Looking for a good doctor familiar with left arm disability

Patient

Q: Hello, I have an unusual injury to my left arm for which I am trying to get reliable diagnosis. I am having a terrible time getting a straight answer from anybody locally, as this injury is something they have never seen before. I might wind up seeing a specialist outside of my region, so I would greatly appreciate a referral to somebody familiar with my problem! Since this is a complicated situation, I shall provide ye with the unabridged version of events.



The original injury was apparently to the Intermediate Serratus Anterior, while working in the garden back in 6/2007. My arm was injured with a pulling motion similar to a rower's injury, or a sailors injury. It was not extremely painful so I did not immediately seek medical attention. The injury would slowly heal up and then re-injure any time I used my arm with rigor or repetitive motion. The injury is directly underneath where the bicep rests on the chest sidewall, and feeling more internal than external.

I did experience a strange sensation for several weeks and months after the injury, related to dietary consumption of acidic foods and drinks. Very soon after eating or drinking, I would feel pain within my injured area, as though the spicy food or acidic drink was dissolving the scabs over the injury. I discovered that eating cheese would fix this problem, otherwise the bleeding would continue for about an entire day. This food problem has persisted until the present, because I keep re-tearing the injury here and there, since the tear has slowly spread to a few more areas. There has been a limited amount of stomach bleeding, only when I take any sort of strong pills. Other than that, the GI functioning seems adequate.

Over time, the injury seemed to heal up although my left arm remained frail and weak. Then there were some developments which created problems that lead to further damage and subsequent re-injury. I did have some routine medical evaluations, although no problems were detected at the time, despite my experiencing significant amounts of chest pain, apparently from inflammation. Most other forms motion were normal, although I have had to sleep on my back for years now. At the time of my re-injury in 2012 my left arm pit developed a strong odor that persists.

After taking it easy for a year, the injury seemed to heal up, and I would have been in the clear except for the problem of not being able to go on full-time bed rest. Instead, I reinjured the original torn muscle on average of once a year since 2007. It has slowly been getting worse, and in the last few years has developed into a cardiac concern, due to numbness in my hands at night, and a good deal of discomfort after strenuous activity. I also started having pain when sleeping on my right side, that feels like I am straining my valves or cardiovascular veins, so now I sleep on my back only. I have been experiencing a good deal of pain at night, unless I am very careful with the tender areas. Luckily I seem to heal quickly!



Two cardiologists have been unable to find any valve damage to speak of, though I am pretty sure there is some tearing towards the bottom of the heart muscle due to the magnification of the initial injury. An orthopedic doctor has declined to treat me stating I require a thoracic specialist, and the thoracic surgery office could not see any damage on the CAT scan.

There also appears to be slight progressive damage to the Thoracic Long Nerve, an alarming event to be sure.



So long as I take it very easy I seem to heal up. That means I need to file for Disability and bring a good amount of medical evidence to the table. [Or, at the least I need to get a solid diagnosis, prognosis, and a doctors note excusing me from rigorous activity for well over a year]

I am also fairly concerned about a permanent disability of my left arm and a serious potential for re-injury for the rest of my life. Thus I am seeking a reliable diagnosis from a physician who knows about this particular type of injury involving assorted muscular, digestive, nerve, and cardiac symptoms.


I am very interested in a good referral and seeking some medical evaluation from a specialist right away. Unfortunately I am somewhat limited to practices that accept Medicaid, although I might be able to afford a limited amount of care out of pocket.

Thank you for your help in this perplexing matter.

Symptoms:  Symptomatic issues with recurring chest pain, left arm weakness, dietary problems, left arm body odor, problems with re-injury of tears
Doctor

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