Road to Recovery-CT Results

Monday, April 9, 2012 

I went to see the Orthopedist today and the results from the CT are in! I have  the following left shoulder injuries:

Acromion Fracture – top view

 Intra-Articular Glenoid Fracture – top view

GOOD NEWS!  In consultation with the head orthopedic surgeon, NO SURGERY IS NEEDED-YES! Both fractures should heal naturally.

The non-surgical treatment requires the left shoulder to be immobilized with a sling until the bone fragments heal. For the glenoid fracture, I should not activate the biceps due to the strain it will cause from the movement of the tendon and ligaments in the area. I should move my left elbow with the help of my right arm.

It is important to maintain flexibility of the elbow and wrist while the shoulder is mending. The doctor suggests that I remove the sling a few times a day and do very small pendulum swings (front, back & circles)-a little movement will help reduce stiffness around the affected area.

I was told by the doctor that the sling I’m using is actually a very fancy one with an additional back to side strap that keeps the shoulder and arm in place. I got this one from the ER visit. I’m pretty sure it comes with a fancy price tag too!

My current symptoms are: shoulder pain, some swelling and tenderness and the inability to normally move the arm without pain. I was given a couple of pain meds at the ER and yet another type of pain med at the Orthopedists’ office.

I have 3 different types of drugs; Naproxen-NSAID, Hydrocodone/APAP and Codeine with acetaminophen-both are narcotic pain meds with acetaminophen which increases the effects of hydrocodone and codeine. The last two meds are pretty potent! I don’t take any of these meds-I just tolerate the pain. I think there’s some street value to these pills!

It seems the possible side effects are worse than the symptoms: constipation, nausea, vomiting, skin rash and itching, fainting, respiratory depression, confusion, hallucination, shallow breathing, slow heartbeat, seizures, easy bruising and bleeding. The list goes on and on. WOW!

I grew up drinking Chinese herbal soups, taking Chinese herbal medicines and continue to do so. I avoid taking any over the counter medications for anything-unless of course I’m super sick that it requires antibiotics. I’m not that foolish!

So medicinal treatment for this recent injury is no different-once I feel better and can drive, I go to see a Chinese herbal medicine doctor! I tell him of my injuries, he takes my pulse and prescribes a combination of 18 herbs which would help with my recovery. This herbal formula will help promote healing of my bones and help expel the bruised stagnant blood in my system.

According to traditional Chinese medicine, the kidneys are the organ that oversees the skeletal system of the body. It’s the essence of life & vitality and of the Yin/Yang energy in our bodies. The kidneys control the growth of bones and marrow, so in order to strengthen the bones, we must nourish the kidney.

The prescription calls for 3 batches of herbs to be boiled and consumed once a day for 3 days. It’s a 4 to 1 ratio which means each batch is made with 4 bowls of water added and boiled until it is reduced to a single bowl of liquid. The result is a muddy bitter drink. I guzzle it down a few hours before bedtime to allow the body to absorb all the nutrients when I’m at rest.

On the 17th, I have an appointment to get more X-rays done to determine if the fractures are healing sufficiently. The follow-up appointment with the Orthopedist for the results will be on the 19th. Wish me luck! 

I’ve been going to the gym, spinning on the bike, doing low impact cardio on the treadmill and elliptical machines along with assisted lunges, squats and kick-backs. I’m also using 5 lbs weight for keeping my good arm moving too!

To be continued………………………………………………….

Life is still great!

You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude
toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather
than allowing it to master you.”

 ~ Brian Tracy



  1. Hi Nancy,

    You do not know me as I rode only once with you past the vineyards in the Dry Creek area. I am a friend of Genji’s who turned me onto the group. Needless to say, I am in awe of your positive attitude and ability to educate and inform us all of your progress. My wish for you is to stay out of pain, heal quickly and retain your mobility. And obviously to get back on the bike as soon as you are able.

    We are all getting older but the bike keeps our souls young. Each time I feel the wind whistling past me I sing alittle song which varies depending on the day, weather and my state of mind. There is a sense of freedom beyond anything I can describe to a non rider. You know what I am talking about I am sure.

    So, Enjoy the spin bike for now and take the necessary time to heal. Use it as a time to rest and rejoice.

    All the very best to you,

    Lori Lerner


  2. Nancy, good for you for using TCM to heal. You are right about the pain relievers. I wouldn’t rule them out completely. But it seems like you’re healing just right.

    Best, Adele


  3. Glad on the no surgery and yes, everything in the ER comes with a hefty price tag LOL! My same shoulder injury felt a bit strange for quite a while, maybe 4-5 months but eventually all is back to totally normal.

    Take care, heal well, ride safe.


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