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.