Saturday, March 25, 2017

Painful Arm

I have hurt my left arm and I don't know how.

I am aware that a pain in the left arm can be a symptom of a heart attack, but this pain is not in my upper arm and there is no accompanying tightness in the chest, difficulty breathing, etc.  I checked my blood pressure in the morning and it was good, pulse was good, too.  So, I don't think this is due to a heart attack or anything serious.

The pain is near the elbow, but on the outside.  It started on Thursday night.  I am wondering if I strained a muscle or pulled a tendon when I carried the groceries in on Wednesday (unlikely) or when I went to open the jar of Miracle Whip on Thursday (more likely - I recall I struggled a bit to open it).  The pain wasn't too bad on Thursday night; I checked to see if there was any redness or bruising and I didn't see anything, so I just sort of ignored it.

On Friday, the pain was still there, but it wasn't too bad.  I went to the office and did my work and drove home without any problems.  In the night, before I went to sleep, I rubbed some heating balm on it (called Tiger Balm) and put some blessed water (Buddhist equivalent of Christian holy water)  and some holy water (from Lourdes) as well, for good measure!  *smile*  But the arm felt sore and painful, although there was no swelling or redness, etc.

This morning, the pain woke me up at 6:30 a.m.!  I could barely move my arm!  I rubbed more balm and went back to sleep again.  I am icing it now, hoping that will help.  I suppose I should take a Tylenol, too, but I haven't done so, yet (Update: took two Tylenols).

What bothers me most is that I had agreed to drive one of my aunts, two cousins, and a friend to this evening's prayer gathering at another aunt's house, some 40 miles away.  It is a 45 minutes to 1 hour drive (depending on traffic) and I am not sure if I am up to it if my arm is hurting.  In fact, to be quite honest, I would have preferred if someone else had offered to drive in the first place (and given me a ride!), but, apparently there was no one else willing or able to drive that distance on the freeway at night.  Aunt is in her 90s and isn't allowed to drive due to her age, cousins and friend won't drive on the freeway or at night, cousins' children aren't free on a Saturday night, etc.  So now, I am stressing about driving that distance with a painful arm and possibly over-exerting my arm instead of resting it.  If it was a shorter distance, I might not have stressed about it so much.

The problem is, as one of my friends has pointed out, my family is accustomed to me chauffeuring them around!  As she says, they managed to find their way to the prayer gatherings, etc., just fine, when I was too ill to attend them, but now that I am better, it's back to normal!  LOL.

For the most part, I don't mind.  If I can be of help, then, I am happy to do so...usually.  Occasionally, however, I grumble, because, after all, I am human.  There is much I don't say about our family dynamics, here, on the blog!  I try to focus on the positive and not dwell on the negative.  So, for example, I will write that a cousin visited me, but I won't say that it was after 6 months into my treatment, even though she had been to visit my other cousin who lives practically across the street from me, several times, or how that made me feel.  Or, I will write that my cousin brought me dinner, but I won't complain about the time she forgot to buy me the bread I had asked for (back when I was told not to go grocery shopping due to increased risk of infection). 

Anyway, I spoke with my daughter, who begged me not to over-do things.  Then, I called my cousin to tell her about my arm and that I was not sure if I could drive them tonight.  Cousin told me not to stress about it, that she will ask her daughter if she can drive them, instead.  (Earlier, she had told me that her daughter had plans to go out with friends.)  She asked me not to say anything to our aunt until she has checked with her daughter.  So, I will call her back, later (if I haven't heard from her before) to ask if her daughter can drive them.  In which case, I won't be going, since there won't be any room in the car for me - but that's OK.

Update:  Cousin just called to check on how I was feeling.  She said she spoke with her daughter but doesn't know yet if her daughter can drive them (daughter is out with friends who are visiting from San Diego).  I told my cousin, if her daughter can't drive them, to get one of those rides like Uber, if possible, and that I will pay for it.  Cousin said it was OK to call our aunt and tell her what was happening.  So, I called my aunt and told her I wasn't able to drive them and said that cousin is trying to get her daughter to drive.  I also asked aunt if her granddaughter can drive them, but aunt said her granddaughter was busy.  So, again, I told her, too, that if they can get a ride from Uber, I will pay for it, since I can't drive them, this time.  I feel bad about not driving them.  I feel like I'm being selfish, especially since I feel better after taking the Tylenol.  But, I don't want to over-do things, either.  I need to rest my arm and be well enough to do what I have to do.  I owe it to myself to limit my activities until I am fully recovered.  

I really haven't done anything, today, as I've tried to rest my arm.  I slept in, after I woke up at 6:30 a.m., till almost noon!  My daughter calling to check on me woke me up!  Then, I cleaned the litter box, since I didn't do it last night.  I had a cup of tea and a banana for brunch, then, three Ritz crackers just before I took the Tylenol.  I haven't felt hungry, but I'll have a cup of tea in a bit and there is leftover rice, green beans, and chicken curry for dinner.  It was sunny, earlier, but later, a few clouds moved in.  We were supposed to have a 20% chance of rain, today - I hope it does rain, because the garden could do with more rain.  But, I doubt very much if it will rain.  The clouds have moved away and it is sunny, again.

Today, I am grateful for:
- The pain in my arm appears to be due to a sprain or something, rather than a heart attack.
- Cousin said she'll try to get her daughter to drive them to the prayer gathering.
- The balm, Tylenol, and the icing helped; there is still some pain, but not too bad.
- A good cup of tea.
- A quiet, restful day.

Thank you for reading through all that!  This post is a bit all over the place, isn't it?  How was your Saturday?  

   

27 comments:

  1. So sorry to hear about your painful arm and also about the stress and guilt you are feeling concerning the need for someone to drive your aunt. I feel that you are still very fragile at the moment since you are not well enough to be back at work full-time, and the fact that you needed to sleep for so long indicates that you need rest and not stress. Driving on a freeway at night is fine if you are 100%, but not if you are less than. Forty miles is a long drive to do at night! The fact that you always did it before your illness doesn't mean you have to do it forever. I hope that you can find a way to deal with this situation without feeling that it is still your job to be chauffeur. Nothing is forever. I chauffeured groups of people to a meeting for years, picking them up along the way like a bus, but eventually I had to stop for various reasons. That's the way life is.

    Well, the sap is starting to run and we might have enough to boil tomorrow, but in the meantime we have a freezing rain warning overnight.

    We had breakfast out with friends this morning and sat in a sunny window at a cafe, we almost forgot it was still winter!

    Bushlady

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    1. Thank you, Bushlady, for your kind and thoughtful comment. Sometimes I think that I have an over-developed sense of obligation to my extended family! They are accustomed to calling on me and I have been available to them! For example, when one of my cousins needed to go downtown at 2:00 a.m., (to pay for the release of her daughter's car that had been towed because her daughter forgot to feed the parking meter when she went out with friends), she called me to ask if I could drive her, because she didn't want to disturb her husband (even though he had offered to go with her). And, yes, I drove her downtown and back. Of course, this was before my diagnosis. These days, I am not able to do quite as much as I used to. I no longer jump in and volunteer to do as much as I used to, but I am still not used to setting boundaries and saying no to them, either.

      Glad to hear that the sap is running. Hopefully, the freezing rain won't do much harm. Wish I could have a bottle of your homemade maple syrup! You'll just have to enjoy some on a stack of pancakes for me!

      Hope you have an early spring, Bushlady.

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  2. Bushladys advice is wise. It would be no help to you to drive all that way. Your family must recognise that, and you must not feel guilty. Praying the pain eases and you have a blessed weekend. I am typing this whilst lying in bed. I injured my knee, and doctor said I must rest. I foolishly did too many things on Friday and paying for it Now! Be wise and recover properly or the pain will persist. Love and blessings x

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    1. Oh, I hope your knee is better, today, Angela! Sorry to hear you injured it. But, yes, we do tend to over do things, don't we? Thank you for saying I mustn't feel guilty. I felt bad I couldn't be of service, but my family managed just fine. My arm feels much better, this morning and I am sure it is because I rested it, yesterday. Hope you have a restful day and your knee feels better as a result. Take care.

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  3. Well said Bushlady!

    I was worried when I checked yesterday several times and no post from you. Hope your arm is improved today. If no better please take yourself to the doctor no later than Monday.

    Some jars are so hard to open. I have found that if I take a plain ordinary rubber band and place it over the lid it will open easily.

    Hugs.

    Sandy

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    1. Thank you, Sandy; the arm feels much better, this morning. A little sore, but not painful. I am sure resting and taking it easy yesterday helped.

      Yes, I've done the rubber band thing, myself. But I forgot to do that the other day. Heating the lid by holding it under some hot water, helps, too, but I didn't do that, either! Will definitely do so, next time.

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  4. You made a very wise decision not to go. What if you had been in the middle of the drive and your arm was in extreme pain while you were driving? That wouldn't have been very safe.

    Long histories of family dynamics and interactions are hard things to change. But I'm glad you're starting to realize that you don't have to do everything for your relatives. It sounds like your body has been trying to tell you that for a while.

    I hope your arm continues to feel better and good luck with changing the expectations of your family. Maybe this is something you could talk about with the leaders of your temple.

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    1. Thank you, Live and Learn. That was part of my concern and I explained it to my cousin - I didn't think it was very wise of me to drive when I felt I couldn't use my arm properly. I didn't want to jeopardize anyone's lives! Sometimes, it takes only a split second for something to happen on the freeway. I've taken some silly risks while driving over the years but I am getting wiser in my old age!

      It is hard to change the habits of a lifetime. I used to be a lot worse, doing things for others even when I didn't have the time to do for myself. I'm getting a little better, though. I'm realizing that I need to treat myself with as much consideration as I treat others and that is not being selfish.

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  5. I am sorry that your arm hurts so badly, Bless. Is it still hurting today? I wonder if you have something like tennis elbow. My left arm sometimes hurts like this on the outside of the elbow, and it's not inflamed externally but if I extend it a certain way or try to do such movements as opening the fridge door with my left hand or carrying a ceramic casserole dish with my arms extended in front of me, it hurts pretty bad. Both times it happened, my elbow hurt for several days and then it went away without any rhyme or reason. Driving and doing other things weren't impacted, but it still hurt when I moved my arm a certain way.

    Anyhoo, after reading your reply to Bushlady's comment, I'm flabbergasted that your cousin had the gall (seriously!) to call you at 2 a.m. because she didn't want to disturb her own husband who had already offered to drive her. That's absurd. You need to learn to say "no" when it's an unreasonable imposition. I know it's hard for you because you're very family-oriented and also people have stepped up and helped you when you were sick, but you can't let yourself be a doormat either. Well, just MY 2 cents :) I'm glad you didn't drive anyone anywhere yesterday. You shouldn't feel bad about it.

    Rest your arm. Maybe ice it? Do you have a pack of peas or something you can put on your elbow? I hope your Sunday is better.

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    1. My arm is much better, today, thank you, Nathalie. It is still a little sore, but not as painful as it was, yesterday. I did ice it, yesterday - I keep a folded, dampened wash cloth in a small freezer bag in the freezer for use as an ice pack. There are ice cubes, too, if I need them, but the frozen wash cloth works well.

      Oh, there is plenty of absurdity when it comes to requests from my family! :D Sometimes, I just shake my head. I really don't mind, for the most part, and I do try to help when I can. But, these days, I just can't do as much as I used to or would like to. Yes, I am feeling better, but I am not yet back to being 100% fit.

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  6. You are right not to overdo things. Give your arm plenty of rest and put your wellbeing first. You are a very generous person Bless, and I think it is often the case that the more you do for some people, the more that is expected of you. X

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    1. Jules, I think you are right; the more you do, the more is expected of you! People just take it for granted that you'll continue to do. Not just with family and friends; at the work place, too! :D I pride myself on doing my work well and efficiently. As a result, I don't know how many times I've been asked to help someone else with their work!

      I hope all is well with you and you are enjoying your spring.

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  8. Hi! I hope your arm feels better very soon...and that it really isn't anything more serious. I like how you have tried everything even holy water..ha..I always pray that either things get better or that if it is serious, that God gives me the wisdom to call the dr. (as I usually shy away from going to the doctor's!)

    You are just too conscientious! (Regarding driving). I know it is hard to "bow out" of things, but I think in this case you are justified to just not driving. I think you also must feel a bit "used". Yet you are too kind to say no. I know because that reminds me of me! Get well! Andrea

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    1. My arm does feel much better, today, Andrea, thank you. I think resting it yesterday (and today, too) helped. I, too, am reluctant to go to the doctor's; so much so that my doctor usually chides me about it! I told her I feel silly to come in for every little thing, as if I were a hypochondriac! :D

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  9. Hi Bless. I hope your arm is feeling better today. I am going to echo your daughter and beg you to please not overdo it. I'm sure everyone will understand if things cant be done as they usually are. I also understand about family dynamics- I'm sure there are a lot of things that do not make it onto many blogs, mine included. We are all human and life can be an interesting ride at times. :)
    I hope today continues for you in a restful fashion and your arm continues to heal. I will be thinking about you and keeping you in my prayers. ((Hugs))

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    1. Thank you, Dawn; my arm feels much better. I have had another restful day - I slept in, spent the afternoon reading, etc., and didn't do any work. Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers. Hope you have a lovely week ahead of you.

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  10. Family dynamics can be so complicated! I'm glad you were able to find a different way for your aunt to get to the event and that you were able to rest your arm. ((hugs))

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    1. Thank you, Laura. My arm is almost back to normal, so the resting helped, I think. :)

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  11. It sounds similar to tennis elbow Bless especially as the pain is on the outside. I don't think there's anything you can do for it apart from rest and watch how you use your arm. I believe it's extremely painful :(

    It's hard when you feel you're letting people down but there are other options available to your family so I would try not to worry about it too much and try not to feel stressed either - that can't be good for you.

    Ah, family dynamics. I expect if we all really wrote about what goes on within our families it would make for some eye-opening reading.

    Take care of yourself and remember people will always ask if you always say yes. Maybe the occasional "sorry, but I can't commit to that at the moment" is the way to go for some things. xx

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    1. Thank you, Suzanne. Yes, I am resting the arm and it feels a lot better, today. Yes, I tend to assume too much responsibility for others! I did say I wasn't sure if I will attend the event, but, even with that caveat, I felt guilty about it! Believe me, I have learned to say no to a lot of things! But, I guess, there is still more to say no to! :)

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  12. Hello Bless, pleased your arm is feeling a bit better, my prayers are with you. I think everyone has said what I want to say about you helping your family, my two cents worth is you cant look after everyone if you are not looking after yourself! You did the right thing. When you are a giving person the hardest thing is to say no, and I am afraid people take advantage. The trick is to find the balance between yes and no. (I haven't found it yet, lol)

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    1. Thank you, Sharon. Yes, it is hard to say no, but you are right; we need to take care of ourselves, too!

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  13. SO sorry about your arm.. Proud it is improving some.. Take it easy and rest the arm.. Please try to not feel bad that you can't drive them to the prayer meeting.. You must take care of yourself. You are not completely well right now. One day at a time. hugs.
    We all have the family "doings". smile..It all works out in the end.
    Have a blessed day.

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    1. Thank you, Judy. My arm feels almost back to normal, now. Yes, one day at a time. :) Hope you are having a good week.

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  14. Sending hugs. I had similar sorts of pains that was from nerve damage due to dislocating my shoulder. It got better really well. Please take care of yourself. Pain can wear you out so quickly. x

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    1. Thank you, Lyssa. The pain has gone away now. My shoulder still hurts a bit, at times, from when I fell and banged it against the door - I never did get it X-rayed, so who knows what might have happened? Pain can be so debilitating; I've some pain in my joints and the bones, as it were, as a side effect from the medications I am on for as part of my long-term cancer treatment, but I try not to complain about it. :)

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