On the Hard Shoulder

Friday 17 August. Frozen Stiff
For a couple of months now I haven’t been raise my left arm, say, to spray my armpit with deodorant, or reach behind my back, say, to undo my bra without seeing stars. What to do? Other allowing my BO and nunga-nungas fly free. I’ve worked out that I’ve got a frozen shoulder and that there’s not much to be done about it but, after a bad night, the pain is so severe that I am forced to take myself to the doctor’s.

Within an hour I have seen my GP twice and been for an x-ray – there’s efficient for you. Have also, to my surprise, cried twice during this process, once when my GP asked when the pain was worst and once when the very gentle radiographer offered, without being asked, to undo my bra for me! The good news is that there is no sign of osteo-arthritis but, given the lamentable state of my Mum’s back, I’m being referred for a bone density scan too. In the meantime I am despatched with a truckload of extra-strong painkillers.

I feel slightly shocked to be in this state, after all I take reasonable care of myself and exercise regularly but, hey ho, it’s happened so I’ve just got to get on with it. Back home I down my pills and, free of pain at last, madly rush round the house doing everything I haven’t been able to do.

Saturday 18 August: Frozen Out
Wake exhausted after crazy drug-fuelled dreams. Look, it’s not exactly Trainspotting I know but I don’t feel quite like myself. Slump on sofa to watch the Welsh rugby team do their very best to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Sense of complete helplessness not eased when a very unhappy Rose rings and is clearly having a tough time fitting in to a different regime at her dad’s. Seems there are lots of unwritten rules that Rose keeps transgressing. I’m trying to be charitable here; I hope that it is just a change of regime and nothing more sinister. Poor kid – she has been there less than two days!

Tuesday 21 August: In the Doldrums
O me miserum!, as we used to say in Latin. Mind you we also used to say things like ‘The happy farmer loves the sailor’, and ‘Whilst I was swimming the dog stole my clothes’ and look where that got us. Ho hum! Have had a severe attack of the miseries today, so was most grateful to offload my troubles to Elizabethd, who was hosting coffee, and Westerwitch and Fennie who were also there. Thanks to all of you for your kind words of sympathy and advice.

And finally:
Acute observers of the re-write word meter will notice that the word count has gone down. This is because there are slaughtered ‘darlings’ all over the place (actually they’ve been consigned to a file named ‘limbo’ for possible recycling). I do hope there’ll be something left at the end of the cull or I’m in big trouble.

Hwyl fawr!

The painting is Tom Tomos’s interpretation of Pentre Ifan – for Fennie!


Fennie said…
Hi Chris,

Thanks for the painting of Pentre Ifan - now I shall have to come and explore it but first I shall need to do some research to know what I should be looking for. Most likely it is 'anchored' to that precise spot by bisecting a couple of lines of fixed (rather than random) length at a precise ratio, with the lines being themselves 'anchored' at at least one end to a prominent geographical feature.

I put a comment on the previous blog about the word meter. Good luck with the slashing!
Never actually had a frozen shoulder - but had sub acranial bursitis . . . . which translated meant my shoulder berludy well hurt.

Odddles of sympathy. What pain killers were you given . . . anti-inflammatories - watch you're stomach . . . always take with food. If you have anything with codeine in it watch out for the addiction - best to take really at night if you can't sleep - will get around to finishing the migraine blog which goes into codeine addiction.

Meanwhile - gentle hug . . . reflexology can sometimes help frozen shoulders - osteopath may be good too - let us know how you get on.

And sharpen up your finger nail for poking you know who in the eye . . .
Pondside said…
Oh Chris, I'm so sorry to hear about your shoulder. You will get lots of suggestions on this site, and I'll add one - you might try massage therapy from a sports therapist. Honestly,you will do up that bra again, and roll over in bed at night without pain!
I hope Rose has settled in and a little more comfortable at her dad's.
Frances said…
Hello Chris,

Hope that your doctor and you can find ways to better your shoulder. Quickly. Or at least, steadily.

Forgive me if you have already written about this, but what were the first signals? Did it sort of creep up on you as many physical bit seem to?

I am glad that you are still able to keep up with the writing.

Elizabethd said…
Chris I have had frozen shoulder, it is so painful. The most important thing is to move it as much as you can, even in agony. I had physio but aparently acupuncture relieves it.
Faith said…
Sorry about your shoulder - it sounds very painful. You might try taking Bromelain - I do on a regular basis. Its very good.
Now Chris we could have a laugh here ....my right shoulder is my problem apparently post traumatic frozen shoulder a left over from my accident in January! We could put on a Victoria Wood type effort...over my shoulder goes one ...strapless bra?
hate the pain killers and the side effects...a lavender wheatie is my new best friend! I hope Rose is OK and coping with change...no doubt you and she will have a giggle about it at a later stage but perhaps a few sore spots at the mo.
Suffolkmum said…
Poor you - I haven't had a frozen shoulder, but have had trapped nervces in my neck and know how debilitating that pain can be. Hope Rose is OK and things go better this time with the visit ....
Preseli Mags said…
Ouch, poor you with the painful shoulder. If it's a chiroprator you need, there's a brilliant one in Narberth or try Rhona the herbalist in Newport. She does cranio sacral therapy too which is just bliss and really helped with my back. I hope Rose is okay too. xxx PM
Anonymous said…
My mum suffers with frozen shoulder. And everything else going!

Best wishes for your recovery. And especially for the deodrant application.

Crystal xx
elizabethm said…
yet another sense of connection on reading your blog. I had a frozen shoulder for nearly nine months (one of those things where so busy being grateful for not being dead after all the big stuff it took me a while to notice I couldn't do up my bra, change gear on the car, sleep). I was finally sorted out by a lovely therapist who treated me with something called the Bowen technique. I was the arch sceptic but got to the point when I would have tried anything. Might be worth giving it a go?
By the way, don't be too impressed by the Eisteddfod stuff - spent a lot of time skulking so as not to be spoken to but did learn that south walians use an entirely unknown word to us northerners for milk.
Poor Chris. I have huge sympathy and have had lots of trouble with arthritus in my right shoulder-several injections in it. It is excruciating and so difficult to do simple things as you say!

I hope they get to the bottom of it for you. I also suggest you check your seating/posture when writing as it can affect you.
Heat treatment makes me feel better.
And as someone suggests, it is VITAL that you keep it moving even though I know how much it hurts...any chance you can find a warm swimming pool and jacuzzi?

take care and warmest wishes
Damn and blasty I wrote a long diatrivbe on not taking gin wiht mind altering drugs and new regimes adn chipped tooth enamale from ove rgritting and rudy thing said it was unable to complete my request , who does it think it is!! AH well bonne chance with the black slaughter!!
Anonymous said…
Hi Chris, sorry to hear about your shoulder, bloomin annoying isn't it, but you seem to be coping very well...painkillers do have their place...sometimes..and I think on this occassion you simply have no other choice...so go for it.....say's she who is... almost... neuroticly just trying to cope on the old tramadole....horrible things...I'm not worried about the nightmares Chris!..it's the DAYmares that bother me..but hopefully will change them soon...
Love your blog and will look forward to reading more about you..have really enjoyed it so far...best wishes OBM
muddyboots said…
oh, nasty shoulder, have you tried an osteopath? l have an interesting back... a few clicks & bangs then l'm fine.
Posie Rosie said…
Oh I hope your shoulder is better soon, totally understand that pain causes emotional suffering too, it is horrible not feeling 100 percent.
Hello Chris,
How horrid for you, have you tried Sonic Relief this is supposed to be a good remedy for Frozen Shoulder. Although maybe a good Reflexologist or Osteopath could help you.

So pleased that you are able to keep writing Chris.

Exmoorjane said…
Totally ditto to the osteopath. I had a frozen shoulder - went along in agony and left pain-free. Truly.
Slash and burn, baby, slash and burn.
liz fenwick said…
Chris my Dad had that problem and it was accupuncture that in the end worked.

Well done on the slash and burn.......remember nothing is ever wasted........keep the limbo files :-)

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