Left Shoulder Dislocation

On Monday 10/29/12 after my shift as a volunteer at the Henry Mayo hospital, I was headed towards my car when I hit an obstacle in the road. Basically, there was a different elevation between the road and the entrance to the parking garage. The obstacle was a difference in height of about ¾". It was just high enough to prevent my casters from rolling over. My wheelchair stopped while I kept going. As I was using my manual chair, I didn't have a seatbelt (never have on that chair). I have an eyewitness that I fell in slow motion, graceful-like. I landed on my right side. Soon a group of women had gathered and finally two security officers came. They lifted me into my chair. One of the women was an RN (top of the rung in nursing). She checked me out to make sure I was okay.

I seemed to be just fine. A doctor was there and he kept asking if I felt okay, I told him that I felt fine. He asked how I could know. I told told him that if something serious had occurred, my body would tell me by autonomous dysreflexia. Just to be sure I hadn't broken anything, like I did in October 2010, I had my legs x-rayed at urgent care. The result was that I hadn't broken anything.

At about 2 in the morning, I was sleeping on my left side as I do every night for part of the night. From a deep sleep, I was awakened to a searing pain as my left arm had popped out of the shoulder socket. The pain was so severe I screamed in shock. I didn't know what to do other than ease it back into place.

I was fine in the morning, doing all my normal exercises. At about 10, I started feeling a show-stopping pain that must've come as a result of the fall and subsequent arm movement. Perhaps the fall weakened the joint just enough that by exerting a pressure in just the right direction and amount plus being totally relaxed gave the arm a perfect opportunity to slip out of place.

I went to see Dr. Friedland, an orthopedic doctor. First he did a physical exam. Then an x-ray showed that my shoulder was not dislocated, but an ultrasound showed the tissues surrounding the shoulder had been damaged. He prescribed Celebrex, an anti-inflammatory, 1x/day for six days and gave me a sample pack with that number of pills. He wants me to ice the shoulder 2x/day. He injected cortisone into my shoulder to reduce swelling. Finally, he wrote an Rx for Tylenol with Codeine, if the pain got severe enough. I took one. Hopefully I won't get too drowsy or constipated. Nancy will have to help me get ready for bed and Karen will be here at 7 to help me get ready for the day. I was able to turn myself at night without too much pain. I only slept on my right side and back. It feels better, but I'll have to take it easy.

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© Marc Richards 2014