Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Enough Vicoden and I Will Agree to Anything

Proverbs 20:29
Aging sucks. As much as I want gray hair, because I think it is cool and makes a person look wise, I do not appreciate all the extra age related stuff that goes with it.

For the last year, I have been fighting a painful battle with my shoulders. I have been in the hospital 3 times for what the doctors have told me was bursitis. Read about one of those visits here. My most recent episode was last week and I was given the same diagnosis.

Since then, I have been pretty well drugged up on painkillers (I totally understand now why people take these for fun) and anti-inflammatory medication. Yesterday, I saw an orthop├Ždic specialist, who sent me to a physical therapist today.  Thursday, I will be back at the hospital to get a sonogram on my shoulders. Maybe they think my shoulder is pregnant. I don't know. Although, it would make sense that there is something living inside there. Sometimes it feels like the bone is being gnawed on.

It is frustrating to have pain and not understand why it is happening. Luckily, my pain is not present all the time, but when it does flair up, it is horrible. I can barely move without crumbling over in agony. However, I believe this physical therapist may have found the problem. I am about to have a few very unpleasant months, but it will be worth it if he is correct.

I saw this same man about 10 years ago for a back problem that I had dealt with for the previous 15 years. He theorized that the problem was not in my back, but was a problem in my hip. A quick adjustment and a few weeks of therapy and I was cured of a major issue I had endured for over a decade.

So, when the orthop├Ždic doctor handed me my papers and said I could go to any physical therapist I wanted, I knew who I wanted to see. At his office today, after me telling him my story of what has happened for the last year, he had me do a few movements to observe my mobility. Things like raise my arms above my head and straight out. Try to scratch my back as high as I can. Of course, I don't know what he is looking for, but he kept making small grunts. A-HA!  OK!  Uh-Huh! He would then write on his notepad.

Based on what he saw, he had me try a few more things and then told me what he thought the problem was. I have tightness in my post-blah-blob-jiggity-ascular area. This is somewhere in the back of my shoulder. Since it is so tight, it restricts my movement (which I don't even notice) and I compensate with other parts of my body, causing the flair-ups which would not be happening if I could move naturally.

He then told me that over the course of the next few months I would begin to hate him. Apparently, the exercises to fix this and stretch out the area are not pleasant. However, before he can do the therapy, I have to prepare the area at home with some pre-stretching.

According to the therapist, a shoulder with full range of motion should be able to lay their arm flat on the surface while in this position. My left arm goes to about 45 degrees before the pain kicks in and my right arm (the one I am having problems with this time) does not like to rotate at all. Pain or not, it just stops even with pressure. The muscle (or tendon or old piece of shrapnel, whatever it is) is too tight to allow for the movement. This is part of what he claims will be the reason I will not like him. Before I go back for my therapy on May 9, I should be able to get my right arm to a 45 degree angle. If not, we cannot begin treatment.

I started as soon as I got home and I have to say, I HATE THAT MAN. This sucks. Before seeing him, if I started to feel discomfort, I stopped what I was doing to find another way to accomplish my task without pain. Now, I am supposed to purposefully hurt myself in order to do it correctly.

I actually have a decent tolerance for pain. Due to my past back issues, I have dealt with pain most of my life, but this hurts. He told me that I will be very sore from these stretches and we was right. I have only done it once so far and I hurt more now than I did before I went to the hospital. According to him, they should slowly begin to stretch and I will see some progress each day. In the meantime, I am wondering what he is going to do in therapy since this is just the stretching to prepare for what is coming.

I am very happy that we are finally going to get this taken care of, but the good doctor and I may not be on speaking terms for a while after this.

31 comments:

  1. Well I wish that guy would come see me. I have had some spots in my back causing me issues for almost a year, and I just live with it. Hot Showers, stretching, and whatever else helps pretend to make it ease up!

    I am glad you have relief in your future. Tell him to come to Arkansas when he is done.

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    1. Thank you. I will pass the message on to him. He said he should be done with me in about 6 months.

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  2. No pain, no gain! Odd that in order to relieve the pain, you must endure even more pain.

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    1. Yeah. I was trying to think of one of those workout slogans for motivation. I can't find one that works for me.

      That which doesn't kill me makes me stronger.
      Except AIDS, since it pretty much destroys your immune system.

      Pain is just weakness leaving the body.
      Sometimes it is a limb being ripped off. That is pain and a leg leaving the body.

      Obsessed is a word the weak use to describe the dedicated.
      Or people with OCD.

      What the mind believes the body achieves.
      Really? Tell that to kids who jumped off their roof wearing a cape.

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  3. Oh, can I help? Can I? Can I?

    My physical therapist had a sign on the mirror. It was a pirate flag and said "the beatings will continue until morale improves". True. Very true.

    I think your shoulder is going to have a baby raccoon. Those suckers gnaw on stuff all the time. You should name your baby raccoon Pepe.
    ...I think I'm having sympathy pains for you. Although it could just be the fact that I moved my entire life across country and unloaded into a giant 3-storey pile!

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    1. We've had several pet raccoons. They tend to shred anything they can get a hold of.

      I find out in a week what he meant by, "You won't like me."

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  4. That sounds terrible but it'll be worth it in the end.

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    1. That's what I keep telling myself. It will be great to know that I won't keep having to go back to the E.R.

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  5. That's pretty scary - given the unknown exercises he will have you do, and yet he seems to know what the heck he's talking about, so it's also reassuring - that in 6 months you will likely feel SOOOOOO much better in so many ways.

    You can do this. You're Ford tough. Or like a Rock, if you prefer Chevy.

    This is like your slow, quiet version of Rocky. These painful exercises are like you running laps and jumping rope. You can beat the Russian. You WILL beat the Russian!!

    Good luck!!

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    1. I don't really care about vehicles so either motto will do. I am into movies, so the Rocky analogy works for me. I am going to beat this thing to show what a good patriot I am.

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    2. Does that mean you are headed out to the woods to put some nature in your training?

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    3. No. It just means I am going to listen to a lot of James Brown.

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    4. I don't know karate, but I know ca-razy! (yes he do!)

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    5. Anything to take down the Russian.

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  6. How but "that which doesn't kill you, will probably maim you for life."

    And I still haven't forgiven you for the letter trick, you played on me earlier.

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    1. Yeah, I forgot you know where to find me. Can I expect some sort of evil payback?

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    2. My brain has been addled by the challenge and so therefore, I cannot think of a suitable form of revenge...that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

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    3. I still get the feeling I should be looking over my shoulder for the next few months.

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  7. Hey at least it can be something fixed by stretching! Sucks that it hurts but...hey it will eventually feel better! OR MAYBE YOUR SLUTTY ARM IS PREGO?!?!??!?! :)

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    1. I'm curious what we are going to find in the ultrasound. I'll see if they can give me a picture.

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  8. My hair has been going grey since i was in my early 20's. I don't look wise, i just look old and tired.

    I'm pretty much resigned to the fact that i am going to have to do some type of stretches for the rest of my life. Sometimes i get lazy and forget them for a month or so and pretty soon i start having a hard time to get off the couch. Then i start again and things start to get better. Thing is, it takes way longer to stretch it back out than it does to get all staved up again. It hurts like hell but pain and discomfort seems to make for good posts. I'm sure your suffering is going to make us all smile in the long run. You're such a trooper. :)

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    1. Thank you. I expect to have a very good post after my first day with the therapist. Hopefully, I can still type after the session.

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  9. I'm happy to hear the issue is solvable!

    Now go do your stretches.

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    1. Thank you. I have done them for today.

      Twice.

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  10. Stay strong! It really sucks to be in that kind of pain, especially when it's in an area that you use all day every day...

    Careful with those pills though! They're a mighty beast if you're not careful.

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    1. It does suck.

      I joke about the painkillers, but use them sparingly. They only gave me enough to get through a few days and I don't even take as many as they recommend.

      Thank you for the warning. I know several people that live on those things when they don't have to.

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    2. Well, shoot. If YOU aren't gonna use 'em . . . I'm just saying, let me know and I'll send you my address. :D

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  11. If it works,tell your doctor to make room for me because I am sick of fibromyalgia. I feel like I am 100 years old. Sometimes, I look it. Pain is rarely ever a friend, especially when one refuses pain meds.

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    1. This is about the only thing I ever accept pain meds for. The pain is so sharp I don't see any way around it. I am hoping this will work. The last time I saw him, he was dead on.

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  12. It is always good to discover the root of the problem and begin treatment to fix it. That road may be painful, but at least there seems to be a light at the end of that tunnel. Good luck.

    And you can keep the grey. In fact, I got quite a few I can send your way if you want. No charge!

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    1. Gray hair is a sign of wisdom. Plus, it just looks cool. I will keep mine when I get it.

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