Sunday, January 20, 2013
I had my follow up appointment with my orthopedist this past week. I'm still having a lot of pain between my elbow and shoulder. My regular orthopedist injected my elbow the last time I saw him because the pain was really bad. Nothing showed up on the humorous (upper arm) MRI so he was shooting in the dark, no pun intended. It took 3-4 weeks but all of the sudden, I had rotation of the elbow without pain! Yes!!! However, my upper arm still throbbed and now my shoulder ached. The humorous MRI showed shoulder inflammation and the edge of a tear in the left rotator cuff. The radiologist who read the MRI said that the shoulder was very inflamed but he couldn't tell much about the tear because the MRI didn't go up far enough. I immediately cut back on any weight training for fear of damaging myself. It made no difference in my pain level. Fast forward to this past week.
I arrived for my appointment feeling anxious because we hadn't yet found a solution to my problem. My doctor was called out of the office for a conference and another doctor was seeing his patients. I met with him and we discussed what had been happening since my last visit. I brought him up to date. He asked me if my arm hurt in a certain place and then leaned over and pressed on it. Yow! That hurt and I said as much to the doctor. He told me that I had a problem with my shoulder. I asked him how he knew where to press my arm. He smiled and told me that he was a shoulder specialist. How lucky was that? He said that I have really bad tendinitus as well as an undetermined rotator cuff problem. He injected the shoulder sent me to physical therapy for 6 weeks and made a follow up appointment for me at the end of February. If that doesn't help we will get a shoulder MRI and take it from there. Ahhh, at last we have an action plan!
I started physical therapy this past Friday morning. My physical therapist has worked with me for about 4 years now and he is very familiar with my arm problem. In fact, he helped me regain the use of my arm in the fall of 2011 after my vertebrae collapsed onto the spinal cord. The same area was bothering me after my surgery and recovery in 2011. We had hoped that the issue was nerve related and would heal over time. That just didn't happen. Of course the first thing that was taken out of my workout regimen was water aerobics, swimming and my new zumba class. (I just got my own water weights too!) Now my exercise of choice will be water jogging with a flotation belt and no arm movement. I feel like I've just taken a giant step backward even though it is only temporary. Sigh! Oh well, at least I have been blessed to be able to use my arm. I have to look at it that way. This is just another little bump in the road to health. There will be other roadblocks in my journey but I'm up to the challenge. I will prevail!