Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday evening

What a horrendous time I had at the doctor's today. That had to have been the worst experience I've ever had either at a doctor's or a dentist's. (Had I known what was going to happen, I'd have taken some of that Valium.) The people in the office were very nice, however, and I liked the doctor. He was just doing the "standard operating procedure" based on the canon.

After they first x-rayed my shoulder, I didn't have to wait long to see the doctor. It turns out I have a calcium deposit in the joint. (The doctor said it was "like a bean" and showed it to me on the x-ray before I left.) Apparently it has moved into a position to cause maximum pain. I took my shirt off, as instructed -- that being a pain in itself -- and, with my help, the doctor probed my shoulder till he found the spot of maximum pain, told me to take a deep breath, and then jammed a needle right into it! I was breathing deeply, but this went on for several seconds (I wasn't watching what he was doing) and became so unbearable that I screamed out in pain. (The doctor accused me, in jest, of tying to give him a heart attack.) The hypodermic was very long, by the way, and I learned later that it contained cortisone and lidocaine.* The doctor told me to put an ice pack on my shoulder and to make an appointment to see him again in two weeks.

(I asked him whether they can dissolve the calcium deposits and he said no. I later went online and found out that these can be removed by laparoscopic surgery.)

I then took the bus back to work.

Back at work, I took two packs of Alka-Seltzer and waited for the pain to subside. It didn't subside, however. It gradually got worse. I ordered $25 worth of Greek comfort food for lunch and dinner and tried not to think about it. At around 3 o'clock, however, the pain had gotten so bad--much worse than before the needle procedure--that I went back to the first aid kid and grabbed two packs of ibuprofen and an instant ice pack. I'm not sure how much ibuprofen I took (a double dose, in any case) but it worked. And the ice pack helped, too. (It even sat on my shoulder by itself, so that my hands were free to get some work done.)

I was able to nap a bit on the bus home. Back home I took two aspirin and am feeling better. (They don't have aspirin at work, except for what's in the Alka-Seltzer.)

*Or maybe there were two separate shots--as I said, I wasn't watching. And it did seem to take a long time.

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