Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Where Does It Hurt?

I am normally an active person. I was one of those kids who couldn’t sit still, was always on the go and in constant motion. Probably drove my parents crazy. This frenetic energy followed me into adulthood.
I like to keep moving and, given that for most of my working life I find myself situated in front of this computer for hours on end, I make sure I find the time to exercise daily: walking, bike riding, lifting weights, calisthenics, or just working around the house.

Staying active has suited me well these many decades. Nothing like the comfortable ache of pushing and testing your muscles and joints with good, hard effort, then rewarding yourself with a soothing hot shower, an enjoyable meal, and relaxation with family and friends at the end of the day. But a lot of that has changed for me recently.

What if those comfortable aches begin to linger? Or if those sore muscles and joints remain sore long after what is considered a “normal” period of recovery?

I feel your pain.

In fact, I feel my pain. For months now, I have been battling chronic shoulder pain. It hurts to do just about anything that involves using my left shoulder. This video will give you an idea of what it feels like:



The sad fact is, I was not acting (okay, maybe a little) in the above vid. My shoulder is filled with pain, especially when I use it a certain way. And since the pain radiates along my entire arm, it even hurts when I write posts, like this one.

Being a man, and by that I mean: being a stubborn creature who only visits a doctor as a last resort, I first ignored the pain, hoping that it would go away, like most aches and sore muscles eventually do. When it did not, I added aspirin and a heating pad to my home remedy. Still no improvement, so I added constant complaining and moaning to my inept self-healing cure. Again, no change. So I had this conversation with my wife:

Mike: My shoulder is killing me!
Wife: Go see a doctor.
Mike: I don’t know what to do anymore.
Wife: Go see a doctor.
Mike: I mean, I’ve tried everything…
Wife: Go see a doctor.
Mike: It’s never felt like this before.
Wife: Go see a doctor.
Mike: It really hurts.
Wife: Go see a doctor.
Mike: Think I should go see a doctor?
Wife glares at Mike, sadly shaking her head as she walks out of the room.

I finally take my lovely wife’s advice and visit my doctor. This begins a chain of events that takes me from x-rays to physical therapy to a botched MRI to more PT to a cortisone injection to another MRI to weeping like a small child to more physical therapy to one more cortisone injection to sucking my thumb in the fetal position to one last trip to my physical therapist (who my wife now thinks I am secretly dating) to…today.

Or should I say: tomorrow.

Thursday, October 16, 2008, I will be having arthroscopic surgery to repair the pain in my left shoulder.

I look forward to this procedure with paradoxical caution: I am not thrilled with the prospect of being anesthetized and having someone poke around my bursa, bones, muscle, and what-have-you, but on the other hand I am tired of the pain and ready to remedy it.


I leave you with two thoughts to ponder while I am recovering:

1. This will be my last post for a while, depending on when I will be able to sit back at this workstation and work this keypad pain free and without the threat of hindering my healing.

2. Listen to your body. That comfortable ache after exercise or physical activity is a good thing, an indication that you have been active and your muscles and joints are happy and healing. But if that ache lingers or turns into something more, then do yourself a favor and listen to your wife.

Go see a doctor.

Until next time…

peace,

Mike

56 comments:

betchai said...

oh, i am sorry to hear about your present pain. it was hard for me to imagine at first since i see you really as one funny and active guy. but then, i do understand that pain chooses no one since my hubby who is also very much active and athletic also woke up one day with too much pain that brought him to a lot of doctor's visits too. i wish you success on your arthroscopic surgery, hope everything will do fine and soon you will come out a pain-free man!

Gandalf and Grayson said...

That was some mighty fine acting, Mike! hahaha!

Did you know that our Grampy almost died once? He had an attack of Stubborn. He finally went to the hospital though... 3 days later. Turns out, it was not only a Stubborn attack though. Nope. He was apparently struck by a severe case of Deafness in both ears, too. For some unexplained reason it only happened to him when our Nana, Mom and our Aunties talked to him. It is a great medical mystery! Oh, and the doctors also found that he'd had a heart attack. So as it turns out, Men can be a little bit.. oh, what's the word we are looking for here...

We hope your surgery goes well and you heal up better than ever!

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

This post is the very reason that men don't live as long as women (usually). You all just think the pain will go away. I'm glad you are taking care of this. I hope it corrects the pain. Have a great day. :)

Melanie Jordan said...

Sorry to hear of your pain. I went through a chronic leg pain problem myself that no one could diagnose after every test possible and every treatment short of surgery possible, and we were good at ruling things out but never could figure out what it was.

My theory is partially a stress-induced situation (some open-minded doctors call it TMS based on the work of NYU's Dr. John Sarno--real pain and inflammation brought on by the autonomic system taking control of yuor body) and truly some severe inflammation.

I got better over time through a combination of alternative methods--self hypnosis and meditation practices, a combination of supplementing my diet with super pure fish oil with AKGs, magnesium and topricin herbal anti-inflammatory creme.

I feel for you and wish you all the best with your surgery. As an active person and fellow healthy lifestyle blogger, I know how frustrating it is to have any limitations on the life you wish to lead.

john b said...

I feel your pain Mike. Not that I have ever experienced chronic pain, but I am recovering from a fall that broke my right arm, just above the wrist. Good luck with the surgery and I wish you a speedy recovery. Looking forward to future posts. Take care. :)

GetSmartGal said...

I love that you recognize that you are being a guy....I mean a stubborn guy! Great post, now go to the doctor already. :-)

Eric S. said...

Mike, take care of yourself, and be sure to give the stubborn streak a rest and follow doctors orders. Now that I have said that, know that I am just as stubborn and do not follow even my own advice, LOL.

I do believe that certain stubbornness is part of the male genetics. When my father had his first heart attack, it was a full five days before we could get him to go to the hospital. When they checked his vitals, they hooked one of those automatic machines up. The nurse got this strange look on her face, and said "This darn thing must be broken".

When she checked his vitals the old fashioned way, there was instant hustle and bustle at the hospital. They ordered up a helicopter, and had him rushed to the big city hospital. The nurse looked at us and said "How the hell did he walk, his pulse was 12 and blood pressure was non existent".

So just learn to ignore that stubborn streak okay. Be sure to follow doctors orders. We'll all be here when you get back.

Anna said...

Take care of yourself Mike! The arthroscopic surgery is amazing these days in that the healing time is so much quicker than it used to be! So hang in there!

I feel your pain, though mine is occipital neuralgia. (A pain in the head for no particular reason.)

m said...

Good luck with your shoulder. Take some rest and peace.

Wayne John said...

I wish you a speedy recovery with that shoulder. I'm having issue with my left, not as bas as you, but I can emphasize with what you're dealing with.

Catch you on the flipside!

Martin Miller-Yianni said...

I had the same symptons and tried everythign you did, the xrays, the injections the therapy then I tried this!

http://www.bulgarianslivatree.com/2007/08/healing-stones-bulgaria.html

Still no problems nearly three years on.

I hope you get better soon.

HEALTH NUT WANNABEE MOM said...

Oh no! I hope you feel better soon! I will miss your posts. I am sorry you hurt but somehow you make even pain funny to read about.
By the way I tagged you but don't worry about it. Just get better !

neferiti said...

I have become a fan of your blog and the topics you have chosen to write about! Therefore, I have left you an award. Hope you like it. Happy Blogging!

Helen

Lux said...

Mike, I'm wishing you all the best with your surgery tomorrow, and hope the healing process is a swift one!

Peace,
Lux

A. said...

Take care, and be sure not to rush back too soon. I wish you a very speedy recovery.

Sam said...

Get well soon Mike... Yes the pain will just go away. You can heal your pain. Pain is a reminder for us to take a rest for a while. Take your time...


Show Me Your Interest

Jacqueline said...

Yeah Mike,
Take care of that shoulder. You won't get another one. :-)

Mike Foster said...

betchai: thanks for your kind words; I'm still a funny guy, just trying to get more active again...

gandalf and grayson: glad my amazing acting gave you a chuckle...

sandee: I hope it works too, and thanks for pointing out the subtle difference between men and women
8')=

melanie: wow, sounds like you had quite an ordeal, but glad you're doing better...

john: thanks, man, and take care of that wrist

getsmartgal: hmmm, maybe I don't really need surgery? Nah, just kidding, heading for the doc in a few hours

eric: thanks, great advice...let's all take it, huh?

anna: good to hear that about the surgery...and I hope you feel better too

m: peace and rest sounds pretty good right about now...thanks

wayne john: must be getting old

martin: where were you months ago? But I have an impingement, not sure if healing stones will work, but ya never know

heidi: thanks, glad you had a few laughs...I was going for laughs, despite the pain...

neferiti: thanks, will check it out when I return...

lux: you and me both...

a: speedy, but not too speedy? thanks!

sam: I like that, and it is a good reminder...rest is sounding better and better

jacqueline: not another left one, at least...


Thanks for all of your kind words and thoughts. I hope to be back in no time...whenever that is.


peace,

mike

Evelyn Lim said...

Mike, so sorry to hear about your pain. Bet it isn't easy going through all that you are: the pain, agony and frustration. All the best to your surgery! Come back soon!

Natural said...

wow mike, sorry to hear about your pain. i can't stand being in pain. hope you get better soon.

your smile did brighten up my morning. thanks.

always listen to your wife. :)

wildcatsthree said...

I'm sorry to hear about all the pain you've been in, and hope the surgery is a success. I'll miss your posts, so hope you'll be able to get back to it soon. Take care and let your body heal.
Chris

Carol said...

You'll be missed. Here's to a quick and painless recovery!

bartolomo said...

Mike,
Hope you feel better. Very nice blog. I've added you to my blogroll, on my relatively new blog. Sure would appreciate a listing by you. http://blog.runningover50.com/
Thanks. Take care.

Daisy said...

I am wishing you a speedy recovery!

Sue said...

Good luck on your surgery. Sorry to hear about your pain. It's not just men though, I hate going to the Dr. too, I had a bad fall back in Dec. of last year, and it took me 5 months before I went to get x-rays! Long story. But anyway. Hope all goes well, and I'll be thinking of you! :)

Lance said...

Me...I avoid the doctor too...

When I had shoulder issues also. A year later, it finally felt better - does that qualify as stubborn??

Have fun with the surgery! Oh, I mean, good luck and here's to a speedy recovery...

Raquel said...

"Go see a doctor". You hard head huh?! Anyway, I know how you feel I hope that it's not serious though. Good luck and keep us updated when you have the chance.

On The Verge said...

Hope you are feeling better soon. Tried to follow you today but it won't let me?

Jenny Mannion said...

Hi Mike, Feel better soon! Wow did that conversation remind me of one with my husband! GREAT acting by the way! Make sure you give your body the time it needs to heal... get some funny movies, books to keep you in good spirits and your readers will be waiting for you when you return! Love, Jenny

rebecca said...

Mike, I REALLY REALLY wish you'd go for accupuncture instead.

Have you tried EFT? It works about 90% of the time and is free and easy go to http://www.emofree.com/

PaulsHealthBlog.com said...

Now I see why you didn't want to go see a doctor!

By the way, are you left handed?

Take care and get well soon!

jodapoet said...

Well women can be just as stubborn. I hope it goes well and that you are on the mend very soon. Take care of yourself.

Jennifer said...

I hope the surgery went well and that you are pain-free soon!

Robin said...

Hi Mike,
I'm sorry to hear about your pain also. I'm so glad you took your wife's advice on going to the doctor. I don't like to go either. Wishing your arthroscopic surgery to repair the pain in your left shoulder to go very well for you. I like your top picture of you, you look so healthy and full of life. God Bless! :-)

Shannon@Vogue Mum said...

Hope the surgery goes well and healing is speedy!

Shanno
Vogue Mum
Rock Star Maternity
Domestic Engineer's Union

Preston said...

Good luck with the operation bud. (My friend has fibromyalgia and I honestly don't know how she can remain sane with all the pain she has.) Hurry back to your posting when your done!

Bonnie said...

Sorry to read about your pain but it's good that you are taking care of it. It is interesting how we can live in denial for awhile until we just have to face the facts that there is something wrong.
good luck with the surgery.

Nessa said...

I hope you are better soon. I'm going through something similar so i completely understand. I woke up one mor ning about 4 months ago and my right shoulder felt like it was on fire. Somehow i have nerve damage in that shoulder and there's nothing that can be done. I manage it with range of motion exercises and one tramadol per day. Hopefully at some point I too will be healed and not have to take meds. Good luck in your recovery :)

Laura-Junkfoodaholic.com said...

Sorry to hear you had to succumb to surgery but I hope it's done the trick. Get well soon! I'll miss your posts while you recover.

Dan Branltey said...

Mike,
I'll do a couple of posts for you. if You can use them, or lose them, your choice.
Let me know.
Dan

Donna McDine said...

Hi Mike...sorry to hear about your shoulder pain...I hope it heals real soon. You contacted me through my blog - donna-mcdine.blogspot.com - If you would like send me a private email and we can get a discussion going - dmcdine@optonline.net

Regards,
Donna

The Healthy Mom said...

Sorry to hear about your pain in your shoulder. I hope the surgery went well. Rest and take care! It won't be long and you will be busy again in the blogosphere!

tamicks said...

I hope you feel better ... ♥

Susan said...

Mike, so sorry to hear about your shoulder woes. Here's wishing you a speedy recovery!!!! We need you up and typing ... the blog world is not nearly as nice a place without you!!!

Susan
www.catapultfitnessblog.com

marly said...

HEllo MIke, your wife is right maybe you should see a doctor for a check up. Being in pain is not a joke.

Anna said...

Hope the surgery went well and sending you healing vibes Mike!

Monica said...

Hello Mike, I hope your surgery went well & you can be back to full health asap!

PaulsHealthBlog.com said...

You hurt your shoulder and the Red Sox lose the ALCS.

So it's all your fault!

Richard said...

4 operations later my shoulder has stopped hurting. Lost 50% of my mobility, but the pain finally stopped.

Hint, ask for morphine. They give it in small doses and other than constipation it is a great thing. I didn't like the idea of morphine, so I used Jack for about 6 years.

Mike Foster said...

Hello from surgery recovery hell!
I am typing this with one hand just to say thanks for all your kind words. I hope to return as soon as possible with some new posts. I have some new videos that I will try to post in the next few days.
Too bad about the Red Sox, but it's not my fault, Paul; I'm a blogger, not a pitcher or hitter--which they were just a bit short of. Congrats to the Rays.

peace...

Mike

Mike Golch said...

Mike, I wish I had the energy that I had as a kid.Good luck with the surgery

EastCoastLife said...

Mike,
Sorry to hear about your pain.

I'm also one who visit a doctor only as the last resort. I hope it will not be too late then.

Looks like I have to take care of some pains too....

Take care.

infoscian said...

oh..tats a great pain :-(

VintageGent said...

Gosh...that's nothing to mess around with. I wish you a speedy recovery.

Faisal Admar said...

gees. the vid is scary. i hope you are getting better mike.

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