Monday, December 13, 2010

The Pain Is Getting Better (?)

Wanted to report in. Had another shoulder injection last Tuesday, this time into the side of my shoulder. My rheumatologist decided on that approach, which is called a subacromial bursa injection, since the last injection didn't seem to do anything. She also used a different corticosteroid this time, Kenalog (Triamcinolone Acetonide), for the same reason.

She warned me this injection would hurt more, and that she'd be giving me a shot first to freeze the area. I was like, whatever, bring it on! I mean, I'd been having quite a bit of pain anyway, and the whole point of the injection was to help.

I won't kid you, though, it did hurt to a certain extent. Did it kill? Of course not. Whenever people talk about those pain scales of 1 to 10, I think of someone on train tracks getting their legs run over. I think that would pretty much be a 10. Kind of puts things in perspective, don't you think?

So the shot? Well, compared to that, I couldn't even really say a 1-2, but, yeah, it hurt.

Although, as I said to my doctor, compared to the pain I've been feeling, particularly for 1 two-week period I suffered through, it didn't in any way compare, so, again, whatever!

My very nice doctor gave me painkiller samples to get me through the next few days, since the last time I'd had a 3-day flare from the steroid.

I'd taken the day off, to rest my shoulder and ice it. I'd took the painkillers, but only for two days, because while taking them, I couldn't take sleeping pills, and I couldn't sleep because my shoulder hurt too much at night. Can you say Catch-22?

So almost a week later, I was pretty much convinced that, once again, steroid shots had failed me.

Until last night.

What changed my mind?

When I went to bed, it was the first night in pretty much three months that I haven't hurt to the extent that I couldn't sleep. I lay down, and waited for the pain to kick in. It's been hurting throughout the day, every day, but at night, it's unrelenting. No matter what position I lie in – on the shoulder, on my back, on the other side – it hurts.

Last night, not so much! It ached very slightly, but practically nothing!

I almost couldn't believe it!

And on Friday, I'd even started up my physiotherapy exercises again: heat the shoulder thoroughly with heat pack, do exercises, then ice shoulder, at least 3 times per day.

I'm thinking this might work!!


:) L

P.S. No, that's not my hairy back in the picture!
P.P.S. I'd like to know why my computer always insists I'm spelling the word "rheumatologist" wrong...


  1. I had to have this done as well years ago. For 48 hours it was a blessing. But, it wore off rather quickly from there. I hope you have better luck than I. I now know my rotator cuff needs repair. I'm just not up to anymore surgery right now. I will wait until I can't take it anymore. Good to know your doctor is aggressive with your treatment. Not too many are as lucky as you and I with doctors. Hugs to you. Tammy

  2. Whoa, sit back and soak it up! I really hope this continues for you! Once I had a working injection on my messed up knees they never got the painful/swollen point they did before the injection.

    Though I did do a double-take on the hairy back, I did make the assumption it wasn't you :)

    And, sometimes, computers are just dumb.

  3. FANTASTIC! I am so pleased to read your latest stab of steroid has done the trick. I had my last one done with ultra sound guidance and that was heaven afterwards (but hurt like billy-o when I had it done).
    Gentle rotation and walking your hand to the top of the door frame so that joint can open and gently stretch is great. Hydrotherapy is always best IMO! Good luck with it, at least you can hang your Christmas decorations up now eh?

  4. Hurray!! I'll keep my fingers crossed that it continues to improve. Poor you, 3 months of bad sleep.. you must be feeling sooo spaced out.

  5. This is good news Laurie. Hope this lasts for a long time.

    I had your Christmas present all picked out ... a Remington Lady Shaver. Then you blew it ... oh well, it's cool though. Just have to think of something else now.

  6. I like kenalog much better than depo-medrol :)

    It would be great if this one worked for you! Hope you continue to improve and are able to get some rest.
    And pain relief.