500 mg of anti-inflammatory every day for all of January, one new far-infrared wand, some chiropractic visit, curcumin, Omega, lots of ice packs, topical creams, KT tape, Osteo Bio-Flex, and rest, … my right shoulder is no better.
When I first injured my right shoulder more places hurt farther down my arm just above and below my elbow, but for quite some time only the front part of my shoulder hurt. Then it got enough better it was only mildly annoying. Then it messed up worse over summer and got better and second time. Sometime in autumn, about a month before my rib head displaced the first time (same side) in October it was worse again. It never got better from that point. I had my second sharp pain from closing a door behind me and it went downhill from there. When my rib displaced the second time before Thanksgiving, DH saw me walking toward him and he thought my arm had gotten worse but it was the horrible pain from the displaced rib head. I’m guessing it’s just not going to get better on its own for the third time. Now the backside of my shoulder is starting to have sharp pains as well, it’s hurting down my bicep again, and it aches just hanging there not moving it. My left shoulder is getting achy along the top part from doing the work of two arms.
At the beginning of January, I was (gasp) almost about to make a doctor appointment to schedule an MRI to see if there was a tear or something that couldn’t heal on its own.
Jump back years ago to when I had my furniture store and unloaded furniture weekly my left shoulder messed up. Dr. Brooks ordered an MRI and found rotator cuff wear, a small tear, and bursitis. I remember it hurt but the if I’m recalling correctly it hurt the worst when lifting heavy things or reaching for my seatbelt. They prescribed PT which made it even worse, then anti-inflammatories and finally a cortisone shot that hurt like you know what. Then I discovered I was one of the patients who get cortisone flare, which basically means pain from the shot too. So after all was said and done and it got bad enough I’m pretty sure the ice and ibuprofen that I’d been doing along with time and rest helped the most. So that’s what I decided to try instead of spending money and getting in with a doctor for all of January 2018. I mean our Liberty Health Share is hardly paying for the few things we use it for now. Seems anything we turn in either needed pre-approval, didn’t cost the correct amount, is maintenance or preexisting. Too bad this isn’t back when we had BCBS for 20 some years before insurance was made “affordable care”.
Chiros thought it was bicep tendonitis. If I had to make a guess on what it will show based on Dr. Google and what I can and can’t do, I’d venture rotator cuff injury or SLAP lesion but I’m being optimistic for something that will heal on its own- maybe I just didn’t wait long enough.
Some things like raising my arm straight up like a student raising their arm to answer a question -doesn’t hurt too bad. Neither does reaching for the passenger seat belt. My arm can make a bicep curl, if my elbow is near my body, without much pain. I’m starting to wonder if my shoulder problem is what is making my shoulder blade down my back, and my right side rib hurt.
Nothing hurts like making a pouring motion like to fill the coffee pot with my arm out then rotating thumb down or when I pull a door closed as I leave a room with my arm out and behind me. It hurts to put my right hand across me to the left side in front and putting it behind me to fasten my bra is none to great either. Pressing down with my palm like wiping off the kitchen counters hurts. Using my arm or elbow to lift me up from sitting or readjust in the recliner or bed hurts. Lifting sheets off with the top of my forearm hurts. It’s not too bad laying on my right side – once I’m there – but getting on that side then getting off that shoulder hurts. To lift something out in front of me with my elbow off my body hurts. It does make popping sounds (but so does my left shoulder) but they don’t hurt like the things I mentioned above. It is weaker than it was. I noticed over summer when rolling the wheelbarrow that my right arm felt weaker.
I’ve watched videos on short head, long head bicep tendon tears, Bicepbrochii tears, SLAP labrum lesions, rotator cuff tears, subscapular tendon and transverse humeral ligaments, tendonitis, AC acromioclavicular joints, and impingement.
In my own at home test (w.o anyone helping w. resistance) here is what I concluded.
Postive for +Biecep load test! +empty can test, +O’Briens test, +crossover test, +Both Internal and External Rotation Assessment. On the (tested alone w.o resistance) Speed’s test pronated hurt more than supinated. Supinated hurt more just below my elbow but they both hurt.
Neg- for drop arm test but when I use the wall to hold my arm up to blow dry the back of my hair I have to take my left arm to help it down once it’s been up there. I was able to do the Yergason test (alone w.o resistance), Gerbers or Lift-Off test with only slight pain.
In one of those videos is where I heard about the foam roller that I like so much for my back and rib.
My rib head on the lower right of my ribcage, still just feels off. It is no longer displaced as I can breathe without it sending me to tears but it’s taking too long to get fully better too. Who has time for all this? I really liked the foam roller I bought. I wish I’d bought this a long time ago. It hurts a little but in a good way. I can’t believe I just said some pain could be good. I may look into getting another smaller one because it’s kinda hard to roll the lowest part of your ribcage while holding your upper body off the floor. I can do my upper back and my low back okay but having just the bottom of my ribcage across it is hard to roll and stay in sort of like a balanced plank position. If I could do that I probably wouldn’t need a roller. The roller works much easier than trying to roll on tennis balls!
On the far-infrared wand, my verdict is still out. I’ve been told ice is better or moist heat and then ice. I do know I could get more done if I had like an infrared pad over the wand that I have to hold in place. They sell those too but they’re a lot more money. I did read and re-read about near, far and mid-infrared and found the more I read the more confused I got. Some even throw jade stones, amethyst crystals, EMF radiation safety, and ions in the mix. I’d like to have a shoulder ice pack but putting the ice pack and then the heavy gray pad over it kinda holds it in place.
None of the things I’ve done have helped with my arms and legs going numb, the left side of my jaw locking or my left ear ringing. Oddly enough I’ve been able to smell some things this month which I’m guessing is from all the anti-inflammatories.
I’m not sure what my limbs going asleep and numb is from but if you see me sit in church while everyone else is still standing it because my leg(s) have gone completely numb and I’m sitting before I end up doing a face plant in public. I bought an arm sling too just because that’s probably easier than an explanation over why I can’t link arms and handshaking is painful. That and with the flu at an all-time high I’d rather just say “hello” anyway. It’s pretty amazing how much your dominant arm can do better than your nondominant arm. Hey, maybe my hair will be healthier from all the air drying to keep from holding the hairdryer.
My awesome husband has offered to lift and carry things, he’s made the coffee, and he has started lowering the shower head for my height just so I don’t have to reach. As I walk to the mailbox I see all sorts of stuff that will need doing in spring and it’s time for my cats to go in for their yearly check-up, but big-boy Tyler is pretty heavy in the carrier.
After my final trial of taking anti-inflammatories every day for January paired with everything else I tried not helping, I gave up and called Blue Ridge Bone & Joint on Monday. They gave me an appointment for Tuesday with Dr. Brooks.
He recalled bone spurs on my left shoulder and thought it was my right but I’m sure it was my left and I don’t recall bone spurs being mentioned.
On a positive note, Dr Brooks said I did everything right except waiting a year. Guess we can check fracture and healing by itself off the list. MRI next as soon as insurance agrees to cover what the doctor ordered. He asked me if my camera was heavy. If I would’ve thought I would’ve said it’s nowhere close to as heavy as the furniture I used to have to unload before I closed my furniture store in 08. Although I haven’t put my camera backpack on, or carried my tripod on a hike in ages. I’m a little leery of walking on the uneven ground right now too because I don’t want to use my right arm for balance, to pull myself up a hill or to break a fall.
I don’t like having x-rays but I guess that step was needed before ordering an MRI. If that looks fractured to you, it could be the collarbone I broke on the sledding dare in the late 80s. I can’t remember which arm that was I just remember how hard it was to drive a car with broken power steering. The chiropractor looked at some old x-rays and he said based on a callous he thought it was the right one. Dr. Brooks said something about my posture and the curve in my spine. I wasn’t sure what he was talking about until I came home and looked at the x-rays. Geez, it looks like I have scoliosis in that x-ray showing my ribs. I hope he knew I was at some odd angle and that was not shot straight on. I’m pretty sure it is just showing the natural curve spines have but looks odd because of the angle. My camera bag isn’t THAT heavy!
So I’ve done all I can. Now I wait for the call to hear insurance will actually cover something and to get the MRI done. I swear stuff takes way longer to heal the older you get… and I’m still in my 40s.
In the back of my mind, I also wonder if I’m just being a big baby and not handling the pain well. Maybe it’s just bursitis again and I’m just being a wuss.