Friday, February 10, 2023


For the past 20+ years I've lived with chronic pain. Now, I'm faced with having a few new additional pains added to all my other "normal" ones. Several months ago I injured my left shoulder doing yardwork. When the injury happened I knew immediately that I had done something to it, but failed to get it examined until November which was several months after the injury. My rheumatalogist order X-rays of both shoulders and an MRI of my right shoulder. I didn't realize until I went to get the MRI done that the order for the MRI was for the wrong shoulder. The facility wouldn't call my doctor and get a verbal change to the order, so I just went ahead and had an MRI done on my right shoulder.

Shortly after that I got an appointment with my primary care doctor because getting back into see my rheumatologist on short notice isn't an easy feat to accomplish. My primary care ordered a MRI for my left shoulder which revealed a complete tear of my rotator cuff, bone spurs and something wrong with my biceps. After jumping through all the necessary red tape to get cleared for surgery, my surgery was finally scheduled for February 20th. The results of the MRI on my right shoulder revealed tears in my right shoulderas as well.

Yesterday, my surgeon's office called to tell me that my surgery has to be postoned until April 3rd. This delay is due to the biologic (Skyrizi) I take for Psoriatic Arthritis. According to my rheumatologist surgery can safely be done 13 weeks after my last shot. Needless, to say I'm bummed out that the surgery had to be postponed. I was actually looking forward to putting it in my rear view mirror so I could address the other shoulder.

Chronic pain can be one of the most difficult things to accept and learn to live with daily. It can be a constant reminder of our physical limitations, making it hard to stay motivated and keep up with our daily lives and relationships. Pain can also affect our mental and emotional health, creating a downward spiral of depression and exhaustion. Fortunately, there are strategies we can use to help us accept our physical limitations and learn to live with pain. 

It's important to be aware of the signals your body is giving you and listen to them. I failed to do this initially when I first injured my shoulder. I tried to power through it hoping whatever was wrong would eventually heal and go away. It didn't! If you're feeling pain, don't try to push through it. Doing so can lead to further physical damage and more chronic pain. Instead, take a break and find out what is causing the pain. Pay attention to feelings of fatigue or low energy, as these can signal an underlying health condition or depression. Also, monitor your mood and be mindful of your reactions to stress or changes in your environment.

When listening to your body, pay attention to the little things that bring you happiness. Take time to relax, try something new, or just spend time with loved ones. These activities can bring joy into your life and give you energy. Achieving balance between your physical and emotional needs can help you better understand and accept your physical limitations. Connecting with yourself and your emotions will allow you to assess how different activities affect your energy levels and happiness. This may help you become more mindful of any potential triggers for depression or other mental health issues.

Additionally, staying active even if only for short periods of time will boost your energy levels and help keep depression at bay. Taking care of yourself in small ways each day such as going for a walk or reading a book can also contribute to overall happiness. Finally, seeking support from friends, family members, or healthcare professionals can make all the difference when trying to cope with physical limitations. Surrounding yourself with positive people who are understanding of your situation can help you stay motivated and supported during difficult times. 


  1. "the signals your body is giving you"
    Right now it's telling me to call the doctor about my lower left rib cage. I fell playing with the dog and have had a sore left lower rib for the last 4 days. But I've been down that path with the doctor before. "You probably cracked a rib. Take some Tylenol and wait for it to go away".
    And knee and shoulder joints? My orthopedic gal says no jogging or running on those knees. HA! Not a problem. But she's after me to do a right shoulder replacement and has been for years. I tell her, it's not that bad... yet. But the left shoulder is trying to catch up with the right one.
    I thought getting old was supposed to be fun!

    1. Aren't we a pair? Unfortunately there isn't much to do for a cracked rib except to tape it up...then grin and bear it and hope you don't have to cough or sneeze.

      I'm just about to the point of cancelling the whole thing. They say the rotator cuff won't heal without surgery, but I so hate being jerked around.

      Getting old sucks! Whoever called it "the golden years" should be horse-whipped.

  2. I'm sorry to day I understand what you are dealing with. I hope the surgery is sooner than later for relief for you!! (9hugs))

  3. I have chronic pain too. I have Osteoarthritis in my knees and hips. I started taking Celebrex and it's helping a little. I sure hope the surgery helps and you heal quickly when you have it. Hopefully they won't have to postpone it any further.

  4. The exhaustion is the biggest thing for me. The pain is actually smaller than that all-encompassing feeling of never getting enough rest.

    So many people have pain. Another reason to try to be decent to people we encounter. We just don't know how hard things are for them.

  5. You've listed some smart strategies and good coping skills. Sometimes i wish the medical people would give you all the info you need up front, you might not have scheduled that most recent shot if you'd known the implications for surgery.

  6. Chronic pain is the pits and woefully understood and under treated

  7. I'm sorry to hear about your chronic pain. I've had sarcoidosis since 2011 and you just can't get used to having to deal with pain 24/7. I agree with what Ami says. We just don't know how hard things are for people.