Thursday, March 12, 2009

Great Expectations

It's been eight months since the initial neck/shoulder/arm flare-up knocked me for a loop. Since that time, I've done the following:

One six-week round of physical therapy
One neck MRI
One arm x-ray
Three cortisone shots
One two-week round of immobilization of arm
Blood tests, ultimating revealing hyperthyroidism
One six-week round of meds to counter hyperthyroidism
Another six-week round of double meds to counter hyperthyroidism
One elbow MRI
Another six-week round of physical therapy with a different PT
Another flare-up, this one of the back and neck
A diagnosis of costochondritis
A six-week round with a chiropractor
Courses of Celebrex
Courses of Voltaren Gel
Courses of Mobic
Nine or 10 visits with my orthopaedic doctor
Three visits with my general practitioner

So, how's that all going? No effin' difference, folks. Not a one. I went to see the upper extremity surgeon specialist in the orthopaedic practice yesterday. I met with my regular guy first, he of the back-handed compliment or front-handed slap. I didn't think I was meeting with him. I thought I was seeing only the Super Specialist, the guy who drives three hours every Wednesday to maintain a practice here but otherwise has retired.

Funny Guy said everything was normal. It was time to try yoga. Maybe it was fibromyalgia. He didn't doubt the pain, he just said nothing was going to be able to help me, particularly in light of my thyroid still being screwed up. My problem wasn't fixable by Super Specialist. So Funny Guy talked with me for 10 minutes or so and sent me on my way.

That was it. No seeing Super Specialist. Bye-bye. Call in three weeks after you've been doing yoga.

I was down the hallway when they called me back. Super Specialist had promised the chiropractor in the practice that he would see me, so he wasn't letting Funny Guy send me away. Another exam, this time with SS, who really didn't care that the x-rays and MRIs said there was nothing. He did his own x-rays, manipulating my arm for each click.

It's not tendonitis. It's not tennis elbow. [I said that was good because I suck at tennis.] It's an impingement of the bone and ball and what-have-you, and it scrapes when my arm moves. [This is when I asked that he leave his wife and three children and I leave my husband and three children and we run away together. They can be the Brady Bunch. We can take up tennis.]

What's likely next? Well, SS shot me with cortisone in the area of most discomfort and, while SS doubts that will do anything, there's a chance that will help. [So far, no.] The more likely scenario is arthroscopic surgery there. We'll talk again in two weeks.

The best part of all this? I have hope. Again. The second best part of all this? Super Specialist essentially permitted me to give a big raspberry to Funny Guy.


Kelly O said...

I have my fingers crossed for you!

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...


I think you and I need to meet at drink-thirty P. Sending best wishes and healthy vibes your way.

D... said...

Thank goodness you got stopped! Stupid Funny Guy.

I'm glad you got some hope & sounds like, finally, an answer. I will continue to pray.

Tumblewords: said...

Good luck - seems like if you can just hang on long enough, some smart person will find a solution, but there are sure a lot of faulties on the way...

Tara R. said...

I developed bursitis in my shoulder after getting a flu shot... did the PT, saw the orthopedist, even had cortisone shots... that friggin' HURT. Finally my rheumatologist said it might be bone spurs, after nearly two years. Just having that hope, a reason for the pain and a possible answer was the best medicine I could get.

I hope you get some relief very soon.

Maggie May said...

i cannot recommend enough using supplements to treat this. i had the exact same thing and was diagnosed with costeochondritis by my GP too,
as well as a few other things roll eyes.

i did a shitload of research for two years when i was sick with endometriosis and hypothyroidism. i treated myself with nutrition and supplements and am a walking data base on what works.

FISH OIL works. it really really REALLY works. i take large amount every day and have many benefits. one of the main things it does is quell ANY kind of inflammation. it also improves blood flow, prevents heart disease and brain degeneration, etc. it's amazing. my kids take it daily too.

BROMELAIN also works. it also is a potent antiinflammatory. i also used it after i broke my foot.

feel better.

Janet said...

Funny Guy might need to go on report. Super Specialist sounds like he might actually be competent. Good luck!


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