Pain fogs your brain. Makes you weary. Makes you wish time away.
I’m being plagued by acute shoulder pain at the moment and simple actions such as picking up my daughter are nigh-on impossible.
I take packets of painkillers and perform the exercises suggested but it’s not ready to shift.
Easy tasks morph into daunting trials I quickly become averse to. Like a dog who has been repeatedly rapped on the nose, I stoop and roll my shoulders in submissively.
Cowering at the sight of a high cot side.
Wimpering as I draw a coat up my arm.
Swearing blind when I roll over on my right in my sleep.
Drinking alcohol brings a bit of respite. Rest helps. Sitting still feels a relief. But all of that goes against the NHS advice to stay moving and, obviously, not to self-medicate with booze.
So I half-heartedly lift and stretch my shoulder, while my arm feels like it’s dangling from it by piano wire. Tingly fingers tell me it must be a nerve or tendon. But who knows?
Guidance says it will be better in two weeks. Ten days in and I’m sceptical. And sore. And sad.
A trip to the doctor’s is booked and I’m already having fantasies that, somehow, they’ll know exactly what’s wrong. With one deft motion, the excellent doctor will snap the shoulder back into place, and offer me a look of weary familiarity when I shed a single tear of gratitude and relief.
What will actually happen will be less miraculous, sadly… But hopefully, a trip to an experienced physio is in my near-future.
Till then, I’ll continue propping my arm – and spirit – up with the application of gentle exercise, pain killers, and a liberal dose of red wine.