Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Battle Continues

Wednesday evening I finished up some reading, brushed my teeth and went to bed at the normal hour. When the sun came up Thursday morning, I woke up with a fiery pain in my right shoulder of unknown origin. As the day wore on the pain got more and more severe. If I were a betting man I would have been willing to wager an awful lot of money that something had torn loose. I couldn't lift my right arm above parallel, and when I tried to the pain became sharp and stabbing. In other words, I was certain that I had blown out another rotator cuff and was in store for another surgery and rehab. Needless to say, I was very unhappy.

I decided to rest it and get through the night and see how it felt Friday morning. The morning brought more pain and more frustration. I had a Chiropractor appointment set for 9:30 and wasn't sure if I should go or cancel, so I posted my dilemma on Facebook, asking for medical advice. In less than thirty minutes, I had over twenty five replies offering all sorts of recommendations. The four nurses who replied all agreed that I should go to something called Ortho on Call, a walk in doc-in-a-box sort of place which could X-ray the shoulder right on the spot. I decided to take the nurses' advice and cancel the chiropractor appointment.

By the time the X-ray was taken, the shoulder was killing me. So, imagine my surprise when the doctor at Ortho on Call walks in and says, "I could find no tears." Instead, Dr. Douglas Okay offered the opinion that it was probably tendinitis, or a frozen shoulder, or a pinched nerve, and he couldn't rule out a rotator cuff tear, since an X-ray can't reveal what might be going inside the rotator cuff. Oh, and it also could be related to my ongoing bulging disk issues. In other words, he had no idea what the hell was wrong with my shoulder...and that will be $250 please.

He prescribed some pain meds and sent me on my way. Words cannot describe how frustrated I was leaving that place. Dr. Okay's non-diagnosis was NOT Okay with me. How was it possible to have so much pain coming from a joint that showed no damage? I was about ready to write a sternly written letter to God himself demanding an explanation.

Last night I went to dinner with my two sisters and their husbands to celebrate Linda's birthday. I had taken all the meds I was supposed to take to make the shoulder feel less horrible, and while it did feel some better, I couldn't drive or hold much of a conversation with anyone at dinner. So, I mostly sat there listening to everyone else, privately seething at my three year string of bad health luck. Three years ago two disks in my neck began their bulging. Two years ago, I had rotator cuff surgery on one shoulder and now I was facing a second surgery. It was not a good night.

So, this morning I am awakened by Lucy licking me in the face. I stumble out of bed and begin my routine...when I suddenly notice that it's gone. The pain in my shoulder...is gone. I slowly test it out by raising my arms in all directions....nothing, no pain, complete range of motion! As suddenly and ferociously as it had come upon me...it was gone, just like that. The first thought that popped into my head was, "if I had only hung in there one more day I could have saved myself $250!!"

So, that's the latest in the ongoing tale of the relentless, degenerative collapse of my body post age 50. It has not been pretty. But, to all of my 50 plus friends out there let me just say...we will beat this. We will prevail! It might take a dump truck full of medicine, six heating pads, crutches, two sets of reading glasses, enough Pepsid AC to crush a small child but we will prevail!!