6/11/13

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. 

2 comments:

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!