My Shoulder is in Flames

221223 1614 I’m posting some old drafts UNEDITED. Don’t @ me, I see the mistakes, but I don’t want to fix them. Besides, with my writing ability who would know the difference? However, I do have an update to the below. The shoulder is much better. I’d say it’s at 95%. Time heals all wounds. The joints giving me fits right now are my elbows. Grr.

My right shoulder has been bothering me since August, the month I did the MR340. Coincidence? I doubt it. Something about paddling a kayak for 70 hours over 3 and a half days makes me think maybe I did something then to cause the jack it up. To be honest, it’s been tweaking me for the last couple of years when I swim, so the start of whatever is there has been in place for a while. What surprises is that it hasn’t gotten better since August, but has gotten worse.

What’s the matter? Basically I can’t lift my arm up to the side or above my head and reach back. So throwing a ball is out. My kids’ school does this thing once a year where the dads play dodgeball with the kids. I learned pretty quickly that my only option to hurl a ball was under handed, like a grandma playing catch with a four year old. I have to be very careful leaving a room and reaching back to pull the door closed, or reaching over to the passenger side of the truck to unlock the door (think analog locks for all you millennials). Motions like that make it feel like a switchblade is cutting me from the inside of my shoulder.

Did I Google it? Of course I did, but only after the last four or five weeks of it getting more painful. I read about impingement and torn rotator cuffs and bursitis and whatever else could be ailing the joint. I watched Youtube to learn how to do some shoulder stretches from the internet therapists, but found I really couldn’t do them because they hurt too much. Finally, because I really wanted to start swimming again I went to see the ortho doc. By the way, this is the ortho doc who helped me push my truck out of a ditch after I pulled up too far and dropped the front tires over the edge. He then went on to win the 5K trail run I was working that morning.

The doc looked at my x-rays and then moved my shoulder around in an effort to make me wince, at which he succeeded. His conclusion? Drum roll please…inflamed tissue in my shoulder joint. That was a bit of a let down. I feel like a weakling for going to the doc in the first place and was hoping I’d be validated with something like rotator cuff tear or out of socket shoulder or something along those lines. But inflamed tissue? Boring.

However, what I can’t figure out if why it’s only gotten worse since August. After the race I took off for about four weeks and didn’t do any kind of upper body workout. I’ve even taken off the last week and a half and it still doesn’t feel better. The doc said the inflamed tissue is getting caught in my joint when I turn it in certain ways causing the pain. He put me on some anti-inflammatory meds and wants to see what happens. He actually let me choose between an MRI and meds. I’m not a pill popper but the $4 copay for the meds seemed more reasonable.

I’ll finish the meds and re-evaluate. I hope to get back up to speed so I can start swimming after the new year with all the other New Year Resolutionists. I asked the doc if the tissue would just become inflamed again once I quit the meds. He said maybe. Grr!

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About The Pretend Triathlete

Just a 46 year old trying to stay in shape. Not pro-athlete in shape, just 46 year old guy with a family and a house and a job in shape. Signing up for races is the best way I've found to do that. I blog about things that happen to me and things I observe while training and racing. Let's do this!
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