Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Another Update

Well, it's been a while since I updated my health situation. Mostly I've been waiting for the twelfth for my appointment with the local neurologist. So, I finally see him and he did his analysis of my neural pathways. It seems I have a major loss of neural signal in my left elbow and wrist, and in my right wrist. His immediate recommendation was surgery for all three sites. He kicked me back to my primary physician - who also happens to be a general surgeon. I was fortunate to get to see him today.

Apparently, the problem with the wrists is carpal tunnel, with the usual surgery associated with that condition. The solution to the elbow will be to move the nerve from "under" the elbow further up the arm. My doctor has done that procedure, and does carpal tunnel, but he felt like the elbow should be done by someone who does it frequently.

So, I've got an appointment the twenty fifth of this month to see that surgeon. Nothing sooner was available. The sheer amount of time this is taking is getting to be depressing. I'm for thinking my mission will be to convince his receptionist to give me a canceled slot sometime between now and then, and try to pick up the pace a bit.

If I had a bit more strength and endurance in my left arm I could be driving, but just herding the ol' pickup around for a couple hours really takes a toll. I've got to have some arm strength to steer while the right arm runs the shifter on the big truck. I don't have ten or eleven hours in that arm right now. My buddy the chiropractor says I wouldn't get much from rehab because I need more nerve control to move those weak muscles, or I'd have really been pushing the rehab angle.

Money probably won't be an issue - there are enough income resources to keep me going for a while. I just will be tapped out at the end of this deal. I just have to keep perspective - this existence beats the hell out of the alternative! I'm just not ready for my dirt nap!

Another one of my buddies (Hoss) has been out of work longer than I have. He had a four hundred barrel steel tank set on both his feet, severely breaking one. He had pins installed, and when they were removed, he had to have a skin graft because there was a big hole left. Plus, when he fell down when the tank set on him, he injured his shoulder. Tomorrow he has surgery to repair his rotator cuff. So, he's gonna be out for some time yet.

We were talking about all this the other day, and we decided that winter was a good time for this to happen. Neither of us have been snowed in at a motel or a truck stop for several days waiting for the roads to clear, nor have we had to chain up or fight driving through a blizzard. We've been at home warm and comfy while our compadres have been out fighting that crap. And this winter has been worse than winters past. Colorado used to care less about oversize loads moving in winter - most of the state laws around the nation require us to be parked in inclement weather. This year, Colorado has swung to the other extreme. If the roads had the slightest amount of snow cover, our guys (along with all the other oversize haulers) were parked waiting for snow to melt. Since a major part of our market either is in Colorado, or we have to drive through to get to northeastern Utah (another oil hotspot) this policy shift has severely affected us.

So, even though I'd have preferred a different outcome, there are good sides to all of this. I just have to remind myself occasionally.

5 comments:

RT said...

I'll send up some prayers for you.

Given all of the rotten weather where you'd be driving this winter...you have to take your blessings. :)

ptg said...

Sometimes it seems like life just keeps whittling us down. We don't spring back as fast as when we were 19. There is always much for which to be grateful; I'm grateful every time I wake up.

Mo K said...

Thanks for the update, Jeffro. It's so frustrating when recovery is slow. Additionally, it's angering, saddening, and depressing, as you're feeling. The days feel like years at times, and I'm speaking as one who is not experiencing it directly, but through one whom I love with all my heart.
Keep up the positive attitude. I'm continuing to pray for you, that the doc. on the 25th will nail down for good the solution and fix ya.

MorningGlory said...

Hurry up and wait, Jeffro. Sounds like the Army.

When you're ready to start physical therapy/Rehab, you might want to look into this. Apparently, it's been shown to speed the process along.

Bob said...

Sometimes it is hard to avoid being depressed. I sure did not want to go back to that hospital. But, you are right about the alternatives!

Colorado's legislature, Governor, and state agencies are now all being run by Democrats.

Are we surprised that your buddies are stalled? This has been a very mild winter on the plains, but the mountains have lots of snow.