Once I had a shoulder. It was a nice shoulder, soft, flexible, and strong. Then I went to the gym and used an above-the-head weight machine. This is a machine I've used many, many times before, and my shoulder never complained. But one day it happened.
My shoulder had enough and I heard a lovely little Pop!- and I could no longer use the weight machine.
A few months later it felt tons better, and I had to pack up a three-story house by myself. some of the boxes were 70 lbs. but I did it, and my shoulder never said a word.
At least until a few months after the move. It started out as a tiny whimper, a small whine, and infinitesimal grumble once in a while. I continued doing my mom, wife, and homemaker thing, and rested it when it started complaining a little too much, which wasn't often. That was two years ago.
Now my shoulder is a cantankerous, cranky old nag that refuses to leave me alone- and hinders me from doing the simplest of chores. Lifting a frying pan has become hazardous to my well being, and grocery shopping is torture. So I went to my clinic. I went to my clinic for over a year for the same issue, and they kept telling me the same thing over and over. It's tendinitis. Stop lifting stuff.
I am a mother, people. You know as well as I do that if I don't lift it, no one else will. But the pain got so bad that for a while, I did stop lifting stuff. So now I sit here, still in pain, and a house that looks like it was hit with a garbage truck.
I had had enough.
My next appointment warranted a slightly veiled threat to the intern. If you medical people don't stop looking at the outside of my shoulder and start looking at the inside, you are going to have one very large, loud woman to deal with- one who can sing very bad opera. The intern (I never get the resident doctor) relented and scheduled me for an X-ray. An x-ray. Two seconds ago you're telling me it's tendinitis, next you're setting me up for an x-ray. X-rays are for bones, you twit. Not tendons. Why give me an x-ray?
The clinic intern replied, "It's procedure. If we don't see anything, then we'll do an MRI."
Procedure. Translate that into "Let's waste even more time and resources doing something that might kinda-sorta tell us what might possibly be wrong before we do something that could actually help you" and you get the idea. Clinics have a lot of "procedures", hoping you'll get frustrated enough to go away.
But they underestimate me. I'm a very stubborn, large woman who has two teenagers. I have enough body mass and gumption to wait out your silly "procedures". And I'll sing very bad opera while I wait.
Last week, I had my x-ray in record time. I think the intern told the tech of my opera skills. This makes me very happy.
My x-ray review appointment will be this week. Let's see what the pretty picture is and if in fact there is anything worth seeing- or will they finally break down and schedule an MRI?
Stay tuned for the next exciting episode of "Shouldering On"- when I divulge the test results!