Save the Shoulder!

In my last post about The Shoulder, I said I had a plan of attack for potentially seeing the specialist earlier for a cortisone injection if I didn’t see improvement. I haven’t seen the specialist.

Don’t get too excited. The reason I haven’t booked to see him earlier is  because I reassessed my reasoning. The point of the medication being 6 weeks is because it’s supposed to take 6 weeks. Obviously you should notice small changes because bodies don’t just magically wake up on the 6 week mark fully recovered.

So, overall, there’s been small improvements. I started isometrics which were fun. They felt completely useless, standing next to my pole and pushing/pulling/levering against it from 0°, but somewhere around the 2 week mark I realised that my shoulder wasn’t aching. Just sitting and watching TV wasn’t causing it to flare up anymore.

Also taken into account, was the sudden flashes of pain. Again, thinking back, I couldn’t remember the last time my shoulder just decided to scream and scream at me. And then the isometrics themselves stopped hurting.

Excited with my physio, we ramped it up. Now, lying face-down on the ground, I was to lift my arms up and down while engaging my scapula. Physio isn’t happy with my wings, and we really need to get them tucked back under again to support the joint for its future endeavours.

I go away to Wellington the day after the new assignment. I do my isometrics while in Wellington against a door frame instead of with my pole, rather than starting the new routine away from home. Monday night rolls around and I try some out.

Can I just give up? Halfway through and my eyes are filled with tears. I do 2×10 of one, and only make it through 1×10 of another before I’m a complete mess. I do that gross thing where you don’t move and cry lots and your boyfriend comes and sits next to you, tapping your back to the tune of whatever song is playing in his head, in support. 

It’s not JUST the pain, but the sheer uselessness I feel when I really think about the road in front of me. Baby steps are required, one goal at a time, which didn’t really occur to me before this point. Even after I’m back on the pole, this road will continue as well. I never was so naive thinking I’d be able to pick up where I left off, but seeing it all laid out, all the milestones I’d have to re-accomplish, and the mere fact that I couldn’t even keep my shoulders down and back while doing this one little exercise. Yeah. There were tears.

I completed the routine the next night, breaking down to tears. I quit the routine on Wednesday night a lot earlier than I had on Monday, instead choosing to move to my bed and feel sorry for myself. Thursday night came and went, and physio again this morning resulted in a relieving conversation.

Mike stops the exercises immediately. Crying is way too intense and recovery is hard but shouldn’t be THAT painful. It’s something I always knew, but was never really too sure where me being weak vs. the actual line started to blurr. Mike went over alternatives instead, had me test them out to make sure they’d do the trick, and sent me on my way after some good work went into loosening my upper trap.

We’re just over halfway until I see the specialist again, and I’m hoping we will have done enough to not need the injection.

Regards,

Alex

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Why, Wellington?

Why am I in Wellington? A hen’s party. Why Wellington? I’m not sure, but it’s where the bride wanted, so we’re here.

Earlier in the week, I discovered what our “surprise activity” was – organised by the maid of honour – circus training. An awesome activity, 3 of the girls being pole dancers in some form or another, with another having always wanted to try. Sounds super fun. Unfortunately, of course, my shoulder is still being a dick about life, so that ruled me out. But nevertheless! I packed my kindle and some comfy clothes to prepare if I wanted to tag along.

Then, 2 days before the flight, I woke up with a dry throat. You know those ones that come and go some mornings, you just know you mouth-breathed all night long. You gargle, chow down some breakfast, drink some water, and before lunchtime you forget it even happened.

This time I didn’t forget. By the end of the day my throat was itchy and raw, my uvula swollen; it hurt to swallow.

We charge on into Thursday, The Day Before. My throat is the same raw hell, and my face hurts. Predominantly my head hurts, right across the eyebrows. In the evening I get the sniffles.

Friday morning rolls in and I feel much the same. A long hot shower clears everything out, though, and I get dropped off to start The Weekend.

We flew in on Friday afternoon, 2 lots of us meeting at the airport. When we caught up, we laughed at the huge line for bag drop-off with our carry on luggage. I’d like to say we breezed through the security checkpoint but that’s a lie. The brides mother beeped thanks to some pins, I beeped – not sure what for – but was waved through. 1 of the others was pulled aside for having 2 lighters, another for a pocket knife that met regulations but they just wanted to have a look, and finally a craft knife was confiscated from another. A band of miscreants on our merry way.
We board the flight after the disaster that was the security checkpoint. With us we have a first time flyer. Nervous, but handling it well. The excitement she experiences makes everyone laugh, I’m not sure about the rest but it slightly brought back the awe to me that we can fly. Then a splitting headache occured, searing pain behind my left eye. A short flight, we were already on the descent. We blamed cabin pressure changes and blocked sinuses. I couldn’t hear properly. Such fun.

Touchdown, which feels marginally better but my head is intermittently reminding me of its issues. My nose starts running like a faucet and I thank Pete for getting me packs of pocket tissues.

My jacket is missing. My absolutely favourite jacket I own, the only one that really goes with the dress I’m wearing out for dinner. There’s a photo of me wearing it right before we go through the security gate, I remember taking it off to put through the trays in the xray, I don’t remember picking it up. I call the airport and nothing has been handed in that matches the description, but they said to try again tomorrow as security checkpoints usually do a once-a-day clear out.

We roll out. Over to the apartments. We have a 3 storey townhouse, 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms for the 7 of us. Heaven. We pick up our keys and wait for the elevator. And wait. And wait. This is the slowest elevator I think I ever will encounter. It turns out that only 4 people + luggage can fit at a time, so 3 of us wait again. And some more. And we wait. Finally, it comes back around to pick us up, and as we step in it tried to shut on my shoulder.

Yep, The Shoulder. Because it was so slow while we patiently waited, but it can’t let three people enter without impatiently trying to shut itself off again. Stupid.

So, we settle in, divide up, get some groceries done, and get ready to enjoy a movie.

I blow my nose and the tissue is red. Just red. I tell the girls not to worry about pausing the movie and sit in the bathroom ebbing the flow. It calms down, I head back downstairs. This process repeats twice more.

I can’t believe my luck! Why this weekend, Wellington? I skip the activity on Saturday to have a hot, hot shower, and a nap. I miss the girls come home from circus training and go out again to the cable car.

All is well, though. The hot shower has left me feeling a little better, and catching up on some sleep that I didn’t really get the night before thanks to catching up with my roomie and then coughing fits the night through hasn’t hurt either. We get ready for dinner out, with Karaoke to follow.

I say I won’t join the karaoke, thanks to the illness. Alas, the song choices are incredible and I really just have to rap some Eminem up in here. We blast it out, walk home, and crash.

Sunday is heading home day. I’m feeling a lot better, and I’ve called the airport again who, in a very unconvincing tone, advise there’s a jacket that “matches my description”. They chucked my name on it and said to check with lost and found at the International terminal.

We head home after an amazing hot dog, and head on over to the international terminal while we wait for our ride.

Through the gates into the terminal, at information we are turned around and told to go NEXT to the gate entrance. Nerves build. Will it be MY denim jacket with leather sleeves? (How many, really, got lost THAT weekend? If it were a black Kathmandu puffer jacket I would be screwed)

My voice has completely gone, someone at work having mentioned I’m “awfully quiet today” with my response being “beacuse my voice sounds like this” followed by acute laughter.

My delight at seeing my jacket come through the doors was a sharp inhale and an ear-to-ear grin.

Regards,

Alex

Spring Getaway

Less than 100 days to go! As of right now, it is actually 98days 20hours 46minutes until we’re wheels up, to be precise.

I have slowly started accumulating the bits and pieces needed for a trip, and adding more cemented plans.

What will probably be the last pre-booked items have been locked in. Flights from Rome to Crete via Athens have been booked, also my first run-in with Aegean Airlines occured. Their customer service was fantastic, as I bought tickets and never got the confirmation email. A quick 2 minutes on the phone was all the Greek lady with English better than mine needed, as embarrassingly the line cut out as I ran out of credit (yay, international calls), to forward me my booking email. I have booked a private room 2 streets back from the waterfront in an attempt to spoil myself in accomodation as I wanted to do at least once.

From there, the 31st of May, I am a free spirit. A bird on the wind. The type to rock up to the airport and see where the cheapest flights take me. Montenegro, Croatia, all the way up to Prague, even. The next planned event being the Blink 182 concert in Rotterdam, 40 minutes away from Amsterdam where I fly out of 2 days later.

It’s all coming up Alex.

As well as these terribly exciting plans, accumulation of things has started. A friend who has spent 2x6month stints in the UK/Europe in the last 2 years has lent me her adaptor. Another friend (who happens to be the first’s bestie) got a small crack in her Kindle and had it replaced, so sold it to me on the cheap for the long plane/train rides ahead. I’m already utilising it, having now read 1.5 books since Thursday. I forget how much I love reading when I don’t have easy access.

Research has also begun, to better prepare my packing for capsule wardrobe functionality. I now have a list of the clothes I need to go out and hunt down.

And, of course, the last round of saving. Those precious few months where you’ve been working incredibly hard, but now you’re freaking out and probably need to double down on how little time you already spend going out. Thinking you probably could stretch to save at least half more, maybe. In a couple of weeks I am heading to Wellington for a Hens Weekend, and we have been given our budget for that. Once that is done, there is a service and subsequent warrant required for my car, and one last huzzah probably being the Pop-Up Globe which is almost in season and happens to be playing my favourite play Much Ado About Nothing (A comedy by Shakespeare) before near everything goes into savings. How much do I really need to spend per week anyway?

Wish me luck.

Regards,

Alex