A list of ailments and remedies

For the past year I’ve not been able to lift my left arm. Last spring my shoulder was “grinding” a lot and seemed off. Then it started hurting. Tendonitis (again!?!)? Rotator cuff tear? Eventually the pain went away but I was left with a very stiff shoulder that not even Z could lift for me because my shoulder pinched. I have lock shoulder (also called frozen shoulder). I read up on it like it was my job. I watched videos and paid attention to exercises in order to gain mobility back. My heart sank when I read that it can take upwards of 2 years to recover from. Knowing that caused me to have several bouts of depression/anxiety, but I did not give up. I have made a bit of progress on my own. I can put my hand behind my back now and put both hands on my hips with my arms behind me. That is a major improvement. However, I was always afraid to stretch that pinched feeling too much so while I have more mobility in one direction, the other two directions – upwards and out – need a lot of work.

Yesterday was a breakthrough in my progress and made me realize how much I needed outside help. I’d called my primary doctor about other issues and mentioned my shoulder. He gave me scripts for PT and x-rays. Luckily, a wonderful PT place is a 5 minute drive from me. I’ve been there for Achilles tendonitis, back pain and a strained hamstring. After one session that wasn’t really much of anything other than getting baseline measurements of my mobility and a few stretches, I noticed a huge difference this morning. The few stretches the therapist had me do while there was enough to start loosening up the shoulder. Every morning I’ve been moving my arms when I wake up and stretching them. Today I could move my left one up higher. It’s almost enough to make me cry. I’m finally hopeful again. I’d asked the PT if she thought I could get full mobility back and mentioned what I’d read about it taking almost another year. She was positive I’d get back my mobility based on the progress she saw just from doing the stretches and said it would not take another year. She explained my condition much better than what I’d read – it helps to have someone put it in layman’s terms instead of technical speak online. When I said I looked forward to being able to do chin-ups again she looked horrified. Not because she didn’t think I could do them again, but because she hated the idea of doing chin-ups herself. She said she couldn’t do it and I told her I used to feel the same way until I practiced enough to do them. There is something very satisfying about being able to lift your own weight and feel and know that strength is yours.

Another issue I’ve had that has gotten progressively worse is RLS – Restless Leg Syndrome. It didn’t bother me much at all in 2020, but starting in February 2021 I noticed it and aside from the cold, dreary gloom of that month I also wasn’t sleeping due to that condition. Over ten years ago RLS plagued my sleep patterns as well. But I started running regularly and it eventually went away. RLS is tricky because it can come and go and it’s not entirely known why exactly it happens. There are many theories that it has to do with chemical imbalance and may even be genetic (my mom has it as well). I started taking supplements and vitamins because low iron and magnesium have been associated with RLS causes. However, those weren’t helping enough and the leg twitching would keep me up after a full day of vitamins, supplements, and running 3 miles as well as walking another 4 miles. Eventually I caved and got a script for that as well. It has helped and I am sleeping better now. Sometimes, just before I doze off I can feel my legs twitch a little. This has made me acutely aware that I’m getting older and may need medications more often. It’s very hard to accept because I’ve prided myself on trying to stay healthy, but some things will happen no matter what.

I’ve also been dealing with some smaller and bigger issues I won’t mention. Some I’m glad to see are getting better but others have me terrified as I wait for biopsy results.

Even though this is my designated No-Buy year for frivolous purchases it seems I’m spending all my money now on healthcare. Unfortunately the insurance I have now under the new company that bought ours last year is not great. My PT “copay” is paying down my deductible, which I’d not had with my previous insurance. The therapist told me she’d let me come in as little or as much as I want when she saw how much I’d be paying. It’s frustrating to know I was doing so well with not buying things I didn’t need and saving up more money – only to have my efforts thrown in my face due to my crappy insurance. This week we sold my rowing machine. It’s one of those highly-prized Concept II machines that are selling for almost as much used as new ones. Granted, all workout equipment is selling for more than gold these days due to the pandemic. The rower was sold for more than I’d paid, which surprised me, but also helps me out greatly financially. The rower sold for what equates to 80% of my deductible that I’d be paying down for PT sessions. It’s nice to have that buffer help financially but it also would’ve been better to have that money put into savings or investments. I guess I could say I’m lucky to be mostly breaking even and leave it at that.

Speaking of No-Buy, my spring shopping fever is hitting hard. I find myself browsing more and thinking I might need something, but I know I don’t. Full disclosure: I bought new undergarments. My beloved silk weave ones are beyond tattered. Every week I was mending them and eventually gave up. A losing battle of tiny holes appearing in new areas after each washing. Those undergarments were the most comfortable and elegant I’d ever bought and I will miss wearing them, but I learned my lesson. My lifestyle needs more sturdy undergarments. I decided to look for organic cotton ones. Women’s underwear is truly a maze of an industry. There are so many brands and so many styles that all vary by tiny degrees that one bra from one company that looks almost identical to another bra from another company can still fit and feel completely different. Some people do not care if they are mis-matched or in loud prints or colors. I do. While I’m ok with not having my underwear match perfectly (I prefer them to be in the same color tone/shades at least), I definitely care about color just as much as fit. Aside from replacing undergarments I’m still doing well otherwise from trying to justify unnecessary purchases. That being said, I’ve started making a list and I fear for what will happen in 2022 if my urge to shop remains.

2 thoughts on “A list of ailments and remedies”

  1. Sorry about your shoulder, but congrats on the progress you’ve made in getting the function back. Getting older is hard for sure. I just had my first surgical procedure done for a medical issue that came up and it was nerve racking. A few days before it, I definitely made a few purchases that were probably driven by stress, but they were all things I had felt certain of for a long time, and luckily I ended up being really happy with what I bought. Anyway, I hope your recovery continues to go well. All the best!

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    1. Thanks. It’s slow going but I’m seeing progress. I don’t doubt it’ll take a few months to recover. Anything medically related is nerve racking these days!

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