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Frozen Shoulder

Posted Jan 20 2014 12:54pm

The last 15 months I’ve been fairly useless as a knitter, felter and crafter because of a frozen shoulder .  Add this to the Parkinson’s and it’s been a miserable year.  Yes, I haven’t blogged because there’s no use in complaining, so that’s why you haven’t heard much from me.  Oh yes, I’ve been working – you KNOW I’ve been doing that!  God forbid, I cease to do that responsible, training, helping librarians mosey their way through MARC records, online ordering and understanding eBook digital content.  I’m always on the spot when it comes to helping others -just not so much on the spot when it comes to helping myself.

Frozen shoulder is also known as adhesive capsulitis.  It started with a stiffness in the shoulder, then progressed to the point where I couldn’t move my shoulder or arm, brush my hair, put my arm in a sleeve or raise my arm.  It all started with two tiny tears in my rotator cuff – nothing that could be repaired by surgery – but just enough damage to cause the connective tissue to thicken and become tight so that my shoulder wouldn’t move.  Here’s a picture from the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research that shows exactly how it looks in there.  Imagine how a thickened connective tissue all swollen and inflamed would feel for 15 months.

DS00416_IM02325_r7_frozenshoulderthu_jpg.ashx Well, I’ve been isolated more than usual.  I’ve worked and that’s about it.  At the end of the day I’m too wiped out to be sociable, friendly or witty.  The Parkinson’s still causes my right arm to tremor and that’s the shoulder that is frozen, so the pain generates down my arm when I tremor.  The Parkinson’s has always given me trouble swallowing and the pain causes my throat to tighten up, so now I have trouble eating and I’ve lost over 40 lbs.  That’s not really so bad – I needed to lose some weight!

What really causes frozen shoulder?  Well….they really don’t know.  What really causes Parkinson’s Disease?  Well….they really don’t know.  So, all in all, I’m standing in a quagmire here…waiting for answers.  But I’ve discovered one thing in this mire.  The sun still comes up every morning and my husband still loves me.  My adult children still need me around – not as much as they did when they were younger – but they still call me for advice.  My poodle still wants to sit in my lap and nuzzle me each morning when I drink my coffee and really – does it matter if I know what causes frozen shoulders or Parkinson’s Disease anymore?

I know I have them – they cause me pain – and I endure.  I am grateful for the lessons I am learning.  And I know all about how others have it worse than me.  At least I can still shuffle along and walk.  And for now, I can still hold a spoon and slosh through soup and cereal while jiggling along….and the sunshine is streaming through the window here in Texas today.

So, the pain is relative – it will be here, it’s not going away – not anytime soon.  And I’ll just accept what is given to me as another lesson to learn.  Happy New Year 2014!


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