MUSINGS ON MY SHOULDER PAIN

  1. When I was in law school, in a horrible abusive relationship, I started having sporadic pain in my left shoulder.
  2. I don't remember the first time I felt it, but I very specifically remember having dinner with his family one night, and having it hurt so sharply and suddenly I could hardly stand it.
  3. It seldom hurts so sharply and suddenly, but it still hurts frequently.
  4. When I lived in San Diego, I saw a chiropractor. That helped. He gave me ultrasound treatments and the general chiro stuff.
  5. I remember the first time I saw him -- I walked in with sore shoulder/headache (they happen together, frequently) x 3 days, and walked out headache free.
  6. And eventually I could go just once a month or so instead of twice a week. (I had really good insurance in San Diego!)
  7. Then I moved to the Bay Area. Eventually I found a chiropractor again, but it never helped as much. I had to go at least once a week, and never got the kind of relief I had before.
  8. I also had to pay full price due to not-as-good insurance. 😢
  9. Eventually, the receptionist threatened to charge me for being late one morning when I had just taken my daughter to a new preschool, couldn't immediately leave because she was crying/clinging to me, and forgot about the appointment. It was legit, but I stopped going.
  10. Shoulder still hurt, so I finally talked to my doctor about it. (How long has this been going on? Oh, 10-15 years...)
  11. She gave me a referral to a physical therapist.
  12. That sort of helped? The PT thought it was posture related. That's probably not wrong - I have terrible posture. She gave me some ideas to improve my workstation, and a foam roller which feels really good when it's really spasming.
  13. But it still never really didn't hurt. And when I asked her if it was stress related, she said no, except to the extent that my posture was worse when I was stressed.
  14. That seems wrong to me. I can recall specific instances where less stress immediately led to less pain. I once assigned a hearing of mine to a coworker, and my shoulder was immediately less tight.
  15. Anyway, I graduated from physical therapy.
  16. My therapist has noticed that I'll sometimes (unconsciously) rub my shoulder while I'm talking, especially about less happy stuff.
  17. And now she thinks that my shoulder is serving some purpose, emotionally/mentally.
  18. Which seems really hooey, but maybe isn't wrong.
  19. It seems clear to me it's partly stress/anxiety. But maybe it's more.
  20. In retrospect, those first times it really hurt in law school seem like a warning.
  21. My shoulder has ached the past two days, including concurrent headache and sore arm, and I have also felt really low.
  22. Last night I had the thought that my left shoulder blade may be where my self-loathing hangs out.
  23. And it's always sort of there. Sometimes really low grade.
  24. If that's the case, shitty reminder, body. Can't you come up with something better?
  25. It's interesting to think about. And I'm trying to notice what's going on with me when it hurts.
  26. But sometimes it has to get my attention. Like maybe when I'm feeling good for a minute, then it has to remind me it's there, so flares up.
  27. Or maybe it's something more positive - it's a reminder to get out of my head and just be in the moment.
  28. It would be really amazing after all this time to understand it, and cope with it in an effective way.
  29. My Advil budget would certainly thank me.