We came back from France a few months ago, which means hoisting things in and out of overhead compartments on airplanes. Then, a few days after arrival, I went to the Providence Public Library without my sweet-little-old-lady library bag and came out with four heavy books and two “I LOVE MY LIBRARY” t-shirts. I walked for at least twenty minutes balancing thirty pounds of cargo – oh, that’s right, I stopped at CVS to buy some candy.
Two days later, my right shoulder began to ache.
Two days after that, I couldn’t raise my arm. I couldn’t put on a shirt without screaming with pain. I couldn’t lift a box of Junior Mints from the table.
I reconciled myself to this, though the blinding pain. I assured myself that I could make it through life somehow with one arm.
Then, after consulting WebMD and applying a heating pad and doing some physical-therapy exercises I learned from Partner, most of the pain went away.
It still twangs once in a while, and reminds me that it’s there. Naturally the words “rotator cuff” peal in my head.
And I remember what I heard a health professional say once: “Once you begin going downhill, you might slow down a bit here and there, or delay, but you never really stop going downhill.”