[personal profile] rj_anderson
I've been having weird pain issues since last Christmas, starting with an aching tension in my cheeks and jaw and then nerve pain radiating around the back of my shoulder and down my arm into the fingers. I'd also had some bad (though short-lived) shoulder pain last August after carrying a heavy chair across camp. So it's taken me a long time, even after months of physiotherapy and an ultrasound, to discover that when I slipped on the ice and fell back at the end of January, I tore my rotator cuff tendon and that, not typing or lifting or bad form doing push-ups, is the real reason why I haven't been able to sleep without pain for the last six months.

I can't lie on my side -- either side -- because it hurts my shoulder, and I can't lie totally flat either, so I have to lie partially propped up on pillows with another pillow underneath my arm. Even at that, I sometimes wake up stiff and sore and have to get up for an ice pack two or even three times a night. During the day I can't lift anything heavier than five pounds with my right hand, or I'll pay for it (which means Monday nights are always bad for me, because that's the day I get groceries). I can't spend much time on the computer either, because mousing and even typing is uncomfortable.

It's frustrating, because before this happened I'd worked so hard to get my arms in shape. As a lifelong non-athlete, I was proud that over the course of the past two years I'd gone from not being able to do even one modified push-up to doing 22 military push-ups in a row. Now I can't do any kind of arm exercise without worrying that I'm damaging myself (and judging by the pain I have at night if I do anything more than the stretches my physio gave me, that fear isn't unwarranted).

The ultrasound shows a partial thickness tear, only 4 mm, but it's not getting better despite months of TENS, acupuncture, ice packs, and dutifully doing the exercises my physio gave me to strengthen the surrounding muscles. And today I found out that these kinds of tears don't heal on their own, so if I want a chance of recovery rather than just trying to manage the symptoms, I'm looking at surgery and at least six weeks with my arm in a sling.

I don't really want surgery -- I don't even know how I would manage if I had it. It would be hard on my whole family, not just me. But I'm so tired of being in pain and not sleeping properly. I'm tired of painkillers not working at all, and even ice only helping sometimes. I would love to believe that if I can do this, if I can get through this, I might be able to get back to something like my old state of health and fitness (even if I still have to be careful about how I move or how much I lift sometimes).

But then, there's no guarantees even if I do have the surgery. 80% success rate is good, but there's always that 20%.

I don't know.

Date: 2017-08-09 09:16 pm (UTC)
lizbee: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lizbee
One of the barristers on my floor had the surgery three weeks ago! She's getting through it with the help of her nanny, because #barristers - but perhaps your church could organise people to come around and help keep your house in order and everything else while you recover?

Date: 2017-08-10 02:09 am (UTC)
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
From: [personal profile] lizvogel
Sympathies! I was lucky enough with both my knee injuries to require relatively minimal intervention, but if either had been just a little bit worse, I'd have been looking at a similar dilemma.

You have to decide what's best for you, of course, but I will say, being not-in-pain is a beautiful thing, and worth a certain amount of dice-rolling.

Date: 2017-08-10 03:56 am (UTC)
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
From: [personal profile] nuranar
Oh, that's terrible! I haven't had this surgery, or one comparable, but I do agree that it's still the better option to do it. It's not just for you; you're unable to help your family and others as much as you want to because of pain and sleep deprivation. (((HUGS)))

Date: 2017-08-10 12:25 pm (UTC)
devarae: (Default)
From: [personal profile] devarae
Ugh, so much sympathy for you enduring this! Have you gotten any second or third opinions as to whether the injury will not heal on its own? I know there definitely are times when surgery is the only real cure (my mom had knee-replacement surgery last spring and while it was indeed really, really hard, she is SO much better now and so glad she did it). Surgery is definitely a scary and distressing prospect but if that is the best option I believe you can get through it and find relief and sleep on the other side. *hugs*

Date: 2017-08-12 02:54 am (UTC)
imbecamiel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] imbecamiel
Oh nooooo. :( Those things are incredibly hard to deal with. I know when family members have had procedures like that their feeling afterward has always been just that they wish they hadn't waited so long. But I know that sorting through the risks and problems is so difficult, especially when you've got the impact on a bunch of other people to take into account as well.

Praying for you!

Date: 2017-08-14 06:42 pm (UTC)
scarvenartist: (Default)
From: [personal profile] scarvenartist
I'm so sorry! I know I'd feel the same--physical therapy, etc, first, and surgery only as a last resort (recovery is UGH), but sometimes the long-term trade-off of having a surgery ends up making sense, particularly when something is affecting you even at rest. I know there's a lot to weigh in consideration though, and it's never an easy thing. I'll be praying for you!

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