I got up feeling fairly OK, after quite a difficult night. I'd had to take top up pills in the early hours, because the pain was keeping me awake. They worked though, and I got a few good hours, then woke up with minimal pain or neck pressure.
Because of that, I didn't bother putting the new sling on, or even using cushions to support my arm: it didn't seem necessary. After a couple of hours, though, I was having real trouble keeping my eyes open and I'd been fighting off screwdriver-in-the-eye for over an hour. It wasn't exactly the same as usual, but it was bad.
I ended up having to go back to bed, but the usual arm traction didn't help, and it took a long time to find a comfortable position. Then I fell asleep for a couple of hours. When I woke up, I once again didn't feel the sling was necessary, but I'd learnt my lesson, and put it on.
It was much harder this time to get the traction right - I suspect because I had left it too long before - but finally I did and over the course of the afternoon, the screwdriver has eased. As usual in the sling, my arm feels like it's partially pulled out of it's socket, but that's bearable. I find that the numbness in my right thigh is also a lot worse in the sling, and I've also been getting new numbness in my hand today. Both of these are acceptable trade-offs for the positives I'm seeing.
The last couple of days do raise a couple of questions, which I'll be addressing over the next few days:
*is it possible that the altered angle of the shoulder joint could interrupt the pain signals sufficient to ease or even stop the pain?
*is there a cumulative effect on the neck pressure - i.e. if I wear it constantly for a period, will things adjust so I can then stop without any recurrence of symptoms?
*is the reduction in pain I've seen so far permanent and cumulative, as per the neck pressure question above?
It also answers some:
*the eye droopiness and sleepiness I get every day isn't down to the meds, it's the neck pressure - it stops with the sling on.
*whatever nerve it is that gets trapped at some point links to the trigeminal nerve (causing the screwdriver)
*abducting the arm somehow links down to nerves in my right thigh and my left hand
All of this might raise the possibility of getting back to work. I know it's a long shot, but maybe. I can pray.
I feel that to maximise my chances, I should wear this new sling all the time. But I feel bad about that, guilty. I feel like it's overkill and people will view it as me going for ever-more visible and outrageous aids in order to garner sympathy.
It's stupid to feel that way when I'm home alone, and if it helps, surely that's all that matters. But I can't help feeling, for example, that the doctor will disapprove, like he did with the stick. Then again, he hasn't found anything to help, so who else can I rely on?
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