Recent I experienced my first frozen shoulder. I like to think it will be my last but the reality of age has dawned upon myself.
I had an ache in my arm which I assumed was just from me being careless and went to sleep thinking rest would naturally resolve the issue. Two hours later, I woke up screaming and crying from the pain of what I now know to have been the start of a frozen shoulder.
It was soo bad I agreed to take painkillers and my partner called 111. The triaging nurse on call was soo kind and got me a GP appointment for the same day. I had to wait for the surgery to be open and there was still multiple hours to go before they opened so I laid in bed watching Naurto films on Netflix’s and didn’t move an inch.
In the UK we’re in yet another lockdown, so GP appointments are a mixture of phone calls and video calls. My doc told me to up my pain meds, take the more frequently than I was doing and to move my shoulder as much as I could to stop it from stiffening.
Then his voice changed as he told me that recovery wasn’t quick. In fact, he expected it to be a while.
At this point I didn’t have much movement in my left arm. It was bad enough that my fingers tingled and I couldn’t bend my elbow.
Working was tricky. My brain was clear but everything I do relies on me typing. If this was going to be a while, I had to be figure a way for me to survive and have something to do.
The good news is that a week later most of my movement is back. There is still a part of my shoulder rotation that aches, but I have full movement back. For that, I’m super grateful.
The experience of a frozen shoulder hasn’t gone without reflection. My doctor told me it was common. Having to learn to cope with only use of one hand is not easy with tech. Over time you need to adapt but every time my eyes, my arm or my food gives way, I’m reminded of how fragile human life really is.
I am curious how frozen shoulder pain compares to child labour pain. I don’t know about the latter, but frozen shoulder for me was like someone has strapped multiple lead weights to my left arm and also zapping electricity up my arm. The slightest touch would set off the pain.
I have however managed to stand on a sewing needle as a teen and end up working in a cafe for 8 hrs before going to the hospital and having it taken out. I can hand on heart say the frozen shoulder beat the needle in the sole of my foot.
Upcoming, I’m waiting for physiotherapy to ensure I minimise the likelihood of it ever returning. I’ve started doing morning stretch videos from YouTube ( Shona Vertue is my favourite channel ) and I’m filling my lockdown time with being more intentional with my body and my health ( instead of slouching over my desk over working. )
Ultimately, the frozen shoulder taught me that although I find satisfaction in my work, it is not everything.
Without my body there is no Jenny. I’m not on my deathbed but I’m also no longer a spring chicken. Time spent indulging on looking after myself and respecting my body is time well spent.
I wouldn’t wish frozen shoulder or any shoulder pain on anyone, but if you find yourself with one, I wish you a speedy recovery and lots of Naruto to keep your mind off it all.