Friday, October 17, 2014

Librarian Shoulder

The phrase "no good deed goes unpunished" has been floating around in my head a lot lately. You see, during the last ice storm I helped some neighbors take down trees using my pruning shears. This was on top of helping our next door neighbor shovel after every storm, often before clearing my own driveway and then helping a neighbor who used his chain saw to take down one of our trees after Hurricane Sandy

I think it was on the last tree that I pulled a muscle in my arm. No big deal. I've pulled this muscle in the past and will pull it again. I then took a three month job as a librarian where I held books during story time for hours each day. Yeah, my arm hurt.

It kept hurting.

I thought, well the summer is almost here. I'll baby it and it will get better.

It kept hurting.

I tried asking friends for advice. They told me about their ails and we never got around to a solution for mine. That is until I met Terry at the Virtual Talk Like a Pirate Day race we organized as a live race in the park for fun.

Terry recommended Complete Health Care of Lawrenceville. 

Life got in the way. I did nothing about this for a few weeks, even after Terry emailed me their contact information.

A trip to Massachusetts, where I found it hard to hug my more than six foot tall cousin, followed by a trip to Ohio to see family (yup, more hugging) and finally I saw the chiropractor.

He took one look at me and diagnosed me with a frozen rotator cuff. That doesn't sound good.

Turns out, this is a common ailment for women between the ages of 40 and 50 (let's just say that's my age range, and we'll leave out which side of that I fall). It happens just like it happened to me -- we ignore a twinge, it gets worse, we find other ways to do what used to come easily, it gets to a point that the workarounds no longer work, we seek help. A relatively minor injury turns into months of physical therapy (or as the French and Canadians call it "physio"). 

Yup, months for helping a neighbor take down a tree and holding books to the side.

So where does the phrase "Librarian's Shoulder" come in? While subbing in Princeton I mentioned my ailment to the school librarian. She said it is common in baseball players and librarians. She even called it Librarian Shoulder. I like that term better than Frozen Rotator Cuff, so I'll stick with it.

A month later insurance has told me I no longer qualify for chiropractic care (they only allow 12 sessions a year -- that's not much). I need to switch to physical therapy. But wait ... first I need a note from my Primary Care Physician prescribing PT. But wait again ... I don't have a PCP (don't start on me). I went to the place recommended by the chiropractor and was told I would have a 2 month wait for an appointment. Umm.. that won't work. Fortunately the receptionist extraordinaire squeezed me into a cancellation the next day.

The upshot? This is making me very appreciative that we hardly ever use our healthcare for anything outside of routine stuff. The deductible and co-pays stink, especially considering how much Don spends a year on health care through payroll deduction. 

Another upshot? Now I have a PCP who is a woman about my age and a runner, plus a chiropractor I trust -- in other words a team of people to see sooner next time so I don't freeze up my shoulder again.

The hope is I'll be back to 100% by the end of the year so I don't have to tap into my deductible again next year. The goals are being able to scratch my back (okay, unhook my bra strap) and rotate my arm so I can go back to working on my goal of doing a triathlon before I turn 50. Wish me luck! Prayers this goes faster would be appreciated. 

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