Home > Front Page > Thankful for a Torn Rotator Cuff

Thankful for a Torn Rotator Cuff

November 26, 2010

Okay, I know that title is neither very eye-catching or expected on the day after Thanksgiving, but seriously, I am rather thankful for this torn rotator cuff of mine.  And no, before you ask, I am not a big fan of sharp, stabby pains in my shoulder.  So why the heck am I thankful for an injury that could lead to surgery or a lifetime of less-than-stellar shoulder performance and strength?  Well, mostly because it is a call.  A call from my body to me, teaching me or reminding me of so many things.

  • I’m not a whipper-snapper anymore.
  • Being strong as a middle-aged person is very important.
  • Pushing myself through sheer pig-headedness is perhaps a stupid personality trait.
  • If it hurts, perhaps you shouldn’t do it.  Or stop before it really hurts.
  • Now is a good time to sit down and experience a bit of life instead of always preparing for tomorrow.

I injured this shoulder in bits and pieces years ago.  It started with packing around Biggest in his car seat, but I’m pretty sure the kicker was putting the Middlest in her car seat, over and over again with a 4 year old tugging at my pants leg.  Or handing her a binkie from the driver’s seat. Or a bottle.  Or, well you get the picture.  So I’ve just been adding a bit of stress and strain to the poor thing for years…as many as I’ve had the moniker “mother” attached to my person.  In fact, I call this damn pain, my “mama’s shoulder”.

However, the sharp pain and inability to lift it?  That started up in September.  And I pretty much ignored it, or dealt with it, or took some advil and iced it.  When I should have just found out what was going on inside my shoulder.  It took some fussing by my trainer down at the gym coinciding with my required check-up with my doctor to actually get me to make an appointment.

And then she just shook her head at me.  “How long ago did you do this?”

More head shaking.

Apparently I am not a model patient.

But then, I already knew that about myself.  I hate going to the doctor.  Not so much because I hate the driving, waiting, paying, waiting, waiting, et cetera part.  Mostly, because it just is so damn inconvenient to interrupt my crazy nutty schedule to drag myself to the doctor. But, it is a good thing I got tired of everybody and their monkey fussing at me about it and went in to see my doctor.

I’m on a conservative treatment schedule and the shoulder is improving.  But it still isn’t 100%.  And since I really don’t want to require surgical intervention for this thing, I’m doing what the doctor told me – taking care of myself.  As best as I can, seeing as it isn’t my best skill, let me tell you.

But I am.  And I’m thankful for a non-horrific reminder from my body to slow down, think about what I’m doing, and take better care of myself.  The trick is to continue doing that  when my shoulder stops talking to me.  Perhaps, I shall need one of you to remind me.

And now, here’s a fun little thing to try.  Stand up and put on your coat.  But put it on your non-dominant arm first.  Good luck with that one.

  1. bigwords88
    November 26, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Those moments of “How the hell did I do that to myself” were never so prevalent in my twenties, and I’ve come to the realization (slowly, though with less intelligence than you have applied) that I probably shouldn’t load myself up with painkillers and carry on regardless. Aging sucks, though the alternative is hardly better.

    • November 26, 2010 at 10:43 am

      I know!!! Of course, maybe I was just even more obtuse/drunk back then and so I just can’t remember feeling so ouchie all the time. :)

  2. November 26, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Listening to the body is key. I’m now on my 8th week of physical therapy on an injury I sustained two years ago! Yeah, took me that long to slink myself in for help. Won’t happen again.

    Be well!

    • November 26, 2010 at 10:44 am

      8 weeks? I’m hoping to get the okay from the doc next week. But it does ache when I use it much. Oy.

  3. November 26, 2010 at 10:36 am

    We can form a club. Both my wife and I have strained rotator cuffs and are getting similar messages. I am not sure whether it is a “wake up call” or a get ready to “go to sleep” call. Well, we did update our will a few years ago, just in case.

    • November 26, 2010 at 10:45 am

      This just made me ROFL. Yes, perhaps I should see about my will as well. Now that you mention it. :D

  4. evmaroon
    November 26, 2010 at 10:58 am

    If I got ready to check out every time I came down with a major injury, I’d be on life 27 now and ready to evolve in a bright ball of light. I’m glad you’re getting that shoulder looked at! Too bad the TSA can’t combine the airplane screening process with a little impromptu MRI consultation. It might really turn that whole agency around if we could get a free medical checkup just for flying the friendly skies.

    • November 26, 2010 at 1:07 pm

      I plan on checking-out when I’ve tormented all my friends and family enough. They shouldn’t need to plan a memorial service for another 60 years or so. I do have perfectionist tendencies after all.

  5. November 26, 2010 at 10:58 am

    I’ve learned the rotator cuff is one of those easy to injure parts – mostly because it doesn’t get a regular workout so the muscle is weak. I try to make sure I do exercises for it at least 1-2 times a week to try to prevent this from happening. But yes, the body is much less forgiving now.

    Perhaps I should take out extra insurance for skiing this winter. I haven’t been since BC: Before Children. I don’t think moguls are going to be near as forgiving as they were in my teens..

    • November 26, 2010 at 1:06 pm

      Yes, I agree. But it’s hard to strengthen a muscle group when it’s injured. Aw, the Catch-22 of life. :)

  6. November 26, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Ugh. My sympathies. I suffered for about six months last year with rotator cuff tendonitis, probably caused by a severe vitamin D deficiency. The doc put me on megadoses for a while, and it eventually cleared up. Hope yours is better soon!

    • November 26, 2010 at 1:05 pm

      Hmm, the doc did up my vitamin D dose – I’m sub-normal even on a supplement. I hope that is helping!

  7. November 27, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Yeah, they got me on Mega-D also. who’d-a-thunk-it. Great post. Definitely take care of the shoulder. After years of not going to Drs. I’ve found it’s time to go – A LOT. Dad told me it’d be bad to get old. He just didn’t tell me it’d be so Damn soon! ;-)

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