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shoulder update

Good news (I think)! My doctor says it is tendonitis or bursitis. Basically it means that there is inflammation around the rotator cuff tendons and shoulder joint. The good news is that my shoulder is not freezing up again and it is not a rotator cuff tear. He said a cortisone shot should help.

While the nurse prepared the needle, he went to see another patient. The nurse came in and left the tray with the BIG needle on the examining table right next to where I was sitting. I sat and stared at that needle for the next 5 minutes. Flashbacks of the needle and the lump on my lower eye lid raced through my mind.

I was a little nervous about getting this shot as I have heard that cortisone shots can hurt quite a bit. Staring at that needle for five minutes didn't help any. When my doctor returned, he told me that some people feel a little bit of pain in the shoulder area a day or two after getting a cortisone shot. Others don't notice it at all. Since I already have pain in my shoulder, I figured a little more pain for a few more days couldn't be that bad.

He sanitized the area with an alcohol pad and then sprayed some cold stuff on my shoulder. Just as he was about to give me the shot, he made a comment about how he heard that the pasta in Italy is great. I replied, "yep... the pasta, the pizza, the gelato, the espresso..." with a big smile on my face (thinking about all that wonderful food I will soon be enjoying). I really do think he was genuinely interested in Italy as he also commented that he has always wanted to go there but it very well could also have been a diversion tactic. It certainly worked. I hardly even felt the shot. In my book, he gets a score of a perfect 10 for administering shots.

The cortisone shot is supposed to reduce the inflammation and the pain should subside in the next few days. It's a good thing I asked if I should continue to ice my arm. I had no idea that icing it could interfere with the absorption of the medicine. I will finish my last two physical therapy sessions and then plan to religiously continue my shoulder and arm exercises.

I have an appointment to see him again the morning that I leave. I am very grateful that he was able to squeeze me in today. Hopefully my arm will have enough time to heal before my trip begins. Thanks again everyone for all of your support and previous comments about my shoulder. I am thinking positive thoughts that my shoulder will be as good as new by the time I leave for Italy - 3 weeks from today!!

Comments (14)

Yipee! I am glad your shoulder is just inflamed, and nothing more serious. Cortisone should help. I hope it heals soon.

Kathy (trekcapri):

Hi Girasoli, this sounds like good news! I thought your doctor handled administering the shot really well and deserves the perfect 10 score you gave him.

I'm glad that everything is going well. The next three weeks will really fly by and then you'll be in Italy! Yay!

Thanks for the shoulder update and have a great day today.

I'm thinking postive thoughts too! Love that doctor's diversion tactics - I need to think about Italy next time I go to the dentist. :)

3 weeks is exciting!


Yay!!! That's fantastic news -- I'm very glad to hear that this doesn't seem to be another case of frozen shoulder. Once the cortisone is absorbed, things will hopefully settle down for your shoulder.

It sounds as if your doctor has an excellent bedside manner, finding the best possible way to distract you from the big needle AND fitting you in before your trip.

Only 3 weeks to go for you -- yay! I'll try to remember to leave a little bit of gelato for you in Bologna (and update Chiocciola's research on the Orologio!)


Yikes! When you started talking about that big needle, I just cringed. I am so glad it wasn't as bad as expected (don't we always expect the worst?). And his diversion tactic was great!

Keep up the good work with the PT, and you will be good to go.

I really hope this helps your shoulder and it gets better soon. My mother used to get cortisone shots for back pain and they did work. 3 weeks - it will fly by and you'll be eating gelato in Italia soon.

Wow, it sounds like you have a perfect 10 for a Dr! How nice that he was able to get you in to see him, and I really like his diversion method. He may very well have really meant what he said about Italy, but his timing was spot on. Best of luck with the pt for the next 3 weeks so that your shoulder has time to heal. Oh my gosh, 3 weeks, it will fly by, and then we will all be wishing you Buon Viaggio. My count down has only just begun, we are going next May....
Take care of your self, get feeling 100% for your trip!!!!

Good news! Glad you seem to be happy with this - and hopefully the shot will help to subside the pain. Good timing for the doc's comment. Three weeks and counting - yeah! menehune

Thanks so much everyone! My left shoulder/arm is slightly less painful at the moment. Not as pain free as I had hoped at this point but I am thinking that it may be the reaction to the cortisone shot rather (as he warned me) than the inflamed tendons causing the pain I am feeling at the moment. Even though there still is some pain, I am able to move my arm certain ways a little easier than I could before the shot.

As a bonus, yesterday I had my tetnus shot. Can't believe the timing on this! Of course I had it in my right arm. This morning my two arms are balanced (equal amount of pain in each arm)!

Yay, great news! I think the cortisone shot takes a while to work so I wouldn't worry too much that you haven't had a lot of relief yet. Crossing my fingers that all goes well in Italy! And hopefully regular old ibuprofen can help if you have pain during the trip.

Hope the pain will be over after this injection and wishing you a fantastic trip to Italy! Enjoy and have fun!

Chiocciola, thanks!! The main inflammation has seemed to have subsided. I am just hoping the pain left (much more minor) will go away. I am most concerned that I will inflame my tendons again when traveling. I will be taking alleve with me just in case.

Carin, thanks so much! I can't wait!

I've had a few shots of cortisone in my wrist and shoulder and know how much they hurt. I was preparing myself to read how much the needle hurt and I’m happy to read that everything went well and that the doctor did a fine job.

Best of luck with the physical therapy. Soon you'll be In Italy and your tendonitis will be a thing of the past.

Happy Sunday!

María, I was surprised after hearing how much cortisone shots can hurt! He did a great job with that needle. Thanks!

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