It seems like you turn a certain age and you start to fall apart. Someone I know recently went to a regular physical, only to be alerted to several specific problems that needed attention. They were sent for tests, scans, work ups, whatever you want to call them. Another person I know had routine blood work done only to find a condition they didn’t know about.

For me, various things have been happening since I hit the big 4-0. Not long before, I was diagnosed with ‘frozen shoulder’ in my right shoulder. It was horrible. I couldn’t lift my arm above shoulder height, and couldn’t move it in any normal direction. Sleeping was uncomfortable, and working my semi-physical kitchen job at my son’s school was out of the question. I could no longer reach above my head to the upper shelves, or carry large trays of prepared side dishes to assemble lunches.

After a couple of steroid injections, the doctor recommended physical therapy. I went for about six weeks, with very little improvement. The next step was a procedure called ‘manipulation under anesthesia’ where I went under anesthesia at a hospital and he took my arm and moved/manipulated it until the adhesions finally broke away and the arm moved more normally. After the procedure, it was back to physical therapy. Shortly after the last session, and just before the follow up with the doctor, I heard a resounding crack in my right shoulder, followed by instant relief. When I saw the doctor, he said ‘congratulations, you’ve healed yourself!’

He elaborated again (as he had after the procedure) that I could get frozen shoulder again. Apparently once you have it, you will likely get it again, and usually in the other arm. I had sort of fallen out of the habit of all the physical therapy exercises, until I felt my left shoulder starting to tense in the same way the right had. So far, things have seemed to be going okay.

Fast forward a couple years and I get diagnosed with carpal tunnel. I’m faced with a surgery that, according to the doctor as well as several other people I’ve spoken with, may need to be repeated OR I wear braces on my arms while I sleep. The Velcro to open the braces rips very loudly, but that and a combination of basic stretches keeps the pain in check.

This round of physical therapy I’ve started addresses my lower limbs. Again, I’m putting it down to age since I’ve never had this before. I started to feel a pain in my left knee. It seems to be painful/tender around the knee cap, but there’s no bruising or other injury. After a visit to the doctor and a round of x-rays, he told me my knee cap is out of place, not dislocated, just out of place. Since there was pain, I compensated and started to walk differently, pushing my knee cap in a way it shouldn’t go. This round of physical therapy is to re-train the knee cap into the proper place.

Physical therapy is going well. I’ve been doing various exercises and stretches to help, but I still have a long way to go. It may sound like I’m complaining, but it’s a part of my life that influences my writing. This blog is about my life and my writing.

When is a time you’ve been injured? Did it result in the need for physical therapy or other drastic measures? What sort of influence did it have on your life?