Riding the Pain Train

I thought for a while about blogging about this. But after reading the thread at the feral Irishman Thought it might help if I just put down some notes.

I honestly don’t know how I tore my rotator cuff. There were some things that happened a year ago or so that caused me a lot of pain. But that pain would mostly come and go. Then all of a sudden, or so it seemed, I had a pretty pitiful range of motion, not a whole lot of strength, and look like my arm was atrophying. So off I went back to the pain specialist.

That was a funny conversation. I didn’t see the normal doctor, but his physician’s assistant. And she pretty much asked straight up “well are we working on the shoulder or the neck?” I had had a problem with my neck a while back, with vertebrae squeezing on my spinal cord making my hands numb. But this was different. I said shoulder, it’s a bigger problem right now by far.

So I had an MRI. And when I went back she declared I had a torn rotator cuff. So off to the orthopedic guy I went. Where he pretty much said “Yeah, that’s torn, it’s not going to heal itself”

Turned out to be a huge tear, which he fixed. Took four anchors. And just like a commenter said on Irish’s blog, it looked like I had a bone spur, and the way he put it was that if I slept on it wrong (which I did because I use a stupid wedge) it would have sawed right through it eventually. I’m now sporting a number of bullet hole scars in my shoulder as well as a pretty amazing scar, under which I imagine are the anchors, across the top of my shoulder.

This was outpatient work. They had the foresight to put her prescription for pain meds the day before. So I wobbled home and put my feet up. It’s been a tough week let’s say. Sleeping one position with your arm immobile really sucks. Pain medication fought with my digestive medication which fought with my thyroid medic I medication. You think somebody would looked into this but they didn’t. Worse yet, as anybody is taking painkillers knows, your plumbing gets backed up.

I had an unrelated issue with my stomach, so a few days later I had a digestive appointment where his physician assistant gave me helpful pointers. Such as “use MiraLAX, you can double up on it, and the results aren’t as… Uh… Explosive”. Too late. I found that nugget of info out the hard way.

Now I have my stitches out and I’m starting passive PT. Meaning stretching exercises since my range of motion has pretty much vanished. Yesterday, due to a bit of a family emergency, my wife left me to my own devices. (It’s a very good reason, trust me). Last night I figured out how to put a T-shirt on myself, which is an unbelievable blessing. It’s 20° outside, even colder at night, and the only button downs I have are summer weight. This morning I thought for sure the tough part was going to be getting the T-shirt off, but it was actually quite simple.

In the meantime we have very unseasonable cold and a light dusting of snow with temperatures in single digits. Oh yeah, and ice. So should be an interesting week.

I’ll do weekly updates. More fun to write about than the bozo explosion in DC.