So it turns out that I don’t have a frozen shoulder. I’ve been using that phrase not really knowing what it is I guess.

Apparently I have two separate issues – firstly a strain in my bicep area from 12 years of travelling for work. If you carry a heavy handbag, backpack, messenger bag, whatever, don’t carry it on one shoulder all the time. Actually, you know what? Stop carrying it. Take less stuff. Or get a wheel-y suitcase. It’s just not worth it. I can’t lift my left arm at all anymore and it’s likely going to take months and months to repair.

The second “issue” is a suspected torn rotator cuff from an injury. Again, I think it’s from the handbag/backpack, although not from carrying it. I did it by reaching behind me over the back of the couch to bring my handbag over to me, full of laptop and stationery and everything that’s usually in my handbag. I felt an excruciating snap and it’s been dodgey ever since. That was two months ago. I haven’t been able to move that arm since, hence me calling it a frozen shoulder.

At work last Tuesday, I could feel my lower back acutely. Lots of twinges, and I said to someone – I think my back is gonna go today. And about 20 minutes later it did. My ribcage locked and I couldn’t move or breath deeply. It was diabolical. I’ve had it before a few times but I am never prepared for the amount of pain that it brings.

Luckily there’s a physiotherapist in my building. She released my ribcage for me and thankfully I was able to move again, albeit gingerly and still with a lot of pain. Since I haven’t moved my left arm in so long, the left side of my back had locked up and I was, of course, over-compensating on the right side.

I saw the doctor the next day and he asked me how long since my shoulder injury. When I told him two months, he shook his head and said that while denial is always an option, it’s probably not the best one. Anyway, I have to have an ultrasound and an x-ray this week to see what’s going on. Either way, it’s months to repair, possible surgery, and putting up with the pain in the meantime.

So, that’s that. How exciting. I have to be careful when doing my photography now. I am so aware of how I stand, how I hold myself, when shooting. I tend to centre myself over my left leg and then lean over to the right, usually turning my head half on its side as well. So weird. I must look ridiculous.

The other side, of course, is editing the photos. Editing time is usually a lot longer than the shoot. My stupid office chair (at home) sinks over time. I think it needs a new gas cylinder. Anyway, I kind of don’t notice it sinking until I realise my shoulders are tensed up and my elbows are almost in line with my shoulders.


I’m noticing a pattern of denial and avoidance. LOL.

So, ultrasound, X-ray, physio, painkillers. Sleeping on a pile of pillows. What a life, hey?

I’m sorry that I’m sounding a bit doom and gloom, it’s not all bad. It’s really just getting ready in the morning and carrying things that are incredibly difficult to do. There’s a lot of shoulder movement required when getting dressed, especially for girls! And since I can’t lift that arm, washing my hair is also incredibly painful.

So if you see “shaky shoulder” or something similar in my posts where I’m describing the shooting conditions, now you know why. 😊😊

Sorry for the slight departure from photography. Normal programming will presume momentarily.

Hope you’re well!

x desleyjane

Posted by:desleyjane

photographer, blogger, planner, scientist, dog lover, frequent flyer, daughter, sister, BFF, human

39 replies on “A Little Update

  1. So sorry to hear about your woes. I can sympathise as I suffer from sciatica and know that feeling of the back going and being unable to move, the pain is excruciating so I do sympathise. I also suffered from a ‘frozen shoulder’ for months eventually unable to raise my left arm even to 90 degrees. As I drove a manual car it was very painful. I had physio for weeks, but that hardly made any difference, I was sent for x-rays to see if surgery was required, which I didn’t fancy and then I found a wonderful osteopath who treated me weekly for several months. It cost me loads and hurt like hell, but she got her fist into my arm-pit and moved stuff around and eventually I could raise my arm again! Yay! As you say getting dressed etc. is a nightmare. Wishing you well and a speedy recovery, maybe seek out an osteopath? And please don’t try and do too much, it will only make things worse. I know. I sound like your mum.
    Hugs winging their way to you (( ))
    Jude xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jude. I am happy to have any mothering at this point. I’m feeling pretty sorry for myself. I’ve found a neurophysiotherapist and she is pretty amazing. She fixed my locked ribcage straight away where other physios have taken weeks to figure it out. I have the ultrasound and X-ray tomorrow and see the doctor on Friday so I will definitely talk to him about the best way forward – what kind of therapy. Right now, I can’t get the arm more than a few inches away from my side. Unbearable. Thank you so much for your comment here. Sciatica must be absolutely awful. It’s funny how you can feel it coming on and it’s almost impossible to avoid it happening as far as I can tell.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. 🌺Wishing you a speedy recovery but… having gone through something similar a few years ago listen to ANY solutions you are offered STARTING with the handbag, you’ll be happy you did. AND… watch how you grab your seat-belt, the seat-belt still gets me every few months. Best of luck!πŸ’–

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Joanne thank you. That seat belt is a real pain! Thank goodness I drive an automatic. I’m bringing a wheely suitcase to work these days. I just can’t stand the handbag on my shoulder, its way too painful. X

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My physiotherapist was shocked when she heard on only my second visit to her that I’d already implemented all her suggestions, right down to the step-stool for inside the house to stop me from stretching to the top shelf. Like you, the pain in my shoulder was constant so I was willing to try ANYTHING. This at least reinforced to her how much pain I was in… as did the next six months of physio!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so sorry to hear this Desley. I so hope that you can get the treatment you need soon. BTW: I agree with Jude about finding an osteopath. I’ve seen a few off and on for years to treat hip pain from a fall, and all have helped enormously. Take care xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ouch that sounds painful Desley. I do hope you feel better soon, it must be so annoying for you! Do what you’re told once you’ve seen the doctor and try to be patient. Now I’m sounding like your mother too 😊. Take care of yourself. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh Hun I’m sorry its not such a quick fix. Not good at all. Denial was never a safe bet, but hopefully you can now be on the road to recovery. I also have slight problem with my rotator cuff…but most of mine was a bursor and now mostly all good. Living with constant pain is horrible, some just dont get it, but some of us do. Hugs and try to take it easy…..not telling you what ti do, just a suggestion πŸ˜„πŸ˜ƒ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re the best 😊😊 thanks hun. Scan today said that there is a tonne of fluid in the joint. She mentioned bursitis and tendonitis but I’m not sure about the year. She said it all looked incredibly painful. Doctor tomorrow πŸ˜πŸ€•


  6. I’m so sorry you’re suffering like this. Photography isn’t easy on the muscles at the best of times. You seem to end up balancing in weird ways. I hope you’ll get some relief very soon.

    Liked by 1 person

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