a girl and her boy

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Striking Out

I have one strike left and this week will be counted among the worst weeks I’ve had in a while. School is going fine; it’s the after school stuff that is frustrating right now.

I have been wanting to take yoga classes since I was a freshman in college. I was always too shy to do so, though, because of various insecurities. So I never did. I’ve thought about yoga, read up on stances and practices, and have dreamed about being a yoga-master. In August, I read that one of the local adult education programs is offering a beginner’s yoga class. Great! thought I and I sent in the registration form immediately. I waited for six weeks for the class, bought my mat and block, and began reading up on some of the beginning stances to get ready for class. Two weeks ago I drove to the neighboring town for the first class, waited in the room for twenty minutes wondering what was going on since no one else showed up, and then went to the adult ed office. Come to find out, the class had been postponed for two weeks because their minimum enrollment had not been met. They waited to see if anyone else would sign up. Yesterday, I got home from work all excited after a very long day (staff meeting and then an SAT Prep Training organization meeting – more on this soon!) knowing that after my stressful day I’d be going off to yoga to relax, meditate and get some exercise. WRONG. I called to be sure the class was on and this time it was cancelled and I was told my refund is in the mail. What a major let down. I’m really bummed about it.

And then today was a good day at school. No big meetings, no major behavior problems with the students, no major failures with lessons. It was a good day. And I was looking forward to a good visit to an orthopedic surgeon I’d been waiting to see for a month, no, correct that, five years.

Back in 2003 I fell and hurt my shoulder, and this is after a history of dislocations. I saw a doctor, got x-rays and a MRI, began therapy, was told I needed surgery, and then lost my insurance. I’ve been waiting five years for resolution on this issue. Every day for five years, my shoulder has been achey, if not outright painful. I have limited motion and use. Sometimes I’ll pick up a medium-sized hard cover book and I’ll get shooting pain and I’ll be incapacitated for a few days. Running makes it ache something fierce.

I was looking to the surgeon to offer me relief in the form of knowledge of the issue and a plan for care. Instead, I got incredulous looks when I said I dislocated it three times growing up (didn’t see any supporting damage on the five-year-old x-rays), and was told that the tear was teeny and the previous surgeon’s suggestion to get it operated on right was jumping the gun a little. He essentially told me that he couldn’t do anything for me and to kindly leave so he could go to his meeting he was late for because he saw me 45 minutes late (I was there 20 minutes early).

So, I’m totally okay with the surgeon being honest with me about the situation. That’s his job. But not offering any suggestions on courses to take for resolution, rushing me in and out in about 10 minutes, and not asking questions about the effects of this injury on my activities and other probing questions made me feel like he didn’t see any need for me to be there and that I was wasting his time. He made me feel like I was lying about my previous injuries and care. He made me feel like there was no hope of ever having full use of my arm again.

Let me repeat, it’s been five years since I could reach for a glass in a cupboard at eye level without pain, on the days that I’m able to do so.

I’m very frustrated. I’m very hurt. I’m very let down.

This appointment was a gateway for me. I’ve been channeling all my pain towards this day, saying that once I see the surgeon I’ll get better, I’ll be fixed. And not having that right now really hurts.

Everything comes in threes. What will strike three be?

5 responses to “Striking Out

  1. nettie October 7, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear about your disappointments. I find doctors so frustrating. Either they frighten you with “jump the gun” diagnosis or they have a “give a crap” attitude about your pain. I’m not going to jump to conclusions, but maybe you should see a female doctor. As far as yoga. I would try a regular yoga studio’s beginners class. Get there early and stay off to the side so you don’t feel like all eyes are on you. I also tried to zone out and laugh at myself when I fell over. I hope things get better soon.

  2. habitsofamouse October 8, 2008 at 4:14 am

    Oh, hun! I’m so sorry to hear about all that. It’s really cruddy not being able to reach your long-awaited goals, specifically health related ones. I would suggest getting a second opinion about your shoulder or, if you remember the name of the doctor your saw five years ago, you could call that office and see if they can give you a copy of your records from that visit. A lot of offices keep records for years.

    Here’s hoping everything gets better! I’ll be sending good energy your way.

  3. LittleWit October 8, 2008 at 7:36 am

    I am sorry to hear about the surgeon. I hate when it feels like doctors aren’t paying any attention to you. do you have the ability to go somewhere else for a second opinion? As for yoga, I have found that a good instructor will help you feel comfortable in any class. Is there anywhere else you can go?

  4. Amy October 8, 2008 at 8:47 am

    Okay…was this the Ortho in the Winth. Commerce Center? If so, I’ve heard that he’s a total and complete a-hole. We need to talk about who you went to see. Actually, no, talk to J. He knows more than I do.
    Maybe he can help? Did he just lay off and wait for you to see the ortho?
    Please cry to my husband. If he can’t help you, at least he can call around and make some connections with other docs.
    I’m really sorry for the let down…I know you were excited to feel all new again.

  5. Holly October 8, 2008 at 9:05 am

    Oh Jen, I am so sorry to hear of your disappointments and frustrations. I can so relate to you on the health part. I don’t know who you saw for an orthopedic but I see an excellent one in Augusta. He was the only one that I was able to find that agreed I needed my hip replaced and that I couldn’t wait until I was 50, like all of the other surgeons said I would. At the age of 29, I had my left hip replaced and my hip feels great these days. I live with chronic pain as I have Crohn’s disease related rheumatoid athritis. We have different reasons fir our chronic pain but I do know how you feel. If you are interested in getting a second opinion, which you should if you are able to, and want to know who I see, just e-mail me. I hope you are able to get some relief for your shoulder soon and that you find a different yoga class you can attend. Better days are on their way!

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