On Tuesday, October 26th, I woke up in pain. In completely weird, random, unexpected pain. My arm/shoulder felt like I’d somehow broken it in my sleep. It was that kind of pain — intense, throbbing, surprisingly overwhelming. In a different life (or actually if it had been my left arm instead of the right), I would have been off to the doctor or maybe an emergency room within a couple hours. In this life, I consulted the internet and decided that I had a pinched nerve.
Over the course of the next ten days, I’ve never once changed my opinion about that. Honestly, it’s a pretty easy diagnosis. It is a pain that definitely starts in my shoulder — if I move the wrong way, it’s like a knife in there — but then radiates down my arm doing one of three things: sometimes it feels like a vise around my bicep; sometimes it feels like a bad sunburn on the back of my upper arm; and sometimes it shoots all the way down my arm, over my wrist and into my middle finger with pain, tingling & throbbing. Mostly just my middle finger, though — my pinkie and thumb are always fine. Clearly that’s nerve pain.
Do I have anything further to say about it? Um, not really. The internet assures me that it’s likely to go away eventually, and that traditional medicine isn’t going to do much for me. Maybe a prescription for painkillers specifically for nerve pain, probably some imaging studies to see exactly what’s going on, ideally a referral to a physical therapist. Instead I’m going the Californian route: CBD pills and lotion, meditation, acupuncture next week. And trying to avoid the things that clearly make it worse, specifically typing, playing games on the iPad, and throwing balls for dogs. So far — well, I don’t know whether it’s getting better or whether it’s becoming a pain I mostly understand how to live with. I really don’t want to live with it, of course, but I’m trying to view it as an opportunity to get really good at meditation. Ha.
Also I am trying to remember to be grateful every day for my elbows. Such good elbows they are! Of all of my joints, they are now officially the best. Go, elbows, go.
One puppy story: last week, the puppies got spayed. I was supposed to take them, but Suzanne’s car is a stick shift, and I wasn’t capable of driving just then, so Suzanne took them instead. When she came out with them, she was laughing about how she’d overheard three vet techs cooing over “such a cutie,” which turned out to be Sophie. Almost anytime I walk Sophie around other people, someone has that reaction to her. Random passersby saying things like, “Adorable!” and “Oh, wow, so cute,” and that kind of thing. This almost — almost! — makes up for the fact that she is currently barking at all strange dogs and bicyclists. We’re working on it — we stop walking until she’s ready to behave — but telling her she’s being annoying rolls right off. She knows she’s actually adorable.