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!!