so i saw the pain doc last week! he asked some very interesting questions and did some very interesting tests, and really seemed to take my concerns seriously. he is also a big fan of my physiotherapist (angus) which was good to hear. he is sending me to a naturopath and to have a whack of bloodwork done, and also ultrasounds on my shoulder and arm, and testing for something called "thoracic outlet syndrome." of course i googled it and thought "whoa, this is so me!" all of my symptoms, even the vertigo and tinnitus and chest pain can be associated with it. and some of the work i did with angus - "nerve flossing" is what he called it, but now i've seen it called "nerve gliding" as well - is specifically recommended as a treatment for tos. so, you can bet i am going to be doing more of that on my own!
i'm really feeling positive that i can get "fixed." finally someone who listens instead of saying "maybe it's just stress" or "maybe you're just like this."
oh but one thing i forgot to mention to him, which comes and goes but was particularly awful yesterday, is pinna pain - specifically stabbing pains in the anti-helix. the pinna is the outer cartilage-y shell of the ear. it is very difficult to get people to understand when i say "my ear hurts" that looking inside is not going to help!