Robin’s Report (it’s sort of about me today)

Dr. Frank Minor: Member since 1997

Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital: Member since 1985

Body Logic Physical Therapy: Member since 2002

Pu’Ali Fitness: Member Since 2013

One never gets through Life unscathed, and that’s oh too true in my case. The five years of training and competition and 10 years of ice skating professionally with Ice Capades and Holiday on Ice has finally caught up with me. All of those jumps that I didn’t land upright but on my knees and/or Gluteus Maximus, and the times when my partner accidentally dropped me out of a lift or lost his grip and let go of me in a spin have come back to haunt me. In addition, a year old shoulder injury remains annoying. Why am I sharing this with you? Not for sympathy, to be sure, we all have stories to tell, but relating my personal story is a vehicle to report a medical journey from diagnosis through recovery in the hands of members of the Greater Gras Valley Chamber of Commerce.

At the beginning of the month, knowing that I couldn’t put off an evaluation any longer, I opened our chamber membership directory and found Dr. Frank Minor, specialist in orthopaedic surgery, hand and pediatric surgery and SPORTS MEDICINE!  A sports medicine doctor right here in Grass Valley. Whew, that gave me confidence that he would understand the physical challenges that repetitive athletic trauma had wrought.

A call to his office secured an immediate appointment. Upon arrival, Dr. Minor’s staff welcomed me with warmth and kindness, made filling out the paperwork a breeze, and with a minimal wait, ushered me into an exam room where Dr. Minor was waiting to greet me. After relating a bit of background to Dr. Minor he conducted a thorough push-poke and rotate mobility exam, rendered his opinion and sent me off to Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital clutching multiple test requests.

Dr. Minor had requested X-rays, MRIs, and a contrast dye image of the shoulder. I knew that Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital campus had a building dedicated to imaging; we have held chamber committee meeting in the conference room. That’s Building 4,  the Outpatient Imaging and Women’s Center.

All but the image of the shoulder was accomplished in the first round, and an appointment set two days hence to do the final image. Almost everyone has had an X-ray of some sort, and there’s nothing scary about that, but when the image involves “contrast dye” injected into a joint, oh my, the knees are shaking big time!

I related Dr. Minor’s assessment to Keith over a glass of wine at Kane’s, and my trepidation of having the shoulder image done. The fellow in the next seat leaned over and assured me that having the contrast dye injected into the shoulder joint “Wasn’t so bad.” OK, nice to know, but he was a big burly fellow who looked like not much in life fazed him.

On the appointed day, off I went to the imaging center, feeling like the proverbial Lamb…….If you haven’t been into the Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital’s Imaging and Women’s Center, I can assure you that it is impressive. Beautifully and comfortably appointed, it is staffed by professional caregivers who excel in customer service. Until it was my turn, I watched as each patient was shepherded through the experience from registration to final check out. When my number came up on the monitor, a nurse came out to guide me to the changing room and then into X-ray. Yes, they take a preliminary regular X-ray before proceeding with the OMG are you really going to stick a needle in my shoulder? part. Because the procedure is invasive, it is performed by a doctor and guided by a technician. Dr. Martin Engel (Diagnostic Radiologist) told me that the anticipation of having a needle stuck into a joint creates a great deal of stress (oh, really???), and he asked me how I was doing. In life, I’ve learned that attitude is everything, and having decided not to be a weenie about this, I said “Let’s do it, and by the way, I have a 3:00 appointment, will the imaging be finished in time for me to make it?” (Eyeball roll from Dr. Engel.)

Here’s the interesting thing about the contrast dye procedure: You are placed on a table and there’s a panel that’s positioned close to the body above the area to be imaged. My thought was “How in the heck is Dr. Engel going to reach under here to administer the injection?” Adept at his craft and with the disclaimer that “This may sting a little!” he reached under the panel and deftly injected a numbing agent. Not only did it not sting, I didn’t even feel the needle going in! It numbed the area, and as he moved the needle deeper and injected more anesthesia, the entire shoulder turned numb. The next part was easy-big needle lots of dye, and not a moment of discomfort. Really!!!

Off the table, and joined Nurse Jen who escorted me to the MRI. Shoes off, a warm blanket over my legs and a cloth over my eyes (like in the spa) and into the machine. Noisy, rumbly but not uncomfortable….I fell asleep for a bit, and then it was over. Nurse Jen once again escorted me to the changing room and a then to consult with Nurse Ive who made certain that I was OK. And the best part? I was out the door at 2:59!

Does the story end there? No. The next day, Nurse Ive called to make certain that I was faring well. When was the last time a doctor or nurse personally called you at home to follow up?

The following week, Dr. Minor read my films, prescribed a “miracle cream” to quiet the persistent grumble emanating from my knee and shoulder and recommended physical therapy. Where? At Body Logic with John Sievert, PT, DPT, who will help rehabilitate the rotator cuff tear, and then with Bridgette Crawford at Pu’ali Fitness who specialized in crafting muscle strengthening and flexibility regimes for physically challenged folks. Lucky for me, everything I need is right here in Nevada County!

The point of my story is that while we reside in a small town, our community enjoys “big city” quality of care and service. The only “small town” attribute is the “we really care about you” attitude.

Today, a Thank You card arrived from the Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Radiology Department. REALLY!

If you are in need of their services, please contact…………..

Dr. Frank Minor, 152 Catherine Lane, Grass Valley, CA 95945 (530) 273-1111

Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, 155 Glasson Way, Grass Valley, CA 95945 (530) 274-6000

Body Logic PT, 155 Spring Hill Drive, Suite 206 Grass Valley, CA 95945 (530) 272-7306

Pu’ali Fitness, 114-B East Main Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945 (530) 613-0253