I hurt my shoulder back in September. Specifically, Labor Day weekend. I know it was Labor Day weekend, because I did it while at a climbing gym while visiting my brother in Chicago.
Actually, I suspect it was an aggravated injury – the result of sitting funny at work, driving for eight hours, then going climbing. I also got a terrible, lobster-red sunburn, so it I didn’t initially notice. It wasn’t until two weeks later, when the fried skin had healed enough for me to separate shoulder pain from skin pain, that I actually decided something was wrong. The next week, I got a doctor’s appointment (which is why living in a small town is sometimes really cool) and was sent for x-rays. The next week, I was sent for more x-rays.
The diagnosis: minor AC separation in my shoulder. I was given the number to a orthopedic surgeon, whom I had to wait four weeks before I could see.
Four weeks of low grade, constant pain. Sure, it didn’t actually hurt that badly, but it hurt all the time and would get worse as the day progressed.
It did sort of heal in those four weeks. It didn’t hurt as badly by the time I showed up for my appointment.
I was a bit late, because I had trouble finding the place. This might have accounted for the receptionist’s somewhat sourly efficient attitude. Efficient I get. I’m cool with efficient. It was the sour I choked on. She must have been having a bad day or something.
I didn’t see the orthopedic surgeon – at least, I don’t think I did. I saw some woman who looked at my range of movement (already pretty good) and told me that my AC separation was so minor that it barely rated a grade 1.
Good lord, what the hell does a grade 3 feel like? I hurt constantly and apparently I was barely worth rating. Also, I appeared to be barely worth treating. She asked what I was taking – my regular doctor had given me some industrial-grade anti-inflammatory. She said that was okay and said she wanted to see me in three weeks and that I could do physical therapy if I really wanted to.
Okay, I get it. I wasn’t hurt that badly. It’s not a grievous injury. But she could have suggested I tape it. Or recommended a good topical analgesic. Or something.
Three weeks later. The shoulder had mostly stopped hurting. I asked for physical therapy to build up the muscle without hurting it again. Maybe it was my imagination, but I’m not sure she approved of this idea.
I think I started physical therapy in January – or maybe it was December. I don’t recall now. I try to do my exercises little a good little patient, but every time I go in, my shoulder gets poked at and it hurts again for several days.
This is aggravating. Horribly, horribly aggravating. The pain is still there. I feel like I should be better by now.
Oh, yeah, and it does wonders for my mood. ‘Cause pain wears on even the most positive of attitudes, which no one has ever accused me of having.