Seeing Inside

I have had a bad shoulder for a few months now. In fact I don't even recall when it started. I just know that I wasn't able to raise my arms over my head without pain in my left shoulder joint. That meant that I couldn't put dishes in upper cabinets, wash windows, throw a ball and hope that all the people I needed to hug were shorter than I. As any mother can testify, you need to raise your hands; mirrors don't magically clean themselves, dishes don't get put away and your sons soon get taller than you.

The pain got to be unbearable so I went to the doctor. The doctor sent me to physical therapy and it seemed to improve for a few months, but it then went down hill and it went fast. Back to the doctor I went. She was befuddled and didn't know what to do. After some pondering she wanted to have a MRI on my shoulder to make sure there wasn't a small tear in the muscles she was missing.

Off to the MRI machine I went. Thankfully the procedures isn't all that painful. I had some dye shot into the joint and then x-rays and the MRI done. It wasn't painful as much as it was uncomfortable. The joint was very sore the next day from all the excess fluid, and the pain was still there. She also referred me to a doctor who specialized in shoulders. The MRI film was sent to his office and the appointment was made.

As I this doctor examined me, he had me do a series of strength tests. I couldn't have failed worse! The slightest touch on my outstretched hand and down the arm would go. I was so weak. He ordered an x-ray and when the results came back he found the problem. I had a kidney bean size calcium deposit in my shoulder joints.

He took a long needle, filled it with stuff and then gave me a shot. He told me to move the joint around and that he would be back in 10 minutes. True to his word it was 10 minutes. He preformed the strength tests again and I did much better. He has to actually work a bit more to push my out stretched arm down. He told me to go home, use the arm as I would normally do, but recognize the it probably wasn't as strong as before the problem so be careful not to over do it, and then come back in 4 weeks.

I made that appointment and then went on my merry way.

That afternoon I had an enormous headache as the muscles relaxed and my shoulder was freed from being held together in a strange position. I just spent the day in bed, caught up on reading and tried not to think of the pain in my head.

The next morning I was able to shampoo my hair using both hands. Later that week I went swimming and for the first time ever I could do the crawl with both arms. I could do the racing back stroke. I could wash the mirrors in our bathroom (but I'm still going to assign them out) and I could put away a heavy dish above the counter!

I learned a valuable lesson that day. When things aren't going right and the things we are doing to make it right aren't working; look deeper. Look inside. You might be surprised at what you find. It also taught me that sometimes we need to go to specialists to find the problem. I also learned that some treatments just cover up what isn't working and never get to the root of the problem. We need to be careful as we examine what is wrong in our life. Why isn't it working? What might be the problem? Do we need someone else to look at it? Do we need to rest it, work through it or find an alternative? And how do we prevent it form coming back.

My calcium deposit might stay with me for ever, or it might break up and disappear. It could also require surgery to remove it. I haven't walked down that road. Right now I am just thankful to know what the problem is and that there are alternative solutions. I don't know what the future holds for me, but I do know I was taught a valuable lesson.