Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Shoulders and Arms

I've been meaning to write an update on my shoulder but haven't gotten to it. Thoughts of what to write would come to my mind, and other times would escape me. Sometimes, my emotions would cloud my thinking. So here I am trying once again.

Okay. I will start with my right shoulder. My appointment with the orthopedic surgeon is at the end of May, so I am continuing to wait. I am trying not to use that shoulder too much. I don't want to make it worse. If I do move it in a way that it shouldn't be moved... I yelp with pain. My arm doesn't want to be lifted very high and the range of motion is very limited. At times, I look a bit awkward when I am trying to reach for something with my right arm. I have to sit up and reach.

There is also this bothersome situation with my left, upper arm. The pain has moved to my left arm also. Thankfully, not the shoulder pain. But, when I twist or reach or stretch, I am doubled over in pain. Pain that needs time to pass (1-2 minutes). Pain that makes you not able to talk when it happens. I stretched my arm in the morning and I almost started crying. The same thing happened when I was on a stool reaching for a box on the shelf. I've been more dependent on my left arm, but the constant use seems to have stressed it.

My fingers have also been feeling stiff and a bit tight. When I write with a pen, I usually bend my thumb. It took me a while to realize that I had been keeping my thumb straight, when writing. It hurt too much to bend my thumb. My fingers also get sore and I can't grip things well.

The shoulder situation seems to be from some type of injury. But, the pain in my fingers and arms seems to be a side effect of the hormone drug that I am taking. I almost started crying when my oncologist suggested taking me off of the hormone drug to see if it was the culprit. The thought of going off of that medicine scared me so much. I would rather deal with this pain than have the cancer spread. I think that I do have to think of that option, but I need some time for it to sink in. Hearing something when you are not ready or don't expect it, is not easy.

My oncologist prescribed oral steroids. She also wants me to take 3 ibuprofen a day. She is hoping that this will alleviate the pain in my arms and bring down any inflammation in that area. Look at all those steroids! Each row is for each day. Six days. Please pray that the side effects will be minimal. I am still fighting within myself because I don't want to take them.

Getting dressed has been a battle. Trying to itch that itchy itch has been impossible. Reaching the back of my head when shampooing has been a challenge. I can't even cross my arms in front of me. I did the dishes last night and my arms started aching. I need to lay down a lot in between doing things. And when I do lay down, I am not comfortable. My body isn't what it used to be.

Please pray that all of this will be temporary and that I will get full movement in my arms again. Please also pray that God will continue to give wisdom to all of my doctors.

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