Triangulating the Data

March #SOLC17 Day 28


A couple of weeks ago my computer bag broke.  As a result I started using a backpack to carry my laptop to and from home.  Last week, I felt a strain in my left arm and shoulder.  I thought that it would get better after a few days.  Instead, the agony increased hour by hour, until I could barely move my arm without experiencing shooting pain.

I tend to over compensate on my left side as I have lymphedema in my right arm after overcoming breast cancer.  So, I can understand that I open myself up to putting too much pressure on my strongest extremity.

Regardless of the insane pain, my friend and I still met at Nordstrom last Friday for triple-points day. (I sliced about it earlier.)  Anyway, my left arm couldn’t go above my waist.  You would think that I would call it quits.  Instead, I asked my friend, Carrie, to help me change and pull clothes on and off.  After all, the shirts must go on.

I explained my predicament to Julia, our sales person.  She said that she experienced something similar and told me that I injured my rotator cuff.  How fortunate to get fashion suggestions and a medical prognosis, all in one trip.

Not surprisingly, my arm felt worse than ever on Saturday morning.  The pain was so excruciating that I decided to go to the ER.  After 5 hours of tests, including an x-ray, EKG, CT scan, and an ultrasound, the doctor ruled out some possibilities.  She narrowed it down to a pinched nerve, bulging disc, or an inflamed rotator cuff.

It was reassuring to know that after all of those tests, Julia’s diagnosis was still in the running.

The ER doctor prescribed some Vicodin and Prednisone, which is something that Julia could not do for me.  The doctor also suggested that I make an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon.

Fortunately, I was able to see an orthopedic guy on Monday, thanks to a doctor friend.  He reviewed the disc with all of the imaging.  In addition, he had me do some movements that helped him determine the issue.  At the end of our session, the orthopedic expert concluded that I had an inflamed rotator cuff and possible tendonitis beneath it.  He recommended that I continue the Prednisone and attend physical therapy sessions for a few weeks.

In the end, I was happy to get all of the testing, analysis, and expert advice from the doctors.  But next time I may just swing by Nordstrom during Julia’s shift to get a preliminary diagnosis from her first.  And, I might pick up a few new outfits while I’m there.


6 thoughts on “Triangulating the Data

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