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How'd you like to see my chest X-ray taken eleven days ago?

I've always been fascinated by whatever medical stuff happens to me in terms of getting a personal experience dealing with it. In 1989 I had pushed my body as far as I could. I have an extremely strong will and persist in doing whatever it takes to accomplish what I really desire. I had totally exhausted myself getting through Acupuncture College then studying for the California Acupuncture Examination. I actually found opportunities for all of my fellow classmates to start practicing. I had what would have been a "cherry" opportunity for myself. Well, that didn't pan out and so I found another opportunity. That didn't pan out. A third situation also didn't work out. Eventually I started a practice in Salinas, CA of all places, which was a 45 minute drive from where I lived in Santa Cruz. One of the earliest people I treated was a doctor. He practiced neurology and totally believed in Acupuncture. The third time I treated him, he'd just left the hospital after visiting his son who was admitted with Mononucleosis that swelled up his lymph nodes so badly in his neck he would have died from not being able to breath.

Great. So this doctor is now fully covered in the Epstein-Barr virus and I'm touching him and breathing the air near him. Yup, I got mono myself. I had the wicked neck pain and stiffness from the swollen cervical lymph chain. I had the outrageous sore throat. I had the never ending splitting headache. I also had the classic very swollen spleen and liver with jaundice. What a mess. But I looked at it like a learning opportunity. I made myself the most god-awful bitter Chinese herb formulas from roots, twigs, leaves and flowers that I cooked up into a medicinal tea. I got over mono in six weeks.

pNut's chest xray_02

Well most of you know I had another very tough medical situation two years ago. On January 26th of 2012 I had a full neck dissection on the right side of my neck. The surgery lasted six hours. A couple of lymph nodes were removed. In the process my XII cranial nerve was damaged which resulted in my losing the use of my right trapezius muscle, my right suprascapularis muscle, my right pectoralis minor muscle and my right teres major muscle. A substantial amount of pain accompanied that in my right shoulder and neck which only got worse as the months went by. Now the pain isn't as bad as it was at it's peak and my right teres major muscle and right pectoralis minor muscle are back online.

I can raise my right arm forward and up to about 85% of normal. I can raise it to my side about 45% of normal. But it hurts like hell to do so and there is a serious glitch in it all. As I raise my arm forward and up there is a sudden "clunk" and my arm goes to my right side about three inches. Weird? Yes, very weird. I have always maintained a positive attitude and hope my nerve may eventually heal and I'll regain use of my right shoulder girdle again. I actually have more than hope. I desire it.

They took an X-ray of my chest last Thursday to check for any enlarged lymph nodes. My x-ray is great. My lungs are clear. My heart is not the least bit enlarged. My lungs do show that I had asthma as a kid as they are a bit hyper-inflated meaning it is obvious I had to force myself to breath like crazy once upon a time.

BUT, there is something quite glaring as well. The X-ray is in reverse (due to optics) so the left side of the picture you see is my right side. They always mark it so there is no mistake. The little "L" in the upper right side of the picture tells us that is really the left side of my body.

My right shoulder girdle is a mess due to my right trapezius and suprascapularis muscles not working at all. They have not been able to do their job at all yet and have atrophied. Let's check it all out. See the orange arrow I drew? It points to my shoulder joint on the left side. See how the head of my humerus bone fits up right nice and snug in joint capsule? Our arms are held onto our bodies by the muscles of the shoulder girdle holding it in place. Now look at the right shoulder. I drew a purple arrow pointing to that large gap. My right humerus is NOT at all where is should be. I have what appears to be quite a shoulder dislocation. My right arm hangs like dead meat and isn't dislocated by some act of trauma that happened to it.

Now check out the yellow-green arrow. It points to my right clavicle bone. See how it is twisted in a very bizarre position? You need to compare it to the other side where the clavicle is where is should be...upright and holding my left shoulder up. My right clavicle is twisted down and back which causes my right scapula to be twisted out an up. That is NOT a good look. Plus you can tell it affects my entire right rib cage which is slumped down as well.

Finally, look at my neck. I drew a blue arrow pointing to the fact my neck is being pulled towards the left (again the pic is backwards) due to my muscle still working correctly on the left side but doing squat on the right side. The result is a total imbalance in muscle strength so my neck is being yanked out of whack to the left. Look how my entire thoracic spine is being pulled totally to the left and the lack of muscle on my right (left side of X-ray) compared to my left side. Crickey, I've now got scoliosis happening that I never had before.

And do you see that "knife-like" bony thing pointing upward in my trapazius muscle? That's my scapula. It shouldn't be oriented like that at all. I swear it feels like it is going to cut completely through my muscle when I try to use my right arm from the shoulder. The strangest thing that I see in my X-ray is my clavicle. What in the hell am I to do to get it back where it belongs? And even if I can somehow manipulate it by twisting it around, how do I keep it there?

WELL, all this explains why I'm in constant pain in my right shoulder and right neck. I'm not a wuss, but I was starting to wonder why I've been in so much pain all the time for the past two years. In hindsight I never should have gotten the surgery. Smileycreek had a bad feeling about it, but supported me in my choice. I should have just stuck to 7 weeks of radiation and chemotherapy (thank the FSM I only ended up doing that chemotherapy once!).

Oh well. But I do find this all fascinating. Now I'll have to figure out what to do about it. AND I guarantee you I will figure this out. I always do when my desire and will want something.

Do you have any interesting medical stuff you wanna talk about?


Kitchen Table Kibitzing is a community series for those who wish to share part of the evening around a virtual kitchen table with kossacks who are caring and supportive of one another. So bring your stories, jokes, photos, funny pics, music, and interesting videos, as well as links—including quotations—to diaries, news stories, and books that you think this community would appreciate. Readers may notice that most who post diaries and comments in this series already know one another to some degree, but newcomers should not feel excluded. We welcome guests at our kitchen table, and hope to make some new friends as well.

Originally posted to Kitchen Table Kibitzing on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 05:00 PM PST.

Also republished by KosAbility.

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