Well, in actual fact, I’ve been diagnosed with adhesive capsulitis which is more commonly referred to as frozen shoulder. The symptoms are stiffness, pain and reduced range of motion in both shoulders making it difficult to do simple tasks like applying underarm deoderant and doing up a bra! Fortunately, in my case, it’s just developing and I’m hopeful that by taking action now, I can keep them from freezing up completely.
The cause is often unknown but in cases such as mine, it can start when the shoulder is not used normally for a period of time. Over time, the connective tissue tightens and restricts the joint’s movement. Apparently, the tendonitis that started in my left shoulder a year and a half ago, then in my right several months later, led to this. Gradually, especially over the past winter, I stopped doing things that caused discomfort. Richard took over the vacuuming and washing of floors and I adjusted my exercise program to eliminate those activities that put stress on my upper arms and shoulders. One of my biggest frustrations is the fact that I wasn’t able to lift weights all winter. My once muscular arms are skinny again and I really don’t like skinny!
The good news is that the condition usually resolves itself over time without surgery. The bad news is that that can take up to a couple of years to happen! Treatment usually begins with anti-inflammatory drugs but unfortunately, I can’t take those because they destroy my stomach. The doctor that I saw yesterday doesn’t feel that there’s enough evidence to show that either ultrasound or cortisone injections are very effective so for now, I’m on the waiting list for physiotherapy and I’m doing lots of gentle stretching. I also haven’t ruled out acupuncture.
I plan to follow the example of Bikini or Bust blogger, Donloree Hoffman, whose physical challenges are greater than mine. Rather than feeling sorry for myself, I’m determined to remain positive and work at overcoming this. I WILL have strong arms again! It’s just a matter of time.
And while I’m waiting for my shoulders to thaw, I’ll look for the silver lining. After all, this has turned my husband into quite the gentleman! Not only does he vacuum, wash floors and open the heavy garage door for me, he also holds my coat for me these days. Of course, he remembers the night when I cried because it hurt so much to take my t-shirt off. Fortunately, most days aren’t like that one and compared to the health issues that many people face, mine is really pretty trivial.