Friday, March 27, 2009

Patience Is Not My Virtue

I woke up this morning and my right neck, shoulder, and upper back were all stiff and I had limited range of motion. So I decided to go to urgent care and get it checked out. For those outside of the U.S., urgent care is not the same as ER (Emergency Room). Urgent Care is actually for not terribly urgent illnesses/injuries, but if you can't get in to see your regular doctor, you can go to urgent care. In fact, Todd's dad (who is a medical doctor) used to own and run two urgent care centers in Ohio called "Rapid Response". (Oh the stories he has from that, LOL!) So off I went to the Sharp Urgent Care near my house. I signed in and there was only one person in front of me. The doctor came in and checked my shoulder and back and pushed around. I described how I injured myself at Pilates class at the beginning of the month. It felt better after two weeks, but I somehow re-injured myself two days ago, again. He said I have a muscle tear and it's very common for people to feel better and DO too much, and aggravate the injury again. I described my activities and he said I need to rest it more, stretch gently, and take it easy for two weeks. So that's when I piped up tentatively with my question... "Umm... I'm training for a half-marathon... can I run? I'm supposed to run 10 miles tomorrow..." He said, "You can run that long?" At this point I perked up and said, "Yea, I'm running with a training group and I ran 14 miles last Saturday." He said, "That's impressive! But you know you use your shoulders and upper back when you run. You should cut your running in half. So you can go five or six miles tomorrow." Yay! And he said to stretch every hour, because as soon as you don't move the muscles, they stiffen up or lock up. I told him that's probably why it's the most stiff and hurt in the morning. He said yes, try gently stretching under the hot shower in the morning, and rub the area with a muscle cream like Icy Hot or Ben-Gay afterwards. He was very nice and wanted to know if I had any other concerns or questions. He said he's going to be 39 years old next month too, and that keeping active is good, and running is very good exercise. And that I should see some of the other 39 year olds coming to urgent care, LOL. He made me feel better, and I'm so glad I don't have a more serious injury. He did say that recovery takes more time as we get older. I guess I need more patience with my recovery. But as Todd can tell you, patience is not my strength! The doctor sent me on my way with prescription-strength motrin and a muscle relaxant for bedtime so I don't wake up so stiff and hurt. The reason I'm going on and on about my urgent care visit is because I love Sharp Healthcare. It's SO not your stereotypical uncaring doctors and nurses. EVERYONE who works there pays attention to you like you're a real person. They ask questions, they ask if you have questions. They listen! And they do it all with a smile. It is SUCH an incredible difference between them and the OTHER place that we had to keep going to in 2005 when Todd had his Spontaneous Intracranial Hypotension (SIH) and he had to see a neurologist. That other hospital system was cold, steril, and treated people horribly. It made Todd's illness even more stressful to me. It's such a contrast at Sharp Healthcare. I love my primary care doctor and the urgent care there. They just make being ill or injured a little less stressful, instead of more stressful. And I'm not alone in liking them... in 2007 Sharp Healthcare won the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award. I had a couple of requests to show how I made the layout yesterday with the photos making up a word.
  1. Open up a new layout in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements.
  2. Type your word with a thick/chubby font. In this case I used the font "Impact" at 250 size.
  3. Make sure your font layer is highlighted in the layers palette. Now we need to "rasterize" the font so that we can use it as a clipping mask. "Rasterize" simply means converting the font from a vector graphic to a bitmap graphic. For PS, go to the Layer menu and choose Rasterize, then Type. For PSE, go to Layer menu and choose "Simplify". Photobucket
  4. Open the photo you want to use to "clip" to the word, and drag it to the layer above the word layer. Photobucket
  5. Now we're going to clip the photo to the word. In PS: CTRL+ALT+G. In PSE: CTRL+G. Photobucket
After you clip it, you can move the photo around inside the word until the photo showing is to your liking. Then hit CTRL+E to merge it together. I added a soft drop-shadow to it. That is all there is to clipping a photo to a typed-out word! You can use the same method to clip a piece of digital paper to your word or title. Neato eh? :)


  1. Oh Christine - sorry to hear about your shoulder. It must be frustrating to have to cut back on your running. Well, my mom turned 70 on the same day you turned 39, and she hurt her back golfing and her ankle in the Penney's parking lot the very next day, so we had a chuckle about that. Must be the post-birthday thing. I'll be very careful this spring when I turn 48!

    I think those tacos and one of those $1.25 churros would make me feel MUCH better. Take care,

  2. I should be going to bed, but I may have to play a little with photoshop and your super cool tutorial..

    Thanks for your sweet birthday wishes..I had the best day just hanging out with the family.

    I'm sorry about your torn muscle..ouch! Aren't nice medical people wonderful?? I had to take one of my kids to the pediatrician today..they are the best and it makes the getting well process so much easier!

    I'm glad you get to run tomorrow..praying for fast healing..have a great weekend.

  3. So sorry to hear about your shoulder. It was so kind of you to give this little tut on the letters. I've always wanted to try this.

    Hope you are feeling better soon!

  4. Glad to hear it's not TOO serious...but man, 10 miles...half is still a long run. I'll pray for you to slow down a bit so you will have a speedy recovery :)

  5. I'm so sorry to hear your shoulder is still bothering you. :( I hope you get back to normal soon.

    Are people in California always so nice? I'm actually in Laguna Hills right now helping my aunt move to Colorado. Everywhere I go people are so nice. From the gas station and fast food places to the people at the airport. Even at the grocery store we stopped in yesterday. I mean everyone is so nice. A lot nicer than they are in Colorado. LOL

    It's so beautiful here. Something about how green everything is. I had a chance to drive by the ocean today to get a few pictures and it was just amazing.

    Beautiful and people are nice. Maybe I should move here. LOL

  6. Oh Christine - I´m so sorry to hear about your shoulder. Hope you are feeling better soon!

    Great to hear you´ve found friendly medical people!

    And many thanks for that tut.


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