Follow up on the visit with my doctor.

Despite it being a couple of years since I’ve been able to officially visit my doctor—my charts had been archived due to inactivity and I had to resubmit a lot of paperwork—my doctor remembered me and was pleased to see me in spite of the circumstances. She’s probably the best doctor I’ve ever had and that makes the trip to Canton worthwhile. So I sat on the exam table, took off my shirt, and she put me through a bunch of range of motion tests to see if we could figure out what the hell was my problem. Turns out a few of you had guessed what the issue was based on my description: a damaged rotator cuff. Which seemed odd to me as this didn’t feel like a joint issue at all as it felt specifically like a muscle problem as the pain is in much of my arm.

She explained that, unlike our hips which are really nice ball-cup joints, the shoulder’s rotator cuff is composed of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint and are responsible for holding our arm in place. Somewhere along the line about a year ago I managed to injure mine—not sure how but I’d guess from my habit of sleeping on my arm—and it’s gotten progressively weaker since then. The good news is that she doesn’t think I need surgery to fix the problem. I should be able to get it back to normal using physical therapy. The bad news is the closest PT office that my crappy health insurance considers in-plan is in Livonia which is a good half-hour away by freeway. But at least I know what the problem is and it’s not something melodramatic like shoulder cancer or something.

So I have a prescription for a pain killer and a physical therapist. I also have a prescription for a CAT scan thanks to a last-minute question I had about how a certain activity, which I won’t go into here but does involve some strenuous effort, that occasionally results in a major headache that shoots up from the base of my neck to encompass my whole head to the point that I can feel my pulse in my head, my nose feels like it’s bleeding, and my eyes feel like they’re about to explode. It doesn’t happen often, last time I can recall was maybe seven months ago, but when it does happen it can put a major dent in how my day is going. She thinks it sounds like I’m triggering a migraine, but she’d like to do a CAT scan to rule out something much more melodramatic such as a potential aneurysm. So assuming I can find a facility my insurance will cover nearby I may soon be getting my first ever CAT scan.

Oh yeah, one other bit of bad news: I’m back up to 296 pounds having managed to regain the weight I lost by switching to diet pop. She was less concerned with that at the moment than the rotator cuff injury, but it’s something I’m going to need to address as well eventually.

6 thoughts on “Follow up on the visit with my doctor.

  1. Sorry to hear you’re feeling poorly.  Physical therapists rock, though – they’ll be able to help you.

    a certain activity, which I won’t go into here but does involve some strenuous effort, that occasionally results in a major headache that shoots up from the base of my neck to encompass my whole head to the point that I can feel my pulse in my head, my nose feels like it’s bleeding, and my eyes feel like they’re about to explode.

    Bring along some help, next time you’re digging up the dead for your mad-scientist experiments, OK?  Call the Igor Union hall!

  2. Eh, switching to Diet coke isn’t going to really do much in the long term for the most part.  Switch to whole wheat pastas and breads and watch your serving sizes…everything is about a cup in general…and remember that you can have only x amount of servings.  You would be surprised…a 20oz soda is actually 2 servings and cereal is only 1 cup (sometimes 3/4 if it is real sugary) and a cup of milk.  Found out that hard way with gestational diabetes.  Lost 20lbs while I was pregnant!  Of course I was also sick as a dog in the beginning…

    That sucks about your shoulder though and I hope your CAT scan comes back ok or at least with something benign.

  3. I had major rotator cuff pain, and physical therapy worked wonders.  My shoulder got so bad that at times just shifting my truck would bring tears to my eyes.  Many of the PT excercises will be done at work or at home; I did some of them whenever I was alone in the elevator at work.  Some of the exercises you may be given will be easier if you use a cheap 2# dumbbell instead of a book or whatever they say to use.

  4. I’m not going to ask about the mystery activity, but, on a similar note, I would check your breathing – or, if the Mrs. SEB notices any points in time where your breathing is erratic. Sleep, in particular. Also, neck stiffness – too many hours at desks and on PCs, no?

    On the weight side: you were, originally, looking at sweetened drinks to get past the dullness of water, right? My stepbrother got me trying some stuff called “Vega”, and his advice was to get my 2 or 3 meals a day, but leave the breakfast to this “Vega” stuff and drink water when you are hungry until the next mealtime. I ate sprouted grain bread and gluten-free products. Vega tasted like dirt, though (really, like fresh garden).

    I really don’t care much for sweetened drinks except fruit juice, now, and I feel rotten after junk food. I keep a 2L of water at my desk that I fill every day. Maybe there’s more to water than “acquired taste”.

    Good luck; I’d help if I could (and I look forward to the day when I do).

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