It’s been a bad week, a really bad week but this was weirdest thing I have had to deal with. At work yesterday my right arm really started to hurt. I hadn’t done anything but it started to hurt a lot. I took off early yesterday to meet Darren Friesen for coffee. I couldn’t put my arm in my pocket, it hurt that bad. I had to lift it up with my left arm and put it there.
While at The Collective Coffee, I ran into Saskatoon’s Fire Chief, Brian Bentley who introduced me to one of the other firemen there. I shook his hand because you don’t want to look like a total wimp in front of the fire chief. I thought I was going to die. At that point I was starting to wonder a) that there might be something wrong b) how I could I do this wrapping up projects at work.
I came home, took a couple of Advil, put some A535 (I am getting to the age where smelling like ointment is normal I guess) and tried to sleep it off. That didn’t work either. Wendy looks at it and it has this large bump on it. She points out that it may be dislocated. Now my left shoulder was dislocated hundreds of times and has been surgically repaired twice. I know that there has be some sort of incident for a shoulder to pop out. There was no incident but my shoulder is all screwed up and I can’t move my arm outward at all.
We finally headed over to RUH where I tell the triage nurse, “I think I may have dislocated my shoulder”. The triage nurse starts asking about any other injuries because normally people don’t come in with a messed up shoulder and no other injuries. The intake nurse said the same thing. Now the weirdest thing happened. Instead of sending me to a doctor, she ordered the X-Rays herself. I walked up, got x-rays, walked downstairs and the doctor saw me. No wait at all. There are signs up at RUH with stopwatches saying they are timing patient wait times and evaluating how to get things done in fewer steps and it seems to have worked. I was really, really impressed.
The doctor saw me and says, “Your shoulder isn’t separated but you have torn your rotator cuff” Since I was pretty sure I hadn’t pitched any baseball games (and even if I had, I am left handed), I was somewhat shocked and surprised at that diagnosis. The good news is that rest will help it heal. The bad news is that I appear to have entered the stage of life described by Louis CK below.
Looking back at it, I am just glad I got out of RUH without them putting me down. Today the shoulder is fine unless I move it the wrong which is pretty much in any direction.