There was a pain in my left shoulder joint. I reached back with my left hand to unhook my bra and another OUCH!
I tried to remember if I had done anything unusual recently but there was nothing. When I went to put my left arm under my pillow for sleeping, this was also painful, so I slept on my right side all night.
By morning, I was a grumpy Parky. I could find no humor in this situation. I didn't want to aggravate my left shoulder, so I chose a button-up shirt. I was careful not to raise my left arm too high or behind my back.
Thinking that it might be a Parkinson's disease rigidity problem, I tried taking more carbi/levodopa. All that did is cause more dyskinesia. I tried increasing my left side DBS settings, but that didn't help either.
I made an appointment with Ana, my primary care provider. She did an exam and suggested trying a course of methylprednisolone and gave me some exercises to try. I went back 6-weeks later, nothing had changed, so she gave me a cortisone shot. This didn't work either.
I made an appointment with an Orthopedist that Ana recommended. He took x-rays of my left shoulder and it was normal. A month later, I had a CT scan with contrast done on my left shoulder. It was also normal (of course.)
He said there MIGHT be a small bone spur that's causing the problem. He suggested exploratory surgery, but I declined. So he gave me a cortisone shot in the left shoulder and said if it doesn't work, come back when you want surgery. This cortisone shot didn't work either and there was NO WAY I was going to have someone go digging around looking for something that might not even exist. I would just continue to be careful how I moved my left shoulder.
Then June 2019 came and I had my DBS battery replaced. I increased my DBS settings on my right side because my right foot was dragging. The small amount of carbi/levodopa I was taking, half a 25/100 pill every other day, caused severe dyskinesia. I cut back to twice a week, then once a week, and finally stop taking it completely.
|YumaBev with arm behind back|
Shortly thereafter, without thinking, I reached back with my left arm to unhook my bra and there was no pain. I reached my left arm above my head and no pain! Yippee!!
|YumaBev with arms raised up|
I asked my Movement Disorder Specialist when I saw her in December if my left shoulder problem could have been caused by the carbi/levodopa?
Yes, she said. You probably developed what is known as levodopa-induced dystonia. Isn't that interesting?? Just what we Parkies need...another medication side effect.