Hey skyes77. I'm so sorry you're going through this. The most important thing I can tell you is that YOU WILL GET BETTER. Is it going to take a long time to recover? Yes. Many months I'm sorry to say. I spent the entire fall, winter, and spring of 2012/2013 in pain after the flu shot. The pain was blindingly excruciating at times. In June of 2013 I finally started to feel better. As of this writing I have regained full use of my arm and shoulder, although the muscles around the shoulder are tighter than they used to be.
KEEP THE SWELLING DOWN TO KEEP THE PAIN LEVEL DOWN. Here'show I was able to keep the pain at a tolerable level: 1. I took 800mg IBUPROFEN per day - 400mg am, 400mg pm. Before taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication check label for risks and/or consult with your doctor. Two doctors told me I could continue 800mg daily for a total of six months before it could possibly endanger my health. My liver's still functioning so I guess I'm OK! 2. I received a total of 16 ACUPUNCTURE treatments, once per week. Each weekly treatment gradually brought my pain level down to tolerable, i.e. relief lasting 1-2 days, then 2-3, then 4-5, etc. until I was finally able to stop going entirely. Legitimate acupuncture providers exist in many areas of the U.S. I'm in the Minneapolis area and got my treatments through Northwestern Health Sciences University http://www.nwhealth.edu/ and costs were partially covered by my health insurance. Skeptical about acupuncture? Don't be. It works. Heck, it's been around for thousands of years so there must be something to it, right??? 3. I kept a small cooler containing ICE PACKS and dish towels on the floor next to my bed at night. When the pain and throbbing got really bad I could grab an ice pack wrapped in a towel and apply it when needed, then throw it all back in the cooler when done. 4. I slept on my good side with my head resting on a pillow as I normally would, with my bad arm elevated on a SECOND PILLOW, adjusting throughout the night until fairly comfortable.
WHAT NOT TO DO. Things I tried that made my pain worse: 1. Physical therapy. Bad idea. 2. Heating pad. Heat makes the swelling worse.
It almost makes me cry to think back on the tremendous physical and emotional toll that flu vaccine injury had on me and my family. My heart goes out to all who are suffering right now. I know exactly what you're going through. Just remember THERE IS HOPE. YOU WILL GET BETTER.
And lastly, seek retribution and contact a VACCINE INJURY LAWYER. I did.View Thread
Dear kl1991, The suffering described in this discussion string is real, and it most certainly is something to be concerned about. I, too, had a flu shot in October of 2012 that caused me 8 months of excruciating pain and weakness. I'm sure you're only trying to help, but please don't make light of this.
To all who are in pain: I promise you it will get better, but you're going to have a rough time getting to that point. You are ALL in my prayers. It just breaks my heart this has happened to so many of us.View Thread
2LKittie, please don't give up hope. The pain WILL go away although it may not seem like it right now. It is truly a struggle dealing with this type of injury.
I had my flu shot on Oct 2 2012 and experienced intense pain and trouble sleeping every day until about the middle of May 2013. Weekly acupuncture treatments, ibuprofen (Advil), certain types of pain killers, ice and topical applications of Biofreeze at night were the only things that made the pain tolerable during those months. I went through a roller coaster of emotions -- anger, depression, despair and hope.
Finally, in my 8th month I am feeling much better. My pain level went from a 10 at its worst to the level I'm at now - a level 1. I said a final good-bye to my acupuncturist yesterday and will continue now with deep muscle massage therapy and gentle stretching and physical therapy exercises on my own.
I forgot you said in an earlier post that you had tried acupuncture before. How many treatments did you have? I didn't notice any results until about the third or fourth treatment. My nighttime pain has been reduced from a level 10 to about a 6 or 7 now, and I am no longer taking Advil. Even though I'd like to continue, it's risky to keep that up after six months.
The good people at my hospital's Natural Healing Center where I have the acupuncture taught me how to sleep on my good side -- pillow under the head w/ neck straight with another pillow between the ankles. I put some BioFreeze http://biofreeze.com/ on my shoulder before bed and take a pain pill with water and a couple of Ritz crackers just in case of stomach upset. I do still wake up from pain but it's at least tolerable -- I just shift my arm a little and go back to sleep. My spirits are better now, too. Not feeling as hopeless anymore.
Sending a prayer your way and hope you feel well soon!View Thread
Coincidence? No way!!! Don't believe a word. I've been through all this. The only thing that will pinpoint the exact injury to your shoulder is an MRI . Please have one done as soon as possible and take the image to an ORTHOPEDIC SPECIALIST for a proper diagnosis.
The MRI will show whether you have fluid collection around the joint, in the bursa sac, or if there is any kind of tear.
A rheumatologist is NOT the route you want to take. At the one month mark of my injury (Nov 1, 2012) I was also sent to a rheumatologist and he gave me the same line of BS -- that the flu vaccine had nothing to do with it and it must have been a coincidence. He prescribed physical therapy - WRONG! It only made the pain worse. DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME AND MONEY on a rheumatologist!
The ONLY treatment that has relieved my pain is ACUPUNCTURE. I just came back from my eleventh treatment. Never in my life have I had acupuncture before this vaccine injury. I am now a total convert!
And, by the way, the vaccine injury lawyers accepted my case. If you have any questions about that, let me know.View Thread
I'm angry too. We have all this beautiful snow here and I'm unable to cross-country ski. There is no way my shoulder could handle the forward/backward motion and pressure from poling. I'm afraid I would only be aggravating the problem and undoing the progress I've made with the acupuncture treatments.
Good find on the research paper. If you already spent the $31.50 I hate to tell you this, but that's the exact same paper the vaccine injury lawyer forwarded to me free of charge. I brought a copy of it to my doctor, who hadn't had any previous experience with flu vaccine injuries. She did take the time to read it and thanked me for giving it to her.View Thread
Hope the cortisone shot brought you some relief, Bunny1944. I had a cortisone shot in my hip one time for an unrelated sports problem. The injection hurt like hell and my hip throbbed painfully all night long, so I'm leery of having another deep injection anywhere near my poor vaccine-injured shoulder.
It has now been four and a half months since October 2, that fateful day when I was literally stabbed in the shoulder joint by the so-called "certified" male nurse, who I have since dubbed "The Nincompoop from Hell".
My first 3 acupuncture treatments have helped the pain more than any drug, massage or physical therapy. Acupuncture has enabled me to decrease my daily ibuprofen intake by 75%. I have 4 scheduled acupuncture treatments left to go, during which I am promised to have improved range of motion so that I can resume the physical therapy exercises that proved to be too intense too early in the healing process.
My list of medical treatments is getting longer and longer, and the expenses keep mounting. I thank my lucky stars I can afford it. My heart goes out to those of you who have no medical insurance to fall back on!
Absolutely nothing else has worked for me. After 4 long months of taking 1200mg of ibuprofen a day, pain killers at night, physical therapy, ice packs, heat packs, etc., etc. I couldn't take the agonizing pain anymore and scheduled myself for some acupuncture treatments. Within hours of the first treatment the stabbing pain was gone when I moved my arm in certain ways. Most importantly the horrible nightly throbbing and aching became tolerable. I just had my second treatment today and have five more to go. I could just kiss the acupuncturist I feel so much better.
My arm is nowhere near back to 100% range of motion yet. I still have trouble blow-drying my hair, putting on sweaters, etc., but it doesn't HURT as bad as it did before. I'm down to taking 400mg ibuprofen in the evening and one pain killer right before bed, and I keep an ice pack in a small cooler next to my bed just in case I wake up with that old familiar throb (didn't need ice last night!) I was actually able to shovel some light snow off the driveway today! Woo hoo!
My MRI showed the shot caused fluid collection on the shoulder joint. I have no idea if acupuncture will help other types of flu vaccine injuries described here, like anitaj's small tear in the supraspinitus, but I sure hope so!
My certified acupuncturist's office is located in the "healing arts" section of a well-known hospital and treatments are covered by my health insurance (Blue Cross Blue Shield).View Thread