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Oh . . . Da Pain! Da Pain! November 23, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Health & Wellness, Humor.

St. Paula (middle), 347-404 A.D.

This Thanksgiving, among other things, I am thankful that I do NOT feel like I did this time LAST year . . . 

I am dedicating this post to St. Paula  with the hope that she will soon feel similar gratitude for pain that is ebbing, rather than flowing: 

11/20/2009:  I’m not dressed this morning, due to unrelenting pain in my left shoulder from Shoulder Impingement Syndrome.

If you’ve never experienced SIS before, count your blessings!   If you have, you know it’s like having someone standing over you with a sledge hammer ~ cheerfully smashing your shoulder blades every time you move a muscle, or take a sharp intake of breath.

Now, before you envision me sitting naked at the keyboard, let me assure you that I’m decent ~ wearing a huge button-down shirt of BFF’s that covers up all the essentials, while doing absolutely nothing to mask the pain.

I’ve tried icing the area, repeatedly ~ resulting in cold pain.  I’ve tried a heating pad, repeatedly ~ resulting in warm pain.  I’ve been popping Advil and Aleve like gummi bears . . . with absolutely no relief.

It feels as if the dentist is drilling through the muscles and tendons and bones in my shoulder, without first numbing the area with Novocaine.

On a scale of 1 to 10, the pain is about an “8” ~ as long as I keep my left arm glued to my side like a broken chicken wing, and only wiggle my fingers.  If I try to move my shoulder, even a fraction of an inch, the pain shoots excruciatingly down my arm to my finger tips, while simultaneously traveling up my arm, and down my torso, to my stomach, where waves of nausea engulf me.

With a bit of finagling, I’ve managed to get an appointment with an orthopedic specialist for 3:30 this afternoon ~ he’s the doctor for the Cincinnati Reds during Spring Training so I know that he’s worth the wait, but still the minutes are dragging on, each one longer than the last.

The pain started two days ago, with a twinge in my left shoulder that kept growing and growing and growing ~ like watching a plane come in for landing.   It started as a dot on the radar, and rapidly grew in size until it encompassed my entire being with its screaming jet-engine like intensity.

It’s impossible to sleep on my left side, or my stomach, without  Fourth of July fireworks exploding in my shoulder.  Since I generally sleep on my left side, the last two nights of slumber have resulted in intermittent dozing, alternating with debilitating pain.   I’ve spent hours in bed, flat on my back, anxiously awaiting respite from the pain ~ when I fall into fitful sleep for  a few blessed moments at a time.

Getting in and out of bed during the sleepless hours is problematic, but necessary ~ first to get more Advil, and then to get more ice, and then to get a cracker to nibble on so the Advil won’t destroy my digestive tract.  The Advil isn’t doing much for the pain, but it’s doing a swell job of causing turbulence in my nether regions.

So, while I still live on Fantasy Island, Tattoo is not standing on the dock  screaming “Da Plane, Da Plane!”  Instead, my shoulder has drowned him out with its chorus of “Da Pain!  Da Pain!”

Here’s hoping that a cortisone shot this afternoon will bring me some much needed relief.

Footnote:  Last year, after the cortisone shot, my arm improved in short order.  I am extremely grateful to be having a PAIN FREE Thanksgiving this year, and wish the same for St. Paula and all my friends around the world. 

Feel better soon, Paula!  


1. Paula Tohline Calhoun - November 23, 2010

And likewise, my dear blog-friend! I know whereof you speak – but I think you are taking synchronicity a bit too far! 😀 Let me know what the orthopod tells you or does for you today. I truly hope s/he was worth the wait! Do you have a hot tub, or access to one? Sometimes (I stress sometimes) that can help – especially if the jets are adjustable.

One thing I had to learn a long time ago: “Thou (Paula) shall not worship at the feet of the ‘great volcano-god Pain.'” I had to learn, and I’m still learning that once pain walks into your life, while it may be acknowledged (as in trips to Dr. to find source and remedy), it shall NEVER be yielded to. That doesn’t mean you don’t rest, and use medication and relaxation therapy; it does mean that you bend your mind away from it. It can be a very useful thing to try hypnosis, but I have found that bio-feedback has been of the greatest help to me. Being able to ride the elevator that takes me to my place of rest, where I can meditate and ignore that obnoxious and odious visitor. There have been times when my pain has been all-encompassing, yet pushed out of my mind, if asked “Where do you hurt?” I would not have answered, except to say, “It’s where I do not wish to go.”

This skill certainly does not make me superwoman, nor indeed does it qualify me for sainthood! It does, however, when I am able to accomplish it, give me some respite. Since it takes all my concentration, it means I am unable to do other things, but that inactivity is usually worth it! Besides, I have to give my Gentle Readers a break occasionally! Writing has been a wonderful mind consumer and therefore good therapy for me! I think that is why the frustration of losing use of my right hand has been so hard for me. But I’m just about to quit worshiping that “tsunami-god” of Anguish, and just get on with learning to write and type legibly and typo-free! Whee!

Dearest Nancy, I’m praying you are well and out of pain soon – I pray you receive all the help and aid you need. I wish you enough. . .

P.S. Thanks for the dedication! Made me feel good! See? I’m already better!

nrhatch - November 23, 2010

I need to boldface the first paragraph . . . you’re the second person who missed that what I’m grateful for this Thanksgiving is NOT feeling like I did LAST Thanksgiving.

Except for the preface, I wrote this post a few days before Thanksgiving LAST YEAR typing with ONE HAND (sound familiar?) while my left arm remained immobile and glued to my side and the clock ticked slowly until I could head out for the cortisone shot (which worked like a charm).

I’m BLESSEDLY pain free at the moment and wish you the same!

BTW: As indicated by the link, there is a St. Paula. No doubt you were named after her.

nrhatch - November 23, 2010

Like you, I found that typing this last year, even with one hand, gave me a break from focusing on the pain.

Meditation helps too. You drop below the pain and into a peaceful place . . . at least until you move the offending limb. 🙂

I wish you ENOUGH of everything this Thanksgiving, Paula . . . including a respite from pain.

2. Joanne - November 23, 2010

And I wish you MORE than ENOUGH RELIEF from any pain whatsoever… I once had a similar level of excruciating pain with no relief for three months…

The doctors finally diagnosed it as Costochondritis — Inflammation of the cartilage around the rib cage… I finally put up 100 bucks for a small container of Manna Tech’s glucosomine product and got pain relief in less than a week and total disappearance of symptoms in less than two weeks…

A doctor who works out of Loma Linda Hospital here in San Bernardino and who also distributes the product, heard about my results from a mutual friend… He said it’s unheard of anyone getting rid of that condition so quickly… He asked to talk with me to gather one more testimonial for the product… I have never had to buy it again since then… and that was in 2003.

However you conquer your pain, I hope it’s gone soon…!

nrhatch - November 23, 2010

I’ve had arthritis for years, since my mid-30’s. I started taking glucosomine chondroitin and experienced incredible improvement.

It either rebuilt the missing cartilege, or lubricated the joints, or . . .

In any event, it worked.

I dropped from 6 tablets a day to 1 a day to 1 a week to 1 a month. Now, I only take them if I notice stiffness returning.

No doctors were harmed in the posting of this comment. 😉

3. Paula Tohline Calhoun - November 23, 2010

“I see! I see!” said the blind woman. 😀 I will claim that my lack of sleep is the reason for my misunderstanding, but in reality it’s just because sometimes I’m a sloppy reader. Oh! And didn’t you know? St. Paula was named after me! I’m older than you think! She is a mere shadow of the original! I’ll be willing to accept any honor and glory, in light of my many wonderful deeds, that may be showered in my general direction. . .

Happy veggie day!

nrhatch - November 23, 2010

Well, it’s clearer now than it was . . . 😉

So St. Paula is named after YOU. Well, I’m the inspiration for the Dave Matthews song, Dancing Nancy! So there!

Loved your post on APRONS . . . perfect to protect our finery from getting splattered on Thanksgiving.

Gobble. Gobble.

4. Booksphotographsandartwork - November 23, 2010

I’m so sorry to hear, wait glad to hear that you aren’t in pain this year! I almost miss understood also. Having Fibroymyalgia I understand pain that leaves limbs unusable. I am thankful for Cymbalta. It took away a lot of joint pain. Not all but enough. Chemistry is a good thing.

nrhatch - November 23, 2010

When we are pain free, we often forget to recognize that state as a true blessing . . .

This year, I am focused on the absence of pain in my life and the hope that those who are hurting will find the respite they need.

Glad that Cymbalta is helping ease your pain.

Happy Thanksgiving!

5. Cindy - November 24, 2010

Ouchie, glad you’re pain free!

nrhatch - November 24, 2010

Me too! Re-reading this post reminded me how wonderful pain free can be.

Here’s hoping Paula gets some needed relief.

6. Maggie - November 24, 2010

“After great pain, a formal feeling comes / The nerves sit ceremonious, like tombs” – Emily Dickinson

Glad you’re free of pain this year!

nrhatch - November 24, 2010

Ooh . . . I like that quote!

When I’m in the throes of a migraine, the pain is all encompassing. But when I don’t have a headache, I rarely think . . . “Aah, that feels GOOD.”

I’m trying to give thanks this year for the positives and the negatives ~ like no pain!

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