Icon WebMD Expert Blogs

Family Webicine

with Rod Moser, PA, PhD

This blog has been retired.


The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, review, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have... Expand

The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, reviews, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Do not consider WebMD User-generated content as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Shouldering the Burden…Again

By Rod Moser, PA, PhD

Shoulder Injury

I can’t see it, but I know it’s there: that proverbial dark cloud has been hovering over me for over a year now.

I had rotator cuff surgery to repair a bad tear in November. Naively thinking I would be back to work in two weeks, I didn’t cancel my patients beyond that time. A month ago, about four months after my surgery, I was finally able to return full-time to my clinic. I was going stir crazy at home. If it wasn’t for my blogs and WebMD, I think my brain would have shriveled up and died. While I knew that I was not completely healed, I thought that on-the-job occupational therapy would be as good, if not better, than my grueling, weekly physical therapy appointments.

At the beginning of March, I was doing my favorite office surgeries, putting arm casts on skateboarders and dealing with the endless dance of sick and injured humans. I was happy again. Yesterday, an 8-year-old stabbed his 16-year-old sister in the arm with a sharpened wooden pencil. I had to do some extensive probing to remove three large pieces of graphite and wood. You don’t get to do those fun things while recuperating at home.

Throughout the month, my left shoulder was still problematic and painful, so I finally saw the surgeon again. He ordered another MRI (my favorite), and I heard the verdict today: I have two more major tears in the rotator cuff. The part he repaired was fine, but it tore lower in the tendon this time. I was informed that I would need another, more extensive surgery, adding some tissue “scaffolding” to the damaged area, either a pig or human skin mesh. Oink!  I am not sure which one is ickier; a slab of someone else’s skin (from which part of the body?) or an uncooked pork rind.

So, I am heading back to the operating room again. I requested a different anesthesiologist since the last one cause corneal abrasions in both of my eyes from improper taping. This is going to be a very lengthy and technical arthroscopic procedure by the same surgeon. The recovery will be equally as long and probably more painful, assuming my black cloud lives up to its reputation.

I have been assured that this time will be the definitive repair. “We will see,” said the one-armed man.

Last time, it was six weeks sleeping (sort of) in a reclining chair, pain medications around the clock (with all of their side effects), and boredom.  Toward the end of my last surgery, I started to write a novel about my youth growing up in a small Appalachian town. I completed the outline and did some research and made a strong effort to do the first (the most difficult) chapter. I cursed myself for zoning out in English class and for not taking creative writing in college. I read numerous first chapters from my favorite authors and felt discouraged that I would never be able to weave words like those true novelists.  I guess that now I will have a second crack at the book.  I also have two medical lectures to write before September, so I can finish those up as well.

For a year, my wife and I have been planning my first trip to Europe (France and Germany) with another couple. We had to cancel the trip three years ago, when one of our traveling companions came down with lymphoma. She is fine now. Our other trip was nearly cancelled when I developed kidney stones, so maybe God is sending me a message: Stay home!

I will keep you posted as I attempt to endure American medicine one more time…as a very reluctant and apprehensive patient.

Photo: Creatas

Posted by: Rod Moser, PA, PhD at 3:52 pm

Subscribe & Stay Informed

WebMD Daily

Get your daily dose of healthy living, diet, exercise and health news from WebMD!


WebMD Health News