Working though the pain.

Whew…2014.  Where did the year go?  Can’t believe how fast this school year is going.  Lovin’ it!

I have been dealing with some shoulder pain since April last year.  After a couple rounds of steroids I finally had enough and set up an appointment with a specialist. My shoulder problem isn’t a shoulder problem at all.  In November, I had an appointment with an Orthopedic doctor who wanted to x-rays and after seeing those, an MRI of my neck.  I was a little freaked out at this point, not knowing what that meant for my interpreting career.  Mid December the results were in.  I have a bulging C5/C6 disc and a ruptured C6/C7 disc.  My initial thoughts were not positive.  I can really talk myself into being a “Debbie Downer”.  (Sorry to all the people named Debbie) The doctor suggested physical therapy to improve my posture.  …and then he said “if that doesn’t work we’ll look into surgery.”  Why did he have to say that? Why couldn’t he have waited until that point arrived in my treatment?  I try to ignore that part of the conversation and focus on the physical therapy option. Also, What’s wrong with my posture?  I’ve always followed my mom’s advice and “hung from a hook” on the top of my head.  As a pianist I know the importance of good posture. After my initial physical therapy (PT) session, I apparently am too hunched forward. Okay…I can see that.

Fast forward to yesterday, my first day back to work after break.  A fairly light day as far as interpreting.  By the end of the day I was a weak, numb, tingling, mess.  After work I had my eighth session with the therapists.  I have made improvements as far as decreased pain, decreased numbness, and with some of my rotation angle measurements (yeah…didn’t know there were such things). While I’m not 100%, I’m doing much better.  The two weeks of no interpreting was helpful in my recovery. I know that it is still a long process, I have to convince myself that I can get through this.  I love a challenge, even though I complain about them as it happens.

My plan is to find creative ways to get my stretches in during the work day.  Some of them are a challenge because I don’t want to look “odd” and distract the students in the classroom.  I really don’t want surgery.  I really want to continue interpreting. I love what I do…




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