I have a gammy arm. The right one. Rotate it the wrong way, and it will pop out, sit uncomfortably on the back of my shoulder socket for some time (could be thirty seconds, could be five minutes, I never am in the right frame of mind to check my watch at the time) … and then, with a little rotating, the ball joint pops (I say pops, its more a mixture of pops and grinds) back into the socket, leaving only stiffness for a day or two, and me in tears from the shock for a few minutes.
Having just written all that, I realise that some people, people of a squeamish disposition, may have preferred a warning before I launched into it. I apologise, but then… its not like you just dislocated your shoulder, is it?
Well, I did this morning. I was skipping. With a skipping rope. One minute my shoulder wasnt dislocated, the next, it was.
But I am starting front to back. I should start at the back, and work my way forward.
When I was 17: I was running down a hill to fetch something, and, before I knew it, realised I was at a 45 degree angle to the floor. And then a thirty degree angle. I was falling forward, and to stop myself, I put my hand out. I still fell – that bit I didnt think through thoroughly enough – and instead of stopping me, my hand simply forced my shoulder out of the socket.
It wouldnt go back in.
Some hours of been driven around, some hours of waiting rooms, and two casualty departments later, a nice doctor gave me some morphine, put his foot in my armpit and put my shoulder back in.
THEN: I was meant to have it in a sling for eight weeks so the cartilage could heal, but I was 17, and feckless, and when it stopped hurting after a week or so, I took the sling off.
This was a mistake.
After a few dislocations I was meant to have an operation when I was about 21, but I was, if anything, even more feckless than I had been at 17, and forgot to go.
This was also a mistake. And a terrible waste of NHS time and resources. Trust me, Ive given myself a hard enough time for it. Its mainly why Ive never asked for help since. I squandered it the first time.
But then, Ive done it lots of times since:
– Ive done it putting on a jumper.
– Ive done it changing a duvet cover.
– When throwing a ball, Ive dislocated it.
– While swimming, yup.
–Certainly, while doing a commando roll over the bed trying to get to the bathroom in the smallest flat in the world, yup. Thats in the blog.
– I have done it lifting things.
– Ive done it slipping over.
– Ive done it rolling over in bed.
– Ive even done it… well, actually, never mind about that one. Just take my word: *AWKWARD.*
– While dancing.
– Playing tennis.
– Painting a wall.
– About half a dozen dozen other times.
And Ive got quite good at knowing what the risks are. And then going with a practical
Doctor Doctor, it hurts when I do this – Well, dont do that then.
view on the matter. If I know a certain thing will most likely dislodge it, I wont do that thing anymore.
Which usually works fine.
Right up until the point when it doesnt.
Like this morning. First morning of bootcamp, when I was nervous enough about being the newest fattest girl in the PE class, what happens? I discover that skipping – SKIPPING! With, like, a ROPE! – can, somehow, dislocate it as well.
Cue: collapsing in a little pile on the floor, wincing until I manage to finagle it back in to the socket, crying until I can control the tears and catch my breath and then telling everyone its fine until the stiffness goes away. Or just saying that its fine, whatever the case.
I really, really hate my gammy arm at the moment.
So excuse my ranting. But I do.