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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sticky Situations














I have a frozen shoulder. An iced up appendage. Extremity malfunction.

I reached for the alarm clock. Snap. Click. Ouch. What was that? What WAS that? What is THIS? Zinging fired up neurons instant messaging from my shoulder to my elbow to my wrist. Sirens. I thought I heard sirens. No, wailing. Yes. Yes I did. Sure enough. That would be me. Hollering. 

Okay. Deep yoga breath here. In - accept. Out - relax. I glance at the trees outside my window and affirm that I am like the trees, firmly rooted in the ground. I commit myself to the belief that like the trees...I can stand it. I will bow and not bend. Flex and not break. And like everything in this life, what is today will surely change tomorrow. The sky will change, the wind will blow and I control nothing, except how I react to the moment. One moment at a time.

One minute of deep breathing and meditative exercises later, I try to pull my T-shirt over my head. 


I am so full of crap.

This hurts. I say, for emphasis, it hurts, it hurts, it HURTS!

I try relaxed breaths, for three breaths...aaaaaghhhhhhh.

I am not brave. 

I am not strong. 

I am a two year old who needs help getting dressed. 

I am not a tree.



I need help.

I need to drive to the doctor. A two year old fodderwing with a learner's permit. I back down the driveway. This will be a snap. Yup. Backing is great, turning...snap. Freeze frame. I am a one armed bandit wrestling with a steering wheel. Slow. Go slowly i say. And I do. About 15mph. The other drivers pass me by and signal their encouragement with a digital salute. 

I swerve into the medical center parking lot. Now I only need to open the door and get out. As I open the door with my right hand and push down on my left icicle, I remember the teachings of the Buddha, I am ascending to Nepal. The air is thin and I can almost see the mountaintop and pain meds ahead. I sense the cold of the snow. I think I have altitude sickness. 

Two hours later.

Diagnosis: Frozen shoulder.

Cause: Unknown...but VERY common in women my AGE.

Treatment: Daily exercises with light weights. 

Prognosis: Will eventually heal on its own in about one or two YEARS.

Meds: Tylenol. No hallucinogens necessary, especially here at the foot of Everest where relaxed breathing is advised. 



Stage One: Frozen

Stage Two: Slightly less frozen.

Stage Three: Gradual thawing

Stage Four: Increased Range of Motion

Stage Five: Can fasten one's underwear without assistance. 


I share my medical musings with you, because we have become friends, you and I, and because I have been suffering from a mild form of Writer's Rut. I needed to do what the doctor ordered. Let go. Let life loosen up. Give myself a chance to heal. Pick a different mountain to climb on a different day. 

If you should find yourself frozen, stuck, or with fists clenched and sore from controlling the universe...

GIve yourself a break. 

I know you'd wait for me.

I am positive I would wait for you. 

So remember...frozen, slightly frozen, gradual thawing, increased range of motion...and snap.

All dressed up and ready to go. 

Underwear and all. 

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