Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sorry I've Been Away

by Leann Sweeney

I have not been blogging or doing any typing that requires my left arm and I've missed talking to you. Time for me to get back to business after a week of doctor's appointments, sleepless nights, tests and strong medicine.

As I have mentioned, I hurt my shoulder last August in a freak fall--at least my dog thought it was freakish. I cannot even explain. Just know that I ended up hanging by one arm from kitchen island. Yes, I am a klutz. Nice German word for a nice German woman. After seven months of dealing with varying degrees of pain, things started to get decidedly worse about six weeks ago. For no apparent reason.

But I was reassured by the bigwig orthopedic shoulder surgeon at the Texas Medical Center that some people's shoulders react to even minor injuries in excessive ways. That's what happened to me. I have a small rotator cuff tear but my body decided to make all kinds of scar tissue--way too much. I have a frozen shoulder, or adhesive capsulitis if you want the fancy term. This overreaction by my body in turn led to bicep and tricep tendinitis. Pain, in other words.

I have been shot up with cortisone, given lots of drugs and been told to rest the arm until the pain begins to subside. Then it's rehab time. Gentle rehab. I like the sound of anything gentle. See, my husband has been taking care of me. I appreciate what he has done, since driving has been very difficult. But he has a new secret name: the shoulder drill sergeant. He doesn't do kind and gentle. I have had to bite my tongue a lot in the last two weeks. I call that taking a different kind of medicine.

What about you? Have you had a weird reaction to medicine or an illness or an injury? Or am I just a freak of nature?

37 comments:

Sara said...

I haven't had the weird reaction, but I had physical therapy last summer for a frozen left shoulder. I totally understand the pain you've been feeling and why you haven't been able to type. I imagine some think "well, you can't move your arm a lot but you should be able to type..." not realizing how sitting with the arm in one position for any period of time can cause pain. Our trip to New England last summer was sometimes SO painful...I preferred to drive because at least then I could stretch my arm out over the steering wheel. If I was the passenger, my shoulder would start to stiffen up after a while. So, take it easy, know that the physical therapy will hurt at times but it will be worth it. Mainly take care of yourself!

Melanie said...

I get sinus infections like most people get colds. This last one the antibiotic caused itching, rash and swelling. Needless to say an allergic reaction. First time ever for me with an antibiotic. After I gave birth to my 9yo, the pain med they gave me before caused a similar reaction.

hatfieldtiffany75 said...

Hello,
It sounds like you have been in a mess. I am knew to the site but I am glad you are back and hope that things begin to progress. I also look forward to reading your blogs.

I haven't had any reaction to any medicines but I do have a funny story. Back in 2005 I had to have surgery and have a tumor removed from my fallopian tube. Before the surgery I had to have a CT scan done. Before they do that they have to inject dye into your veins. I was getting very nervous and started to panic because my husband is allergic to dye and it can cause a bad reaction and even death. I was laying there on the table and I begin to have a panic attack and I told the lady I was feeling funny and my legs were tingling and I asked if it was a reaction to the dye and that is when she informed me that she had not yet injected the dye into the IV. LOL. I felt like a complete idiot. But the laughter from it took my mind off the whole procedure.

I hope this makes you feel better :)

Aurian said...

I wish you well with your shoulder Leann, and perhaps someday soon you can get back at your drill sergeant when he has something minor (after all, men are such babies when in pain or ill).

dinozero said...

I do not really know your husband - just thru your blog postings. I just want to say sometimes we balance each other out in our relationships. And sometimes we earn our little pet names - LOL. And yeah ... some of us men can be such babies when we get ill or in pain. But isn't that what you are supposed to do????

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Oh boy, Leann, what a rough ride you are having. At least he isn't saying 'This will hurt me more than it hurts you.' I hope you are mending soon.

Erika Chase said...

From one klutz to another, so glad you're on the mend. My worst "accident" was dog-related, a broken left wrist when he pushed me over and 6 months later, a broken left elbow when he pulled me over. The bad part was not being able to drive my standard shift for so long!

Take care!

Leann Sweeney said...

thanks everyone. you have cheered me up. i am back to the one handed typing this morning. glad to hear from someone who had a frozen shoulder. yes. the drill sergeant has been driving me everywhere in his big old ford 150 and it actually seems to make it worse than me driving myself. but we won't tell the drill sergeant. [g]

leann

Laura K. Curtis said...

I had frozen shoulder on my right side, but unlike you I had to have it surgically corrected and OMG did it hurt. Like HURT.

But I bet I can beat almost anyone when it comes to odd reactions as I've made the medical journals not once but TWICE over the years. The first time as a small child when I was allergic to the chicken pox virus, the second time in 2007 when I got "drug-induced pseudo-lymphoma" from my epilepsy meds that I had been on for years. Rare enough that I had hives over 80% of my body for FOUR MONTHS before anyone figured out what was going on. I'd rather have pain.

Oh, and then there was the asymptomatic perforated appendix, but that's another story...

Anyway, I am sorry to hear about your shoulder, and I hope it doesn't interfere too badly with your writing! PT is a wonderful thing. Especially if they do the tingly electrodes. I love that part.

Leann Sweeney said...

well, laura, you and i have a lot in common. i have something called 'cold urticaria.' i get hives from cold on my skin. imagine my surprise when they did this whole piece on the today show last week about this little girl is allergic to the cold and how her parents take all these precautions and consult with the school and on and on. my mother's reaction? go outside. you'll be fine. (and we lived in Niagara Falls at the time.) i would come in from freezing temps after playing outside and have giant hives up to my thighs and all over my hands and she'd say, they'll go away. weird. yes. but i survived. :-)

ev said...

I hope you feel better soon.

I have rheumatoid arthritis and used to take Alleve for the pain. I hate taking drugs anyway. All of a sudden I had the hives. It took six months for them to figure out what was wrong and then for them to go away. Now I can't have any thing with aspirin or NSAID's in it, so I live on Tylenol. Allergies like that can come up out of nowhere I guess.

Our college daughter out in CA has had a flare up of an old HS injury with her knee and is now in a brace. Tuesday we see what the MRI and Dr. say. And her insurance expires the end of March. Ugh.

Georgette said...

Hope you are ok. I had a freak fall several years ago and until I went to an Orthopaedic dr it was misdiagnosed.Not all Internists know how to evaluate properly. I actually suffered from a separated AC. Hope that is not your situation.Eventually the pain will go away. Hang in there.

Hannah Dennison said...

I think I'm allergic to my day job. I call it Boss-Itis. Recently I've been getting a weird flakey rash on my brow bone (both brows) that is an attractive puce color. It's only there from Monday to Friday.
Glad you are feeling better Leann.

Leann Sweeney said...

oh boy. hives are no fun and last long past the time you figure out what is causing them. and why do things always happen when the insurance is about to run out? what's with that?

Leann Sweeney said...

oh, georgette. that's not good. i hope you are fully recovered. fortunately i went to one of the best shoulder surgeons in the country and now have a plan to get better. i am lucky to have the texas medical center so close--though it is a little intimidating.

Leann Sweeney said...

hannah, bossitis can be a serious problem. i think i've suffered from that. but as for the flaking on your brows, my retired nurse is coming out of retirement. have you ever heard of ocusoft pads? if you clean your brows with them, you may get some relief. find them near the eye drops in any drugstore. they really work!

Bella said...

Oh Leann, you poor thing. I'm the same way when I'm sick. I'm sure I drive my family crazy. Hope you feel better soon :)

Leann Sweeney said...

thanks bella. i've been through much memdical stuff in the last 5 years, i just have to keep looking forward. it beats the alternative. :-)

Dru said...

I'm glad you're doing better.

I had bad reaction to medication given to me after surgery. This particular medication was needed so I had to be monitored every hour and I was not allowed to sleep for 24 hours.

Leann Sweeney said...

you're trying to heal and you're not allowed to sleep, dru ann? that is tough. i'm glad you came through that okay.

Breaunna said...

I had a bad reaction to cortisone shots in my knees several years ago. Now, I refuse to get them. I understand your shoulder pain too. I have a bad right shoulder which acts up from time to time. Hope you get better really soon!

Leann Sweeney said...

breaunna, cortisone shots are no picnic and then to deal with side effects afterward--yuck. changes in the weather sure do affect joints and i wonder if our cold damp winter here in texas made all this worse. wishing you no more pain!

Fiona said...

I had frozen shoulder last year. I spent four month in physical therapy getting back the use of my shoulder. (Mine was from a fall too.) Just a hint: If they put you on the overhead pulley, it did wonders for me.

Leann Sweeney said...

thanks fiona. doc said as soon as the pain is more manageable, the rehab will begin. 4 months sounds good to me. :-)

Chaplain Jan said...

My weird medical experience was having my tonsils grow back - I had them out at both age 4 & 10. Of course, now when I have to give my medical history I get a look of "Yeah, right".
I also had a 95% frozen shoulder in 1998 with surgery & pre- and post-physical therapy. My therapist was the King of Drill Sargents, but not only did I get back full range of motion, but lost 30 lbs in the process! The only lingering problem is some aching in cold, wet weather.
Hang in there, Leann - it will get better!

Leann Sweeney said...

thanks Chaplain Jan. Rehab should really help.

Shushan said...

I will try that Ocusoft on my eyebrow flaking thing. (I hear you Hannah. I was told several years ago that most of my problems were caused by tension...tension I can't do anything about really. whee!)

Ouch, Leean! May you heal very soon!

MaryAlice said...

So sorry for you pain! I had a vaccum fall on my foot. It swelled to twice it's size. After two days, a blister like "thing" came up on my foot. By that time I had a raging fever and was rushed to the hospital. I had a bone infection. I was in the hospital two weeks and in wheel chair for seven weeks, walker, then cane. The dr said the cane will be mine forever! Had to learn how to walk again. HANG IN THERE!! All thoughts and prayers are with you.

Leann Sweeney said...

Wow, Mary Alice. I am so glad you recovered from that! Who would have thought? My little shoulder thing is NOTHING compared to that.

Jeannie said...

Leann, I have been trying to figure out how to send you a 'get well 'card and never thought to leave a comment. Well, yes, I've had a dandy reaction to treatments and all but what you are going through...you are a brave woman.

Sending warm love and prayers to you and the D.I. hubby.

Leann Sweeney said...

thanks so much Jeannie. I feel some better today. Think that cortisone shot might be starting to kick in, thank goodness. And what I have gone through is nothing compared to what you deal with. you are such a sweetheart.

MaryAlice said...

Thanks so much, Leann. I shared with you because you are one of the reasons I kept going. I've always loved the wriiten word, but being immobile for months you really become a book-a-holic!! My friend gave me as a gift one of your books. I totally forgot about my problems and became an avid Leanne Sweeney fan. Thank you so much for giving me hours of being in another world..thanks

Leann Sweeney said...

Oh my gosh, tears in the eyes. This is why I write books. You are an inspiration to me!! Thank you!

Lydia said...

Wow Leann, it all sounds so painful. I hope that the 'drill sergeant' starts to take it easy on you, you know you could stop cooking for him. :) Good luck with rehab, just wish it was over for you.

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Lydia. He brought flowers and took me out for dinner last night. I think the light bulb came on for him. :-)

TamiW said...

I'm glad to hear that you're on the mend. However, I'd also like to suggest that you get a second opinion, perhaps from a chiropractor.
I had a shoulder injury that was extremely painful, but since I didn't know exactly what the injury was, my doctor refused to send me to an ortho (she told me it was just fibromyalgia, and since I was getting older- I was 39 at the time- I just needed to deal with the pain). A year later, when I finally got insurance, I went for a second opinion with a group that specializes in chronic pain, and it turned out that my shoulder wasn't sitting quite right in the joint. The chiropractor did 2 minor adjustments (which hurt like crazy for about 2 seconds), and the pain went away. Within a week, I had complete range of motion back in that arm.

Maybe your shoulder will be similar?

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Tami. My chiropractor has been treating my shoulder ever since I injured it. She is terrific, but she agreed I needed to see an ortho after 6 months of no progress. The MRI did show that my body made excessive amounts of scar tissue for a small rotator cuff tear. I, too, have fibro and I think that the "overreaction" with the scar tissue has something to do with that wicked disease. My chiro will be handling the shoulder rehab. They do a great job.