Friday, March 19, 2010

Von

It's official! We have a sequel!!

2009 was the Year of the Shoulder; 2010 is the year the shoulder fights back!

Do I really need to explain? No, didn't think so. I think it's well chronicled from about November that I was experiencing some... problems. But over the last couple of months its been like deja vu every single day, with my shoulder, in good sequel fashion, returning more painful and said pain covering more area.

Enough was enough and I went back to my GP and complained rather quietly and grumbled for weeks until I got my consultant's appointment. The thing was, unlike before, painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs were not even touching it - it was like it was a different kind of pain - an evil one...

Yesterday couldn't come sooner; I think that the work I've done in the last few months has kept me from going quietly insane, that and the almost stupid need to impress upon my colleagues that I'm actually a useful person. I confided with a colleague a couple of weeks ago that if this had been like last year - in the office, I think I would probably have lost it big time. But, because I've been enjoying my job, the shoulder has taken a backseat and I have not had one day off because of it. That might be about to change...

Mr Biswas has a funny name, but he saved me a lot of grief. I went straight in for an x-ray on my shoulder, thinking, 'hah, I'll bet they won't find anything, this is all in head!' I was in and out of x-ray faster than it takes to Google the words Calcified Tendons. A few minutes later and I was sitting in Biswas's office staring at my shoulder and thinking, 'it looks like my shoulder is shattered!'
"You see this?" He said pointing at the 3 floating objects above my shoulder. I nodded. "This is what the problem is and I'm betting its giving you constant pain and unlike last time you can't get any relief?" I nodded in almost total amazement. No having to show him how I can't use it, how it feels like a useless lump of flesh hanging there at times. He summed up all of it in one sentence. "What this is, is highly unusual so soon after an operation. This is where your tendons have been damaged by the impingement that was shaved off, but they have healed with high concentrates of calcium in them." I nodded again, transfixed and hoping there was some 'easy' solution. He got a model of a shoulder and showed me how the tendons which were being eviscerated by my dodgy shoulder blade had healed, but now because they were mimicking bone, they were causing almost the same problem as before; except this time with added area. "This is because this tendon connects to all the muscles in your shoulder, it controls the movement of your shoulder and because it isn't right it is causing all your muscles to be injured in some way." this was sounding grimmer still. Apparently, what is unusual about it is the fact it usually happens about 2 or 3 years after an operation, not 2 or 3 months!

"There are two things we can do. The first one is to attempt to get the process to heal itself forcibly, because while it will heal itself naturally, but it could take up to 5 years, and we cannot let you suffer for this long. This involves injecting your tendon with a fast working steroid and giving it two weeks to see if this accelerates the natural cleaning process that your body undertakes when things like this happen. If this doesn't work, and we'll know within two weeks, then we will have to operate again, and I will have to physically cut out the calcified areas. this, unfortunately, is a far more difficult operation than your initial surgery and you could be incapacitated for up to 2 months and will need extensive physiotherapy." This rather deflated me, as you might expect. I don't fancy another summer of boredom and hell!

But, first the injection and frankly I've had worse things happen to me, but not that often. I can't remember what it was or the dose, because I turned away, but I needed to be told to breath several times by the nurse because I was experiencing quite possibly one of the most intense pains I have ever experienced. Pardon me for being blunt, but guys, it was akin to having someone inject something thick into your testicles while squeezing them really really hard, like they were a stubborn spot. And it bled! I didn't realise it had until I took the plaster off this morning, but there was heaps of ... leakage.

But, he also injected me with a local anaesthetic first which gave me almost 4 hours of totally pain free life - which was nice.

The high dose of steroids has given me a really thick head all day and I've felt muzzy headed and useless (so no changes there then...), it's too early to tell if it has done any good, but I'm really keeping my fingers crossed that this works. March 31st is the second leg, so to speak, it would be nice to have some good news.

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