusalem street and later found burned alive. Israeli police arrested six alleged Jewish extremists as suspects and on July 17 charged three, freeing the others.

    The death of the Palestinian teen — thought likely in retaliation for the abduction and killing of three Israeli Students in late June — sparked rioting and helped unleash the conflict under way in Gaza between Israel and Hamas.

    Three days after his death, on July 5, the United States slammed Israel’s arrest of a 15-year-old cousin, Tarek Abu Khder, 15, a US citizen. He was beaten in detention and has since been freed and returned to Florida. On July 28, another cousin of Abu Khder, also American, was arrested in Israel as well, the State Department said Wednesday.


  116. 116
    John O says:

    Reminded me of this for some reason.

  117. 117
    Delk says:


    Dealing with AVN here, a direct result of 27 years of HIV medicine and alcoholism. Funny thing, I drank to deal with the pain, not having a clue that the drinking was causing it. Shoulder, hip, and knee replacements, plus constant pain will be my near future.

    In the meantime, all I can do is blast “Love is a Battlefield” and work that shimmy ’cause one day that shimmy will be gone.

  118. 118
    J R in WV says:

    @Quaker in a Basement:

    The replacement can wear out before you’re done with it. My Aunt Kitty is in her mid-90s and is one her third hip replacement. She was quite atheletic, and broke her first hip in a bicycle fall at the age of 50ish.


    Mrs J R was was in the hospital for septic shock, 21 days in medical ICU, lung surgery, the septic shock was from double pneumonia. Once she was through the hard places, they started to rehab her so she could move once discharged. Her fist physical therapist showed up with a walker and an O2 bottle, and started her therapy by saying “It isn’t humiliating to need to use a walker and supplemental osygen!”

    She threw him out of her room, told him he was incompetent to be a PT worker if he culdn’t find it in himself to search for some way to elicit masimum effort in his patients, told him to never come back, to send a real therapist who would help her do the best she could, and get a walker if she failed to walk on her own, not in the beginning of the process, at the end.

    The hormones he helped her develop did her so much mroe good than his feeble attempt at PT would have! Sometimes you run into someone so determined to be wrong there’s no talking them out of it! This is why people write “NOT HERE!” on the leg that isn’t to be operated on, and still get the wrong leg set up.


    John, I saw my family practice DR last week, he reviewed x-rays of my shoulders, immediately told me I needed to see the best shoulder guy in the area. Sept 5th I’ll get the scoop from the expert. Family Doc told me I had advanced arthritis in both shoulders, right is worst, bone spurs, and calcific tendonitis in the right shoulder. He expects the ortho will want to do surgery at least for the bone spurs.

    The past 2 weeks I’ve been working with a friend on building bookcases in a remodeled room in the basement, with one wall of windows over the creek and one looking south down the hollow. The north wall has a fireplace, and the west wall is getting the bookcases.

    There will be 16 feet of wall covered with 3/4 inch oak wood shelves. There will be 34 feet of 7 shelves – we have lots of boxes of books to unload into shelves. We’ve been using a table saw and a router mostly. All the wood cutting is done, Saturday or Sunday we’ll start with assembly.

    I think the work, careful, slow and steady, is helping the shoulders. My pain was started by motor vehicle accidents, in one I was rear-ended at a stop light by a young woman in a Nissan Altima on a rainy morning – she never saw the light change. I was at a dead stop and she drove through me at 50 or so after a futile stomp on her brakes. I braced against the steering wheel, probably the wrong thing to do. Minor pain after a few weeks of getting over it.

    That was May 2013. Then last March I was passenger in an F-350 that rolled on I-25 in northern NM. The truck rolled to the right, so I landed on my shoulder, then on my head – ouch! The dogs were in the back seat, we were all OK given the circumstances, able to walk and talk and make sense once EMTs helped us out of the truck. A little stunned, probably a small concussion for me, the roof caved in a little as we rolled over it.

    So I can feel for you. Hard use does wear out our parts with wear surfaces built in. I was in the USN back as a youth, and suffered both occupational accidents and was hit by a sports car in my left thigh while biking along in an evening thunderstorm. Knew the Mrs’s work phone number as soon as I woke up, tho.

    Good luck, be careful both before whatever you get done and afterwards in your physical therapy. All PT staff are not created equal… I got a great one for my neck issues, numbness and tingling pain in mhy arms now mostly gone by stretching my neck. Hoping to get a good guy for my shouders after whatever the orthopedist decides to do.

    Above all, stay calm!

  119. 119
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @J R in WV: There will be 16 feet of wall covered with 3/4 inch oak wood shelves. There will be 34 feet of 7 shelves – we have lots of boxes of books to unload into shelves.

    Years and years ago, when I was rehabbing from a hip injury and not working for some time, I took on a project of “built-in” bookshelves (actually floor-to-ceiling) in one room. About 14 feet wide and 8.5 high. The project was encouraged by my wife, because “we” needed bookshelves. Once the project ended (oak plywood for me) and books were loaded up onto the shelves, I realized the bookcase was full and I hadn’t placed a single volume on it. Such was the “we” part. Yes, we have a bit of a book problem too, why do you ask?

  120. 120
    Joy says:

    I don’t know alot about shoulder replacement other than the woman sharing my room at the hospital had one and she thought they were wonderful. My doctor told me I was too young for a knee replacement, although bone on bone, so I did all the usual stuff to no avail. Again, the surgeon was hesitant because I was too young (57). But the way I figured it, if my knee lasts for 15 years then I’ll be in my 70’s when I need a revision and hopefully there will be new techniques and prostheses. At any rate, I had the surgery, back in the gym at 3 weeks and am pain free. I sleep at night without the constant ache similar to a dull toothache. I can do almost everything I did before except run (I can, but the surgeon says my knee will wear out faster) and who cares? I was a terrible runner anyway. Now I have a great excuse. Good luck with your shoulder. Constant pain is not fun.

  121. 121
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    Icing my ankles after a 4.5 mile run.

    Fucking concrete. Not a suitable substrate for running, but one needs to exercise, and I needed to get to my treatment aftercare, so it seemed the right thing to do.

    ETA: met my OOP limit doing inpatient treatment this year, so I have a varicose vein procedure, and two skin growth removals coming up before the end of the year.

    Yay, me.

  122. 122
    Violet says:

    Sorry to hear all this, John. Repeating what I said earlier and what others have said–if you haven’t tried acupuncture for the pain you owe it to yourself to give it a try.

  123. 123
    Kropadope says:

    The New York Times today:

    The execution of James Foley has drawn a raw reaction from lawmakers, but even those criticizing President Obama for not doing more have not specified what to do.

    I believe this byline was structured around a template that has been in way overworked since 2009.

    SOMETHING has CONFLICT EUPHEMISM lawmakers, but even those criticizing President Obama for not doing more have not specified what to do.

  124. 124
    John Casey says:

    @BGinCHI: Here’s that bit. It’s also an appreciation in general of what it means to be 40. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzEhoyXpqzQ

  125. 125
    Mnemosyne says:

    @GHayduke (formerly lojasmo):

    My advice for both of you before someone else gets there: get a bike. Easy on the joints, but you still get a good cardio workout. You will probably need to add in some weight training for bone health since a bike isn’t a weight-bearing activity like walking or running, but you can bike until you’re 100 if you want to.

  126. 126
    different-church-lady says:

    …I have the right shoulder of an 80 year old man…



  127. 127
    different-church-lady says:

    @John Casey: I didn’t know Louis CK went to my doctor!

  128. 128
    Julia Grey says:

    The doctor gave you a free lollipop when you were 20?

    Sounds like he was up to something.

    Hope things go better than we have any right to expect, Cole.

  129. 129
    Waynski says:

    Sorry to hear it, JC, but those replacements usually do pretty well. My BIL is an orthopedic surgeon and does a lot of shoulders successfully. I was having dinner with a woman in DC a few years back and she needed both shoulders done and was telling me she had to schedule both separately. I said, “Why wouldn’t you get both done at the same time and get it over with?” She responded, “Because I need to wipe my ass.”

    Her logic was far too strong to argue with.

    In any case, get it done, and get well soon.

  130. 130
    recurvata says:

    John, you need padding like the Michelin Man. Maybe BJ readers could start a fund – or wait, this has IndieGoGo or Kickstarter written all over it. BJ’ers are there for you sir!

  131. 131
    gogol's wife says:


    You are speaking my thoughts — in my experience, orthopedists are particularly “blunt” and pessimistic, and not always rightly so.

  132. 132
    burnspbesq says:

    Yeah, it could be worse. You could be a 20-something, mentally challenged African-American male who sometimes forgets to pay for stuff at convenience stores and carries a small knife on his key-chain.

    Your problems are real and serious, but they aren’t likely to get you shot by a racist cop, so you are well ahead of the game.

  133. 133
    burnspbesq says:

    Amir may need Tommy John surgery soon. He’ll be throwing stuff at his TV every weekend, watching Not-So-Super Mario’s childish antics cost Liverpool points.

  134. 134
    Medicine Man says:

    @John Cole: I damned sorry to see you’re facing some lifelong health problems. Not a laughing matter at all. I hope you have some luck finding a course of treatment or therapy that works for you. Maybe the shoulder problems will prove to me manageable.

    Did you find any of the game suggestions people brought up in the Aug 16 open thread of any use to you?

    @Raven & Mnemosyne: I’m scheduled for my own colonoscopy in December. Based on my other test results and symptoms my Gastroenterologist is pretty damned sure I have my own personal variety of IBS and not something much, much worse — yay me — but I 100% hear you with regards to scaring the shit out of oneself reading about symptoms on the internet. Fuck. Back in early April I got a letter from the BC Cancer Society about scheduling more tests to follow up on some “irregularities” in my FIT test results. It was still a day and a half before my next appointment with my General Practitioner, who would tell me that the Cancer Society had contacted him in the meantime to declare I wasn’t a candidate for cancer. Still annoys me that neither the BCCS or my GP thought to tell me this though. Waking up those mornings with my wife quietly crying beside me is a memory I’ll hold onto for awhile.

  135. 135
    kc says:

    Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. What a lousy diagnosis.

  136. 136
    nastybrutishntall says:

    @Violet: I’m an acupuncturist. Get acupuncture. It will reduce the tension around the shoulder, take the pressure off the joint, increase the mobility and reduce the pain. Basically neurologically reprogram the musculature to alter uneven patterns of stress around the joint causing it to strain and wear more than it should. Works great along PT, which is better at strengthening. Makes the PT less painful, too.

  137. 137
    rk says:


    They did this to me in my 30s because of gastrointestinal issues. I will never forget the godawful prep (the procedure itself was a breeze). They found nothing wrong with me and diagnosed IBS (which I translate as “we have no idea what’s wrong with you”). Anyhow, my husband suggested I stop drinking milk because I may be lactose intolerant. Guess what? All my problems went away within 2 days. I was lactose intolerant. I wanted to kick the doctor. The memory of the prep has haunted me ever since and now I again need it, but I find I just can’t bring myself to schedule an appointment.

  138. 138
    nastybrutishntall says:

    @nastybrutishntall: I was, of course, directing that at the Blog Lord, not Violet.

  139. 139
    LT says:

    I KNOW this will be very close to the results I’ll have to get before too long. Right shoulder fucked up for years – alomost died trying to throw a knit hat onto my first-floor balcony – left shoulder bad but not that bad. Bonus: same with hips.

  140. 140
    Mnemosyne says:


    I already know I’m lactose intolerant, though I’ve managed to get some milk products back into my diet with live and active cultures (yay happy bacteria!) and I was diagnosed with IBS years ago. I was a little startled that they went straight to the colonoscopy, so to speak, but I guess that’s the standard thing to do now. I’m not looking forward to it, but I was looking up raven’s suggestion of having the low-fiber/low-residue diet starting about a week beforehand and that supposedly makes things go a little more … smoothly?

    I just hope they didn’t give me the prep that requires you to drink a frickin’ gallon of liquid. I honestly don’t think my stomach would be able to hold that much even over the course of several hours.

  141. 141
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    Sympathies, John. When the better thing to look forward to is PT (Prescribed Torture) it’s not the best of days.

  142. 142
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Right about the prep. As the Aussie wine connoisseur said: “Opens up the sluices at both ends!”

    H/T /Monty Python of course

  143. 143
    Charlie says:

    @John Cole:
    After two years of cortisone shots, and physical therapy with two different doctors. My wife had shoulder surgery last year, originally to remove a bone spur that the doctor thought was causing her chronic pain. While I was waiting in the coffee shop the doctor called me from the surgery (!) and said once she went under a simple provocative test showed that her main problem was that they hadn’t detected (or tested for) the tear in her labrum, even though they had imaged the shoulder with ultrasound. More than 30% was ripped. He told me that if (!) they didn’t fix it she would still be in pain when she woke up but it they did the recovery time would triple. In the post surgical consult he told us that we’re too old (about 14 years older than you sir) to be considered for such an injury, so it wasn’t even considered.

    That being said it was the most painful surgical recovery she’s ever had. She was sent home with a peripheral nerve block that lasted for 5 days, however unlike Mr. Barnett (comment 44) she needed painkillers and an icing system to keep cold water circulating around the her shoulder, for the following month.

    The good news is that after a year, her shoulder is pain free.

  144. 144
    LongHairedWeirdo says:

    Just a note: there are some not-insensible doctors with alternate theories about how to fix things. I’ve had chiropractors and PTs and massage therapists trying to fix my hip, but I finally figured out that it was a *very* tight psoas and ileacus muscle (and probably others – when certain muscles are too tight, others warp). The kinds of approaches preached by Egoscue seemed to help more than those other folks>

    Of course, I didn’t have the actual *trauma* you’ve had – I’m not sure what caused my problems. But it might be worth seeking out some alternate ideas. I did have people talking “hip replacement” at me (though I refused to take the MRI, because “You think I need a hip replacement – eventually – and I just told you I can run 3 miles easily, it just feels funny? Yeah, sure I’ll put more money in the pockets of your imaging partner… gimme a call when hell freezes over.”)

  145. 145
    rk says:


    I just hope they didn’t give me the prep that requires you to drink a frickin’ gallon of liquid. I honestly don’t think my stomach would be able to hold that much even over the course of several hours.

    Unfortunately that is the way they do it. A friend had it done just last week. The day before the procedure you go on a clear liquid and jello diet. That evening you take the prep with 1 liter of water or Gatorade, ( people recommend you stay in the bathroom with a good book). Then you do another liter at 11pm same night. Nothing to eat or drink till the procedure is done the next morning. They did use to prescribe tablets instead of the dry powder to mix in liquid, but don’t do so anymore because some people I guess did not drink enough water leading to kidney failure. As I said the prep is the bad part. But my friend did not mind it that much except he said gatorade makes it too salty and recommends a sprite like liquid. I don’t want to put you off it though because I’m usually a chicken about these things.

  146. 146
    gogol's wife says:


    There used to be a nifty little bottle of stuff (Phospho Soda), and you only had to drink something like a large glass of liquid with it (twice). It was pretty nasty but the quantity made it doable. But apparently it got taken off the market because, as you say, some people had kidney damage from it. I hated the last time, with having to drink a huge amount of liquid. I didn’t finish it, and a friend of mine said he doesn’t think anybody does. But he also said they now have a somewhat better version — I forgot what he said it was called.

  147. 147
    StringOnAStick says:

    Before you do the surgery route, please try a doc who does prolotherapy/PRP/stem cells. I had one take a bone spur out of my elbow just using a big needle (and plenty of lidocaine). Compare that to a smaller bone spur that I had a surgeon take out of my big toe before I knew about this approach. Let’s see, got a blood clot and lost a lot of the range of motion of my big toe, only to find out later the prolo-doc could have done that one with a needle too. The prolo and PRP also got my knees from “scheduling for a replacement” back to “hiking and biking like I used to”.

  148. 148
    Dog On Porch says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your arthritis, Cole.

    A non-alcohol toast: Here’s hoping that American voters soon wise up, shift priorities, and begin electing congresses that serve The People rather than The Paranoids. Funding medical research as we now do weapons systems would be a good place to start.

  149. 149
    Momsense says:


    I’m having the same thing the same week. Not sure if I want to hear much about it as I will be going through it the day after!!

    Also, thank you for talking about thyroid. Finally found out why I have to work out so much and be so careful about what I eat and have high cholesterol. Going to do a more thorough work up but we are testing but I do have mild hypothryoidism.

  150. 150
    MsSKWEsq says:

    I have three herniated discs in my lower back and bursitis in both hips. Nothing has helped much for pain which is very severe. I finally went to my orthopedist and said something has to give and fast. I’m getting frantic over the pain. I have had terrible back pain for five years, the doctor always put it off as tight muscles and I should go exercise more which made it way worse. Finally got a MRI to find the discs, bone spurs, stenosis and arthritis. I can’t take Advil type drugs at all. My doctor wants me to take Lyrica (nuerotin) which is meant to control seizures. The side effects are not pleasant. Anyone here ever taken Lyrica? I’m not inclined to take it. I hate when they want to go off label esp with psychotropic meds. I am getting a steroid injection next week. I go to PT and a chriropractor as well with no relief. Suggestions anyone?

  151. 151
    lurker dean says:

    @Susan S: Wow, indeed. It’s admirable that you can appreciate your mother’s good points despite the meanness and sarcasm.

  152. 152
    Anne Laurie says:


    I have to tell you, I was feeling very, very sorry for myself. I left his office with tears in my eyes and the first person I saw was a guy with no legs at all, just a torso in a wheelchair, which pissed me off because it made me feel like I wasn’t even justified in feeling sorry for myself.

    Well, as part of the Great Chain of Complaining, you just made me feel like a weenie for whining about how my mild congenital right hip dysplasia has inexorably led to arthritis in my left knee… if that helps…

  153. 153
    Mnemosyne says:


    I don’t have any specific suggestions, but it looks as though it’s pretty common to prescribe Lyrica for nerve pain — WebMD tells me it’s frequently prescribed for shingles, fibromyalgia, and diabetic nerve pain. My sister-in-law was supposed to take Lyrica for her fibromyalgia, but decided that Vicodin worked better and ended up with a minor addiction to Vicodin, so that didn’t help much.

  154. 154
    Mnemosyne says:


    Yay! I mean, not that you have hypothyroidism, but that you were able to get them to test you for it. Doctors seem strangely resistant to testing women for it despite how common it is — not sure why.

    As I said above, I’m going to try raven’s suggestion of a low-fiber/low-residue diet for the week before the nasty part of the prep. It’ll be weird, after years of trying to eat high-fiber, to suddenly be eating white bread again.

  155. 155
    Amir Khalid says:

    For some reason, it appears that the only strikers who’ll come to Liverpool FC these days are problem children of one sort or another. Sturridge had a poor attitude at Chelsea; Suarez bites people; Balotelli, as I recall, once destroyed his bathroom in Manchester with firecrackers, and still lets his frustrations get the better of him. But with the first two, Brendan showed he could work with problem children and turn them into much better strikers, even if he couldn’t cure Luis’ biting. While I am somewhat concerned, I’ll have to see how Brendan handles him, and there is reason to be cautiously optimistic on that front.

  156. 156
    nastybrutishntall says:

    @MsSKWEsq: It may not help anything, but acupuncture will relax the musculature around the affected areas. I’ve treated many chronic disc, stenosis and arthritis patients — discs are the most variable and the hardest to give a prognosis about – sometimes a little pressure can be taken off the affected nerve, sometimes not; stenosis is 75% of the time manageable, though that also depends on the degree and whether, once inflammation and surrounding muscle tension is resolved, there is any wiggle room for the nerve left in the foramen; and arthritis usually can be managed very well, often becoming asymptomatic for weeks or months at a time. Acupuncture is usually the last thing that people try, so we get the hardest cases, and yet it still works great in most cases – >80% of pain cases I see improve to one degree or another.

  157. 157
    Susan S says:

    First, thank you for the kind comments. But I forgot to suggest John might also check into low grade laser therapy. Dr. Fredric Taylor was a brilliant anesthesiologist in Seattle. He and a partner started one of the first pain clinics in the nation in the 70s. Ric studied ancient Egyptian, Indian, whatever writings on pain. He used hypnotherapy, music, and had a degree in acupuncture. In the late 70’s he bought a low grade laser system used on horses and I was his first experiment on a human. The laser simulates acupuncture, in that helps the nerves unwrap the bundles that are creating pain. It doesn’t work in all cases..but please, please check into it. He used on a very painful bone bruise I had suffered from on my foot for years.. I literally had no pain at all after the first treatment. I know many pain clinics offer this now..seriously think it is worth at least a question or two.

    The last point to say about Ric still makes me very sad..he deeply believed that the mind has the power to control pain, even conquer cancer. I do not have that conviction..even babies die of cancer. Ric died of Lou Gherigs..a totally unfair end for gifted man who spent his life seeking to eliminate pain for others. I cannot imagine how fundamentally terrifying it must have been for him not to be able to chase his disease away with just his mind. Simply not fair..ah well, bet you he is in heaven now, playing his trumpet and raising Cain. Happy Evening, you all.

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    TerryC says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Dave Barry wrote a column once about this, and I have done it three times since: Use vodka as a mixer for the crap you have to drink. Very nice alternative.

  159. 159
    TerryC says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Dave Barry wrote a column once about this, and I have done it three times since: Use vodka as a mixer for the crap you have to drink. Very nice alternative.

  160. 160
    TerryC says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Dave Barry wrote a column once about this, and I have done it three times since: Use vodka as a mixer for the crap you have to drink. Very nice alternative.

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    satby says:

    Oddly enough, I just had a customer today, and older lady (70ish) who had a shoulder replacement very recently, and she was pretty happy with how much less pain she has now. She said she needs to have the other done when the first shoulder heals.
    I jacked up my shoulder twice, car accident the first time, and partially rupturing the labrum and also the tendon that anchors the bicep to the bone the second time. Had PT for weeks, frozen shoulder for almost two years. Everyone says to ice the shoulder for pain, but that just made it hurt so much worse to me. I used a heating pad and then would do PT; also often wore those ThermaCare heating pads over my shoulder to sleep. Maybe it was all the increased circulation, but my shoulder is almost normal 3 years on. And they were positive I’d need surgery.
    And those Salan Pas analgesic pads. Lots of those all over my should. Smelled like menthol for a year, but they did help. Good luck John, it will get better.

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    MoeLarryAndJesus says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Her, actually.

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    Mnemosyne says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    I finally found my prep instructions — I’m supposed to mix the prep liquid with 16 ounces of water, and then drink (2) more 16-ounce containers of water. So it’s “only” about 1/3rd of a gallon per prep.

    Frankly, what I was afraid of was that I was supposed to drink a gallon of the prep liquid. Knowing that it’s mostly water makes it a little less intimidating.

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    MsSKWEsq says:

    @nastybrutishntall: there is an accupuncturist in my chriropractor’s office but she’s expensive and sadly, insurance won’t cover it. I may have to save up for treatments! I’m not into taking meds if I can avoid them. The Lyrica just has so many bad side effects I don’t want to use it. Thanks for your advice!

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    SG says:

    Cole, you might consider getting a second opinion, especially regarding the necessity of waiting years for surgery. If you do decide to look further, I suggest taking a long weekend in NY and getting an appointment for evaluation with a surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery. I had total left hip and total right knee replacements there, three months apart. I wouldn’t go anywhere else for orthopedic surgery, even though there’s no shortage of orthopedic surgeons and good hospitals in the NY Metro area. Here’s their page on total shoulder replacement: http://www.hss.edu/conditions_....._bWKmK9KSM

    I wish you the best of luck, whatever you decide to do.

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    Paul in KY says:

    @Bob In Portland: I’ve probably read many posts of yours that date pre ‘The Troubles’. Was sorta BSing with you.

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    Paul in KY says:

    @raven: My first Georgia game was watching some UGA running back (the year before Herschel arrived) run all over us up in Lexington. Then I got assaulted later that night. Good times…

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    Paul in KY says:

    @Susan S: Powerful post, Susan. Sorry your mother had that awful disease.

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    Susan S says:

    @Paul in KY: Paul, we just accepyed it, like a parent who is deaf. She blamed me, because she was pregnant with me. But when I learned that, in my teens, it was like a huge sun came out..because I knew that it wasn’t my fault. She always considered herself lucky because they had figured out the physical therapy that left her able to walk, and she didn’t end up in an iron lung as did some of her friends. It was hard on my older sisters, because they started cooking when they were three..and we did most of the work in our home. But my mother never sat while we were working..the other aspect was she became a control freak. Every dish had to be cooked exactly as she liked it..and she wasn’t a particularly good cook. But I am 67..I’ve had an incredible job as an investment adviser to normal people for over 40 years. And this is what I value above all about both my parents..they were virulently anti-racist. In the 50’s and 60’s my mother spent months every year organizing bringing 100plus foreign students from the University of Washington to spend Thanksgiving with us in a small town, Chehalis WA. They would come on the Wednesday night train, one or two in each home. We always had spaghetti [not very good, I fear] on Wednesday, then the big traditional dinner, my family of 6 plus our guests, then leftovers that night at a potluck at another home, tours Friday, with a big party at the church with the students in their native garb, dances..and then they left on Saturday. 25 years I met and lived with Indians, Frenchmen, Japanese scholars, Islamic fellows.

    When I fell in love with a curly haired, brilliant scholar in my Chinese language course at the U/W in ’68, I asked my mother if it would be an issue because he was ‘darker than blue.’ I wish I had kept the blistering letter I got back..though we divorced years ago, I treasure his children. They have made my life far more complex and interesting and yes, I am glad for son’s sake that we live in Seattle. Cinn is an international lawyer, based in Amsterdam, focusing on international art crime law. She graduated with honors from Williams College and Univ of Michigan law school. Her brother wants to be a chef..And till they day they died, their father was my parents’ favorite son in law because he had a college degree and a wicked, sarcastic sense of humor. Paul, when you are raised with the absolute taboo against ever saying any word or joke that denigrates any person for race, religion, sexual orientation..when you are raised by parents like that..the other falls in its place fairly easily..but I will admit it took 50 years or so. Thank you for listening.

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    JW says:

    John, I’m sorry to hear about your shoulders. Arthritis is a bitch.

    You might try taking turmeric. My youngest brother, who has the bitch in his knees, swears by it.

    Good luck.

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    Denali says:

    Second that. John. Second also on getting a getting a second opinion; there is an amazing difference in doctors and their attitude and their approaches.

    @Susan S,

    Thanks for sharing, especially the story of your mother. I know two people who experienced polio; they were both amazing people who loved to laugh and as a result and I loved them very much. We all know others who don’t have anything to complain about are constantly angry.

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