My mid-life rebuild

The body is a system, I’ve always heard. I’ve been learning it the empirical way lately.

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For a number of months, my right shoulder had been keeping me awake at night and away from any form of exercise. I went in for an x-ray, learning that I had a big clot of calcium lying on my rotator cuff. After a cortisone shot failed to resolve it, I had a surgery on my shoulder (the shots often dissolve the calcium, but it is something you don’t want to do a lot, because cortisone breaks down tendons, too). My shoulder feels great.

In fact, you can see how good my shoulder looks, which is, according to my doctor, as healthy as a much younger man’s. That big white lump glowing in the foreground of the picture at the right is the gob of calcium, which was described to me as having the consistency of Gruyére cheese. The doc scooped it out and I felt great for a few days. On the left, you can see my smooth and healthy rotator cuff and the tendon that connects my tricep, I believe.

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I think of the good tendons as a foundation for rebuilding.

Then, as I adjusted to my revitalized shoulder—I’d been holding it oddly for some time—my back went into spasm. And, it hurt. It hurt really, really bad. That led to a pinched nerve in my neck, which hurt even worse and led to the loss of feeling in my middle and index fingers, as well as the back of my left hand. After several weeks of pain, I ended up lying in an MRI machine today.

I’ve had a bad back and neck for years, something I always tried to avoid having surgery to resolve. Looks like I won’t be able to avoid it much longer.

Once I get this taken care of, I’m looking forward to getting back on a bike, exercising generally and getting some time in on the slopes with my kids. I might have to wait another year to rehab. But I figure this is my mid-life rebuild, so that I can enjoy wandering around the world with Kiera. I suppose that, once I’m healed, I’ll be doing some erg blogging.

On Wednesday morning I see the spine surgeon and find out the course of treatment. Stay tuned for pictures of my spine, if I’m headed for surgery.

Author: Mitch Ratcliffe

Mitch Ratcliffe is a veteran entrepreneur, journalist and business model hacker. He operates this site, which is a collection of the blogs he's published over the years, as well as an archive of his professional publishing record. As always, this is a work in progress. Such is life.