I've been having issues with my right shoulder for a few months now. Suffice to say, an old injury had flared up and wouldn't settle down, even with physiotherapy, acupuncture, massage therapy and chiropractic. So I took myself off to a sports medicine doc at the local (and very prestigious) PanAm Clinic, which is well known for it's sports injury treatments.
Now this is not a sport related injury, unless you can call dunking numerous large bags filled with flannel sheets into a tall metal cart a sport. I first hurt it in December of 1999, while at work. Off for a couple weeks on a workers' compensation claim, physio and all seemed healed. Over the intervening years, it has flared up on occasion when I have done something strenuous like wax and buff the car by hand. And since I am right handed, it only makes sense that my right arm gets the brunt of the work out.
Last fall, it started acting up again but wouldn't settle down. So I went through all the treatment regimes at my disposal. All with minimal effect. Last month I made an appointment with the sports med doc. He ran me through all kinds of tests ("hold your arm up here [at shoulder height] and don't let me push it down") that had me falling on the floor in pain every 20 seconds. He then had xrays done to rule out any arthritic changes or calcification in the tendons. My shoulder joint looks like a 15 year old's on xray. Too bad it feels like a 105 year old's in real life.
Next step, he said, is an MRI to see what's happening in the soft tissue. None of that shows up on xray. So I waited for that appointment, and got in last Tuesday. Considering wait times here are usually horrendous, getting the test in one month was pretty quick! I was pleased with that, and even ordered a CD with all the images on it. I want to know what I am looking at when he tells me what's going on.
The very next day - Wed. - at work, I injured it further. While emptying a jug of liquid from one of the dialysis machines (we have to pour this stuff down the hopper if there's any left after a treatment is finished), I felt a very sharp stabbing pain in my shoulder that almost sent me to my knees.
Now I can't lift my arm up. I can't get my hand any higher than my waist if I try and lift my arm out to the side or front. Ever try to take off a t-shirt when you can't lift up your arm? I can't push on anything with my right hand either. The worst part is the pain that wakes me at night... I think because it is immobile while I am sleeping, when I go to roll over, I get a horrendous pain that wakes me and literally takes my breath away.
So because I just happened to have an appointment with my family doc for totally unrelated things the following day, I got him to prescribe something for pain to help me sleep. Because I had taken Tramacet (with is an opioid [narcotic] with tylenol) when I had my gall bladder out a couple of years ago and it worked well, we opted for that. I can't take codeine because I have a really bad reaction to it. I also made an appointment to see the sports med doc on Monday, even though I know he won't yet have the report on the MRI. (I will be taking the Cd with me, so he can look at it if he wants.)
I took 2 of the pain pills before bed on Friday night. Went to sleep but woke up at around 2:45 in pain. It has been just over 4 hours since the first pills, so I took 2 more. The pain diminished considerably but I wasn't able to get back to sleep and spent the rest of the night dozing and tossing.
Got up at about 7:30. By 8:00 I was in the bathroom puking. I spent the day woofing my cookies every couple of hours, only there were no cookies to woof. I'd not eaten anything all day. I'd not even been able to keep down the sips of water that I'd tried to drink. It's not fun at all heaving away when there is nothing to heave. I was sweating, dizzy and nauseated. And tired as all hell. All of which, it turns out, are side effects of this particular medication. I'd not had this when I had taken it previously, but I don't think I took them so close together time-wise then.
It wasn't until I got some Gravol to stay down and a few sips of 7Up that I started to feel better. That was delivered to me, courtesy of LHB, who is in town. He, however, handed the stuff to be through the door as he said, "if you have the flu and I catch it, there are few things worse when stuck in a truck on the road somewhere". I could see his point. I was quite disappointed, though, as we have things that need to be discussed... that need to be ironed out. However, I was in no shape to do anything at that point, other than lie on the couch and try not to wither away.
Today, I seem to be on the mend. I've had a bowl of cereal for breakfast with no ill effects. I'm pretty sure it was not a flu, only the meds being rather unruly. Not sure if I will see LHB today or tomorrow, but it will happen. So not enough that I have this shoulder thing, I have a man issue as well, all that needs to be dealt with asap.