Thursday, December 11, 2014


Yes, I am frustrated. Whenever I can’t find the answer to a question quickly, I tend to feel frustrated.
My question is: why are my shoulder and arm still hurting?
The pain started a few months ago in the upper, outside part of my arm. Then it spread to my shoulder. Sometimes I had tingling and a slightly numb sensation in my hand.
My orthopedic doctor thought I had a pinched nerve in my neck. I had five weeks of physical therapy. At one point, the pain got better. But it never went away. And I started having more intense bouts of pain.
My doctor ordered an MRI of my neck and referred me to a colleague of his, a spine doctor.
I saw her on Monday, and she said the MRI showed degenerative changes in my neck, but no nerve impingement.
So, where is the pain coming from?
She doesn’t know. She said the neck and shoulder have a lot of overlapping areas. She scheduled me for an electromyography, or EMG. It will test the health of my muscles and nerve cells in the problem areas.
The test can’t be done until the first week of January.

Accepting uncertainty is not my strong suit. So I’m frustrated. I am challenged to accept that I can’t always know something for sure, that sometimes I must just live with uncertainty.
I’m dealing with the pain. It’s worse at night, so I am keeping up with my regular activities during the day. I’m thankful for that. I’m taking a prescription NSAID, and that helps. Most nights, I put heat on my shoulder while I try to relax.

I have done Internet searches, trying to figure out “what’s wrong with me.” Compulsive searches for information is one way my OCD manifests itself. But I am aware of what I’m doing and try to pull myself back from Google.

I have to go with the flow of the medical field right now. I have to accept that the doctors don’t know what’s causing the pain. The answers will eventually come, I hope.

And I choose to continue to try to find the fun and peaceful and beautiful moments of each day.
Here’s one: The other day, I walked by a car parked in Rustburg. On the front of the car was a red spongy-looking ball.
I wonder what that is, I thought.
Then I saw the reindeer antlers.
Car as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer!

How do you deal with uncertainty?


  1. i fret about it, so no, i don't relax and wait well. i'm hoping they can determine a cause and treatment to relieve you.

  2. Yikes! I hope there are some answers for you soon to resolve the pain. That's no fun at all.

    I'm sure I don't have great answers to your question. I try to keep the rest of my life as balanced as possible and let myself feel whatever is coming up. For frustration, screaming into a pillow always helps, or Lion Pose in yoga. Then, meditate or do some other relaxing, quieting activity. And while this may sound a little weird, try talking to the pain during a meditation and ask it what it has to tell you. I do this when I feel depressed or anxious, and I'm often surprised at the answers I get.

  3. That's too bad! Especially since you did the physical therapy work. Good for you for looking for fun or good things apart from that though. There are a lot of other things going on besides our problems, but sometimes it's hard to think about them when we have a problem we're focused on.

  4. I hope you find somebody who can explain what is going on even if they can't completely do away with the pain. the not knowing is frustrating.

  5. I hope you feel better soon, Tina! Sounds like you are dealing with what you have to deal with........what else can you do?

  6. I have to meditate daily, sometimes several times a day to remind myself to be in the moment. It isn't easy.

  7. Patience is such a hard thing to achieve my friend. It will all work out. LOVE the reindeer:) made me laugh. HUG B

  8. That does sound frustrating. Have you thought about doing any alternative treatments in the meantime? I have had excellent success from ART (active release therapy) and also from acupuncture (for pain management). ART was covered by my insurance, but there is only one place in Roanoke that is licensed (and they are amazing). Acupuncture is not covered, but it is very useful for pain management.

  9. Oh my! I hope you get some answers and some relief soon! I am the same way with uncertainty. I've had a lot of experiences that involved a lot of uncertainty the last few years of my life. I think they have helped me to better allow myself to accept that I can't do anything about them at the moment; I can only deal with it when the time comes. At first, it took a lot of forcing myself to stop answer-searching and what-ifing. I still do at times. I am dealing with a similar situation where I have no answers from doctors about my migraines, but I am trying many different treatments. Nothing gives me the relief or help that I would like, but after years and years, it is frustrating! I feel you! I have bad days where I look for new rhymes and reasons to try to help myself, but I try not to make myself do that. I find that repeating key phrases that help me over and over, eventually help me a lot. Sometimes I'll tell myself--no one knows all the answers. You need to trust your doctor. She is doing what's best to help you. And I'll say it 20 times in my head throughout the day. After awhile, I don't have to say it as much anymore and I don't obsess about finding answers either. I wish you the best.

  10. I find it very hard to deal with uncertainty, especially about my health. I have both health anxiety and OCD, so it gets mixed together. I hope you can find out what's causing your pain and get it sorted soon. :)


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.