Clever, Link, clever

For the past two or three months I’ve had upper-arm or shoulder pain in my left arm, and I finally got around to making an appointment to see my doctor about it. All praise to the VA; I called and was transferred to the advice nurse when the original scheduler heard my problem. He said “she can get you an appointment a lot sooner than I can,” and boy was he right. I spoke to her yesterday afternoon and answered a whole battery of questions from her, like “are you feeling faint when this pain occurs? Are you vomiting? Got any chest pain to go with it?” and so on. She then checked my primary care doc’s schedule and managed to get me in the very next day (today) at 1:30 PM.

I got up there, was weighed (154.8 lbs.) and had my BP taken (106/60) and saw the good doctor shortly thereafter. He watched me try to move my arm and said “that’s shoulder, even if it feels like biceps/triceps. Off to the X-Ray people with you. If the pictures show anything screwy I’ll send you to an orthopedic surgeon. If not, I’ll send you to physical therapy.”

I’m almost pulling for the surgeon. PT would hurt!

Here’s the clever part of my visit: if you’re over 65 the CDC recommends that you get vaccinated for pneumonia. There are two vaccines given, and you can’t get the shots concurrently; you have to come back for the second one. It’s unclear how long the interval should be, but the Honolulu VA clinic’s policy is to demand a year between them. So I asked how long it had been since I had the first one and they looked it up and said “Over a year, so do you want the second round today?” and I of course said sure. But I thought “my left arm hurts already, so let’s get the shot in my right arm.” Smart. Now I have a sore left arm and a sore right one.