Sunday, 18 October 2015
Ah! Isn't that the very picture of a person nobly and stoically nursing an injured arm? This was me this morning. My arm had been aching for a few days, and I'd finally improvised a sling from a knotted blue scarf, so that the arm muscles would have a chance to relax, and stop fighting gravity.
It's definitely the muscles that are aching, and not the bones or the joints or the tendons. Quite why, I do not know. I might have slept awkwardly on my left arm, of course. But it's possible that intense and prolonged sessions on the PC a week ago, as soon as I came back from holiday, may have brought this about - you know, when you hold down the Ctrl key as you select photos to file away - dozens at a time - or to copy into folders marked 'For Flickr' or 'For the Blog'. I had over 1,500 of them to work through. I may have tensed my left arm doing that for just a little too long. Or I may have spent too much time holding my tablet or phone in my left hand, at just the right angle.
I also remember heaving a 6kg propane gas bottle around using my left arm - I had to get a fresh one for the caravan. That wouldn't have helped.
It's no more than a dull ache, but at times it has been very uncomfortable. I think that a mixture of resting the arm (though not immobilising it) and medication (to relieve the pain) should do the trick eventually, but meanwhile this is a nuisance I could do without. The discomfort is ever-present, whatever position I adopt. It makes driving painful. But I have no plans to go very far in the next week or so. Meanwhile the sling helps when I sit up or stand up - though not when I recline or lie down.
I had a bout of this trouble in September, before I went on holiday, but it passed off quickly, whereas this has persisted for some days. If it goes on much longer, I'll see my doctor.
The only time I've experienced something similar in the past was when I went on a crash diet in 2008. I didn't do it very scientifically, and lost weight too fast. There came a point when the muscle loss was such that my limbs began to ache. The doctor told me that my poor wasted muscles were having a tough time supporting the weight of my big bones, and the ache was a sign of protest. I have of course reduced musculature nowadays - because I'm an older woman - but it's not less than I need. However, I'm sure it can be pulled and strained more easily than when I was younger. I should have been more careful.
As you can see, the pain hasn't prevented me typing out this post, and in some ways gentle and varied movements seem to keep the pain at bay. It's worst when the left arm is doing nothing. I just hope that another night's rest eases it.