Abducted by Aliens

Big News, Part 1…

Big news part 1 – in case you didn’t catch it, I didn’t mention anything about classes starting for me this week – or any time in the next few months. I was having a “what should I major in?” crisis by the end of last semester, so Mike & I agreed that rather than spending money on classes I might end up not needing, I would just take Photography II this semester and focus on Jason because of the rough fall semester he had. My grade in Trig tanked mid-semester as I started to spend every evening focused on him. Helping him out is what is most important right now, but I can’t risk doing that to my own grades again if I ever want to get into the Pharmacy program – I need good grades.

So Photo II alone was the plan, and I was pretty happy with that decision.

Then I went to see Dr. Shoulder last week. He is part of the same practice as Dr. Hand. In early January, I saw Dr. Hand for my surgery follow-up appointment, and I mentioned that when all of this began back in July, 2005, it was in part because I was having a lot of pain in my right shoulder. Constant, burning pain, that I still have over a year and a half later. He suggested I make an appointment with Dr. Shoulder to check it out. (I’m not sure why, since Dr. Hand did my Dad’s shoulder surgery, and that was part of why I went to him in the first place, but whatever.)

So I went in to see Dr. Shoulder, and went through the usual round of questions. Where does it hurt? Burning, aching, throbbing or stabbing pain? (In the front at the joint and at the bottom of the shoulder blade, and all types of pain, but the burn is constant.) Can you lift your arm this way? That way? How about over your head and behind your back all while jumping on one foot? (Oh, ok, there was no jumping. But you get the picture.) We went over the fact that I had a cortisone injection which didn’t help, took anti-inflammatory meds which didn’t help, and went to physical therapy which didn’t help.

The final verdict was I could either have an MRI to look for the problems and then have the surgery, or I could just book the surgery. In addition to the burning pain which is most likely the result of small tears in the rotator area, or where the tendons and ligaments connect the bones together, I have gritty, grindy popping sounds and some bursitis showing up on my x-rays. Surgery is scheduled for February 12th, and we’re skipping the MRI because the small tears might not even show up on it anyways.

What does any of this have to do with school? Well, it seems that since part of my surgery involves repairs of tears, they will need healing time. Healing time means no lifting anything. I asked him if I was going to be able to lift a camera, and he said maybe to take a photo – but not to go and do a full photo hunt like I would need to do if I was in a photography class. Also, if I was in school, I would need to wait until the summer most likely to do the surgery so I had time to recover and to go to physical therapy. All in all, it just wasn’t going to work well together, and so I didn’t register for my class.

It is a bummer, but the class can wait. I’m so tired of this burning pain, I can’t wait to get it fixed. Honestly, I hate having surgery, but it is just sad when the pain reaches a point that it is the norm because it is so constant.

Everyone asks how I did it. Who knows? The doctor said that the popping & bursitis can be hereditary, or could be from swimming competitively or from waiting tables and carrying heavy trays. The intense burning really became worse after we went to the Frio in 2005; the river was low and the people we went with insisted on paddling with our hands to move down it faster instead of slowly floating. I was in such pain while we were on the river, I ended up falling way behind and was in tears from the agony of it all. Prior to that, I had pain, but it was never constant until then that I can remember. Now it never goes away, it wakes me up at night, and it just sucks.

By Christine

Christine is an Avenger of Sexiness. Her Superpower is helping Hot Mamas grow their Confidence by rediscovering their Beauty. She lives in the Heights in Houston, Texas, works as a boudoir photographer, and writes about running a Business of Awesome. In her spare time, she loves to knit, especially when she travels. She & her husband Mike have a food blog at Spoon & Knife.

8 replies on “Big News, Part 1…”

I can really sympathize with what you’re going through, having suffered for several years with a very similar condition. I hope the surgery clears up all your pain and you recover very quickly. Best wishes!

🙁 That sucks that you don’t get to take your class….but think of it this way, maybe having it earlier will somehow keep you from getting something permanent where you could NEVER lift a camera. Things happen the way they happen.

Wanna come wallow with me and my carmel, walnut apple pie? (See blog later)

Yeah, I found out similarly that I had herniated a disc in my back — couldn’t point to any one thing that caused the injury but just before the pain got to the critical point I went on a scavenger hunt (lots of walking and I was about in tears at the end of it).

Sorry to hear you have to have surgery to fix it, but in the end it’ll be worth it to be pain-free. Lots of speedy healing vibes for you!

P.S. If you don’t already have one, get a good point-n-shoot camera — those can be used one-handed and get you over the days where you REALLY want to go and take pictures but your other shoulder won’t let you.

Wow, I didn’t know all about your constant pain. You have such a strong, vibrant personality and you’re such a glass-half-full kind of gal that you don’t let anything take you down. That’s amazing!

I’m sorry that classes are post-poned, but your body and your son will thank you for it. My kudos to you.

You and your surgery! Hopefully it’s an easy one and you get better quickly!

BTW, do you want me to ask someone else to organize the happy hour for when I’m in town? It’s only two weeks after your surgery….

It really is weird – the pain is so “normal” that if you asked me if it was burning, I would have to think for a nanosecond before I said yes. When I realized I had reached that point, that was when I said “ENOUGH!”

@Mac – yeah, that was about what I said. Seriously, 3 surgeries for 4 things in 2 years. Crazypants. But at least it will finally be fixed (I hope). And no, I should be fine for the happy hour; no problems with that. I’ll enlist one of the gals for help if necessary, but it should be all good.

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