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Monday, August 25, 2014

And the MRI result is - there's no injury. Wah wah.

I went to my PA on Friday and he told me that the MRI definitely shows inflammation, and some bursitis and tendonitis, but no tears anywhere. Which to me just sounds like I have to learn to live with it. He did say that there might be a surgical option where if there's some impingement they can go in arthroscopically and shave off some bone, and clean out the bursa, and that's helped some people. He said surgeons usually like to see you've tried everything else, including more than one cortisone shot.

So I got another cortisone shot and promptly almost passed out. I had a stomach ache Friday so I hadn't eaten lunch. Whoops. It's actually been a few years since a needle has made me pass out, and that was when I got blood drawn. The soreness from the shot is finally wearing off today and I can still feel that one painful pinpoint right in the front of my shoulder, which tells me the cortisone hasn't touched it.

I'm just not sure what else I can do. I did PT for 4 months and have been on a prescription anti-inflammatory for 5 months. I've had 2 cortisone shots and now the MRI just shows vague "inflammation." I guess the next step is to meet with a surgeon in a couple of months (after we take a trip in October) and see if that would be useful for me to consider.

In the meantime, I am so bummed out by my lack of activity. I was so excited for PiYo, and I've had a couple of friends and teammates who worked the program for the 60 days and have seen incredible results. Meanwhile I purposely did nothing last week just to see what happened and my shoulder is still sore. I suppose that shows that I can work out some and as long as I ice my shoulder after, it doesn't really make it worse, so that's something.

I need to walk more, since I can do that. I was going to wake up early this morning and do just that, but then I had a really restless night and couldn't pull myself out of bed at 6 AM. Tomorrow! Or maybe today after work, actually.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LMB-ESQ 8/27/2014 11:28AM

    Ugh... how frustrating. I'm sorry.

You are thinking along the same lines as me. As long as lessened workouts don't make it worse, I'm going to keep doing them. I rested for ten days while the pool was closed, felt a bit improved, swam yesterday, and felt no worse. In fact, sitting still seems to make me feel worse than moving. So that's the plan for now. I need to walk too. Should we start a challenge for September?

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MSTIRES 8/26/2014 1:01PM

    Bummer. This is so frustrating for you.

The steroid shot I had in May worked wonders. It was a mixture of who knows what but I had relief from my "perfect storm of inflammation" within 24 hours. I did lay off swimming and weights for about 2 weeks. My son's shoulder impingement improved with PT and gradually adding back swimming. He doesn't swim everyday and hasn't for a long time due to too much water polo, so he runs on the off days. He can't do 2 days in a row of running from an ankle injury playing a stupid end of year water gun fight game as a senior in high school. This one came back to haunt him a few years ago and he had to spend some time with his foot in a boot. It's amazing how things come back to haunt you and you need to readjust.

Hang in there!

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WOUBBIE 8/25/2014 12:12PM

    Ugh. Well, you'll have to make do with what you can do. Focus on the torso and lower body maybe. Do you think it's a repetitive motion injury, like from computer/mouse use? Does desk work make it worse?

emoticon emoticon - just not with that shoulder!

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Had my MRI this morning. Afterward I was wondering if experienced MRI techs know enough to read and interpret what's on the screen? My tech was an older lady who seemed to know her way around the MRI machine, adjusting me and switching out coils to get the best image possible, and checking on me periodically to make sure I wasn't freaking out during the 40 minutes I had to lay super still while magnets grinded and ka-chunked in a huge plate about 3 inches from my forehead. Thank goodness for open MRIs. I can see how people get claustrophobic in the tubes.

Anyway, she casually chatted with me when I first got there about what happened to my shoulder. Then after the MRI, she probed a little bit, asking about the trauma and the stress my shoulder has experienced to get me to this point. It made me wonder if she saw an injury on the image.

I'll find out Friday when I see my doctor, but of course I'm impatient. I think at this point I want there to be a discernible injury. Something to assure me I'm not just crying wolf and that there's actually a problem. But a fixable problem. That's key. I don't want swimming, kayaking, rowing, yoga, etc. to be things I just don't do anymore, because, you know, bum shoulder.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KELLYIM 8/21/2014 9:14AM

    Laurie, it was an Open MRI, meaning I was on a table and there was a giant plate over me, but I wasn't surrounded on all sides. Much better than I imagine the tube is!

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LMB-ESQ 8/20/2014 3:18PM

    I'm impressed that you actually got in the tube. You'd have to knock me out cold to get me in one of those.

I hope it's a fixable problem too. You've been out of swimming for too long.

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USMAWIFE 8/19/2014 7:45PM

    Waiting is hard but it is now in the hands of the radiogist for his report to the doctor

A lot of techs are good but it would be a liability for them to say anything about what they see on the image

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WOUBBIE 8/19/2014 1:34PM

    Hope it's an injury that has a fix!

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EMMACORY 8/19/2014 1:33PM

    Waiting is always the hardest. I think the technicians get pretty good at reading the images but as you know they can not say anything. Good luck with your appointment. emoticon

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Thursday, August 07, 2014

I saw my orthopedic PA this morning and we agreed that I should get an MRI. He asked if it shows some fraying or tearing if I would be open to having surgery and I said, definitely. It's not that I want surgery of course, but I do want to feel better and get back to my normal activity level. I'm so pleased when I hear my PiYo teammates talk about their successes, but I'm also a little jealous that I'm not right there with them.

So we're working on scheduling an MRI because insurance, pre-approvals, blah, blah, blah.

I'm not going to lie - I'm struggling. I have been really down and snippy with Jason and all I want to do is hole up and escape in knitting and cheesy TV shows (currently making my way through Buffy for the first time).

And the PA made a casual comment this morning about how he can visually see atrophy in one of my right shoulder muscles as compared to the left because I'm obviously babying it. Super.

At this point, I hope the MRI shows something because if it doesn't, I'm out of ideas.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KELLYIM 8/19/2014 1:20PM

    Woubbie, I think I'm just kind of SOL until my shoulder is better. I'm not using the muscle because it hurts to use it, so what can you do?

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LMB-ESQ 8/7/2014 1:45PM

    Ohhh.... praying for results emoticon

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WOUBBIE 8/7/2014 12:34PM

    Ugh. (((hugs)))

Did the PA offer any advice on what you can do about the atrophy? Is there any exercise that's safe for you to try?

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Limiting Factors

Friday, August 01, 2014

My spirit is willing, but my flesh is weak. Yesterday I did a PiYo workout called "Sweat", which, yes, that's what you do. I felt fabulous doing it, as usual. My balance and wrist strength are both improving a lot after only a few weeks of doing these exercises. I still modify some things so as not to strain my shoulder too much (no burpees, no push ups, only plank), but I'm able to do a lot of it. Then Jason and I fixed a super healthy dinner (in which we both invented a dish and I determined that we are both brilliant cooks).

Every so often I get these glimpses into how I *would* be doing it if I could. I love that feeling when the pieces of my healthy living puzzle fall neatly into place. I feel happy and inspired to continue. I planned to get up early this morning and do PiYo Lower Body.

Only, I woke up to a sore and stiff right shoulder and I knew if I did another workout I would probably get a headache and I'm tired of plowing through my work days with a headache. Instead I spent a little while laying on the heating pad before I got up for the day. Since getting to work I keep pausing to do some stretching exercises to hopefully keep my muscles from getting too tight.

I have an ortho appointment next Thursday and I will be requesting an MRI. I'm tired of this and sad about what I'm missing out on this summer - like swimming at the fancy Brown pool while the swim team isn't crowding out the lap swim schedule.

Like kayaking. Tomorrow if the weather holds out Jason and two of our friends are going kayaking in our favorite spot with the Groupons we bought in May. Me? I'll be starting at the local town beach and walking down to meet them where the river flows into the ocean. I love a nice beach walk, but I'd rather be paddling.

I know I'm being whiny, but these are the highs and lows of my summer. I'm hopeful that by next summer I'll be able to enjoy normal again.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KELLYIM 8/7/2014 10:10AM

    Thanks for all of the sympathy, you all. I appreciate having this forum to vent.

Laurie, I've been thinking about you and hoping you're getting better and not worse!

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LMB-ESQ 8/2/2014 10:14AM

    I keep thinking about you every time I feel pain. Mine is more in the upper back, the rhomboid muscle, than the shoulder. And thankfully, the doc hasn't ordered me out of the pool yet. But if it doesn't improve, she could. And then where will I be? Keep us posted on the MRI. I sure hope you find a solution soon emoticon

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WOUBBIE 8/1/2014 8:52PM

    Disappointment never gets easier to deal with. Keep focusing on healing and taking care of yourself. The time will pass and the water will still be there. (((hugs)))

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MSTIRES 8/1/2014 2:37PM

    If whining helps, do it! And we're hear to listen. It's good that you can focus on the highs, found PiYo and have 2 brilliant cooks in the house!

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Keep On Keeping On

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

So my shoulder is still wonky. I started doing PiYo a few weeks ago and am really enjoying the short but intense workouts. However, I've discovered that I can't double up on workouts and I can't do it 6 days a week like the schedule calls for. Even with modifications, it's too much for my shoulder and if I push too hard I wind up with tingling and numbness, a massive headache, or both. I've been feeling so discouraged.

I have an appointment with my PA next week and I'm going to insist I get an MRI to see if there is any real damage. As everyone keeps telling me, if the rotator cuff or any tendons are damaged, they don't heal on their own and surgery is the only option. I've been doing PT for over 3 months now and my therapist and I agree that I have plateaued and am not improving anymore. I'm kind of to the point where if surgery is the key, then let's get in there and get it done!

Last week after working out too hard, I had a 2-day migraine. Too hard = 2, 20-minute PiYo workouts. I felt great while I was doing them, but the next day all of the muscles around my right shoulder blade and in the right side of my neck had completely seized up. My boss suggested going to his chiropractor. I am open to any and all suggestions at this point so I made an appointment and went yesterday.

The chiropractor also wanted to see an MRI, but he said if there is damage, he might be able to help with some of the peripheral pain and stiffness. And he did. He tested the strength in both of my arms and it was obvious my right one was struggling to do some of the resistance tests. He checked my alignment and told me my right clavicle was drooping. He used this tool to push it back into place with a little *pop*. Then he tested my resistance strength again using my shoulder muscle and suddenly I could resist without any pain. Wow! I actually said, "Wow!" which I think pleased him.

So I'm definitely going to keep going to him, get the MRI, see what's going on, and go from there.

In the meantime, Jason asked me yesterday if I was going to be able to use my kayaking Groupons. Every summer we buy several Groupons from our favorite kayaking place when they pop up in May and I'm really sad to say, I don't think I'm going to be able to kayak this year. The shoulder has now taken away swimming and kayaking, two of my very favorite things. So. Frustrating.

I just hope by next summer, my shoulder will be better, whether that means surgery or just time (though I think it might mean surgery).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WOUBBIE 7/30/2014 7:05PM

    I hope it doesn't come to surgery, but you gotta do what you gotta do.


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LMB-ESQ 7/30/2014 6:18PM

    Ugh... surgery. Well, you do have a point. If it's necessary, then let's get on with it! Keep us posted on the MRI!

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KICK-SS 7/30/2014 12:12PM

    I can sympathize with you, I damaged my deltoid muscle and some tendons/ligaments in my right shoulder a few years ago and probably should have had surgery, but did not. I don't have the strength in my right arm and have an ache up around the shoulder area quite often too, I'm guessing there's arthritis in there now most likely.

I hope you can get it "fixed" so it doesn't bother you as you get older..

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