This pregnancy has been more difficult than any of my others thus far. Though I still haven't had any morning sickness, my lower back was in near constant pain for about a month (it seems to have trailed off in the last week or so) and just last week my left arm started hurting. It is a constant dull ache that started in my upper arm and involved my forearm, and as of Sunday my left hand as well. It was getting to the point where I couldn't sleep on it, couldn't get comfortable because of the pain, and once my hand got involved, couldn't even open a sippy cup. (That's when you know it's bad.) Earlier in the week I had called my OB's office to see if it was something pregnancy related, but the nurse I talked with had no idea what it could be and referred me to my primary care physician.
Now I'm not really one for going to the doctor. Between the copay, the deductible, and the co-insurance, it never seems worth my time or money. I'm happy to take the kids in for their check-ups, or for urgent things like chin-gashes that need gluing, but for myself, not so much. So I don't have a doctor I just love, and based on my symptoms, I expected them to say either "Huh. No idea. Good luck with that." or "That's not my specialty, but if you go see this expensive specialist, they might be able to help you." Neither of those sounded so great.
So I did some research. I started by going through my pregnancy books, and found one that mentioned that "pain, numbness or tingling in the arm" was likely thoracic outlet syndrome. Essentially, the nerves and blood vessels going through your shoulder are getting pinched because of your bad posture and extra fluid. So with that self diagnosis, I just kept on doing what I was doing, making a little more effort to stand up straight. But it still hurt.
But by Sunday, I wanted a blessing. I firmly believe in the power of the priesthood and the ability of my Father in Heaven to bless and heal those in need. So I asked our home teacher (okay Tom did because he saw him first) to come and help Tom in giving me a blessing.
We've had the same home teacher since we moved into this ward nearly three years ago. His partners have come and gone, moved, been inactive, had conflicting work schedules, etc, but Christian has remained. But he's moving this week, and we will miss him and his family.
He came Sunday evening after the kids were in bed and asked what seemed to be the problem. Having recently had a pregnant wife, he guessed morning sickness, I assured him that was not the case, and briefly mentioned how my arm had been causing me much grief.
Being the physical therapist that he is, he asked if he could assess it before the blessing and see what the problem was. He proceeded to have me move my arm this way, that way, the other way, and all the things physical therapists do, all while having me tell him when it hurt, where it hurt, how much it hurt, etc. He determined that it was most likely shoulder impingement syndrome, which as he explained is that the nerves traveling through my shoulder were getting pinched because of my bad posture and weak rotator cuff. So he gave me some exercises and stretches to loosen up the shoulder, strengthen the rotator cuff and move everything back where it should be. And he told me to ice it.
Then they proceeded to give me a blessing.
While I didn't experience any miraculous healing, I am still impressed at Heavenly Father's watchful care. If this had happened a week later, Christian would have been on his merry way to Kansas, and my new home teachers, however wonderful they may be, would not have been able to provide the timely and directly applicable aid that I needed.
And by the way, it is already feeling better than yesterday, but it still has a ways to go.