Last week was my first week back at work since my shoulder surgery in October.  I was nervous but also excited to see my coworkers & start earning money again. 

I work at a computer all day, so I was hoping for a smooth go of it. What actually happened was that having my arm hovering over the mouse & keyboard for an extended time caused muscle spasms from my shoulder up the side of my neck.  That was followed by pains like someone was jabbing my shoulder with an ice pick. I did try rearranging things into different positions & finding ways to prop my arm up on the desk, but I wasn’t able to get relief from the constant strain on my shoulder. 

Each day was a little worse than the day before until I was literally fighting off tears all day on Friday. I know everyone is tired of hearing me complain. I’m tired of hearing me complain.  

I woke up Saturday morning feeling like someone had beat me in my sleep. 

Today (Sunday) I’m still very sore from the right side of my neck all the way down to my bicep.  

I have a followup with my Ortho on Tuesday.  I don’t even know what to hope for at this point.  I needed to get back to work but I don’t think I can deal with another tortuous week. I’m so on edge & irritable. My sleep is worse than ever. But when I think of the possibility of another surgery I feel hopeless. I don’t want to start over.  


Cold Hard Truth

I decided yesterday to gather up all my paperwork & figure out how much out of pocket medical expenses I had for 2015.  Mostly for tax purposes, but also for my own record keeping. I met my plan deductible & max out of pocket pretty early in the year due to having a suspected TIA in mid February, which triggered cluster headaches.  So, most of the bills after that went straight to the insurance company without a copy to me.  

I was pretty amazed at the expenses related to my shoulder surgery & feeling very thankful for health insurance. Then I started reviewing the EOB’s for physical therapy. I’ve been going 2-3 times per week since August, except for when I was recovering from surgery. Each visit averaged around $266. Again, that’s all fine & good when my insurance is covering at 100%.  

My Deductible & max out of pocket limits reset this month. I checked my benefits summary & found that after the ded is met, my plan covers 80% of PT cost. If I go twice a week, that’s roughly $106/week that I’ll be responsible for. Or $53 if I only go once per week. Basically, I can’t afford it. Especially since the first $500 is on me. 

I lay awake last night trying to figure out a way. Flipping mentally through my expenses to find anything I could cut out. In the end the truth is, I can’t afford PT anymore. I’ve been off work on Supplemental Sick pay for 3 months, struggling to make ends meet. I’ll have to be back at work at least 2 weeks before my paychecks are normal again. Then I can start digging myself out of this financial hole.  Continuing to rack up new medical bills every week just isn’t an option. 

I’m terrified that without PT my shoulder range of motion will stop improving, or even regress. I’m going to continue to do my exercises at home every day. It’s disheartening to face the reality that I may never get back to pre-accident level with my dominant arm. 

Return To Reality

I had a followup with my Ortho yesterday. He’s concerned about my lack of progress on external rotation & the fact that two of my fingers keep going numb. He has ordered “aggressive” pt for the next three weeks. If I haven’t had a breakthrough at that point, he wants me to go under anesthesia for a “forced manipulation”. That sounds absolutely terrifying to me. I’m praying it isn’t necessary. 

I am set to go back to work next week & I’m excited to be back in a routine, not to mention getting my finances back in order. Here’s hoping I’m able to hang with it.