I saw the doctor yesterday (Friday 4/2/2010) for a consultation on my right shoulder. I had an MRI on it a week and a half ago. Since my first doctors appointment, another condition developed. My pinkie finger and the one next to it on my left hand started to feel like it was tingling or asleep most of the time now. With varying degrees of discomfort from bothersome to xxx-painful.
This is affecting my guitar playing now, limiting me to about an hour a day of play time, maximum. So, now I know why doctors don’t like it when people self diagnose themselves by Goggling their condition on the computer. Why, we aren’t doctors, we always pick the worse case scenario and scare ourselves to death, and it is a waste of time. Basically it is a case or matter of ”present fears are less than horrible imaginings”. Who said that? William Shakespeare..
We worry about things we have no control over , or no experience with. I worried myself to death about having to have spinal surgery and the risks involved. I convinced myself from too much Googling that I had a pinched nerve in my neck. Yup, from Googling to much. I just knew that was the problem, major intrusive open back or neck surgery.
As I said, I saw the doctor on Friday and we spoke about the results of the MRI. He took a quick x-ray of my neck and we sat down and talked turkey. See, I told him up front that I had plenty of money (that’s a lie) to get right to the point and repair me, and I am broke (which is the truth) when it comes to running a bunch of BS tests.
Here is the good news, I only need (3) three separate surgeries to correct my problems. In reality I have three separate issues that need correcting with surgery. I am not interested in therapy, I want to get to the point and get them fixed.
My right shoulder is no mystery to me. It is a result of being a transmission mechanic for over 30 years, playing hard, (not partying hard) and being a physical person in general. There is some sort of dealiwhopper aggrevating my shoulder, thank goodness it is not a rotator cuff tear problem. This dealiwhopper is poking a nerve when it wants to, basically. When that happens, the intense pain sets in and the muscles spasm.
So, he will use a scope and clean up the shoulder joint, a pretty basic routine, nothing tricky. The procedure has almost a 100% success rate. Not only that, I can get back to my usual physical lifestyle a few months later. Nice. Like rebuilding a transmission, but easier. I’ll have a guitar in my hands in a few weeks after the surgery. As soon as I’m out of a sling (1 week) and have my first rehab session.
The other two operations are for my elbows. Apparently the tingling and unpleasant feelings in my left hand and small fingers is compression on the crazy bone nerves in my elbows from playing the guitar and working hard. The vibes from the guitar neck can actually aggravate the condition, not cause it. The crazy bone nerve is close to the surface of the elbow, we get reminded of that when it gets bumped. That is in part why this is a simple surgery, as far as surgery goes.
This is a very simple procedure, but it is definitely surgery that is needed to decompress the nerves. By opening and and enlarging the tunnel the nerve goes through. Sounds simple, the recovery time is only 2 days.
It seems like basic, only a few mechanical repairs, I could do it myself, no problem. Seriously, I believe in modern medicine and am not at all scared of doctors or being repaired. I don’t take it personally, the doctor is just doing his job. One I asked him to do and am paying him to do.
This is all good news to me, three appointments in a row are going to be set up next week. The doctor will fix my left elbow first, then do my right shoulder 3 weeks later. I don’t know when he will do my right elbow, but that one does not bother me, yet. But I want to fix it before it does bother me. I have to in good overall functional condition to lead my lifestyle.
One of the ideas behind this post is to let you know that although surgical situations may seem scary, the bottom line is that even if I decided to wait for the surgeries, my conditions would get worse, forcing me into more invasive and serious surgery, when it became mandatory.
While I’m rehabbing, you know what I’ll do? I’ll be examining more of the guitar lessons for beginners and telling you all about it. Until my operations, I’ll be practicing my guitar as much as I can take it. Take care of your health guitarists. My best friend and guitar teacher died two weeks ago today of pancreatic cancer. GuitarPlayersCenter.com