The good news: turns out I didn't pinch a nerve in my back, therefore the "promise" of a cortisone shot to the back didn't happen. (Insert squeal of relief here!). Nope, it turns out that the sad truth is:
I am NOT Superwoman.
No, more like Super Stupid and paying for it.
Short version: a little over 3 weeks ago I was carrying to the trash a box of books too-heavy-for-a-vertically-challenged-woman. (Don't start yelling: these books were ancient in the smelly/unreadable way). I went to put them on top of the garbage can outside....and failed miserably.
The only thing funny about this story was my finally breaking down Friday and going to the doctor. What had been a "circle" of pain in my back was slowly shrinking but there was a nagging spot that was driving me nuts! Haven't slept well, or in a bed, for 3 weeks....and I fear becoming addicted to ice packs and the heating pad.
Doc is an old fashion kind of doctor: he knows what's good for you because HE went to medical school and doesn't care what you read because you probably misinterpreted it. He's one of Hubby's archery customers and took me on, I think, as a favor to Hubby for good archery discounts. Hey, he was forewarned that while I'm an excellent caregiver, I am a lousy patient...because I have no patience with being under the weather. I bet we spend half of my rare appointments with Doc raving about how great and fascinating Hubby is, as I nod in hopes of escaping without a test I don't want or need.
Poor Doc, he doesn't know what to do with me because I listen carefully, ask questions and try not to smile when he looks at me the way a parent does when viewing their wayward child. My defense is this: it's MY body, I've lived with it for 57 years and I understand all of it's quirks. Like the one where a little bit of medicine goes a L-O-N-G way. After 2 years, I think he's getting use to my "educated stubbornness". Which is why this last visit was funny.
I began with, "I did something stupid. I know better, but when you work alone, you do what you have to do. I lifted a box that was too heavy and now I'm paying for it."
He illustrated me lifting a box, supporting it from the bottom. I shook my head and replied it had handles, like a box fruit is shipped in. He looked befuddled. Doc is about 6'3" and I'm guessing he doesn't remember what the world looks like from down here at 5'1". So I stood up, showing him how I carried the box, noting the fact that most women have no good core strength once they get to a certain level...and how I pushed past that level in spite of it all. Lifting the box almost to head level so I could leave it on top of an outside garbage can (the large kind on wheels) was further complicated by the amount of thrust I used. Which might've worked if I hadn't hit the lip of the can and the box bounced back.
I am still wondering, "Why didn't I just let the damn box fall to the ground? It's trash."
But no, Not Superwoman tried to snatch it back up and over again, only to be rewarded by the bulk of the weight shifting to my left arm as the box began to slip down my forearm...leaving cute little purples bruises where it bit down along the way. Still, Super Stupid refused to let go, lunging once more and accomplishing her mission. Which is what brought me to the Doc's office, pretty much against my will. I think it was the sleep deprivation.
Doc listened, nodded and told me I probably didn't pinch a nerve. (I knew that...had already told him I didn't have any of the symptoms, which I rattled off as he looked surprised). After hopping up on the exam table, I helped him locate the spot which felt like someone's knuckle was trying to work it's way up and out of my body. To my credit, I didn't yell the first word which came to mind when he found the spot. He then proceeded to push on that spot and rotate my left arm in positions I'd never even thought about. Diagnosis? Tendonitis in the muscle under my shoulder blade. Cure? Exactly what I'd been doing (ice, heat, Advil for pain).
"So you're telling me to keep doing what I've already been doing, then add the healing power of Ma Nature and Father Time?"
He nodded and grinned. Then he pulled out his iPhone to show me an illustration, which he couldn't find, leaving him to use the old fashion flip chart behind me on the shelf. I admit it. I think he told me the name of the muscle but my brain was too busy screaming, "No shot in the back! No shot in the back!" That made me super polite when he started telling me about a conversation he'd had with Hubby earlier in the week. And I did get him to call in my prescription refills, so I don't have to go back for a while.
My goal is to get to the point of sleeping in bed again as soon as possible: the recliner and couch have offered a better angle for slumber, but Hubby and Bou the Dog are looking at me as if I'm anti-social. Hubby told Bou to go look for me yesterday and the dog automatically went to the recliner, where the heating pad lives.
It's tough to admit that your Kryptonite is having good intentions, which are stronger than your back. But this will make me think twice before doing something when the little voice in my brain is whispering, "I don't think so. Maybe you ought to re-think this."
That little voice is called Common Sense. Listen to it. It might keep you from losing sleep...or having to pantomime an injury to someone taller than you.