Time now for an Achy Shoulder

So it’s been 2 weeks since my last post.  I missed a week for the first time in ages because it was my birthday and I was kicking my feet up and relaxing for most of that week!

Then I spent my Saturday twisting and turning my shoulder so Tony could hear it snap, crackle and pop.  Remember I mentioned something about my shoulder always sounding like it was grinding cartilage?  Well, it was getting worse and I couldn’t get over the noise it was making so I had to let Tony hear it.

I insisted that it did it ALL the time and to prove it, I pretty much ground cartilage over and over and over, by turning my shoulder this way and that.  I wanted to prove that no matter how I moved, my shoulder would grind and crackle.  Well, I proved my point alright.  I did it so much that I’ve now spent almost a whole week with a very tender and achy shoulder.  The only difference now is that it really hurts along with making those crazy grinding noises.

It now hurts so much that I don’t want to move my shoulder at all!  My body’s very effective way of saying “Stop it!” Whether or not it was cartilage, bone on bone or just ligaments or tendons that I was moving around, I’ve pretty much inflamed my shoulder so that my arm and neck movements are now limited and it’s feeling really tender when I move.  I can still move but it has to be slowly.

I still managed 2 classes of Bikram Yoga this week but anything that involves pulling the shoulder or putting weight on the shoulder and moving my head/neck hurts.  I cannot lift my arm or carry things without twinges of pain.  I feel like I need to wear a sling!!  Even typing hurts!!

Bikram yoga helps because although the pain is still there, it dissipates in the heat and I can move my shoulder around a bit more but since it’s cold outside, once back out in the cold, the pain comes back even worse.  A sharp pain travels from my neck down through the back of my scapula, into my arm then down to my elbow.  I get muscle spasms in my arm and my back muscle feels like it’s constantly contracted as if it were cramping non-stop.  It’s getting really uncomfortable.

Sometimes I do really silly things.  This is one of those times and I’m paying for it with pain.  It kind of feels like a crook neck when you’ve slept wrong except I’ve had the pain non-stop for 5 days.  It hurts even when just resting and doing nothing, an ache constantly humming in the background making my back hurt and my arm feel tired.

Note to self and to anyone else willing to listen for that matter:  next time your shoulder grinds, just leave it.  If it really bothers you, go to the doctor rather than demonstrating repeatedly to people for the fun of it, it won’t be fun after a while!!  Also, if it’s not hurting, don’t make it hurt!  Sounds pretty obvious but this smart cookie has proven just how smart she is when it comes to the obvious.

I try to go to the doctor as little as possible but this pain was starting to get unbearable that I called and booked myself in.  Unbelievably I got a slot the day I called – today!

Well guess what he told me?  He said that I should take paracetamol and put ibuprofen gel on it and wait 2 weeks.  If the pain doesn’t go away by then, then I can go and get checked to see if it’s a trapped nerve and only after that, can I get a referral to a physio.  Really?  I’m supposed to sit with my pain for 2 weeks?  Of course not, just in case it got so painful that I needed 8 paracetamol a day, he wrote me a prescription for them!  For someone who NEVER takes pain killers and has none in the house, this was just really bizarre.  I didn’t think you needed a prescription for pain killers but apparently you do, if you’re going to get 100 to take in 10 days!!!  Anyway, he told me that everyone’s shoulders grind and that it’s normal (which is why he’s given me a prescription for 100 pain killers right?  Right).

Unbelievable.  I love how doctors are able to make me question myself to the point where I wonder if I’m a hypochondriac.  Remember my butt pain that lasted almost a year???  That nobody could tell what it was?  Nor could anybody fix it?  It’s like I was making it up.  I have a feeling this is the same thing.
Wherever this doctor touched my shoulder and back was NOT where the pain was… it really is difficult when it’s unidentifiable and not a surface pain.  Surely that means something?  Something is hurting, deep inside my shoulder and I don’t know what it is and all you’re going to do is give me a paracetamol?  He reckons it’s a muscle tear and that’s why I have to stay with it for 2 weeks and wait for it to heal by itself.  He even said there were no specific exercises to relieve it which is why I had to take paracetamol.  Man I didn’t know muscle tears could cause so much pain.  I thought muscle tear pain felt like after gym pain, not a constant dull ache with random sharp shooting pains.  Well, I told him all of the above and this was his conclusion.

It looks like I’m embarking on yet another painful discovery, an adventure into figuring out what my body’s actually trying to tell me this time.  OK body, what posture am I doing repeatedly incorrectly this time huh?

You know what?  The body really needs to come with a manual.  When you get any machine, there’s always a manual with a troubleshooting page,  instructions on how to perform maintenance and yet with our bodies, the most complicated piece of machinery we have on the planet, we get nothing!

Actually  let me correct myself, we get the brain.  I’m sure that is a piece of kit that is filled to the brim with exactly how to perform maintenance, troubleshoot and keep the body running at optimum but how do I look it up, turn to the page that troubleshoots achy shoulder or trapped nerve so I know what to do?  Now THAT would be a very cool skill to have!

In the  meantime, I’ll have to pull out the tiger balm and keep that crazy prescription on standby.

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