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Today I get an arthrogram in my right shoulder. (If you want to see how it’s done, click here for more information than you probably ever wanted.) I’ve been having issues with my right shoulder for some time and the doctor said that if the steroids didn’t help, our only alternative would be shoulder replacement. I bit the bullet the other day and went in to see his PA to discuss surgery. The X-rays aren’t showing the amount of arthritis you’d expect for the amount of pain and the deteriorating range of motion that I’ve been having, so she’s ordered an arthrogram and MRI so they have a good idea of what’s going on and whether the shoulder replacement is really necessary (good doctors tend to take those precautions).

I originally thought it was just an MRI and knew that it wasn’t going to be any big deal — just lay still in a tube for a while and you’re done. However, since I figured out they were going to inject contrast material down deep into my shoulder using a fluoroscope, I’ve got to admit I’m a bit freaked. This is essentially the same procedure they use for deep steroid injections and it takes a needle about 3.5 inches long (I’m not kidding…). I mean my shoulder already hurts, right? And they want to stick something sharp in it??????? The patient instructions even suggest that you’ll want pain killers and ice packs and you shouldn’t be exerting your shoulder for a couple of days. This does not look like fun.

The only way through these kinds of things is through them, but jeez …

I guess the good news is that on August 23, which is only a couple of weeks away, I’ll get to meet with the surgeon and we’ll finally make a plan that will hopefully solve the shoulder issues. That will be a good thing.

I hope that whatever your day holds it doesn’t include sharp objects. Thanks for checking in.