Friday, May 24, 2013

My Arm

So I have something wrong with my right arm, have had so for probably close to 5 years.  What happens is if I have it in just the wrong position (usually the sorta throwing a football or baseball position) it "snaps".  The muscle around the bicep area makes a snapping sound, "locks up", and I am in big pain.  Someone, me or Hubby, has to hold my arm level until after a few seconds or usually minutes, it "releases" and I can put it down and the agonizing pain is gone.  It remains sore and feels like it could easily "snap" again for about a day or two.

I have gone to two doctors (general practitioners) (my own and a walk-in clinic doctor), my chiropractor, my massage therapist, and a physiotherapist about this.  None of them took me seriously.  None of them saw my arm actually do this.  So nothing changed.

It doesn't happened very often.  Only every few months.  But I am in constant "careful mode" with it.  I have completely modified how I do normal day-to-day things so it doesn't "snap".  I have also been concerned about it doing this when I [finally get a chance to] hold my baby, and I end up dropping him/her!!  So the last time it did this (about a month ago) I made an appointment with my doctor asap.  It had been a particularly painful one and I'd hardly done anything to make it happen.  I went in bound and determined to "make" my doctor listen and do something about it, haha!  Thankfully she took me seriously.  Even though she didn't have a clue what was wrong.  She didn't think an MRI would show anything or help me anything if it showed something.  But I was able to get her to refer me to a very good sports injury clinic (that had been my plan going in).

So I went to the sports injury clinic on May 2 and explained to the doctor what my arm does.  He asked me some questions, moved my arms about, and then sent me for an xray down the hall.  After the xray I went back down the hall to see him again.  He said the xray had shown nothing but that didn't surprise him.  He then proceeded to tell me what was wrong!  What a wonderful thing it is to have a diagnosis!

Apparently it's not my arm at all.  It's my shoulder.  My shoulder is partially dislocating every time this happens!!  It's called "recurrent partial subluxations".  And apparently there's laxity in both my shoulders, meaning, I assume, that my other shoulder could do this, too (I have felt it in my left arm that it could, but it hasn't been serious enough for me to mention it).  With full dislocations of a shoulder, usually a doctor has to put the shoulder back in place.  With partial dislocations, it goes back on it's own, but it sure is painful until that point!  Such a relief to have a name and someone explain it and believe me and actually know what this is!  There is a great article here about it.  In the article I learned that the cause can be a seizure disorder!  (Which as you may or may not know, I have.)  It also typically occurs after years of repetitive activity.  My seizure disorder (Juvenile Myoclonic Epilpesy) is a kind in which I have jerking of my arms.  I've had millions of jerks since probably 1999.  My husband has also caught me under my arms when I have been falling backwards during a grand mal.  After a grand mal, due to the seizure, my biceps are always too painful for me to lift my arms.  Since I am by no means a pitcher or a football player, I think it's safe to assume my epilepsy is the reason for my recurrent partial subluxations.

What else I liked about this doctor is that he was then determined to do something about the problem.  So I have an MRI coming up on June 23, after which I will see him again.  Then I believe I will be seeing a surgeon.  Yes, surgery.  Yikes!  Apparently the ligaments to my shoulder could be stretched or torn from the bone and would need to be tightened up or reattached.  I guess we will see what the future holds!  But it makes me really happy that there's a plan in place and that there will possibly finally be a cure to this!    


  1. My husband either has that same thing or something really similar. It totally gives me the heebie jeebies whenever it happens, especially because he's able to pop it back into place. His is so bad the surgeon he talked to said there was only like a 30% chance surgery would fix it, so he just decided to live with it for now. I hope when you see the surgeon you get better odds!


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