Pain is Not My Friend

I am recovering — too slowly — from what appears to be a pinched nerve in my neck. I have been trapped in a cloud of agony since Sunday (well, Saturday, actually, but the alcohol kinda blurred that memory), barely able to move, but in so much pain that I was unable to remain still and unable to sleep. I have been taking tremendous amounts of ibuprofen (as many as ten in an hour) to reduce the pain to barely tolerable levels, but it hasn’t worked very well. As you might remember, my left arm is nearly useless because I am recovering from a fractured left shoulder. But this nerve thing has rendered my right arm and hand nearly useless as well — weak and either numb or with flames shooting down the underside, and so painful that I can barely think clearly enough to read, watch DVDs or listen to the radio. Anyway, it’s amazing to me how four days have blended together into endless agony. Where did the time go? Fortunately, this afternoon, I was able to walk to my coffee shop without wanting to vomit, and use their free wifi, so perhaps tomorrow, I’ll feel even better? Keep your fingers crossed. I have my ScienceBlog talk in London to plan — I am running out of time!


About GrrlScientist

grrlscientist is the pseudonym of an evolutionary biologist and ornithologist who writes about evolution, ethology, and ecology, especially in birds. After earning a degree in microbiology (thesis focus: virology) and working at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, she earned her PhD in zoology from the University of Washington in Seattle, where she studied the molecular correlates of testosterone and behaviour in white-crowned sparrows. She then worked a Chapman Postdoctoral Fellow at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, where she studied the speciation and distribution of lories and other parrots throughout the South Pacific Islands. A discarded scientist, she returned to her roots: writing. Formerly hosted by The Guardian (UK), she now writes about science for Forbes and for the non-profit think tank, the Evolution Institute and she writes podcasts for BirdNote Radio. An avid lifelong birder and aviculturist, she lives with a flock of songbirds and parrots somewhere in Germany.
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0 Responses to Pain is Not My Friend

  1. Pierce R. Butler says:

    Ouch. Time moves very differently when you’re not having fun.
    Hang in there!

  2. John says:

    I hope you feel better soon!
    (I know it’s a real drag not having health care to do something about it, too.)

  3. llewelly says:

    10 ibuprofen an hour? wow. I thought the safe limit was no more than 6 in 24 hours.

  4. Joan K says:

    Careful with the ibuprofen… You don’t want to hurt your liver.

  5. Bob O'H says:

    Ow. I’m glad to say I can’t feel your pain, but have in the past for short periods. I guess we’ll have to talk amongst ourselves whilst we wait for you to recover.
    If you’re still in pain by the weekend, open a thread and let the rest of us write BitN for you: you’ll just have to edit the suggestions together.
    And don’t worry about your London talk – you can write it on Friday night after you comer back from the pub. The rest of us can help you too. 🙂

  6. Mary Parsons says:

    Ooh – I second the concern about the amount of ibuprofen. If the pain doesn’t diminish very quickly then is it worth you asking about a nerve block?

  7. Ian says:

    I have a recurring problem with a slipped disk in my neck which affects my arm just like you – although nowhere near as painful.
    It really makes a difference to stretch the neck. I have a simple physical therapy device, where a soft pad on my chin and another on the base of my skull at rear are attached to a 10lb weight which goes over a pulley and (gently!) pulls my head away from my shoulders. 15 minutes of that really makes a world of difference and prevents harsher pain from starting.
    Maybe something like that would help.
    I’m with the others on the Ibuprofen. I know you hurt, but 10/hr is way too much. Isn’t there anything else you can alternate it with, or is IB the only thing which works?

  8. actually, i am also taking tylenol with codeine. but tylenol is worse for your liver than ibuprofen.