January 6, 2011: Anybody that knows me, knows as soon as I wake up in the morning, I am eating breakfast within 5 minutes. Not this day; I was so nervous for the doctor appointment, I could not even eat breakfast. I had pancakes sitting in from of me and as soon as I would go to eat, I felt like I was going to be sick. To this day, I don't think I have ever been this nervous. All I wanted was to get to the doctor's office; 9:00am couldn't come soon enough
When my parents and I arrived at the doctor's office we headed inside. As we walked into the lobby and started for the elevator, my mom looked at me and said, "Are you okay little one?" When my mom asks me this question, it always makes me smile because I am a good 6 inches taller than her. With a smirk on my face, I looked at my mom and told her I do not feel good and I am dizzy. We both knew I didn't feel good because of the nerves. After I was brought into the exam room, the medical assistant came in to check my blood pressure and check my heart rate. The look on the medical assistant's face said it all. She turned, looked at me and asked "Do you feel okay? Are you nervous?" I couldn't speak. I just shook my head yes. She then said, "Girl, don't you worry. We're going to take good care of you." With that, my mom asked what my heart rate was? The medical assistant said, "144!" No wonder I didn't feel good and was dizzy. Nerves can do strange things to your body.
After the medical assistant left, Dr. T walked into the room. Surprisingly, Dr. T was extremely nice. We talked about my history and my symptoms. One of the questions Dr. T asked me was, "How did you find me?" I told him I only found one doctor who had written an article about QSS as I was researching and it happened to be him. Dr. T slightly smiled and told me that is how his patients usually find him. He also said he didn't know of any other doctor that deals with quadrilateral space syndrome. To test the suspicion of Quadrilateral Space Syndrome, Dr. T injected a numbing medication into the quadrilateral space in the back of my right shoulder. Within minutes, I went from being able to raise my arm about 45 degrees in front of my body to raising my arm to shoulder level. Dr. T looked at me and said, "Yes, you do have Quadrilateral Space Syndrome. The sharp pain you get when you raise your arm forward is from your axillary nerve getting compressed. You will need decompression surgery." Before I could have surgery, Dr. T informed me I had to have my right scapular muscles reattached, and my right shoulder joint stabilized first.
When I left the doctor's office and got into the lobby, my mom and I looked at each other and just started crying. My dad looked at us with the, "You were just fine. What's wrong with you look." My mom and I were crying happy validation tears. You might be thinking how in the world could we be happy when we were just told I do have QSS and I need to have other surgeries done first. There are no words to describe the emotional rollercoaster that you go through when for almost 3 years you say you are having sharp pain down the back of your arm, and you are either told there's nothing wrong with you, or your doctor's can't find the source of the pain. In its own way, flying out to California felt risky because less than 3 months earlier I had gone to St. Louis with my mom and was insulted beyond belief. Not only was this "doctor" WRONG in the diagnosis but she was wrong about me from a psychiatric perspective. It's sad, but I sometimes think doctors (like the one in St. Louis) forget they are dealing with a human beings and forget how their decisions can either positively or negatively effect our lives. Once again it scares me to think where I would be if I, or my parent's had listened to St. Louis "doctor's" advice. I can't stress it enough, you have to listen to your body. You may have learned by now through my course of treatment, I try not to let a conflicting opinion from any of the medical professionals make me doubt myself. I know what I am feeling and I know what I am experiencing. If you have been following my blog, there have been far too many incidents where opinions have been incorrect. If I hadn't pushed the issue who knows what condition I would be in today. Validation and hope are very, very strong emotions. When I left Dr. T's office that day, I felt both.