Yana Blog > #health, #covid

Baby tooth and shoulder pain

How are you taking care of your health during this Covid time? 

We're not getting any younger, you know.  You can tell by watching our kids grow.  ;-)

For me, I'm embarrassed to say I have delayed or rushed some of the doctor and dental appointments, which I know is not wise.  For example, my daughter's baby molar had a cavity that grew so big, the dentist decided to just extract it.  I found out doing Google search later that the adult molar might not come out until she's 12. 

That's 3 years with a missing molar!  I feel apologetic to my daughter, and regret not asking the dentist to clarify all the consequences.  (The dentist said the new tooth will come out in a year.)  It was just so hard to get a dental appointment, that I didn't want to wait another few months for anther appointment if I had asked for more time to consider extracting my daughter's baby tooth.

And for me, my problem is my shoulder.  For the third winter now, my shoulder has been hurting.  It's been a big medical mystery in our house.

The first winter it got so bad that in May around Mother's Day, I went to see the doctor.   He said it's most likely a muscular-skeletal issue, but since it's the upper arm/shoulder, let's do an EKG. You know something is not quite right when the doctor looked at the nurse's EKG measurement and decide to come in and make sure the probes were properly placed.  Sure enough, I was sent to the ER based on the EKG, causing me to miss Mother's Day Lunch.  Only to find out after the ER took another EKG that my heart is totally fine.  It was just the shoulder, as the doctor originally thought.

On top of that, I had to pay $1000 for the ER visit.  I complained to either my health insurance or the doctor's office, and was told I can't prove that the first EKG was wrong.  How frustrating! I guess I could've tried to fight it, with the insurance or the doctor.  I didn't want the hassle.

Needless to say, this time when my shoulder started hurting, I was not psyched about going to see the doctor.  One of my friends has the opposite approach and would get all the tests that's available for an ailment.  He's getting an MRI for his shoulder pain.  Nope, not for me.

Good news is over the long winter break -- my work gave time off between Xmas and New Year for the first time ever -- I had the luxury to rest and reflect about my shoulder pain.  I researched online, learned about the rotator cuff, and thought about my activities leading up to the pain, and put the two together to figure out the problem is a rotator cuff injury, likely due to shoveling.  

I meditated on my shoulder to get a good feel for how it hurts and when it hurts, and that body awareness helped a lot in not overextending myself. I also stretched where it felt helpful and not hurt. I still exercised, just really took care not to overdo it.  Last week I also tried using a shoulder brace, which worked for a couple of days, then I felt it caused my arm to hurt, perhaps due to overcompensating, so I stopped that. 

I'm happy to say now my shoulder's better and arm too, so big improvement in a month instead of being in pain for months. Could I have achieved this if I was busy working as usual?  I'm not sure.  I feel both very happy to get back to health, and unsettled about how well, I just got lucky this year on my health.

And yes, I told my husband, he'll have to shovel on his own or train the kids to help for the next snow storm. :)

How are you doing taking care of your heath as a busy parent?

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