Monday, September 28, 2009

divot update

Last Wednesday, I went to see my ortho guy, and (first of all, I waited like 45 minutes to see him because the EMG doctor hadn’t sent over my test results yet…) he told me that my MRI is definitely clear and that my EMG was normal too. He said the divot was caused by a steroid shot I got when I was sick back in March.

Note to self: Self, never get a steroid shot again. The end.

He told me that the best thing he could recommend for me was to get a second opinion. I have to be honest – that is the first time a doctor has ever told me to just go somewhere else. I certainly appreciated his honesty, but I was a little frustrated by the fact that he didn’t know what was wrong.

Anyway, my college doctor (the one who diagnosed my lipoma and then took care of me when I was holey) just moved to Southlake and opened a practice up there, so I went to see him on Wednesday afternoon.

He agreed that the divot was caused by the steroid shot and said that he thinks all the pain I’ve had is because my shoulder didn’t heal correctly from that car accident in 2001. He said I should rest my shoulder and then try to strengthen the muscles around the joint in the hope that that will provide enough strength/stability. If that doesn’t work, then I will have something called prolotherapy in an attempt to tighten up the joint itself.

I’m having a hard time though… mostly because I’m still in pain. Some moments are worse than others… but last night/this morning, I’ve been in a lot of pain. It’s frustrating. I’m trying to do everything I’m supposed to… but it’s hard when it hurts. And right now, it hurts.

And I’m afraid that I’m losing momentum in my new-found running. I was up to 1.5 miles a day, but now I haven’t run in nearly two weeks. I’m not sure what to do about that.

I’m determined to talk about happier things, though. We toured the new Cowboys Stadium on Saturday, so I will have to post pictures of that and talk about how fun that was sometime soon.

Until then, I would appreciate your prayers, and I eagerly anticipate sharing something like “I ran two miles and was pain-free all day today!” I’m just praying for that…


“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” – Psalm 27:14

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Well… the EMG was pretty awful. I cannot lie. I got stuck with needles in my arm, shoulder, and back. I got shocked in the forearm, upper arm, and neck. It took 2 hours. There’s not really a good way to sound like it was fun (other than just out-and-out lying, which I try not to do).

Results? My nerves are totally fine. Every test was normal. Yes, I have a giant divot (and it is ever deepening), but every nerve is transmitting properly. My muscles respond. Even the muscles/nerves IN the divot (yes, I got poked there too) responded completely normally. This is simultaneously wonderful and awful. I don’t want nerve damage. Nerve damage is terrible. The downside is that I’m still not sure what’s going on.

Oh, and here’s the way the appointment started: The doctor had me push against him and pull and do all kinds of things to test my strength. Then he goes, “Well, you have visible atrophy, but you have excellent strength, so that’s good. At least that means you don’t have Lou Gehrig’s Disease.”


I had NO idea that was even a possibility.

I had prepared myself to be strong and super tough during this test… and right there, before I’d even been stabbed or shocked, I was choking back tears. Wow. I am absolutely thankful that that’s not what it is… but… wow… how scary.

My precious husband drove me to my appointment, and he came back after an hour, and the receptionist escorted him into the room where I was… and I had a needle sticking out of my arm, and I MIGHT have been crying. (I will neither confirm nor deny that possibility…) He came over and kind of rubbed my hair and had this terrified look on his face, so I said, “Why don’t you wait in the lobby until this is over?” And he did. And then he took me to Kincaid’s and to get ice cream and skipped church to take care of me. I love him.

Oh, PS, I was feeling like a wimp for crying during the test until the doctor told me that he had a guy pass out on the table once. Then I felt less wimpy. Ha.

Say a prayer for Wednesday. I go to see my orthopedic surgeon again, and I am praying that he knows something that the radiologist and the EMG man didn't know and that he can tell me what's going on. I am in increasingly more pain, and I want relief. Say a prayer that we can figure out how to make that happen for me.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

the divot

I had my MRI last Tuesday morning, and I really didn’t think it would be any big deal (especially given that this was like my 6th or 7th MRI in my lifetime). This was the first MRI I’ve ever had where the doctor requested that it be done with contrast. He told me there would be an injection involved. I’m thinking, no big – something flu-shot-like. Well… I was wrong. Quite wrong. I had to sign separate releases just for the injection part… including one accepting or refusing a blood transfusion if necessary! They brought in a doctor to do the injection part (so I had a doctor, a nurse, and a tech in there) and had me lie on the Xray table (while they all wore lead vests and I wore a hospital gown). I actually don’t even know what all went on because I wouldn’t look. I know I got multiple shots of Lidocaine, but I don’t know how many. I know they stuck me several times for the actual dye injection part… but I mostly know that because I have a cluster of holes surrounded by a bruise. I know that at one point the doctor told me that I was doing really well – that she came off the table when she had this done. I know that later on, I yelped, and the doctor said, “Wow… you must take a long time to get numb. Most patients are totally numb by now!” (I also know that I received additional Lidocaine injections at that time.) I also know that at one point I had my head tilted back so that I wouldn’t see what was going on, so when I yelped, the tears that filled my eyes actually rolled up my face and over my ears.

Anyway, tomorrow (Wednesday) is the day of the EMG test, so I am even more nervie about that… given that this was supposed to be the easy breezy test. At some point in life, I must have really wronged my doctor. This is quite the revenge plan.

I don’t think the picture below does justice to the pain… but you can see the little holes and the bruise… and the divot in my arm. Pwetty!

Say a prayer for me tomorrow... I am super scared. The MRI was supposed to be the test that was no big deal at all, and I still have a bruise an entire week later. I'm ready to have nothing but sunshine and rainbows to talk about... but for today, I apprecaite your prayers. :)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

how am i gonna live today? with a positive, positive, positive, positive attitude...

Well, I am trying to have a positive attitude anyway. If I am fully honest, I haven’t blogged recently due to the fact that I have had kind of a rough week.

Well, actually my rough week started in 2001.

Okay, that’s only partly true.

Basically, I got in a car accident in 2001 and hurt my shoulder. I did the physical therapy thing and haven’t really had an issue with it. Well, my left arm is longer than my right thanks to that… and my left shoulder slopes down, so I can’t keep any straps on my shoulder… and it sometimes ached when it would rain… okay, but other than THAT, it was fine. Anyway, at the beginning of the summer, Lance and I were driving to Best Buy, and he was playing the license plate game (basically like “slug bug” for out of state license plates), and he called “Ohio” and hit me in the arm. He never hits hard in this game… and I think he only plays it because I talk incessantly when we are in the car because he is a captive audience, so random state names are sometimes the only thing he has to add to the convo. Evs. Anyway, so I start BAWLING crying after he hits me. At first, he thought I was kidding… and then he got this shocked and kind of sickened look on his face and was like, “Wait… are you serious? Like, for real?” Anyway, it hurt for a little while and then stopped bothering me again.

And then I developed a divot.

I’m really not 100% sure what else to call it… it’s just… a divot. It’s in my left arm right at the bottom of my shoulder muscle, and there’s just a big crater-y thing in my arm. I wasn’t too sure about it, so I went to my family doctor and told him the whole story (yes, including the license plate game part), and he told me I had good range of motion and good strength, so I probably just needed physical therapy again. Well, I don’t really like physical therapy that much, and I figured that if I was okay, I didn’t need it desperately or anything.

And then the divot deepened.

(This sounds like the dumbest golf story of all time. Such is my life.)

I finally got nervie enough to schedule the physical therapy, but I was doubting whether that was what I actually needed, so I asked a guy from church who is a physical therapist to look at my shoulder and see whether he thought that PT would help or whether I should go see a specialist. We walked over to their house one evening last week (they live in our neighborhood), and he moved my arm all around… and even discovered that my arm could move around in the socket, which is notsogood. He said that he would recommend at least having an ortho guy take a look at it because he couldn’t really figure out exactly what would be wrong (whether neuro or muscular or whatever) and gave me the name of a guy he said was really good with shoulders.

Sooooo Monday I go see the ortho guy. I tell HIM the whole story, and he moves my shoulder all around too. And yes, he even moves it around in the socket to see how much motion there is… but he was MUCH rougher than Richard was. Anyway, now I have to go on Tuesday to get an MRI (and they will be injecting me with something… possibly in the shoulder – ouchie pouchie!), and then the next Wednesday, I have to go get a nerve test where they will poke me over and over with needles to see how my nerves/muscles respond. The doctor pre-apologized for the nerve test. I take that as a terrible sign. And – fabulous – I was sore for several days after my appointment, so that was not fun.

Depending on what these two tests reveal, I may be facing a surgery on my shoulder here pretty soon. I’m nervous about all of it – the tests, the appointments, the possible surgery, recovering, paying for all of it. I’ve been praying about it a lot, and I am hoping that great joy is just around the corner…


PS – Update from previous post: Buddy is doing MUCH better (praise the Lord!) and really wants to be back to his normal, active self. We currently will not let him, which he does not appreciate… but we can tell he’s feeling a ton better, so we are thrilled with that. There – my daily dose of positivity.