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So I have this new thing going on. (I know, right?) It’s this pins-and-needles sensation that runs down my right arm. It varies from the feeling that I have ants crawling on me to real electrified zingers. It always starts at the top back of my shoulder and travels down the front of my arm and ends up inside my thumb. It’s happens consistently when I do certain things, so I’m thinking a nerve gets trapped somewhere. (Patient: “Doctor, doctor it hurts when I do this.” Doctor: “Well, stop doing that.”) Based on what triggers and relieves it, I suspect the issue is in my neck rather than my shoulder, although I have had two rotator cuff surgeries on that shoulder.

I was telling my friend about it and she asked me, “Do you think this RA related or something new?”

That actually took me aback because even though I preach that “normal” people have joint issues, I had automatically assumed that RA played a part in whatever degeneration is causing this latest problem. But obviously not everyone who needs spinal or shoulder surgery suffers from RA.

I’ve written before about the fact that once you’ve been diagnosed with RA, it’s hard to evaluate aches and pains without putting them in the RA perspective. Sometimes it is, after all, normal to hurt as we all know that anyone (even those lucky people without RA) who overdoes will likely have sore muscles and even sore joints.

In the long run, I don’t guess it matters. The good news is that I have follow-up appointments with both my shoulder surgeon and my neurosurgeon (who did my earlier back surgery) in the near future. They’re bright, talented people who listen to their patients so I’m sure we’ll figure out what’s going on and how to relieve it.

I hope that whatever zingers are in your day today bring a smile to your face. Thanks for checking in.

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