So, I’ve been complaining about the pain in my right arm and shoulder since what feels like forever. In reality, I can honestly say, the pain first began in early 2013. That is when I found that it was becoming more and more difficult for me to drive. Since my last 3 cars have all been manual shifts, each and every drive only added to my discomfort. I can remember 4 office visits for the same issue.
Once they told me I had tennis elbow.
Twice was pulled muscles.
The fourth was a sprain.
I did all the recommended cures. I iced it for 20 minutes, 3 times a day, I applied heat other times. I even did 5 weeks of physical therapy, and wore an air brace for about 9 months. Nothing helped to lessen the pain.
I found that sometimes if I held my arm up straight up in the air, it alleviated some of the pain for a little bit, but it never went away for very long.
At night, I had to sleep on my stomach, put a pillow under my shoulder and hang me arm over the side of the bed.
I took ibuprofens by the handful until I convinced myself my stomach was going to explode from taking too many. No pain relief. Then I switched to naproxen, and took those the same way, 4 at a time, at least twice a day. No pain relief. I had heard about CBD oil, so I parted with $75 and bought a bottle. I calculated what I thought was a good dosage to start with. I chose a conservative one and figured if that provided no relief, I would up the dosage incrementally until I found satisfactory relief. I put it in my unsweet iced tea every morning. By the time I left the house, I smelled like a pothead. I kept up with this experimentation for a few months. At the end I was broke, and still had 100% of the pain.
Now, mind you, if this was my only issue with discomfort, I could have tried to find a way to live through it, but I have terrible lower back issues that I was in therapy for. Both my hips are rife with arthritis and occasionally I have weakness in one, and I miss steps and even fall. If that isn’t enough, I have hypothyroidism that has wreaked havok on all my joints, with my left knee being the worst, which now recently decided to try out being Bursitis(t). All of this leaves me walking like an 89 year old in a 48 year olds body. I’ve struggled with my weight my whole life, so being heavy doesn’t help me out any. I look like a weeble that wobbles and hobbles from side to side. I should hang freaking bells on my ass and at least rest easy that I’m worth at least an entertaining laugh. Pushing through the hypo and PCOS, I was able to lose over 85 lbs. I was hoping that the weight loss would help with the pain. NOPE! No relief.
It got to the point that I couldn’t do much of anything anymore. I hurt so bad. I was up all night long, crying and aching. I couldn’t roll over. I couldn’t sit up. Walking hurt. Sitting hurt. I was driving my hubby nuts. I started taking the Vicodins that my doc gave me for another issue, and one didn’t work. SO I took 2. Nope. 3? Nope. Ugh! The only thing they did was make me sick. Tylenol…Ah ha, the old standby. I was scared the naproxen was going to kill me, so I switched to Acetaminophen and started my Excedrin 4 at a time, twice a day, which I am still on. RELIGIOUSLY! They provide me with no relief, but I take them hoping to convince my brain to convince my body that they Do work. Crazy, right? Well, that’s all I got left.
Ok, another trip to doc. I told him that I did some research and I think my problem is a pinched nerve.
He ordered x-rays to rule out other possibilities and then ordered a test where they insert needles into your nerves and then electrify them. He said they can tell if a nerve is bad from it’s “reply” from the electricity. OK, let’s do this. Well, first it had to be approved, because it’s an expensive procedure.
I was scared to death the day I had to get it done, but it turned out to not be that bad. I have a tendency to over react to anything I may deem as painful…After poking me in the arm, what felt like 20 or 30 times, he stuck the needles in my neck. As he was wiping the tiny droplets of my blood seeping out of me through his needle holes, he told me that all of my Large Fiber Nerves were A OK…What? I was so upset. I laid there and cried. He must have thought I had lost my mind. He told me that I was alright.
I was NOT.
By the time I heard from my doc 2 days later, I told him of my newest research. I set up an appointment and went to see him 3 days later. I brought up the fact that maybe it was a Small Fiber Nerve issue, and we had just done the wrong test. He said there were more testing we could do, but with the fact that I was self pay, I wouldn’t be able to afford it. He also said that if it turns out it is a Small Fiber Nerve, that there are so many in there, that they’d never be able to pin-point it. I felt so defeated. From the beginning of this whole pain ordeal, I refused to take any type of narcotic. My experience with narcotic pain medication doesn’t stem from my having a drug problem or anything like that. My mindset is that your just covering up the pain and not solving the problem. While the meds numb the pain, your feeling 100% when in fact you could be hurting yourself even more.
I didn’t want a band-aid for my pain.
I wanted an answer.
I wanted a cure.