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Sunday, April 25, 2010

You know you're getting old when...

...your shoulder starts hurting after walking around the block for exercise! Okay, I could almost understand an aching knee or hip. Even a tender ankle would make sense. Friday morning, Cousin Barrett happened by before work. I told him to bring his walking shoes because we were going to cruise around the block a time or two. About halfway thru our excursion my left shoulder began to hurt a little, like if I could just spin my arm around and make it "pop" it would feel better. It just kept getting more and more uncomfortable throughout the day. I found myself guarding it and mashing around my shoulder to see what type of pressure elicited the pain. Sleeping wasn't too bad as long as I stayed off of my left side. Bending over caused a throbbing pain; otherwise it was just a constant ache made worse with squeezing and prodding.
Now, you must understand that the topic of study for the final weeks of nursing is the big C word. And, my instructor just said last week that everyone sitting in our classroom more than likely has cancer cells in their body...If you've ever watched mystery diagnosis or read patient information about something a friend or family member has and realized that you, too, have whatever, then you know just where I'm heading with this! Mothers can never settle for a minor diagnosis. If you're running around in the cold without a hat on your head, you're going to catch not a common cold, but pneumonia. If you miss the mattress as you jump from one bed to another, you're going to break your neck, not simply walk away with a bruise.
Anyway, I started to consider a small spot I noticed weeks ago on my back near my shoulder. It just looked like an insect bite of some sort. I think it even formed a little blister, but it eventually went away leaving a dark brown spot. Now, my shoulder is hurting in the same vicinity?! Hmmm? It must have been a brown recluse bite and my walking and swinging my arms released the toxin into my surrounding tissues! For heaven's sake! No swelling of my respiratory tract, no evidence of flesh being eaten away from the spot. What else could it be?
After church this morning, I was in mucho pain-still guarding with limited range of motion in that left arm. I took an Advil. Mike insisted we run over to our Doc-in-the-Box right up the street and have them look at it. Closed on Sundays-Since when?! We drove around looking for a couple other "minor emergency" type clinics to no avail. We finally ended up at USMD emergency department. Miraculously enough, it went pretty smoothly. They took my vitals, asked me what happened (as in any precipitating factors), x-rayed my shoulder. Then the doctor came by and asked some of the same questions. He had me hold my arm this way and that and push against his hands from this position and that. He finally said he suspected nothing more than a shoulder strain--a touch of tendonitis. Treatment includes a sling to "rest" the shoulder until it is no longer painful, Flexoril, Lortab & Motrin--good grief! The Advil pretty much did the trick because my arm was already feeling a little better in spite of the "exercises" the doctor put me through. Probably won't be filling those big guns to just have them sit on my cabinet shelf and expire. Oh well, let me get back to work. Just thought I'd share the joys of aging. Until next time...