In this, the 160th time I have put pen to paper (or more honestly, fingers to keyboard), I thought it would be appropriate to begin with some serious technology, hence the QR code.  Do let me know if you can read this...and if not, I guess you could let me know that as well, but you may also want to download another app onto your smart-phone.

First, a medical update….Head nurse Gillian arrived Wednesday last week and the following day we went to la clinica for the procedure on my shoulder.  Relatively short waiting time, and then I was whisked (wearing a fab bluish-gown thingy, as you do) into theatre.  After some doctor-wanna-be enquired as to which shoulder they were supposed to play with (which he duly marked with a big black "X,") I was wheeled into the surgical suit where another doc-wanna-be lathered up my shoulder with an iodine-type solution.  I an not sure if he was being cautious or just wanted to use up a 55 gallon drum of the stuff, but my body was then 1/2 orange and I am sure the Hilton sisters would have been completely jealous of the festive pumpkin colour.

Next it was the administration on the anaesthesia.  I had been told that I would be completely under for the procedure, as they would use Propofol (assuming that Michael Jackson's doctor hadn't used the world's supply). But as I was laying there waiting to drift along to la-la land, I noticed that I could feel someone who was apparently sitting on my left-side holding the shoulder in place.  Then I became aware of a sound of a disk grinder, which was chipping away at the bones that were aggravating the tendon problem assumedly.   Although I did feel as if I was a Black & Decker convention, I luckily did not hear anyone mutter “oops” in Spanish.  This went on for almost an hour, and then I was taken to a recovery room for a while, and then to a hospital room where I spent the night.  After the surgeon stopping in the following morning to ask how I was and give me several scripts for the pain, I was whisked away safely to the Sol y Mar Rehabilitation facility, which is my home, of course.    On the following Wednesday it was back to see my doc to check out how things are healing, then hopefully a plan for some physio-therapy (this one handed typing lark has been pure shit). His examination verified that all was healing well and (thankfully), he said I could stop using the rather pesky sling I had been given to keep my left arm from moving. All in all, I think that the surgeon did a brilliant piece of work and the whole healing process does seem to be moving along.

Since that exam, I have stopped taking the pain meds – they just messed up my stomach as much as they took the edge off the hurt – and made the major accomplishments (for me at least) of being able to put on a jumper by myself, and on Saturday, driving a car for the first time. Needless to say, after my auto excursion, my shoulder was feeling pretty buggered. Oh well…all part of the healing I assume.

Yesterday I went to the doctor’s office and he pulled out the stitches. I had told him that I drove there by myself, and he just rolled his eyes. I am looking in my Spanish-English dictionary to see what that means, but I assume he didn’t think I could (or should) be doing that already. Ooops.

On day four after the op (it is now day 10 as I write this letter), I decided to attempt something constructive. Just sitting waiting for my shoulder to get better was driving me a bit bonkers.  For those of you who know me, and I do mean really know me, you are probably aware that I do have a fair bit of computer technology at hand. One of my computers has, for the umpteenth time, gone to computer heaven and this time it appeared to be for good. Sadly, I couldn't even get it to fire up to clean off the hard-drive, so I thought I would simply remove it before binning the computer. Taking a laptop apart with two hands probably isn’t all that easy (especially if you don’t know what you are doing), but with one good hand, it was a bit of an adventure. I did manage to retrieve the hard-drive (and the disk-drive, but not sure why I saved that) and later that day, conducted a memorial service for the remains.

Now it is time to share what else I have been up to here on the island.


(note the completely empty space here?)


Right, other than visualising my shoulder healing, I have been doing absolutely flippin' nothing.  Hopefully soon I will be back to (my version) of normalcy on the island...with two functioning shoulders.


of course, it is so clear



my mocha choka lata health-care plan advisor



the patient explaing system dynamics to the nurse in hospital



what was left after freeing the hard drive



the Dr JBR version of normalcy

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copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011  James B. Rieley