What do I do with this information?



Image: Jason Ortego via Unsplash

Image: Jason Ortego via Unsplash

On my way out of the office yesterday afternoon, a co-worker stopped me and said “the police are looking for a man in a trench coat, carrying a duffel bag.”

What am I supposed to do with that information?

Never mind me.  I’ll just go four floors down into the parking deck all by myself.

I wasn’t really worried, but I will admit I looked around when I stepped out of the elevator.

I suppose I could have spotted someone.  But in an office building, when it’s not cold, but still chilly outside, seeing someone in a trench coat carrying a duffel bag really isn’t that unusual.  There are days that could almost describe me.

Really, it was useless information.

We live in a time when suspicious persons and suspicious packages still cause us to pause and think.

We also live in time when we’re saturated with information.  We have 24-hour news cycles, we have all the information we need right at our fingertips, usually on our phones.

I have a friend who doesn’t watch television, doesn’t do social media, and doesn’t carry a cell phone.  He will also likely never read this.

Sometimes I envy him.  And no, not because he doesn’t read my blog.

At any given time, I’m dealing with too much information. There are too many fascinating news stories that don’t really affect me.  It’s not that I don’t care; it’s just that I can’t process all the information.

I know myself well enough to know that I’ll never completely unplug.  I like to know what’s going on.  I like to keep in touch.

I like the fact that I have friends in Missouri, and Washington State, and Africa, and China that I can pretty much reach on a daily basis.

True, I often have to filter through the silliness and the Cheezburger cats to get to them.

As much as I like communicating with friends I also enjoy the times of getting away. Times of quiet.

They are rare.

That’s why I’ve started this week picking a time to shut down the electronics and spend some time reading before bed.  I know for a fact that if I’m not in bed and nearly asleep by 11:00 p.m. that I won’t drag my behind out of bed and make it to the YMCA.

Making it to the YMCA is important so that I can get some exercise in the pool and, right now, so that I can loosen up the shoulder.

Yes, I’m still dealing with that.

You’ve heard or read about the late-great shoulder unpleasantness.

You’ve heard me talk about the side effects of the pain narcotics, about loss of sleep, about physical therapy.

So, last week the doctor sent me for an EMG because while the movement of the arm was increasing, the strength was not returning.

He said “you could have nerve damage.”

Within 30 seconds of beginning the EMG, the doctor performing the test said, “You have nerve damage; I just have to find out where.”

Turns out it’s the C5 nerve.

This changes so many things.

As it turns out, I do not have a shoulder injury that mirrors that of John Watson, so my portrayal of him in Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure was all…just pretend…so to speak.

Right now the treatment remains basically the same because there is still a lack of mobility and strength in the left arm.

But, I’ve also been referred to a spine doctor about whom the shoulder doctor said “he may recommend surgery.”

I. Don’t. Think. So.

It’s not that I lack confidence in the medical profession, but I lack confidence in the medical profession.

After almost nine months of treating the problem elsewhere I’m a little skeptical that someone would say “Here’s the problem, pass the scalpel.”

I’m still carrying around in my truck the CD of the MRI.  One doctor said “rotator tear, you’ll need surgery,” and one said “no tear, you won’t need surgery.”

See what I mean?

I’m regrouping.  I’m reconsidering just how much longer I’m going to trust this process.  I’m in a lot less pain, and the strength and movement are slowly returning.  I’m sure physical therapy has helped that.  But I also attribute a lot of that to my chiropractor.

So, wait, how did I start this post?  By talking about useless information and what to do with it.

I have to decide what to do with the new information about my shoulder/neck/left side.

I suppose you could consider this entire post useless information.  Of course with my weakened shoulder I’d have trouble stopping a man in a trench coat carrying a duffel bag.

I guess this all makes sense if you consider that this information and my left arm are both pretty useless.

I’d make this post a little less useless and a little more brilliant, but I’m actually writing this on Wednesday night and my self-imposed early to bedtime is approaching.

That’s pretty important information.


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