Today I finally went to the Orthopaedic doctor to be seen about my shoulder. Back in September, probably about a week after I found out I was pregnant, my right shoulder and arm started hurting and my mobility was started decreasing. Over the next couple months – I talked to both my GP and OB and they told me that I’d most likely have to wait until after I wasn’t pregnant anymore to have anything done about it. I wanted to go visit my favorite ortho-clinic, but alas, they were not on my health insurance plan for that year! After trying a couple of other sports clinics, that I ended up being very unhappy with, I just decided to live with the pain and decreased mobility until I could go back to my preferred doctor.
The pain – I’ll try to describe it. During the day it was generally just a dull ache, as long as I didn’t do anything to jar my shoulder or arm unexpectedly. But if something dropped, and I instinctively tried to catch it, or if I was petting the dogs and they got excited and jumped up into my arm … wholly-fucking-shit-balls-of-more-shitty-mc-shitterson! The pain was so bad, tears would come and sometimes I even actually cried.
I have taken for granted my whole life how wonderful it is to be able to reach above the shoulder. I can’t put my hair into a proper pony tail, shave my right armpit, put dishes away with ease, put my clothes away without pain or even exercise my upper body. I try to use just my left arm, but I’m right handed – it’s very hard to do. I never once in my life thought I would say this, but I would love to be able to do a burpee!
Anyway, after finally getting diagnostic imaging done to rule out any broken bones or torn tendons or tissues, the diagnosis is frozen shoulder. My doctor told me that it typically happens in women, especially older women near menopause. He said they’re not sure why, but it does seem related to extreme hormonal fluctuations or diabetics. While he has treated menopausal women, and women post-pregnancy, the doctor said I’m his first case that he’s seen where it appears to have been brought on by the pregnancy itself. Odd, huh? Lucky me got a cortisone shot right there in the office and I start therapy next week. He expects that after a couple months of therapy and possibly one more cortisone shot I should be back to normal. Yay me for tackling this so I can start feeling better.
Luckily, I don’t need my shoulder to walk, hike or run and I’ve been getting a lot more of that in! I am nowhere near my normal, but you know – I really don’t care right now. I am just so happy to be able to exercise without feeling sick or without worrying that I’m going to overdo it and hurt my baby. It is nice to just run for myself.
But, back to my hormones, which are temperamental assholes as of late. As I mentioned in my first post, when I had my first miscarriage I experienced my first ever panic attack – a couple of them actually. So this time, the doctor gave me a prescription for Xanax in the hospital and I’m so glad I relayed my first experience after loss and did not try to tough it out.
I’ve come to learn that panic attacks can be hormonally driven as well and it makes sense for me. The first one I experienced after losing Aoife cemented that they do appear to be hormonally related when it comes to Miss Sina B. I woke up in the middle of the night, feeling like the world was ending and I was going to die, unable to breathe properly, just wanting to run from the house crying and screaming. Luckily I had Eddie next to me – I popped a Xanax, did my breathing exercises and just talked to him for a half hour until it passed.
It sucks – it’s such an irrational experience and doesn’t make any sense when it happens. Being the control freak that I am – this is unacceptable in my life (which means jack shit right now, apparently, ha ha)! I have not had a panic attack in the past couple weeks and I believe the majority of the anxiety is behind me. There will be moments, I know this – when something triggers the emotional responses – but I feel that I am equipped to handle these situations or at least strong enough to admit when I’m not and remove myself from them or not subject myself to them.
Which brings me to babies and pregnant women – obviously huge triggers. I’ll be honest and say I’ve been avoiding both. I don’t want to – there are a couple babies I really want to go visit right now – but, when I think about actually doing it … it just seems too hard. I have nothing more to share on that right now except that … it’s hard. I have no ideas to make that easier or goal plans on healing yet, except the thought that sometimes stuff sucks and it is what it is.
Other things I’ve done this week in regards to the F*ck It List:
Went on one of the Top 10 hikes, ran a race for Aoife & Sweet Pea, got rid of 3 bags of shit from the back room, organized half the closet and started to brew our first batch of beer!
It’s been a productive week ~ thanks for reading!