Bursitis in my Shoulder?

Or is it something more diabolical?

I'm leaning to the more diabolical diagnosis myself for several reasons, but I'll walk you through the steps a doctor must take.

Okay, here's the sitch:
  • A few weeks ago, my left shoulder started hurting. My right hurts a little but not to the extent of the left one.
  • I'm right handed and can't figure out what dumb thing I might have done to cause my left shoulder to hurt.
  • I deal with it, but eventually I go to the doctor--yesterday. NOT because that is the right thing to do, but because I almost couldn't pull my sports bra off after walkies yesterday. The motion of crossing my arms at shoulder height and lifting nearly dropped me to the floor.
  • I like my GP doc and usually I can get in same day with no problem.
  • I go to the doc, he does range of motion stuff as he feels the shoulder. There's a little popping and some creaks.
  • I get an x-ray to see if there is a bone spur or something irritating the tendon--nope, nothing, not even arthritis.
  • So I get a prescription for anti-inflammatory pills and a sheet of exercises to rehab my shoulder.
If it's fine, then that's all she wrote. If it's still bothering me, then the next step is taken--a cortisone shot.

I'm okay with all this since it's the way most docs are required to work. It's the KISS rule--Keep It Simple, Stupid. Go with the easiest answer first and work from there. But I still think it's something more diabolical, and here's why:

  • In 1992 I ruptured my cervical disc--the disc between C5-C6. I was taking a shower at the time. A pop was heard and then I was on the shower floor crying. It was excruciating. I still vividly remember it.
  • This wasn't due to washing my hair, though that was the movement that popped the disc. It was due to my psycho-horse Abe who spent his waking moments finding ways to dump my butt and get me off his back.
  • He dumped me in the dirt--A LOT. He spun me off, bucked me off and tried to rear me off. When I learned to sit tight, he tried combining them. I learned to ride anything he tossed at me, but the damage had been done.
  • I had been suffering enormous amounts of pain prior to the rupture--left forearm burning pain. It had gotten so bad that I had to cradle my arm while I slept and sometimes when I was a passenger in the car.
  • The hospital did an x-ray and found nothing. THAT x-ray was worse than the disc rupturing. Ohmigod! It's called a swimmer's x-ray. *shudders*
  • A week later I was scheduled for an MRI--In case you don't know, an MRI--Magnetic Resonance Imaging--takes cross-section images of your body. It detects things that no x-ray can take. You're placed in a small space with lots of clicking and banging. They tell you not to breath while some of the pictures are taken. I don't remember a whole lot of this because the ER doc told me to take 2 Valium prior to the procedure to relieve my anxiety. I was so high, I didn't know what was what. I will NEVER will take two Valium again!
  • I go to a recommended neurosurgeon. He tells me I have to have surgery. I flip out.
  • A month later, I have surgery. During that month, I was on daily Flexeril (muscle relaxants) and some sort of anti-inflammatory pain killer meds.
  • Surgery was successful.
  • I was riding my whack-a-doodle horse four weeks after surgery.
One item that I didn't mention was when the neurosurgeon saw the ruptured disc, he mentioned that I had a bone spur on C5.
So Margaret-logic dictates that if my forearm was painful due to a disc rupture between C5 and C6, then the higher up the neck would indicate a nerve irritation from C5--where the spur was located--would be in the shoulder area.
Starting to get the picture?
I might be overthinking this, but if I'm right, I'll be posting a blog that I'm going in for surgery sometime this autumn.
We'll see. Until then, I'll do all the right things and hope I don't have to go through surgery.
Later, Peeps! It's time for my walkies. 


Cynthia D'Alba said...

this post made me hurt! fingers crossed for NO surgery.

Margaret Golla said...

Thanks, Cyndi! Meds seem to be helping, though I can tell when they wear off!