Monday, October 18, 2010

Shoulder in the Night

I haven't been able to go swimming for about a week because I've done something to my shoulder.

The problem is, I don't know what it is. It certainly wasn't caused by the swimming: it came on after I hadn't been swimming for a few days, as I had such a busy week work-wise last week. I have a vague, dreamlike memory of crashing into a door, but that may simply have been, indeed, a dream. On the other hand, I work in such a variety of different places - health centres, and different parts of the university - that I may indeed have crashed into a door on my way to work somewhere, and paid it very little attention.

Anyway, it was all gradually getting better and was only painful if I tried to do a backstroke kind of movement, so I thought I might be able to go back to swimming: if not today, then tomorrow.

Until last night, when a very weird thing happened.

I went to sleep at about midnight - slightly earlier than usual for me - and woke at about half-past one with my shoulder in absolute agony. It was like having bad toothache in my shoulder. It throbbed all over. It sent shooting pains down my arm. In between throbs, it ached like crazy and I couldn't move it at all without it hurting even more.

I lay there wondering if it's possible to break your shoulder by simply lying in bed. Then suddenly, I realised I was freezing cold and I began to shiver in a ridiculously dramatic way, like someone shivering in a cartoon, with chattering teeth.

So I thought I'd make a hot-water bottle and went downstairs, filled the kettle, put it to heat up - - and then realised I couldn't open the hot-water bottle, partly because I was shaking so much, and partly because my shoulder was hurting so I couldn't concentrate, and partly because Stephen had screwed it up tightly so that it wouldn't leak, the last time it was used.

So I had to wake Stephen up. Actually, the most accurate phrase is probably "get him out of bed" because Stephen doesn't really wake up easily, so you can talk to him in the middle of the night but he has no memory of it in the morning. And, as a matter of fact, I wasn't making a lot of sense (unusual for me, I thought I'd get that in in case of sarky comments) because my teeth were chattering so much. However, in his somnolent state Stephen filled the hot-water bottle for me.

I took some Ibuprofen and lay there as my arm throbbed, thinking "OW OW OW OW OW!" Gradually I warmed up and stopped shaking, and finally I fell asleep.

Now, here's a thing.

In the morning when I woke up, not only was my arm far better than it had been in the night, but it was far better than it was before I even went to bed.

I was - and am - completely confused. How could it be QUITE BAD before I went to bed, and then ABSOLUTE AGONY in the middle of the night - - - and then almost back to normal in the morning?

I've never had shoulder problems before. My shoulders have helped me to swim nearly a hundred miles so far this year, and they haven't given me any trouble at all.

So I'm puzzled. I don't know what caused it, and I don't know why it's got better - or how it got better so fast.

So I won't go swimming tomorrow, and then for the next few days I won't be able to because of work and travel - - and THEN perhaps it will be all back to normal. And if you have any ideas about what's been wrong with it, please do tell me.


Anonymous Milo said...

Oh what a strange story. Glad you feel better now.

Last winter, during all the ice and snow, I fell on the train platform back against the train. Wearing a padded jacket. I felt like I'd bruised my arm and thought not much of it but the pain was dull and persistent for many weeks afterwards. Really did go on a long time.

Thankfully it's totally gone now. But I guess what I'm saying is that even something like crashing into a door (my fall was not dissimilar) can be more serious than you first think.

11:43 pm  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

For the last six months I have suffered from something called a "frozen shoulder". It's hard to reach up and hard to reach behind myself to put on shirts and jackets. I have been to see a physiotherapist on three occasions. It's an inflammation in the shoulder socket. The worst time has been around 3 or 4 am each morning when I wake in agonising discomfort. Just recently it has been easing off a lot. I didn't injure it and I have preciously never had any problems with either shoulder. I guess it's an age thing. Google it and pray it's not your problem Daphne.

12:59 am  
Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

Might be arthritis.

Might be a torn rotator cuff.

Might be you slept on it wrong (i.e., at an odd angle).

What do I know? Nothing. But don't ignore it.

11:04 pm  

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