Alien Invasion aka Frozen Shoulder

Not my usual kind of post. Rather, boring personal health stuff. About this mysterious mad awful condition called Frozen Shoulder (or “adhesive capsulitis” or $%#@##&^%!!!!!) aka a drawn out period of the body torturing itself for no known reason. I had this in my right shoulder back in 2007-2008. It took a while to work out what it was, though not before I’d gone through the additional torture of physiotherapy, which has left me with a pathological fear and aversion to physiotherapists.

7165073-female-skeleton-with-highlighted-shoulder-stock-photo-shoulder-pain-jointNow, it’s back. In my other shoulder. Apparently, a repeat performance is pretty common. So, while no one knows what causes it (at least this “idiopathic” version), they seem to have worked out that if you get it in one, you’re likely to get it in the other. (Oh, and because it’s not an ‘injury’, ACC doesn’t cover it or treatments, neither does my DHB.)

This really is a strange condition. Pain and agony become your constant companions, and in any number of forms — aching, throbbing, stabbing, piercing; top of the shoulder, arm to elbow, shoulder blade, sometimes right up into my head. There is no known cure, just endless theories about things to try (cortisone shots, torturous physio etc.), which work for some and not others. It comes. It tortures. It (usually) eventually leaves.

Stages, the total lasting up to 2 years:

1. freezing (pain scale out of 10 = 6 to 9, I reckon)

2. frozen (pain scale: low)

3. thawing (pain scale: low)

Anyway, among my main challenge is trying to learn to keep on keeping on and not falling into a slough of despond, and wading out into the sea with rocks in my pockets (but only on my good side). It’s not life threatening, so there’s that. (And, I do appreciate, what else is there really?) But unrelenting pain is a total bitch. It’s like having been invaded by this moody, cruel, and totally unpredictable alien entity, not knowing what it wants, or why, or when it’s going to leave. It feels almost like a battle of psyches or wits or something.  Or maybe the pain has simply driven me barking mad.