Friday, 26 May 2017

Clumsy adventures

You'd think most of us with CF would have already had our fair share of hospitals, and would generally avoid the place like the plague outside of check ups or admissions.

I wish i could say the same! I'm very clumsy but this one was so drawn out.

I damaged my shoulder some time back in November. I'm fairly sure it was when i went rock climbing/bouldering, and possibly added onto going to the gym the next day. Either way, what followed was a ridiculous 6 months of pain, which has thankfully been resolved. But I don't blog enough so I'm telling the story anyway!

After a couple of months of pain, I went to the GP, to be told it hadn't been long enough for them to do anything - it was suspected that i had a torn rotator cuff due to the fact my arm hurt if i raised it above my shoulder level. I'd also asked my physio at hospital (although past experience has told me not to bother, they're mostly just chest physios, and therefore haven't treated anything else for a long time and their knowledge can be out dated or remembered incorrectly) but she just gave me an exercise that put me in mind of the 'stroke the furry wall' segment in "Get him to the Greek".
This gradually healed slowly. I was still going to the gym but avoiding too much shoulder stuff. In hindsight i do wonder if carrying on at the gym wasn't a good idea, but I didn't want to stop going entirely. It can be difficult to get into a grove with going to the gym and keeping it up, but SO easy to just sack it all off and stop going. While they also bleed you dry via your bank account.

Fast forward to about 2 months ago, I woke up to insane pain in my shoulder. I thought this was possibly due to the fact that I'd woken up sleeping on my side - something my physio had said was inadvisable in terms of healing, along with anything else that would bare weight on my shoulders, but apparently my subconscious doesn't listen, so there wasn't much i could do if I rolled over in my sleep. This had happened a few times and usually the pain would go away after a few hours. This time, it got worse. I had about an inch movement in my shoulder before i was in pain, enough that it wasn't bearable. It got to the point where even lifting my arms slightly to type on the laptop really hurt! I made a GP appointment (somehow finding one available in 3 days, even though a 2 week wait is normal for my GP) and waited.

I went to the gp (annoyingly, she was kind of in a rush even though the waiting room was empty and it was evening) and she agreed it was a torn rotator cuff and I could benefit from a steroid injection. This is where it gets silly though - even though my name on the screen comes with a side note that I'm deaf and I lipread, this gp was talking very quietly, turning away and such. She rang someone, and told me to 'go over there, I hope it helps' and ushered me out the door. I didn't know where 'there' was - was I meant to make another appointment? Was I meant to go somewhere in the local hospital attached to the gp surgery? The receptionist didn't know where I was sent to and I wondered if another appointment was what she meant? Ah, no appointments for 14 days. Really? i can't move my arm! A bit of digging and appointment was found... in 13 days. Helpful. A bit of casual chat about her cochlea implant (as you do) and she suggested that i go to urgent care - my local a&e that was downgraded in favour of a super hospital (best hope i don't have any time sensitive emergencies as said super hospital is 45 minutes away!)

So I went to urgent care to ask if they give steroid injections for ruined shoulders. There was a lot of back of forth, a student nurse who looked like she wanted to cry when given my list of medications to copy down, and a doctor with an accent that i couldn't understand very well. This is why i dont go on my own to places! I have no idea what i agree to half the time. I had an xray and was plonked in a sling. And an appointment made for Trauma clinic at the hospital the next day.

So trauma clinic i went! With my mum in tow so i didn't end up agreeing to an arm amputation which at this point was feeling more logical as my arm was so useless. And i like to be dramatic. This resulted in being told that having my arm in a sling was the worst idea - it would just make my arm stiff and more sore in the long run. They wanted an MRI which i think is normal for this sort of injury, but upon seeing my port in the corner of the xray, the doctor rang the MRI people who wouldn't touch me with a barge pole. Its titanium! i told them this, and that its fine in an MRI but they were having none of it. So I had to wait for an appointment to come through for an ultrasound. It did... made for 2 months after I'd originally gone to trauma clinic.

I also got a slight snort out of the xray summary mentioning my lung scarring visible in the top corner, and that it was worth looking into.

I then found out in between trauma and the ultrasound appointment, the GP had told me to go across the hall to another GP who specialises in muscles and bones etc. He most likely would have given me the injection there and then. Typical.

The appointment came around and was last Friday. It was for an ultrasound to see if they could see anything, and a possible injection, which i did need. It hurt! Both my mum and John's mum have had this done before and they told me it didn't hurt - they both admitted it was cause they didn't want to get me wound up before i even got there! Ironically, they couldn't see anything on the scan, not a torn rotator cuff or something burtitis which is what mr Trauma thought, due to my age, and nothing else (he chose to ignore my 8 years on steroids, even though they both thin your bones and can basically eat away your muscle). Even though they couldn't see anything, we agreed the injection was worth a punt as I was fairly limited and 6 months of pain is just getting silly. They said it may not work... thankfully it has! My arm stiffened and hurt like hell again for 2 or 3 days (as normal) then healed wonderfully. But I dont fancy another needle into a shoulder muscle anytime soon. Even with local anaesthetic and crushing John's hand, it really hurt!

Baring in mind, all of this was seriously irritating when you account for the fact I'm only 5'1, and need to reach for a lot of stuff!

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