Monday, June 13, 2011

The Saga of my Shoulder


Osteoarthritis, or "wear-and-tear" arthritis, is a degenerative condition that destroys the smooth outer covering (articular cartilage) of bone. It usually affects people over 50 years of age and is more common in the acromioclavicular joint than in the glenohumeral shoulder joint.

Posttraumatic Arthritis

Posttraumatic arthritis is a form of osteoarthritis that develops after an injury, such as a fracture or dislocation of the shoulder. Arthritis can also develop after a rotator cuff tear.

Sometime last fall, probably in September I began having soreness in my right shoulder and arm.  Trained as a Christian Scientist I generally ignored it.  After all it was just annoying and as my grandmother used to say "It's a long way from your heart."  

The next thing that happened was a letter and and e-mail which depressed me and I was ruminating on lost friends and sort of ignoring the idea that I was getting weaker and weaker.  It got to the point where I could not get out of my recliner.  I had to have a platform built so that it was higher and I could get out of the chair.  In the meantime the arm was still sore.  I had my mind on other things and you know depression will do that to you.

To make a long story shorter I finally had a doctor's appointment and talked to the doctor about the muscle weakness and sore arm and he took me off one of the medicines that I was on.  In discussing this with a friend who is also diabetic I found out that he had the same symptoms that I had had.  He mentioned that it took quite awhile to get the muscle strength back and to be free of the pain. This is now November to February that I had been fighting this (the depression and the weakness) - With this information I thought 'well it will take awhile. and just waited.

Then last month on May 13, I fell.  I hit my shoulder and OH WOW! did I have some more pain.  And the mobility was even worse.  So I went to the doctor again and this time he ordered an MRI and if you look above you will see what I am dealing with.   

I am going to Physical Therapy and have a super nice physical therapist who puts me through exercises to help.( He is kind, gentle, non-judgmental and has a sense of humor that meshes with me. I asked him if he had watched the Tony's - he hadn't  He was watching the basketball game but he laughed when I called it "Glee for Grownups" )  I go to see the orthopedic surgeon next week but he is not going to be very helpful as I know the situation is pretty bad.  I fell when I was in College and dislocated the shoulder.  The MRI shows that I will not be a candidate for rotator cuff surgery and I understand that a shoulder replacement surgery is not very successful either.  So I am hopeful that they will be able to strengthen the muscles and build up some tolerance for the pain or help me to deal with it.  

I am driving with my left hand and working on ways to compensate for limited right movement.  Oh yes, I am sleeping in the recliner as it is not good to sleep on the sore shoulder.  I am able to sleep better that way and get more rest this way.  I am also pretty much over the depression.  I have given up on having a close friendship.  I miss it terribly but there is nothing I can do about it. I shall do "my thing" and let them do theirs.  They were the ones who broke the friendship off and there is nothing I can do about it.  I do know I won't put myself in a position to be hurt again.

Thanks for stopping by.  It helps to know that there are people out there who actually care.  I am incredibly grateful to those who read this blog.  I shall try to write more and complain less (but don't count on it.)


Anonymous said...

Jay, why do they say you aren't a candidate for rotator cuff surgery? Is it not torn or some other reason? I had it done (arthroscopically) a couple of years ago when I finally couldn't even lift my left arm to my waist!!! Too many times falling on that shoulder (why always on that side, I wonder?). The surgery is a breeze and so is recovery. I was scheduled for 3 months of therapy and was able to raise my arm straight above my head after 3 sessions. Now, if your shoulder is full of arthritis, yes, there isn't much they can do. They can clean it out, but it will just come back. Stick with the therapy and exercise routine at home. It may not feel great, but it should feel better.....Peachie said...

Mine is full of arthritis and the PT said he didn't think I would be a candidate. We will see when I see the other doctor next Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

Keep me posted.....P.

Ur-spo said...

no fun in this!

Maybe this will help - pain may be inevitable, but suffering is a choice. said...

That is so true and I was in more pain because I let my depressed attitude get to me.

Don said...

Don't apologize about complaining. It is therapeutic. (When I do it, I don't call it complaining, but I won't say what I do call it.) And it's your blog, so do what you want on it.

Sam H said...

Jay are you having to type left handed too? having one useful arm is a pain. I know.
Sam said...

No, I can move my right hand enough to type.Thanks for asking.