Isn't It Ironic?
That's not a complete diagnosis or answer. What is causing this pinched nerve? Is it muscular or skeletal. Based on some of the symptoms I've experienced, I'm pretty sure this thing is skeletal. Why is that? When I'm not in a ton of pain and actually lift my arm higher than chest height, I feel the two bones of the upper arm 'pop' in and out of place.
So, tomorrow, I get to experience two lovely tests. First, an MRI to look at what's going on in my neck and shoulder. Then another test, an EMG or Electromyography, in which my new neurologist places some needles in my neck and arm and then does a nerve conduction study. He feels this is the best way to get at the root cause.
I also have an order for some physical therapy. What is a bummer for me is that I can tell you of a half dozen excellent physical therapists in Maryland, because I've had the wrist surgery and previous neck/shoulder issues. Here? Not so much. I'm flying blind. The neurologist really encourages me to find one in Lakeland, rather than driving to and from Tampa and undoing all the good work that therapy should produce.
Probably the best part is that we see eye to eye on not using chemicals to deal with this. Instead, he'd like to find what is causing it so that I can avoid it in the future, or if I can't, how to mitigate the effects.
The irony? The past two nights, I have been so exhausted that I've fallen asleep on the couch. I'll be the first to tell you that I sleep much better on the couch, because I don't toss and turn like I would in bed. It results in better quality sleep, because my leg isn't rubbing against sheets over and over. Also, the couch is the ONLY place I can successfully sleep on my back.
Two nights of good sleep without tossing and turning means that my neck and shoulder feel better than they have since July. My doctor is not going to get the most accurate information about the pain that was reaching 7's and 8's for most of the past week, more like what it's like when my pain is at a 5.
I hope that enduring an MRI when I'm not in as much pain actually shows enough info to get some answers.
Cross your fingers.