Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.
~ Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Yes, I'm falling down on the job again, but there just aren't enough hours in the day or night. Mrs. T and I put in some hours in the garden, then I spend a couple of hours spraying grasshoppers. We have a plague of grasshoppers here in the dry foothills of the Sapphire Mountains (SW Montana). I've been killing them by the literal thousands, spraying every couple of days, both on our property and down the mountain a little ways on our closest neighbor's property. They have some new bushes they landscaped with, along with a new young tree (flowering plum? I can't recall) that they would like to keep intact along with some other landscaping (trees and bushes) that were almost killed by the grasshoppers last summer.

They have been hitting us harder each year, starting four summers ago. This year I started early, spraying all around both of our homes and gardens as soon as I saw the very first tiny grasshoppers jumping in the grass. That was back in late April. Now, in spite of having sparyed several hundred dollars worth of malathion on many thousands of the little bastards, they are thicker than ever. Today I had over a hundred on the deck, and when I stepped out into the grass around the deck, there were over fifty grasshoppers in every square foot of ground. There were over fifteen hundred hanging onto the lattice work enclosing the deck all around its base - just on one side of the house (it's 360° wrap-around deck).

May1st I slipped on some ice on our deck (we're in the mountains, n'est-ce pas?), and fell on my shoulder. I rolled intentionally onto the shoulder, because I knew a Deputy Sheriff who slipped on some ice years ago and fell, breaking both of her arms. Think about that for a moment. Both arms in casts. As much as her husband loved her, the duties he had to perform due to her inability to use either arm left him less than ecstatic. Not wanting to be that helpless, let alone condemn my wife to similar duties, I chose the shoulder.

I had no idea how much damage an old guy can do to a joint by falling off of a deck - about eight feet from shoulder to ground. That the pain lasted more than two months was a good clue, although the x-rays didn't show anything. No broken bones, no large separation in the joint, no dislocation, no obvious tears. But getting horizontal - in any position, on any side, even with a pillow under the arm - was quite painful. Sitting or standing was only sightly uncomfortable, but lying down meant no sleep at night for the first seven weeks. I would eventually pass out from lack of sleep sitting up in my recliner, but the lack of sleep was running me down.

Finally, an orthopedic surgeon did an MRI with contrast which showed extensive damage to the rotator cuff, muscle, a number of tendons, and the cartilage in the joint itself. Yet, in spite of several large tears, including in the tendon of the biceps where they attach at the top of the shoulder, the arm still functions and doesn't hurt much at all. Strange. The doc told me I may need to have a "reverse shoulder replacement", where the "cup and ball" of the joint is reversed. The "cup" is normally a part of the scapula (shoulder blade), and the "ball" is the head of the humerus (that's the upper arm bone, not the "funny bone" ;-) Reversed is where they attach a "ball" to the shoulder blade, and a "cup" to the top of the upper arm. It is suposed to work fairly well if done properly, but we're talking major surgery. The whole shoulder has to be opened up, muscles cut, etc. A big job, calling for a long recovery, a lot of physical therapy, etc.

So, depending on what the surgeon I am being referred to says (he specializes in shoulders), I may choose to wait, and not do the surgery until such time as my shoulder either won't function any more or develops so much pain that the surgery becomes unavoidable. Hopefully I will go to the Great Beyond before that happens.

1 comment:

  1. Good to read you're not worse than what you describe, shoulder injuries are less than pleasant, I know. A thought on that, if you can incorporate stretching exercises and light movement therapy in the everyday work, that might help the tendons heal quicker.


Sorry, folks. I was completely ignorant about comment rules. Anyone can post, but I'd prefer a name, even if it is made up. Anonymous posts just seem cheap, if you know what I mean. Also, if you want to argue a point, that's fine. Cheap shots and name calling towards me or another person commenting (ad hominem) is rude and will get you banned. Other than that, I'd love to get some comments.