Friday, April 30, 2010

Some Recent Pics...

Photos by Photographic Creations in Snellville, GA

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Aches and Pains

For about seven months, I have been having chronic shoulder pain, ever since my father-in-law's funeral. I can't remember actually doing anything to my shoulder, as far as an injury, and I'm typically one to put off going to the doctor for as long as possible. Every now and then I would get a new twinge, and then nothing. But pretty soon I was having a hard time doing simple tasks, like driving my car, handing things to N in the backseat, even pulling up my pants when getting dressed. Of course, it would be my right shoulder, which made matters worse.
At work I do ALOT of work with my arms, especially with my hands above the level of my shoulders. I also help move patients, push wheelchairs, operate heavy equipment, etc. and my job had become more and more difficult. More than once I've had a little old lady grab and pull my right arm for support and the pain was so intense I would almost slap her. So Robert and my coworkers talked me into going to see an ortho doctor. I went to Resurgens Orthopedics in Lawrenceville and met Dr. Hui (very nice man). He told me I had a bad case of bursitis, gave me a steroid injection and told me that would take care of it.
Sweet relief! I was my old self again...for about 3 weeks. Then the pain returned around Christmas time, even worse than before. Then I went to several weeks of physical therapy, which I thought was a load of nonsense and only made the pain worse. So Dr. Hui sent me for an MRI of the shoulder, (which I knew the tech and had full access to the report once it was read by the radiologist). There was no tear in the tendons or rotator cuff, just inflammation. How could that be causing all my pain?
Another shot came and went. This time I only got two weeks relief. I was running out of options; do I just grin and bear it or let Dr. Hui slice me open? I really did not want to do the surgery, and Dr. Hui told me he thought maybe it was a bone spur and thought maybe my shoulder was loosened from years of competitive swimming and overuse playing cymbals in Redcoats, etc. But what if he got in there and found nothing? I didn't think I could bear it if he told me there was nothing else he could do. Steroid shots were no longer effective. And I almost couldn't pick up N anymore without screaming in pain.
So I gave in. On March 23 I went in for a laproscopic procedure called acromial decompression with capsular shift. He did indeed find a large bone spur and told me that my shoulder was "loosey goosey", which I guess is pretty loose. He couldn't test my shoulder's instability while I was conscious, b/c of the pain, so he had to check it while I was under anesthesia. I have this mental image of the surgeon and his assistants trying to literally pull my arm out of the socket while I'm asleep on the table. Yikes. So he stapled my shoulder tendons up nice and tight and sent me home with four stitches.
My arm was in a sling constantly for about the first week. Recovery is going well, I'm able to do pretty much anything (besides styling the back of my hair and throwing N up in the air). I stopped taking the Lortabs after the first week. I've got back to work, with the condition that I CANNOT use my arm for any reason and I HAVE to wear the sling at all times while working. At home, I don't wear it too much, it's mostly as a reminder not to use my arm and serves as a deterrent to those who might give me a friendly punch on the shoulder. It's been especially tough at home b/c N was sick with a fever after getting his vaccinations last week and wanted to be held constantly. My mom was wonderful, taking Nicklas for me so I could rest of just coming over to take him in and out of the tub while Robert worked late. It will be a solid month in the sling before I even start physical therapy, bummer. I'm hoping to get back into shape soon, been back at the gym already and am considering training for a half-marathon in October. Please pray for me to have the patience needed to rest my arm so it will heal properly and get back on my "feet" soon!