The doctor in the emergency room was right: the muscles in my neck and shoulder got a lot tighter and more painful within the next two days. Maybe I shouldn’t have met with some friends to celebrate Pi Day (3/14) the Monday after my rollover, but dammit, I was hungry for pie! And I was starting to feel better, too. The doc had said I’d probably sprained the muscles that hurt, but they were getting better, the key term being “were”.
On Friday night, a week after the accident, I was sitting with my legs stretched out on my bed and leaned forward, intent on grabbing my feet so I could stretch my hamstrings. I got about halfway there when something went *pop* in the middle of my left collarbone. It was like cracking a knuckle or popping a single bubble on bubble wrap, but it hurt.
Because of where I was on the bed, falling backwards would have dumped me on the floor and tipping over sideways would land on my once-again severely painful shoulder, so I sort of tipped and twisted around to land on my back and laid there in agony for a couple minutes. (Seriously, on a pain scale from 1-10, I thought this was around a 6.)
After it calmed down, I went to the freezer and got some ice to put on my shoulder. Twenty minutes of that plus moving my pillows around so I wouldn’t move my shoulders and I was ready to go to sleep. I didn’t sleep well, but I slept some.
Then it was Saturday morning and I was back to “Lifting my arm up and carrying things with this arm really hurts.” That night, I was talking to a friend on the phone and got a stern reprimand for not talking to the doctor about my shoulder. It didn’t matter that I was feeling better. “Feeling better” doesn’t necessarily mean “healthy.” So she ordered me to make an appointment to see the doctor on Monday. “Yes, mom…”
I felt better on Sunday—that whole area had been reduced to a dull ache—but it wasn’t great. (Earlier on Friday, I thought maybe I’d try playing soccer… yeah, didn’t happen.) That settled it. I was going to follow orders and go to see the doctor first thing Monday morning.
Normally, I have a poor sleep schedule. I’ll stay up into the wee hours of the morning, then sleep late. I didn’t have anything to do on Sunday night and wanted it to be Monday morning soon, so I went to bed before midnight and consequently woke up around 4:30am. Better than staying up that late, I suppose…
After half an hour, I decided to call the clinic and find out what time the reception desk opened so I could make an appointment. As it turns out, you can call there at 5:00 in the morning and schedule to see the doctor at 8:30. Sweet.
I went to my appointment and as soon as the doctor sat down, she smiled and asked what I did playing sports this time. The last couple times I’ve been in there… it’s been a while since it wasn’t because of my knee. But nope, it was from driving this time. I told her about the accident and how my shoulder was feeling.
She had me sit down on the table, lift my arm, rotate them both together in big circles, then determined that it was something to do with the rotator cuff. I had some x-rays taken: nothing is broken and the shoulder hasn’t pulled out of the socket, so (thankfully) it’s just a rotator cuff strain along with sprained muscles from the bouncing around I did while the Explorer was rolling. Hey, when your body tenses up and then gets pulled in various directions, the muscles take offense.
So I called the physical therapist’s office and scheduled an appointment for 2:00 this afternoon. I was supposed to help pack stuff into a moving van today, but given that I wanted to see the doc right away and 2:00 was the only available slot for PT… no packing for me.
In some sense, I feel like Wolverine. (I like having claws and gutting bad guys… no, that’s not right…) I’ve been kicked in the legs, skidded on the turf, picked up bumps and bruises and all sorts of little injuries with no problem. Get back in the game, play next week, no big deal. Maybe that’s not because I have metal-laced bones, but the problem isn’t the bones: it’s the joints. Wolverine doesn’t have adamantium ligaments; obviously, neither do I.
How long will it take to get fixed up? Dunno. I got some new pills to take today, but they’re just muscle relaxants, so don’t get your hopes up about me selling them to you. The healing process may take a shorter period of time because my friend ordered me to go to the doc and there’s at least a slight possibility that I would have waited longer for the sake of packing today.
As it is, finding out there’s a problem after waiting for a week and a half post-accident probably earned me an “I told you so.” My friend might be nice enough to let it slide, but if she gives me heat about it, I told you so.