This is the first time I've ever joined an online community for help. I'll tell you my story, hopefully with as much clarity as possible, in hopes that I can receive some wise words or help from somebody out there.
STARTED WITH SHOULDER: Three years ago, at the age of 24, I woke up feeling fine and healthy. Some three hours later, a burning pain from my right shoulder sent me to the ER in the most pain I've ever experienced in my life. No working out, no rigorous physical activity, it just happened while reading! A severely pinched nerve for certain. I'm positive the pain BEGAN in my shoulder as I think back to it. They knocked me out with serious pain relievers, and woke up with some relief.
MIGRATED TO NECK: I'm poor at caring for myself, so I lived with it for a while. After about a year of "toughing it out" I decided to go to the doctor again. By this time, the pain felt LESS in my shoulder and MORE in my neck. I don't know what would account for this shift? The doctors determined I had a herniated disc in my neck, and that herniated disc had pinched a nerve in addition. I did some chiropractic work, but nothing helped. 6 months later, I had surgery on my disc in my neck.
NECK, SHOULDER, AND BACK: The surgery provided me with some relief, although it definitely didn't restore me even close to 100% like I had hoped. I wonder if it was a mis-diagnosis or half-diagnosis, and it makes me question whether the nerve pinching issues is actually at the shoulder RATHER than the neck. Regardless, the issue is no longer in my neck and shoulder, but in my neck, shoulder, and back. It's difficult to even pinpoint the pain. It's like one big, sore clump spawning from mid-back to shoulder to neck.
DIFFICULTY SPEAKING: One of the red flags I'm experiencing is difficulty speaking. I'm a pastor, so my ability to flourish depends on my ability to preach. I can't tell exactly why speaking is physically difficult from time to time: some times I think it may be a skeletal issue, other days I think it may be a muscular issue. Perhaps the muscles are so inflamed that speaking becomes difficult? Regardless, headaches, light-headedness, and dizziness are common in my nights.
DIFFICULTY BREATHING: This has even created some difficulty breathing here and there. It almost feels like muscles around my back have been so inflamed that they encroach on my lungs. Is this a real problem?
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Maybe it is a herniated disc in my neck. Maybe it is an undiagnosed difficulty with my shoulder. Maybe it's all these things and more. But regardless, I don't have great insurance, so the prospect of an MRI, X-Ray, or anything else feels out of the picture financially.
Any recommendations? Diagnosis, treatments, stretches? Anybody out there feel this way?