I went to see my cute young doctor for the results of the MRI Arthrogram. I knew what he was going to say, "this is really bad, we are going to schedule surgery for tomorrow - I'm quite afraid your arm is going to fall off if we don't."
I'd already purchased a post-surgical pillow wedge pillow on Amazon, knowing I would have to sleep sitting up again, and wanting to do it better than I had the last time.
I sat in the waiting room, arm throbbing, looking at a big red sign that says they will charge you a $50.00 fee if you cancel an appointment within 24 hours. Since I was already an hour past my appointment time, and I'd shown up early, I thought I would write my own sign that says, "Patients have the right to charge a doctor for each 15 minute increment past their appointment time." and hang it underneath their warning.
Except, of course, my right arm doesn't work well enough to write, and I can't reach up to hang anything.
So, in he came and I steeled myself for my surgical appointment the next morning. Instead, he said, "You have a level one slap tear."
In case you don't know, that is the most minor kind of labrum injury you can have and it doesn't always even require surgery.
I was stunned. I said, "Are you SURE?" I can't believe I can be in this much pain with only something minor going on." He said that it is likely that the constellation of the injury, the mastectomy, the reconstruction has my body mechanics out of whack, and is causing me more severe pain than others might have. He also said the MRI was just a snapshot in time and if they could do these tests with people using their arms they might see more, but for now, that was the diagnosis. The only way to know for sure is to look inside with a scope.
So, apparently, I'm some sort of wimp. A level four wimp with a level one injury.
Anyway, he wants me to do a full month of physical therapy, three times a week, to see if I can get the muscles functioning well enough to take the pressure off my shoulder and maybe ease up the pain. I'm also supposed to take anti-inflammatories round the clock. He's scheduling surgery to look inside and clean it up at the end of March, but in the meantime, if I get relief after PT, then I can cancel the surgery.
Now I have to do the one thing I have always hated: exercise. Life can be so cruel.