Random Thoughts

So much for shoulder improvement.  It was feeling a bit better, temporarily, but the PT thought that was due to my not using it, rather than any real progress.  I did the exercises and stretches prescribed, but not anything extra. The physical therapist (at least that’s what I’ve been told PT stands for – I’m starting to think that it really means that I pay someone to torture me) finally said that it didn’t look like he was able to help this time, so kicked me back to my PCP.

I promptly stopped using my arm/shoulder, and the rest helped.  I could sleep most of the night (as long as I didn’t roll over the wrong way).  Once I’d rested my shoulder sufficiently (I thought), I resumed the gentle stretches and exercises prescribed by the physical therapist.  As soon as I tried to do anything, the whole shoulder was aggravated again.

I think about the fact that a baseball pitcher can tear his rotator cuff and completely recover to the point that he can pitch again.  There shouldn’t be any reason that I can’t get my shoulder working again so that I can do easier things than pitch a baseball.  Like play my guitar.

The trick is figuring out what it’s going to take to fix this shoulder.  My PCP looked at the PT’s report, asked questions, and referred me to an orthopaedic surgeon.  My doctor’s terrific.  He suspected that I’d be reluctant to have surgery (he might have gotten that impression from the fact that I still have my gallbladder), and reassured me that the physician to whom he’s referring me will have suggestions on non-invasive things I can try.  Surgery will be a last resort.

Googling the Referral

In the past, I’ve known nothing about doctors to whom I was referred.  It was so cool, instead of being in the dark, to come home from my last appointment and google the surgeon.  Up popped his medical clinic.  I was able to see a picture of him and read his bio.  I was surprised at how much less nervous I felt after that.

I also got to fill out all my paperwork online.  Is it paperwork in a paperless office?  I guess it’s easier and more legible than having the office mail forms to me, but it took three hours to do it all.  Next time someone asks my occupation, I’m tempted to tell them that I’m a professional patient.

In Other News

Happy as I was to discontinue the sulfasalazine, I’m wondering if I’m going to have to start it again.  I’ve been wondering if the Enbrel wasn’t working as effectively – not a pleasant idea – but this morning (when I filled my pill boxes) realized that maybe the ssz was really helping and the recent problems are because I’m not taking that med any more.  Next rheumy appointment is the middle of June, so either this is a flare that will go away, or I’ll know something different needs to happen.

Lastly, I’ve overcommitted myself, so probably won’t be online much for the next few days.  In no particular order:  my boys are going camping this weekend, and I have things to prepare for them (laundry, mending…).  I’m teaching tomorrow morning – but not until 10, which is good, because I’m helping someone set up a new database and need to be done by 9. Plenty of time to spare if I finish that project first thing when I get up, then prepare my lesson for 10:00.  I have a sewing project that needs to be done in the afternoon, then two of the kids need transportation to a violin master class in the evening.  By the middle of next week I have three more sewing projects to finish, then we need to pack for our vacation.  And I need vacation overrides so that I can refill my meds.  Fortunately I have someone to stay at my house and take care of the animals while we’re gone, so no worries there.

Hmmm… maybe it’s the busyness and not the lack of ssz that has my feet hurting so much.  I guess if I get better on vacation, I’ll have my answer.

Have a terrific weekend.


3 thoughts on “Random Thoughts

  1. Socks: First of all have a great, great, great vacation. As busy as you are, you certainly deserve one! Good luck on the shoulder situation. When I had my hip replaced I bounced back as good as new within 6 weeks. A year after my shoulder replacement and I’m still working on range of motion. Everyone, from my PCP to my PT (physical terrorist), to my surgeon, to my dentist, tells me that shoulders are just tricky and they take a lot of time and work to get them where they need to be. (As for the baseball pitcher, if someone paid me a million bucks to do nothing but get better so I could play ball, I bet I could get well pretty quickly, too!) Good luck, great vacation, write when you can (we’ll miss your insightful, timely, wise, and funny posts!)


  2. I have a torn rotator cuff (full tear) and have had for about four years now. I refuse to do surgery (I’ve had lots of surgeries so it’s about the shoulder not about the surgery). My first ortho told me four years ago I would have to have surgery within 3 months. Time went by and I decided to consult another surgeon a year later for some pt. He said PT would tear up a rotator cuff and NOT to ever do pt. He recommended surgery too. I didn’t do it then either.

    Fast forward 3 more years. I know what I can do that aggravates the shoulder so I just don’t do those things. If I do, then I pay for about a week or so but it gets better again with limited activity.

    Honestly I think pts and orthos are in collusion so patients end up doing surgery. I hate pts and won’t go to one for anything anymore. I know about 15 people who have had shoulder surgery. Only one is much better and that’s because she’s an athlete and is very young and very in shape. Everyone else I know had horrible and painful and long recoveries with varying degrees of less pain. But none are pain free. And all say they would never have done it had they known how bad it would be.

    I’ve had a knee ACL done twice and after a long recovery, it was good as new. Everyone I know who’s had knee surgery is very pleased.

    Not so with shoulders so I will never go there. Good luck with yours, whatever you decide. Don’t let a PT anywhere near that shoulder again.

  3. It helps to know how others have handled this situation. I’ll post more about shoulders after I’ve talked to the surgeon. This guy’s reputation is that he says surgery is a last resort. I don’t think I’m there yet, so I’m looking forward to what else he can recommend. Thank you for sharing your experiences. I appreciate it.

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