Adventures in Being Broken

Here I sit 2 months and 7 days post injury. On August 31 I got hurt at work. Seems relatively inane. I suffered a month of pain at home. Receiving workman’s comp. Seeing physical therapists and an RN named Phylis.

Around the 25th of September I finally saw a doctor. He said,
“Oh this does look bad. Someone should really have been doing something about this, but we will have to see what happens. First, I’m going to offer you a cortisone shot. You can take it now. Come back in a couple of days. Or wait until your next appointment and see if it comes to the point you need to see an orthopedist. If you see an orthopedist, odds are he’s going to give you this same shot. If I give you the shot. You’ll come back in a couple of weeks to see if anything has changed. If nothing really has I’ll either offer you another shot or send you to an orthopedist who will probably offer you another shot. So what do you want to do today?”

I think for about 30 seconds with the doctor just staring at me. Let’s just do it today. He then pull’s out Grey’s Anatomy and shows me exactly how, where, and why he’ll be shoving 2 different needles between my arm bones and collar-bone. The first to slightly numb the area the second to take the swelling down inside my shoulder. I brace myself for impending pain. My friend is in the waiting room. So I’m ready. Come on, worst pain ever! I dare you!

Needles in. Felt nothing.

“Now this will take about four days to really work, so just hold out.”

I wait four days. Five days. Two weeks. Nothing.

I go back to the doctor at the end of the second week and report that nothing has changed.

And I’m back at work. Regardless of my pain or doctor’s orders. And over that next month the following transpired.

“Well, we’ll see if workman’s comp will accept you getting an MRI”

A week later I get a call with a scheduled MRI.

I go the next week to get my MRI. Scared. I’m a fidgety person. Especially when the instructions are “Don’t. Move.” And I’ve seen enough “House” to know what sort of scary crap happens inside that thing.

If I’ve learned anything the last two months, it’s that if I let myself panic in a big way, when it comes down to it’s no big deal at all. Because I’ve worked it up so very much in my mind I hardly notice when it happens.

I go back to the doctor a couple of days later.
“It says here there’s a tear in your glenoid labrom and there’s some fluid leaking into the joint.” That is my cartilage has been torn away from my bone.  So he sends me to an orthopedist.

I fill out my paperwork. I wait in the waiting room for 20 minutes. I wait in the room for 1 hour and 45 minutes. To see the orthopedist for 10 minutes. (Five of which were him dictating a couple of letters and his notes). He pushed and pulled on my arm. My stalwart behavior working against me. I’m in excruciating pain. Every day. But I learn to deal. So when he says, “How’d that feel?” I say, “Well, it sure didn’t feel good,” as I make a funny face. Finally he says, “It’s not your rotator cuff for sure. And we can do another MRI, but it will only tell us what we already know. It should heal itself but you’ve been dealing with this too long for me to think that’s going to happen. So, what’s next? I can only say surgery. We’ll schedule you an appointment. You’ll be in a restrictive sling or brace with your arm stuck about 3 inches off your side for 3-4 weeks at least.”

The nurse calls me to talk to me about my surgery. “You’ll have to stop taking your pain killers, any kind. They’re thinning your blood and your surgery won’t go as well if you’re still on them.”

So here I am 10 days from surgery. I need to call the lady about getting fitted for a brace. And I’m without any relief. I’ve got some essential oils an herbalist friend gave me. My migraines must be suffered. I must go to work until I get cut. And my pain is worse than ever as I deal without any help. I never thought I’d be so thrilled to get my shoulder drilled into.