Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Torn shoulder

Oh dear. I am very easily injured nowadays!

Getting out of bed last Saturday morning, I raised my arms above my head and carelessly stretched, and something tore in my left shoulder. Ouch!!

It hurt a lot to begin with, but within half an hour the pain had eased off, and I then did normal things for the rest of the day. Oh, I still had a bit of an ache in my back and my left arm, so I abandoned all thoughts of tackling the rain-fed weeds in my garden. I did my food shopping. I even went out that evening for a pleasant pub meal with friends in Rottingdean, staying there late because we watched the latest Star Wars film on Sky TV. Driving home was painful though. Nevertheless I got home safely, and off to sleep without trouble.

On Sunday morning, however, it was a different story. My shoulder and arm both ached badly. Really badly. Paracetamol didn't help, so I switched to Ibuprofen after lunchtime. That didn't seem to make much of a dent in the pain either, but I continued with it.

Monday was much the same. A constant ache in my left shoulder and arm - but not both at the same time: the centre of the pain would shift, depending on what I was trying to do, and whether sitting up or reclining. (It was impossible to lie down flat on my back) I looked it all up on the Internet, and decided that I'd either torn a muscle, or had overstretched a tendon. It was worth seeing a doctor, if only to obtain better pain relief. I fired up the practice app on my phone. Nothing doing anytime during the rest of Monday. But there was a slot available on Tuesday morning at 9.40am, with a lady doctor I'd seen before and trusted. I booked it. Then I braced myself for an ordeal: the best part of 24 hours to get through until I could get medical advice, and presumably a prescription. I couldn't sleep - the ache was too nagging for that. I felt dog tired and very unhappy, and occasionally the pain was enough to make me cry out aloud - more to express my hurt and frustration, than because the pain was unbearable. Although it was quite strong enough to test anyone. In fact I couldn't remember any previous occasion when I had felt this uncomfortable! But you forget: I'd probably gone through worse in my life, and had just blotted it out.

I'd spent the night in a recliner on Sunday to Monday, dozing off for brief periods only. I did the same thing on Monday to Tuesday (today) - although just before dawn I managed a couple of hours of deeper sleep. I know that because when the alarm woke me I was in a middle of a dream, and the dream was gentle, and I felt definitely rested and better-relaxed. In the dream, I was showing my brother Wayne over my (imaginary) new caravan, which, although modern and attractive, was a bit flimsy because little bits and pieces came away in my hands as I touched them. Even odder, my brother died twenty-one years ago, long before my caravanning days began...

I had to drive a mile to the surgery. That took some concentration! But the doctor was kind and reassuring. After various questions and physical manipulations to see what I could move and to what extent, she told me it would have been a micro-tear in a shoulder muscle. More painkillers - double-strength Ibuprofen, and Co-Codamol, both taken concurrently - would greatly reduce my discomfort. She'd also prescribe a small amount of Diazepam (aka Valium) to relax me at night and get me some sleep. Once home from the chemist, I worked out a timetable for taking the Ibuprofen and the Co-Codamol, and I have been dosing myself accordingly ever since.

I'm not yet entirely comfortable, but certainly the pain is much less, and (for example) I can now type this post, which I couldn't face doing on Sunday and Monday. I suspect that even with the Diazepam I will still not find it possible to lie in bed tonight, and will have to resort to the recliner again. I don't know what effect the Diazepam will have. I have never taken it before, and to be honest I'm not greatly looking forward to it. But if it relaxes my pain-tensed muscles enough to give me a few hours really sound sleep, then that will be wonderful. Deep untroubled sleep is of course the very best medicine!

My appointments and social engagements for the rest of the week are all of course cancelled or postponed. I need no more shopping for now. I can wash myself and cook. I'm OK. I shall concentrate on recovery.

1 comment:

  1. Ooo ouch! You were most unfortunate to tear a shoulder muscle with a simple morning stretch. Hopefully your Pilates exercises will help to tone up your muscles and guard against future injury.

    Get well soon xx

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