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The human shoulder joint

The human shoulder joint (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As if random hot flashes melting my makeup off like the faces of the Nazis in Raiders of the Lost Ark weren’t bad enough, my joints are falling apart.  I’ve written a little about my shoulder problems (here and here), but the recap is last summer my shoulders and hips were sore.  I got a new mattress which helped my hips, but the shoulders still hurt.  Time passed.  The pain finally reached an unmanageable level, so I went to a chiropractor, which helped until it didn’t.  Finally, I asked my primary doctor for a referral.  She ordered x-rays, too.

Turns out I’ve got osteoarthritis in my shoulders.  It’s not too bad at this point, but it’s not reversible, either.  Plus, it makes me feel old and feeble.

I saw the orthopedic specialist last week.  He was horrified that I had let the problem go for so long.  I whined and played the martyr-mom card, but he refused to go along.  “Women have a responsibility to take care of themselves, too, not just their families.”  Point to the doc.

The orthopedist explained that at some point last summer, I must have injured or overworked my shoulders…in addition to the arthritis.  Because I didn’t seek treatment, that injury led to tendonitis.  And because I didn’t get treatment for the tendonitis, it led to bursitis.  Now I’ve got full-blown impingement syndrome.  (WebMD)  And arthritis.


At least it’s not the rotator cuff, right?

He gave me a cortisone shot in the shoulder that hurts most, plus a prescription anti-inflammatory and prescription pain relieving cream.  I go back in three weeks to get a cortisone shot in the other shoulder.  Hopefully, this works, because the next step is surgery and I’m losing my health insurance when the divorce is final.

I’ll have to lay off kickboxing for awhile, and be careful in yoga.  Apparently, it’s the repeated overhead movements that make the problem worse.  I never would’ve figured that out on my own — I can reach up pretty well, it’s reaching back that’s become impossible.

I guess it’s true that our bodies start to break down after 40.  But who knew it would hurt so much?  And so often?  And in so many places?   Maybe I’ll ask for a Xanax prescription next time.  Then I won’t care that everything hurts.  Or sweats.