Blasts from the Past

"My Diabetes Brain really takes delight in embarassing me on doctor's appointments, like the time I went so low sitting in his office that my whole time was spent trying to stabilize my blood sugar, depriving me of the chance to talk about an infection that was developing. The nurse came up with some chocolate chip cookies, and I drove home high."

I visited the same doctor and office that I wrote about above on 3/21, followed by routine lab work. His office and the lab are part of a teaching university, so it was no surprise that a student tried to take my blood--tried is the operating word. She couldn't get my blood, but she sure could cause pain! This experience reminded me of the time, decades ago, when I went for a routine blood draw at a different teaching university lab, accompanied by my five year old son. At the time my right arm was frozen at the elbow, stuck at my waist level, by Rheumatoid Arthritis. I was seated, offering my left arm to the student, but she grabbed my right arm and tried to straighten it out--ha! I jumped up, knocking over her tray with her apparatus and someone else's blood all over the floor--broken glass and blood everywhere. My son said, "I don't want any of that!" (It didn't cause him any permanent damage since he grew up to be a doctor.)

Fast forward a few years and we moved to Ohio from New York. Our new home was broken into two weeks after moving into it. Should we get a burglar alarm or a dog? we asked ourselves. We got both, including a Rough Collie and a Sheltie. At that time we didn't know the AKC methods of heeling, that the dog should be on leash, staying at your left side, and matching your speed. I took Rick the Collie hiking many times, letting him pull me with my right arm, and little by little he stretched my still "stuck" arm out straight! Aren't dogs great!

Rick's "physical therapy" is long over. In October, 2013, I dislocated my right shoulder, so I'm still in physical therapy for my arm and shoulder. Shades of the past--I am resigned to one sort of PT or other for the rest of my life. Right now I'm lobbying for some exercise equipment here at home, so that I'm not at the mercy of snow, ice, excessive heat, floods... Naturally I prefer to hike with our Golden Retrievers (properly heeling on my left) to any other exercise. Again, aren't dogs great!

Dogs are great. But I have my own frozen shoulder story. I was helping my son do a science experiment for the science fair and I slipped down a bank so in my wisdom (or lack there of) i grabbed a tree and wrapped my right arm around it. I did stop but oh my shoulder hurt.

Being a stubborn sort I let it go and resigned my self t the idea that if I did not raise it to beyond a certain point it sis not hurt as much. Well that range of motion decreased for a few years and eventually i could not raise it at all.

In fact it started trembling and shaking uncontrollably without regard to any sort of activity. i looked like Sr Strange Love. So i went to PT and the nice lady grabbed it and yanked it hard it hurt like heck and before long I was able to move it again.

I say before long meaning twice a week for three months. Today it is pain free, so long as I do not stop my self with a tree. haha that rhymed sort of. LOL

Good luck!!!


Hi Rick. There's a warning in there somewhere, so if I start sliding down a wooded hill, I will just keep going and not latch onto a branch! I hope this hypothetical hill has a soft landing at the bottom, maybe a nice mud puddle rather than a lake...

Aha, Trudy. I have always wondered why your picture is a collie (or is it a sheltie?). Now I know!

Hi David. Rick, who straightened out my arm for me, was a sable Collie (like Lassie). He was our first Collie, our first stud as we began breeding Collies and Shelties. We bought Lacey, the blue-merle Collie of my avatar, for her beauty, athleticism and sweet temperament. I enjoyed showing her in Conformation and Obedience in the U.S. and Canada, and still love seeing her unique face on my avatar. We've had a number of breeds over the years, but Collies are still my favorite; all the rest are tied for second!

Love it, Trudy. I could use "Rick Therapy", too. I suffered for over a year with a rotator cuff injury on the right after a fall in my garden. When it was finally at about 95% after lots of PT, I took another fall that bruised a bone in my right elbow---okay there's another year. That elbow that used to hyper-extend, now looks normal but hurts to bend fully.

I keep telling myself that I am maybe staving off old-age dementia by exercising the other side of my brain than I normally would---I was seriously right-handed.

Love.....Judith in Portland

Hi Judith, you're had two too many falls! I fell over the low garden fence that was around a little flower garden with crooks for Hummingbird feeders hanging from them. The Hummers' garden is now fence-free. I'm also right-handed, but I've become somewhat ambidextrous--don't know if that has any benefit for my brain or not!

Judith, I fell about 8 or 9 years ago. I managed both to dislocate a finger on one hand and mess up the rotator cuff on the other side (sound familiar?). PT on both; the rotator cuff came back about 98% (just the odd twinge once in a great while) but the finger won't bend completely and has a small (but permanent) bend. And yeah, it took a year or more to get that far. Between the age and the diabetes, healing just ain't what used to be. Sigh.

My Dearest Trudy, I just love you so much!

David (dns).....While I try to resist the whole "misery loves company" thing--thank you. I, too am at about 98% and going thru the process of accepting that this is the new range of motion. Healing, age, the D. Yes.

Somewhere I remember reading that one way of understanding our D scourge is as Accelerated Aging. That feels right to me. Sigh, indeed.....Blessings

GinaY---I agree...

Gina and Judith, I am so grateful to you both; I love you, too!

Update: 5/22/14 was the last day of my Physical Therapy for my shoulder/arm. We agreed it was now at 90%. Today, 5/27/14, was my first day of working out at their Fitness Center. On my own now, I'm aiming for 100%, someday...