My Twentysomething Life

I Do, Make, Read, Watch, Eat…

i can move freely now the sling is gone

I had my first trip to the physical therapist on Monday and she told me two very exciting things:
1-I can stop wearing the sling and
2-I can start playing basketball

She said that the main problem with my shoulder right now is the stiffness since I haven’t moved it in almost three months now.  She wants me to get it moving with stretches and exercises.  Playing basketball will hopefully just add to the mobility.

One thing she did in our session was measure my mobility and boy was I surprised at how much I had lost.  I hadn’t even realized!  She encouraged me to take a picture comparing my mobility every week to check my progress.

So here are week 1’s photos, before any exercises have been done.  One day these will be my before.

IMG_1578The arm in the front is the hurt one.  I have quite a ways to go to raise that arm over my head.
IMG_1579Good arm reaching behind my back.

IMG_1580Bad arm reaching behind my back.  Yikes.  This is the one that I was most surprised about.

Good arm reaching across my body.
IMG_1581Bad arm reaching across my body.

As you can see, I have a lot of work to go!

Now, before you think that with all this exercise I’m going to hurt myself more, the PT said that the only thing that could make my tear larger is heavy lifting.  Everything else will help loosen my joint.  And I am so glad to get the chance to be active again!

With all the encouragement she gave me, there was one bit of news I was not thrilled about.  Shoulders take longer than any other body part to get back to normal–great.  Oh well.  I am committed to doing my exercises every day, but I’ll need a lot of encouragement.  To paraphrase Fergi, I’ll be up in the gym just working on my stiffness. Will you help me?

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February–a month of ups and downs

If you asked me how my February was I would tell you “Fantastic!”  But then, if I sat down and thought about it, I might have to change my answer.  There were definitely great parts of February, but there were also the bad parts of February.

Our microwave is dying
I found out I have a torn tendon in my shoulder–read about it here
Sleeping on the couch for most of the month
I only read three books
Stress with money
Got strep
Adam was gone studying a lot
Failed at doilies

My birthday!!
I watched almost a movie a day
I read three really great books
I found out I got a scholarship to attend the Religious Communicators Convention in February
Predicted 21 of the 24 ocscar winners
Valentines day with my hubby
Made some really good recipes (yum)
Was a published guest blogger
Watched 6 best picture movies
Got the most “yes”es at the Emmanuel phoneathon
Crocheted a bearded hat
Finally watched Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter
And finally, I have all you wonderful people reading my blog!

Well, the good did outweigh the bad, so I think we can still call it a Fabulous February.  Here’s to a Marvelous March!

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Life Update and Funny Friday

I thought I would take some time to update you on my life this morning.  I feel like I haven’t written very much this week.

1-Have have found a new website that I looovvveee!!  It is called goodreads.  It is a website where you can put in all the books you have read, rate and write reviews on them, list the books you are currently reading, and the books you want to read.  I love it.  It is pretty addicting.  And my “to-read” list is growing faster than I can keep up with it.  I added the goodreads widget to the right, so check it out.

2-In case you did not already know, I got the scholarship to attend the Religious Communicators Council annual convention free of charge April 4-6.  I am so excited!  It is going to be a great time of networking and learning.

3-I went to the doctor yesterday about my shoulder.  It turns out they did find tearing in my MRI.  It is not in the labrum, which I do not know if that is good news or bad news, but it is in my bicep tendon.  And the only way to fix this is to have surgery.  There are temporary things they can do to relieve the pain, but nothing will fix it but surgery.  After surgery I will need to be in a sling for 6 weeks and then do 6-8 weeks of physical therapy.  We don’t know when the surgery will be yet, but we need to save some money before it can happen.  Also, since I need to be able to drive to Indianapolis for the convention in April and cannot do that for 6 weeks after surgery, the surgery will probably have to be after the convention in April, so my guess is that it will be sometime in April.  Which is good because hopefully we can have a good chunk saved by then.

4.  I have been dreaming of babies all week!  It has been so crazy!  I have been finding a lot of cute baby stuff on Pinterest for whenever Adam and I decide to embark on that adventure, so maybe it has gone to my head…

5.  I have been working the Emmanuel Phoneathon for a few nights this week and will be doing it a couple nights next week.  It has been lots of hours of calling, many hang-ups, but still good conversations and donations.  It has been a good experience so far.

6.  This is going to be the best weekend ever!  I get to have a birthday celebration with my husband and the Oscars are on Sunday!  Yay!  And then either Thursday or Friday of next week my parents are coming down for my sister’s opera and to celebrate my birthday.  I am excited to spend some time with them, and they are bringing us some furniture that I’m really pumped about!  It’s also potluck Sunday at church, which is a lot of fun fellowship, but also a little stressful for me, so let’s hope that goes well.

7. Random fact:  I have been seriously craving pizza all week and I’m hoping that this weekend, with some birthday money, I will be able to enjoy some warm, cheesy, yummy pizza.  Hmm…I wish I was close enough that Joe Bologna’s would deliver to me!

And now, Funny Friday:
2534Hope that made your friday even better!! I know it did for me 🙂

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What to hope for

I’m sure that you all are tired of my groaning and complaining about my shoulder, so here is the good news.

I took the first step this morning in finding out what is going on. Early this morning I had an MRI done.  Luckily, I am not a claustrophobic person, but the MRI was almost enough to make me become a claustrophobic person.  For those of you who do not know what I am talking about, here is a visual aid:

mriNow, this may not look too bad to you, and it didn’t to me either.  I was facing the other way, so I had my head toward the machine, so I could see behind me.  What you can’t really tell from this picture is how small it truly is.  As you go inside, the tube gets smaller.  My elbow hit the side as I went in and if I tilted my head just right my nose would have touched the top.  So yeah, it’s a pretty tight fit.  Another thing that I did not realize about an MRI was that it isn’t like an x-ray or a CT Scan.  It’s not a quick “click” or “whirrr” and then you’re done, no.  I was in the tube for about 15 minutes.  And all the time you are in it, it sounds like the machine is malfunctioning.  It is really loud (the tech gave me earplugs but I don’t think they helped) and rather unsettling.  But, needless to say, I made it through and I am not emotionally traumatized.

The next step for me is seeing the doctor on Thursday.  Now, since Adam and I had to pay $300 up-front for this MRI, I am a little torn with what to hope for from the doctor.  I almost want him to give me bad news, because then I won’t feel like I wasted the money for the MRI if it is not actually that bad.  Adam said that it won’t be a waste of money even if it’s better news because then we still know what it is and hopefully how to fix it.  I see his point, but I’m not sure I’m completely sold on what I should hope for.

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Weekend–highs and lows

This weekend was a mix of high and low points.  Even though it wasn’t the most awesome weekend ever, I still could have used some more of it.


Watching Pitch Perfect, Catch Me If You Can, Patton, and The Brave One

Crocheting:  I did a lot of crocheting this weekend because it is one of the only things that doesn’t make my shoulder worse (post to come soon)

Games:  Adam and I played a lot of games together this weekend and we got to hang out with some good friends, Jacob and Lauren to play games also

Pan Pizza from Dominos with a gift card


Shoulder pain all the time

Not being able to sleep for most of the weekend

money stress

movies that weren’t as good as I was expecting

Having a wonderful blog post written about preparing myself for church and having it deleted and the draft not even saved

Never winning a pioneer woman contest

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A Wrench in my Plans

As I write this I am plucking around on my keyboard with one hand.  My right arm is currently in a sling to prevent me from moving my shoulder.  Let me back up and start from the beginning.

In April of last year I was playing basketball with Adam and a bunch of our friends.  At one point during the game I went up for the rebound and the person behind me also jumped and tried to take the ball.  While doing this, my head was pushed forward and my arm was pulled backward.  I heard a pop in my shoulder and was immediately in a lot of pain.  The next day I was still in a lot of pain.  My whole arm was numb and I could not move it, so I went to see a doctor.

The doctor diagnosed me with brachial plexus.  From Mayo Clinic:  “A brachial plexus injury is an injury to the brachial plexus — the network of nerves that sends signals from your spine to your shoulder, arm and hand. A brachial plexus injury occurs when these nerves are stretched or, in the most serious cases, torn. This happens as result of your shoulder being pressed down forcefully while your head is pushed up and away from that shoulder.”

At the time the doctor said I had two options:  1) have an MRI done 2) sling my shoulder for two weeks and then do physical therapy.  Well physical therapy seemed to be the cheapest route so that’s what we decided to do.  I did about four weeks of physical therapy, and while I was never back to normal, I could at least do some of my regular activities.

For the last year I have been able to do what I wanted with only pain doing certain things, but even then t would never last.  Then a month or two ago my shoulder started to hurt again.  It was noticeable, but with ice it would fade enough for me to forget about it.  Then this week I have been in really bad pain.  The pain has woken me from a dead sleep.  It has been miserable.  I have been losing feeling like I had when it first happened.

So on Wednesday I went back to the doctor.  He said that I still had the same two options, but last time after three weeks of physical therapy I should have been back to normal, so he said I needed to get an MRI because I could have torn something in my shoulder.  When they told me that I would have to pay $300 up front for the MRI and then I would be billed for the additional amount after, I knew we didn’t have the money for the MRI.  So the new plan is to rest my shoulder in a sling for 2-3 weeks, do some physical therapy, save some money, and then do the MRI.

So that means I won’t be able to meet my exercise goal because I can’t exercise.  And for the next 3 weeks it will be hard to clean the house.  So there goes two of my daily goals.  Hopefully I won’t lose any more.


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