Something happened last November. I have no idea what it was, but one morning I woke up, and the pain in my upper right shoulder up into the right side of my neck was excruciating. I thought, “Maybe I just slept on it wrong?” so I had my husband slap some Ben-Gay on it, and started going to the chiropractor. The chiro helped, a little. Made it bearable, at least, but as the months wore on, little things would irritate it and periodically make it worse (like, trying to do upper body exercise, pushing a lawnmower, or taking pictures for several hours using a DSLR camera that weighed about 2 lbs.) I would ice it, take it easy, kept going to the chiropractor, tried not to sleep on it or do anything to exacerbate the pain, but nothing seemed to truly make it feel like it was on the mend.
In April, I finally had reached my limit of dealing with ONE MORE PAINFUL THING, so I went back to the orthopedist who had done my rotator cuff surgery (in that same shoulder, about 8 years ago.) Good news? My rotator cuff seems to be working fine, and that is not the issue. Bad news, we didn’t know what the issue truly was, but he seemed to think it was more neck-related and running into my shoulder than truly shoulder-related.
Started physical therapy, and had an MRI done. (Proof is in the pictures, I have a brain!) Turns out, it was my neck after all. See that tiny little protrusion from my C5-C6 vertebrae area into my spinal cord there in the picture, noted by the pink arrow? There’s the culprit. Or at least, we think it is. No telling what caused it, but dangit, that sucker causes some major pain. My Doc didn’t seem to think it warranted surgery, so we took the approach of continuing physical therapy, and he put me on Celebrex as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory.
So far, the Celebrex has been a dream come true. It doesn’t wreck my blood sugars (at least, not noticeably), and I haven’t had any terrible side effects. Now, the pain isn’t entirely gone, but at least I can put on my clothes, take a shower, drive, sleep, and occasionally pick up my daughter and hold her without wanting to chop off my entire right shoulder and neck. It’s getting better, slowly but surely, and I REALLY want it to stay that way. Pain is just exhausting, and I’d rather not have it, thank-you-very-much.