On a Limb

In June last year my left shoulder started to ache. By July it was really beginning to play up and there were things I couldn’t do anymore. Like sleep. I like to curl up on my left side or lie on my back with my arms above my head but since it hurt like hell to lie on my left side and I could no longer raise my left arm above my head those options weren’t possible. In August I gave up and saw my GP who confirmed, as I suspected, that I had a frozen shoulder and prescribed hefty painkillers and a course of physio.

Since I’m quite good at taking care of myself I was pretty miffed to be struck down by something completely out the blue (yes, there are much worse things out there, I know) and it was especially frustrating that even after lots of hard work with Margot the Marvellous Physio that some movements weren’t coming back. Without an operation, Margot told me, I’d be looking at all kinds of problems one of which was muscle wastage. Looking at my nice new bingo wing I agreed to get myself referred to an orthopaedic consultant asap.

After six months of waiting I finally got an appointment this week so, leaving Hotel H’s latest guests to amuse themselves, (it’s been a busy time at Hotel H) Tom and I made the long trek to hospital. After more x-rays I was ushered in to see a rather serious Asian doctor. At least, I hope he was a doctor because he didn’t introduce himself but he did have a nurse with him. Anyway, my new friend twiddled my right arm and then, less successfully, my left, before he finally smiled.
‘Very restricted!’ he announced.
I didn’t roll my eyes and say, ‘Ooh, gosh – you don’t say!’ which is just as well because the next bit sounded very painful and I didn’t particularly want it performed without an anaesthetic.
‘This, I will do for you!’ he proclaimed, with a flourish.
I mentioned that I was training for a half-marathon in October and didn’t particularly want to miss it and was met with frank stares of disbelief… what I’m trying to work out is whether it’s the thought of me running a half-marathon or my innocent belief that I might actually rise to the top of a waiting list before then which caused them.

And finally…Auntie Joanie is holding on but poor Ma has heard that her eldest brother, Uncle Bill, is also very sick. Uncle Bill is my Australian uncle who went walkabout in Sydney and turned up, unannounced at my door in Wales. What a sad time it is.

Image is No.VI from Tom Tomos's series of sea prints


Flowerpot said…
Oh Chris, you're having a really bad time at the moment aren't you? I do so feel for you. Big Celtic hugs coming from Cornwall. Take care.
Sally's Chateau said…
Sad times Chris, look after yourself, I have to say I rather think the rolling eye's were an indication of your false hopes of getting to the top of the waiting list this year. I'm pushing some hot sun down to you too.
Pat Posner said…
Sorry you're having such a bad time, Chris. I can't think what it's called but when I had probs with a frozen shoulder I had an injection - and it worked. Plus, I was vegetarian at the time and the specialist advised me to start eating fish again.
Debs said…
I don't know how you fit everything in, visitors/training for marathon/writing/etc. Your shoulder sounds horribly sore, I do hope they are able to do something sooner rather than later for you.

Sending you hugs.

Love the painting too. Dx
Annie Bright said…
Sorry to hear you are in so much pain, Chris. And so sad to hear that your Uncle Bill is very sick -it's so hard when family are ill. Sending hugs your way. x
Pondside said…
I've just had a good catch-up here Chris. I'm so sorry to hear that your shoulder hasn't improved substantially. I hope the Asian Doctor is a star and that you'll be back to normal in record time.
How is life at Hotel H? This time of year is busy here, as everyone wants to see the island, but I'd give anything for a guest who wanted to see the island AND drink wine and laugh, stay up too late and leave me with great memories - your Ace gang sounds amazing.
Milla said…
Chris it seems you need that shoulder to get better, you need strong ones to take all that keeps getting chucked your way. So sorry about your rellos, I remember teh Uncle Bill story and as for the free-loaders, change the locks, change your phone number and sit tight in the dark. Sounds ghastly and knackering, neither of which you need right now xx
Fire Byrd said…
So pleased your Aunty is holding her own for the moment, one less thing to worry about I guess.
I had steroid injections in my frozen shoulder too. And latterly shiatzu massage which is just astonishing.
Just a cotton picking minute - who am I supposed to do bra twanging duets with if you have the miracle cure?
Glad to see A joanie is still there bless her and its funny that your Uncle is now so ill after doing that round trip of the rellies, its as though he knew he had to do it ...
LittleBrownDog said…
Have just caught up with your last two - can't believe I missed last week's, what HAVE I been doing? And yes - I remember having that same thought (I hope that was a doctor, etc) when someone marched into the delivery room in a white coat and gave me the once over - no bedside manner some of these medics (at least I hope it was a medic...)

Anyway, best of luck with your shoulder - fingers crossed they can do something about it quickly, it sounds very uncomfortable. And so sorry to hear about Uncle Bill - I remember reading about him, he sounded such a character.
Lane said…
Sorry to hear you're having a grotty time at the moment Chris. A full house and very sick relatives is hard enough without a nasty shoulder as well. Hope something can be done about it soon, so you can get back to the training. ((hugs)) to you. x
Frances said…
Hello to you, Chris.

First of all, let me say how much I do like Tom's print!

Now ... on to your shoulder. Is there not another doctor that might see you, with whom communication might be better. You are a master of communication ... you should not have to feel that someone is not communicating with you, particularly when your shoulder is the topic.

Sorry if I sound a bit fractious, but this just makes me angry.

Maybe I will calm down enough to be able to offer more measured words re Hotel H next time.

BT said…
Poor you, I do hope Uncle Bill rallies. Glad that Aunt Joan is holding her own. I have tennis elbow and it's quite debilitating at times so I know how awful your shoulder must be.

Hope things improve soon,
elizabethm said…
You could do with a nice time or two! Know I have mentioned this before but my frozen shoulder (serious can't sleep pain, couldn't fasten my bra, general sense of having turned into an old lady) was astonishingly sorted out by the Bowen technique. If you can find a therapist near you it might be worth a try rather than going straight to scary surgery. Hard to know, it might be just my experience but I was stunned by the way it worked when nothing else had. good luck.
Fennie said…
Ouch! Poor Chris, you have my purple sympathy. A friend of mine who had a frozen shoulder was cured completely by a few sessions of acupuncture. He was a disbeliever before he went, but he took a chance - anything to get rid of the problem, the shoulder was virtually immobile - and the acupuncture worked. He said it was money very well spent and would not hesitate to recommend it. Of course, whether it works on everyone I wouldn't know, but if you have a half-marathon coming up.......
Good luck anyway!
When I had my hands doen my surgeon came and drew all over them with blue biro by way of illustration as to what he had planned... if yours gets out a biro either run very fast or make sure its not indelible ink...I can jsut see you runnign marathon with dotted blue line and cut here written on your shoulder in Indain script!!

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