doctor, doctor, give me the news…

I have been avoiding blogging this, I like to keep some things private.  But thought it was time to explain the decrease in blog posts and reduction of my photography business updates on facebook, etc.

In September I started having what seemed to be very intense carpal tunnel & shoulder pain. I attributed  this to the increased amount of typing required at my work and I knew it was exasperated by the hours spent editing photos.

Ibuprofen, heating pads, and rest were not working. In October my right hand started intermittently turning really red and my fingers and arm would go numb. I also began having numbness & tingling in my face, and burning pain down my right side and lot’s of pain and tenderness in my right shoulder. I called my doctor and almost a year later I have now had:

2 EMG’s (stands for excessive masochistic guy who sticks needles in your body and shocks you)

5 MRI’s (perfect for someone who is claustrophobic)

3 dozen+ blood tests

Countless “assessments” & tests

Months of  Physical Therapy/Occupational Therapy & therapeutic massages

1 cortisone injection in my neck (talk about a pain in the neck)

Fun times.  No, really. Amazing how cozy and nice an MRI is with the right drugs!
Fun times. No, really. Amazing how cozy and nice an MRI is with the right drugs!
My Darth Vader Arm Brace. Good times.
Eww…inside of my neck. Looks like I am part alien.
nerve pain poster
I’ve done a lot of self education re. nerve pain. Feels like I am now an expert!
No Bones about it. My right shoulder looks OK to the orthopedic guys, so they sent me to neurology.

I have seen so many specialists that I have lost count.  Each one ruled out one thing, but then wanted me to be evaluated for something else by another Doc for whose first appointment was weeks away.

All these tests have ruled out big bad things like pinched nerve in my neck, diabetes, MS & cancer. (Whew).  My symptoms have not changed, and I take medication for peripheral nerve pain which helps a little. I also sleep in brace which keeps my entire arm straight so that the nerves can “rest”. Physical therapist are my new best friends (that is until they start torturing me!)

The worst part is I have lost strength in my right hand & at times the pain in my arm and shoulder is so intense all I can do is go to sleep. Sitting at a computer and typing is the last thing I want to do.

Recently I met w.  a neurologist at Johns Hopkins and she carefully reviewed all my record and tests and treated me respectfully.  There have been some incredibly awful visits with some Docs. Can’t tell you the number of times I’ve walked out of offices in tears. She diagnosed me with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.  Rare, kind of hard to treat…but we are doing research and asking lot’s of questions.

Thankful for Bill (aka daddymeff) for all the Dr’s appointments he has taken me to. My sweet boys who have been so helpful and my supervisor who has really been supportive. I was equipped with a fancy headset and Dragon @ my work so I can use my voice and not my bumbling hand and fingers to complete documentation.  I also have an amazing network of lovely female friends who have been so wonderful, thoughtfully asking me how I am doing and taking time to listen and care. That has meant the world!

I am still photographing adorable Northern Va families, but on a very small scale & I limit how long I lug that 8 lb camera around and I do less editing in photoshop.  It’s a great outlet for me and I am proud that with time my skills have improved.  It’s really just a wonderful hobby and I appreciate the families who have trusted me with their families memories.

So…if you see fewer blog posts- this is why & if you see images of me in a sling- you’ll know why!

5 thoughts on “doctor, doctor, give me the news…”

  1. Marti,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your ailments. I’ll definitely need to stop complaining about having to take a few Aleve once in awhile for shoulder discomfort. You’re a real trooper.

    If you need any help with your photo shoots just ask, it’s on the house. And if you need any post processing work done you are in luck as I am offering the 50% off obscure diagnosis discount. I’m sure Thoracic Outlet Syndrome qualifies. I’m not making fun of your ailment, just trying to lighten the mood. Seriously though the offers are good as long as you need the help.

    Take care.


  2. I’m sorry its been a long road. I’m glad you have an answer. Hopefully relief will find you soon. I have 2 ears to listen if you need them and we dont even have to be driving…lol. see ya soon. Enjoy Chi-town.

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