Sports injury. No big: ice, rest, anti-inflammatory meds, and give it a week or so off. Two weeks later, yoga class. And straight home to make an appointment with the local shoulder doctor. Or, ideally, with the local shoulder doctor's PA.
Oddly, I got right in. I wonder if they keep track of how many Linton shoulders they have dealt with? Do we get a volume discount? Is it like a frequent buyer deal?
The shoulder doctor's PA –– a young guy with a cheerful straight-arrow bedside manner –– came in, moved the ouchy arm around, and looked at my x-ray. Then he laid out my options.
I would need an MRI to be sure, but either I'd have some minor injury in muscle x or tendon y, or else it was a torn rotator cuff. He made a face and summarized the latter, "In which case, you're pretty much fucked."
He would know.
Fast forward to this morning, the shoulder doctor's Fellow –– another personable young guy with good people skills –– walked us through the results of the MRI: the usual wear-and-tear on the ball-joint for someone my age (!), excellent cartilege margins, good-looking subscapularis tendon with no tears, muscles look good (why thank you!), infraspinatus looks fine, supraspinatus tendon no tears. In short, an intact rotator.
However, he said, pointing at the grey image on the screen, where the supraspinatus comes into the arm –– where it should be clear and defined –– (I nodded, though it was like admiring someone's sonogram photo. It always look a little like an inkblot) –– it appears, the Fellow said, "a bit frayed."
Wisdom of the body: when things get frayed, inflammation steps up and says, "No, no, bad dog!" In order to keep the stubborn user of the frayed tendon from continuing to overuse the damn thing, inflammation ladles up a heaping dose of pain and weakness. Which causes one to remember to ice, rest, and anti-infammatory the snot out of oneself.
Did that mean I should NOT sail next week? I asked. He laughed. Well, if you mean sailing with an umbrella drink in hand while he –– nodding at my favorite skipper –– does all the work? Sure.
Icepack at the ready, ibuprofen at hand, I will be on shore for a bit.
Andyman to the rescue!