Frozen shoulder, frozen brain, flowing emotions

Two months ago, I dislocated my shoulder after falling from my bike when my wheel got caught in a tram

The day after the fall, making our way to Amsterdam by train instead of bike.

The day after the fall, making our way to Amsterdam by train instead of bike.

track. I’ve seen very little improvement since then. In fact, yesterday things took a turn for the worse and my physiotherapist told me I have frozen shoulder. I’ve been losing range of movement in my shoulder. At first, I could move my shoulder in any direction. But movement in certain directions would cause the head of my humerus, the upper arm bone, to wobble and physically crackle within the joint. So I was told not to move my arm in any direction that would cause this. I needed to allow my soft tissue to heal properly. Doctors and physiotherapists worry about recurrence of dislocation with shoulders. Some doctors, I’ve been told, completely prevent any sort of physical activity with the arm in order to allow it to completely heal. I’ve been quite active but only doing the things that don’t cause pain or a wobbling joint.

Anyway, the things I used to be able to do after the injury, like swimming the breast stroke or putting my hair in a pony tail, I can no longer do.

My physiotherapist told me I have to wait for it to get worse before it gets better. He needs the healing process to happen and the scar tissue to form so we can start the stretching and get my arm back on its way to full recovery. I can’t even do stretches, now, he says.

It’s all very, very, very frustrating.

Yesterday, I gave myself a public pep talk on Facebook. I’d focus on what I can do instead of what I couldn’t. I’d allow myself some self-pity last night but nothing beyond that. God had granted me a lesson in patience. Last night I really was feeling all that. I didn’t even go through the self-pity crap. I was fine. I listened to a groovy song that put the music in me and I was fine.

All that’s gone this morning.

PMS is NOT helping one bit. I have so much work to do but I’m sitting in front of my laptop not only with a frozen shoulder but also with a frozen brain. Everything in me feels frozen. I can’t even cry. I want to. But nothing’s happening. Maybe I need an audience for the tears to flow.

I know I’ll get through this. I know it’s a matter of time. I know there are so many things I can still do even with a bad shoulder. I know this is absolutely nothing compared to the real problems people have every day. It’s not really that I’m feeling sorry for myself. What I’m really feeling is extreme frustration. I’m also feeling a little worried. Is there something I should have done that I didn’t do? I followed the instructions I was given to the T. Maybe if I had gone to another doctor or another physiotherapist I’d have been told something different? Do I go to alternative healers? Or will I ruin my shoulder even more if I do? I’d much rather have a long healing process for this one dislocation than have multiple dislocations. What do I do? What can I do? Am I already doing the right thing?

Ok. That worked. I managed to give myself a cry. This year I had just gotten into triathlons and I was really really enjoying it. There’s no way on earth I’ll be doing any swimming for a long time. Was it an evil eye? Do I believe in that? What I do believe is that nothing happens that God does not will.

I’ll have to teach myself patience. I’ll need to learn how to focus on doing all the things I actually can do and get better doing them. I’m lucky to still have arms and legs. I know that. It’s not always easy to take what’s known at the cognitive level and convince your emotions with factual information. But I’ll work on training my emotions. I have friends and colleagues who are political prisoners in Egypt, for goodness sake. I have no right to complain.

I’ll find a way through this. I will.

One comment

  1. Nadia, over the years, I have had several shoulder injuries. They are the worse, and take a long time to heal. You have no choice but to be patient. I feel for you but know you will get really good at something else. I walked a lot, did a lot of Pilates, and spent a lot of time on a spinning bike. Good luck 🙂

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