The Best Way to Solve a Problem

Well, mission accomplished. All doctoring for 2020 is complete and it’s ‘only’ October.

Dentist: X-rays taken. Teeth cleaned.

Dermatologist: Moles checked. Two biopsied.

Doctor: Vitals taken. Blood drawn.

Mammogram: Left boob squeezed. Right boob squeezed.

For the record, this, all of this, is a big deal. While I have the utmost respect for all medical professionals, I’d prefer not to hang out with them while they are at work. Nothing personal, you understand. It has more to do with me than with them.

I am most grateful I have nine more years until my next colonoscopy, as it was just about a year ago, I underwent my first.

The ‘prep work’ made for a memorable Halloween. The hubby and I sat out on the front porch, rocking the evening away while handing out candy to the trick-or-treaters; he sipped on his lemon/lime flavored bubbly water, while I sipped on my MiraLAX laced lemon/lime Gatorade. (At least he wasn’t drinking a margarita.)

The next morning, as I lay waiting in the procedure room, I tried easing my anxiety by summoning thoughts of gratitude. All I could muster was being grateful I wasn’t wearing my contacts, so if I should ever see the doctor again, I wouldn’t recognize him.

I went into panic mode when I was told to roll onto my left side. My left side. Little did they, know I hadn’t lain on my left side for weeks, due to a pesky little pain in my shoulder. Given the fact I complain only to those I love the most, I kept my mouth shut, (making it easier to clench my teeth), rolled onto my side, and placed my right hand on the bed in front of me in attempt to shoulder some of the weight. (Hee hee.)

Fortunately, it wasn’t long before a nice anesthesiologist injected something wonderful into my IV. The last thing I remember was talking about how great the skiing was in British Columbia.

The next thing I remember was waking up in recovery, telling the nurse that was some awesome stuff the anesthesiologist gave me. (She told me Michael Jackson thought it was wonderful as well. That was a bit awkward.)

At any rate, the pain in my shoulder continued throughout the winter. It throbbed. It ached. And when I made a sudden movement, it stabbed. Mobility was limited. Normal activities, like walking the dog or taking clothes out of the washer, occasionally brought me to tears. Getting dressed was frustrating (taking off a sweaty sports bra is frustrating even when you can put your arm above your head) and painful. My husband even took over ponytail duty, as I couldn’t raise my arm high enough to get a proper ponytail. (Yeah. Just think about that for a minute.)

Now you may be wondering, why didn’t I just go to the doctor?

Well, let me tell you. I’m blaming my parents. My mom was a nurse (until her favorite child was a born…that would be me, in case you were wondering) and my dad was self employed. In other words, going to the doctor wasn’t a thing unless I happened to have a temperature of 103 and was so lethargic I couldn’t move off the couch to open presents. (Christmas of 1977, I believe.)

By the end of January, I finally had enough and consulted WebMD. Always a good idea. I diagnosed myself with a torn rotator cuff and knew waiting for it to magically disappear wasn’t a smart option (despite the popularity of that strategy currently).

I contacted the doctor’s office (online), and made an appointment for the end of March.

I mean really, what was another two months when I’d already waited three?

But we all know what happened mid March, don’t we? Darn Covid. So my appointment was rescheduled for the end of April.

My doctor (you can read all about my love, deep admiration and stalking of her here.) patiently listened to me complain, instructed me to move my arm (forward, to the side, behind me, up over my head), ordered x-rays, and promptly sent me to an orthopedic sports medicine doctor who looked at the x-ray, attempted to move my arm, and proceeded to diagnose a frozen shoulder.

A little prednisone, a little physical therapy, a little time, and I was as good as new (or at least as good as new as a 53 year old can get) and ready to hit the links. (I’m just saying that. I don’t actually golf.)

So by now (if you are still reading, and thanks, btw, if you still are), you are probably thinking who cares? What’s your point?

Because this is about so much more than my shoulder.


Everything. (Okay, that may be a bit of an overstatement, but I think it lends itself well to many of the issues we have in the world today…gun violence, natural disasters, racism, etc.)

To begin with, ignoring a problem doesn’t work.

Yes, some problems do resolve themselves, but others just show up on a new day and in a different way.

Problems need to be acknowledged. However, mere acknowledgement won’t make them go away.

We need to get educated. We need to listen to the experts to understand what the truth is. We need to listen to each other to find common ground.

Then, we can begin to solve the problem.

(And for the record, I talked to God about my pain. Told Him it would be awesome if He would make it go away. Pretty sure He rolled his eyes and said, “I gave you a brain and medical insurance. Use them.”)

Something to Eat

Falafel with Homemade Pita Bread

Recipe by Kathy Patalsky of Happy Healthy Life

One of my favorite places to grab a quick bite is our local pita place. I am obsessed with their falafel, pickled turnips, sriracha hummus, and of course, their pita bread. But due to Covid, we have been avoiding restaurant eating. And, since it’s too messy to eat in the car (I speak from experience), and it’s too long of a drive to bring it home (haven’t tried, but I feel pretty confident on this as well), I have been going falafelless. So, imagine my excitement when I saw this recipe. At first I was reluctant to attempt it due to the whole frying in oil thing, because a.) baking is healthier, and b.) frying is messy. Just want you to know…I have no regrets. And can we just talk about the magic of making your own pita bread?

Something to Read

Writing to Persuade

by Trish Hall

Do you love writing? Read this book. Do you hate writing? Read this book. Do you have zero opinions about writing? Well, first of all, really? You have no opinion? Not saying I don’t believe you, but I don’t believe you. Rest assured, this book is about so much more than persuasive writing. It’s a book about how to effectively communicate, and how to get along despite our differences. And Trish Hall writes in a way that is enjoyable and entertaining to read. (Whether writing is your thing or not.)

Something to Ponder

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.

Albert Einstein

And with that I’ll wrap this up. As always, I appreciate your time and I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

2 thoughts on “The Best Way to Solve a Problem

  1. Saw this on the Internet one day and it made me think…..

    People sometimes wonder why God allows so much suffering in the world.
    Maybe instead we should wonder why we do.

    I think we try to relieve the suffering of the world’s “painful shoulders” but I totally agree that more can be done by education, opening our eyes and ears to the truth, and using our brains to begin solving these problems.

    Good read, Karen!


    1. I love that. So very true and definitely makes me reflect on my own actions (or lack thereof). Also reminds me of the song “If We Are the Body” by Casting Crowns. Trying really hard to focus on the positives during these times, not always easy, but if we want peace, we definitely need to change our actions. Thank you for taking the time to comment, Lori. I deeply appreciate your thoughts.


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