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MRI and Surgery Not Pleasant Words

The words I heard were not pleasant words today…MRI, surgery, an orthopedic doctor.  Ummm, this did not bless me at all!

If you’ve been in my home lately, you have seen me walking around with an ice pack on my shoulder.  My family has heard “my shoulder hurts” more times than they desire to count.  Krisann told me one day that I could not say that anymore for the day.  She had heard me say it and I did NOT need to keep saying it!  I wonder if she’s heard that before from someone?

I’ve had shoulder issues for almost seven years.  But this time, this shoulder issue is way different.  I would guess over the past six to eight weeks my shoulder has been bothering me significantly.  I have had deep tissue massages, I have put essential oils on it, I have been to the chiropractor, I have taken anti inflammatory medicine, I have rubbed creams and put patches on it, I have even had an exercise session with a friend to teach me exercises to do to try to build muscle and see if that helped.  To no avail, nothing helps, it continues to worsen.

I was trying so hard to get home from my trip this week before going to the doctor.  However, Sunday night was the icing on the cake for me!  It was an awful night of pain.  Three hours of sleep and then I was awake and miserable.   At 8:05, I rang my primary doctor and was in his office by 9:30.

The words I heard were not pleasant words.

The doctor had me push and pull and move a gazillion different ways.  The doctor did an excellent evaluation, to say the least.  However, I was grateful because I am now ready for answers to this pain.  He said, let’s start with an x-ray.  I think you need an MRI but let’s look at the x-ray.  Let me just say when doctors come in your room, and they say, I want to show you something, or I want you to look at this…it’s never good!  That always means there is something wrong. But I already knew that right?  Yes.  However, it’s no longer a possible problem; it is a problem.  It seems I have a bone that causing a shoulder impingement.  The doctor also feels very sure that a rotator cuff issue exists and a possible issue with cartilage.  So an MRI is needed to see what all is going on in there.  I asked if you could fix shoulder impingement and the doctor said, it was going to require an orthopedic doctor to go in and shave off some bone so that there could be an opening for the tendons to slide through.  I asked my very conservative doctor about three or four times if he thought surgery was going to be needed and he was all but certain it was every time I asked.

The Plan

I leave Wednesday and will be driving seven hours to a conference.  And then I will be driving seven hours home on Sunday.   I have to go. There’s no turning back now.  He agreed I could go but agreed it was going to be hard on the shoulder.  As he started discussing next options to carry me over this week and until we can get the MRI done, I just had a panic attack right there in his office.  Tears rose to the brim of my eyes.  Overwhelmed.  MRI and Surgery they can not be happening.  I love that God gave me a soft spoken reassuring doctor who handled my panic and was so thoughtful of what was best for me physically and emotionally.  So…he started me on some medicine to try to help me get through this week.  He is getting insurance approval for an MRI.  I’m assuming that since I am out this week, it will be first of next week before that can happen.  It will be at that point, that we will have more definite answers of what is going on in my shoulder.

Where is everyone?

Once I left, I called Zine and talked to him for a moment.  But he does not like to speak on the phone.  Nor does he have much sympathy for people who have to endure medical stuff.  I needed some assurance from someone that it was all going to be okay.  I always want to talk to my mama in times like that.  My mother knew just what to say to me!  But talking to her is not possible.  A wave of grief!  I texted some friends and said can I come over?  I need to decompress. They weren’t home.  I called two others, and no one answered.  So I’m sitting in my car going okay God, I’m guessing this is one of those times that you want to comfort and assure me and not other people.  But I wanted a real person at that moment!

The Problem

Does my shoulder understand…

My primary role is a caregiver?

I help my husband dress every day?

That I wash Chloe’s hair?

That Krisann has a lot of hair to wash?

I need to cook?

I am in the middle of a big project?

It is time for school to start back?

When I get stressed I quit eating?

Obviously, it does not!  So tonight while I sit here wide awake, I am having this conversation with my shoulder. And I’m having an even bigger conversation with God.

My Prayer

I have grown so much over the past few months. I just knew when I encountered the next big wave that I would navigate it better.  So please pray that what I have learned I will be able to apply to my life.  Please pray for the overwhelming panic and anxiety I have will be replaced with peace.  Pray that the meds will get me through this week.  Tonight I have been quite nauseous.  I know it’s the prednisone doing that.  I’m praying for rest even with 60 mg of Prednisone!  I’m praying for Krisann.  Tonight I have been relaxing in the recliner, and she is on the sofa!  I am praying that despite the shoulder issues, I would be able to enjoy my conference and that I would not be suffocating with what ifs of anxiety.  Also, I am petitioning that God would just heal my shoulder.  I am praying if surgery is indeed on the horizon as it seems it is that even now God is orchestrating all the chaos.  There will be chaos!  I am thankful tonight for one of my sweet friends who knows how to come to my house and make herself at home and I am thankful that she said Karen I am here to help!  And I know she knows how to do that!


Wife of 20+ years. Mom to 3 children. Love sharing my life with weary hearts so that we can know the One who is Good, who is in Control, and Whose strength is made perfect in our weaknesses.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Beth

    I had shoulder surgery in 2006 for similar issues, Nerve impingement caused by bone spurs, but I didn’t have a rotator cuff issue. For the 7 hr trip, buy or borrow a Boppy. Yes- the one that babies use to do tummy time or sit up . It will keep that shoulder where you don’t have to hold it up the whole trip. Second. If Chloe can cook, great- If not. show her how, with Krisann as the sous chef. Get your friend to get ready to set up the meal train. For after surgery, get Chloe ready to be a chauffeur, or find a friend with a 15 year old that needs driving lessons and practice, or a 16 year old that is so eager to drive anywhere to drive you. Sending a PM to you with some Dr recommendations.

    1. kksmith8694

      Didn’t get dr. recommendations. But I am using Dr. Greco at TOC.

  2. Beth

    Crap- apparently you were one of the 167 people that I took off my Facebook when I weeded to just family and friends I see on a regular basis. Sent a friend request- Its not an imposter Its me. Will send an email later today

    1. kksmith8694

      Send it again. I’m sure I deleted it thinking it was a fake!

  3. Mary Powell

    Karen, I can’t pretend I know what your life is like. I can tell you I had back surgery in 2009. The doctor had to shave off part of a bone to end my intense pain. Praying, if you have surgery, it will be instant relief as mine was. I did have pain from the surgery, but the back pain that was so great was gone. I thank God the pain has not returned. I pray for knowledge for your doctor & that God guide him on the best solution to give you relief. Sending many prayers for you & your family. Love you! Mary

    1. kksmith8694

      Thank you! I will know more details first part of next week. Glad you’re home! Hope you had a fantastic trip!

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