My Pledge & Goals

I woke up this morning and realized that TODAY is the start of my transformation. As I have written before, for the last 3 months I have had to deal with severe neuropathic shoulder pain and as a result I have been coping with intermittent waves of burning pain around my scapula and down my left arm. I am taking Gabapentin, Amitriptyline, Tramadol, Naproxen and Diazepam. As a result of the pain and medications, I am eating junk food non stop, not exercising and my sleep is horrific. In turn, I am becoming a bit of a recluse and not socializing at all which is not like me at all.

The great thing is that I already made a big step in the right direction and I have recently started to see a new physiotherapist who is working on the muscle spasming/tightness that are secondary to the nerve inflammation which is providing some relief. I want to start combining the physio/rehab with exercise and eating better again as I know if I do that I will perhaps be able to come off the medications and live a more tolerable life again. Finding the right physio in itself was a huge challenge and I am grateful to have found the right now finally after trying 5 times!

Coming from a background of being a doc + personal trainer I know a thing or two about training/exercise/diet but this is going to be the most insane challenge I have had to face. Numerous times I have been able to do it in the past but NEVER alongside serious daily pain. The time is now because my mental state, mood, energy levels have all plummeted and my work at both Wecudos and at the hospital where I work as a surgical doctor are both being affected. Personal life aside, my work is what brings me most joy and I hate being this unproductive and unhealthy. I am so determined to do it and I know I can. I am still working full time in both the hospital and running CEO is not a walk in the park but like i said, this is it! I can feel it!

The key is going to be PACING myself, starting off gentle and setting small, achievable weekly goals. The pain can be brought on so easily and I really need to be careful!

So here are this week’s goals:

1: My first step on this journey is going to be making small changes to my diet. A healthy, balanced diet will give me the fuel and energy I need to kickstart this quest of mine. Currently my diet is absolutely horrific - I ate Doritos for dinner for christ sakes!

2: Attend physiotherapy twice a week and work on the advice she gives me everyday.

3. Write a daily post for my own keeping and for Health Unlocked to document what I am doing to alter my diet, exercise and rehab regime. Happy to answer your questions along the way too! I will also try to take some pics each week too.

Wish me luck guys!

Adam

8 Replies

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  • Hello Adam,

    Very excited to read that you started your transformation. Well done on your persistence and enthusiasm to pursue a healthier lifestyle despite the hardships you are going through.

    Given the effects that your injury and accompanying meds have on your health and diet there are many things to consider and plan for, but I am happy to help you our throughout your journey.

    Check out this link with examples of how your meds could be affecting your diet and nutrient absorption: msdmanuals.com/professional...

    Looking forward to your next posts.

    Have a great start!

    Filip

  • Thank you, Filip for your advice and support. I didn't consider the interactions between nutrients and my medication, actually.

    Sheesh, this goal actually got more complex but knowledge is power and I gotta cover all basis on this one.

    Feel free to provide your opinions on my methods/posts - as this is a totally new scenario for me, much is trial and error particularly with the rehab side of things. The pain is a killer and directly influences how badly I eat!

    CUDOS to you.

    Adam

  • Interesting to read about your injury, sorry to hear you have been in pain for 3 months.My left shoulder began to be painful a week ago, within 2 days I was having all the symptoms you describe, pain is incredible and feeling a bit desperate and low. Have been taking co codamol and naproxen, yesterday prescribed liquid morphine but a bit worried about taking it. So far have been trying to eat healthily, tricky to peel and chop veg though! I certainly hope it doesn't last 3 months, have worked hard this year to get to a healthy weight, worried slightly that I'm not able to do much exercise other than dog walking and even that is difficult with only 1 functioning arm! Dr said it was a frozen shoulder but looking online I think it could be rotator cuff injury. He has offered a steroid injection but warned me it would be very painful and may not work, so not sure whether to have it. Have got appointment for an x ray next week and physio when shoulder is more mobile. Was wondering if a chiropractor that specialises in sports injuries would be worth trying? How long did you wait before you had physio? Sorry for long reply, but sounds like you are an expert on the subject!

  • Hi Sailsot!

    Sorry to hear about your shoulder pain and obviously it is something I can relate to. I worked so hard on my diet, fitness and general wellbeing for 18 solid months and the annoying thing is that I am back to where I was last year after this injury. Please use this community to work through your problems so that you don't go into a negative spiral of binge eating and inactivity like I did. Currently I am unable to do any form of exercise which for me, is a massive problem as it has always been my form of "release" from the stresses of the world. I now need to find new ways of getting that exercise that do not aggravate my shoulder pain but like you said, it can be brought on by such minor things like chopping vegetables! I have treated shoulder patients for a long time at the RNOH and I can now genuinely see why they are so difficult to manage - the pain can be exacerbated by literally any movement of the arm/neck/back! But I am convinced we can get through this and for myself, I want to not take anything stronger than Naproxen and perhaps something in the evening. My hospital work and responsibilities for Wecudos mean I have to be on the ball and medication takes that away from me.

    About your injury, of course I would be happy to help:

    1. When/how did it come on? Can you pin point an exact time in which it came on?

    2. Where are you getting the pain? What does it feel lilke? Does it radiate anywhere else? When does it come on and is there anything that makes it better/worse?

    3. Have you had any injuries in the past?

    I would be very cautious about havin a steroid injection if you have only had it for a week. It is best to get a diagnosis before masking the pain. I would start with the XR to rule out any bony lesions but it will not show any muscular/tendon issues so bare that in mind. Another thing, make sure you take Naproxen with food and also get your GP to prescribe you Omeprazole to make sure it does not give you a gastric ulcer/heartburn - this can be a real problem but only if you are going to be taking it for a long time!

    Keep me posted and hope this helps!

    CUDOS to you,

    Adam

  • Thank you Adam for your reply, very helpful, will be careful with the Naproxen, so far no stomach problems but will take your advice. I will turn down the steroid injection due today, was not at all sure about that anyway.

    1. Pain began after lifting something heavy, was not too bad so went swimming the next day. It continued to get worse over the next couple of days.

    2. Pain on front of shoulder joint, slightly on inner side, but also on outer side of upper arm. I can't lift elbow much above waist height, been using a sling as certain movements are very painful indeed!

    3. Have had something similar with my other shoulder before but not as bad.

    I hope your shoulder improves enough to get back to exercising, it must be very annoying not being able to do much, I feel like that and only been a week!

    The healthunlocked forum is really good, hopefully will keep me on track for healthy eating, can see it would be easy to give up and comfort eat.

    Thank you again.

  • Hi there,

    Glad it helped you in a way. I am also finding this forum useful to at least vent and talk about what is going on. I hope my journey brings the community altogether to share what works for one another. I would start by giving it a week taking the analgesia your GP has recommended and then assessing how things are then. Do let me know how it is going for you in the mean time.

    Have a read of this medical journal which summarises types of shoulder pain:

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

    CUDOS to you,

    Adam

  • My left shoulder is not sitting in the socket properly according to what the physio said .. It is so sore and I hear crunches and it clicks when I move it :(

  • I feel your pain. I really do. Have you seen your GP and got an X-ray? You should not let it drag on for so long.