Sunday, January 19, 2014

Pinch and Judy

It’s starting again.

I’m sitting at my computer and, as I reach for the keyboard, I can feel a wave of numbness spreading across my left shoulder.

This has been going on for the last 10 days or so and the episodes range from mildly annoying to full-on Vulcan nerve pinch.

It’s like I have an internal stun gun zapping me every time I move the wrong way. I just wish someone would tell me what the right way is.

I tried ignoring it for the first few days, basically giving my bad shoulder the cold shoulder. But this strategy failed, as it usually does, and I shifted straight into panic gear, convinced that my arm was going to dry up and fall out of its socket.

Fresh out of denial, I went to my chiropractor who told me that my neck and upper back were out of alignment.

Apparently the top portion of my body decided that my lower back has gotten too much attention lately and pulled a little job action of it own.

How exactly this happened remains a mystery. It’s all highly illogical.

I didn’t strain myself in the gym and I haven’t been shoving around my furniture lately. I had been turning my head somewhat sharply to the left to copy some material into a Word file, but I have since cut that out. Let’s hope it wasn’t too late.

Set Phasers on 'Suck'

My chiropractor told me to lay off the gym for a week, which is kind of like telling a fish to lay off the ocean.

I know I’m obsessed with exercise and I know it is taking up too much space in my brain, but I only go to my health club three times a week. That’s nothing compared with some of the hardcore health club commandos I’ve seen.

I’ve been doing some qigong shoulder exercises and while they’ve been helpful, they haven’t eliminated the problem.

I called my doctor and described my condition to him over that phone.

“It’s a pinched nerve,” he told me. “You need to support your neck when you sleep or it can become nerve damage.”

No, thank you, I’m damaged enough. I was going to order a neck-friendly pillow online, but I decided that this couldn’t wait, so I raced over to a nearby Bed, Bath & Beyond after work on Thursday and made the purchase.

The thing looks like a Klingon potato chip, but so far it seems to be helping.

I started feeling better after one night and on Saturday I decided I was well enough to go back to the gym. And about an hour after my cardio kickboxing class, my shoulder started throbbing again.

I set up an appointment with my pain management specialist for Tuesday. This is the same doctor who treated me during my three lower back outbursts, so he should know the terrain pretty well by now.

I’m hoping I won’t have to go through another round of physical therapy. I know I’m not young, but I’d like to think my skeleton has got a few more miles left.

I want to get this misery cleared up at warp speed so I can live long and prosper.


Bijoux said...

I am sorry to hear you are going through this again. Have you ever discovered a cause for all of this? I have a friend with a lot of back problems, but at least she knows it was from being a dental hygenist.

Hope the pillow helps in the long term!

Rob K said...

Thanks, Bijoux!

I think the neck problem comes from the lack of support at night. Let's hope the magic pillow does the trick.

Ron said...

Oh shit, Rob! Sorry to hear about the pinched nerve in your neck.

Ya know, now that you mentioned it, I sometimes have pain in my neck that goes down the right side of my shoulder. I've been thinking that it might have to do with the height of my computer chair and having to crunch myself lower to type.

Yet, it may be time for me to get another bed pillow because the one I sleep on now is so thin, so perhaps that's where my problem stems.

I've heard about the pillows you speak of. I think I need to check them out.

Anyway, I hope it help, buddy!

Have a super week!

Rob K said...

Hey, Ron!

Thanks, man. I just got back from my chiropractor and she sees--and I feel--some improvement, so this pillow might be helping me out.

You may want to invest in one of these things because you don't want this problem to get out of hand.

Take care, buddy!

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to hear about your shoulder. Dealing with constant pain is never fun and can put a damper on so much. I am glad you are letting doctors handle it though instead of hoping it goes away on its own and potentially making things worse. Let us know how everything turns out! Fingers crossed for you!

Rob K said...

Thanks so much, Shae.

My pain management doctor thinks I should be okay.

I just have to do the exercises they gave me and make sure I'm not cranking head in an odd angle.

v said...

i was totally cringing as i was reading this. i know your issues and am in a flare up period myself. i have been sleeping without any neck support which seems to help. can you post a link to the pillow that you have. i wanted to get one but didn't know which one to get. my chiro told me to take something, like a towel, roll it and put it under my neck. i don't smoke but marijuana is looking good to me right now.

Rob K said...

Oh, I'm so sorry, Val! Here's the link to the Therapedic Classic Contour Bed Pillow:

I was going to do the rolled up towel, but I decided I was worth a special pillow.

Don't know about the ganja method, but it beats popping painkillers. Hope you feel better soon!

Jay at The Depp Effect said...

"I had been turning my head somewhat sharply to the left to copy some material into a Word file"

That will undoubtedly be what did it! I have personal experience and I know of what you speak. Good to hear that the Klingon potato chip is working for you - I don't get on with those at all - but do be a sensible lad and stop the darned gym for a while!

Rob K said...

Thanks, Dr. Jay!

My specialist did give me permission to resume my damned gym activities and the condition seems to be subsiding--or at least I hope so.

Take care!

v said...

thanks for the link.

Rob K said...

My pleasure, Val!