Tuesday, 20 December 2011


Note: a longer version (which contains rude words and sentiments likely to upset the religious) has appeared in my Freethinking blog posted about three hours earlier.

A pain in my shoulder, which made raising my right arm also painful, started on Sunday. By Monday teatime it was getting worse so I went to the walk-in health centre at Grindon.  The place was almost empty and I got seen by a nurse within half an hour. He made me raise my arms in various positions and checked the muscles before deciding I'd pulled a muscle in the shoulder, probably through heavy lifting. 

Well I do heavy lifting quite a lot, loading up the van with unsaleable stuff to take from the shop to the tip or stuck stuff to  another charity like Barnardos. There was also the weekly tip trip from Carole's with a van full of sacks of soiled cat bedding and used cat litter and other smelly stuff. And in the last couple of days I'd done three trips to empty a flat of items we could sell. So heavy lifting is nothing unusual.

Then I realised what had caused it.

Until recently the skips at the council were about waist height (plus six feet further down) making it easy to get stuff out of the van and drop it in with no great effort. Now, however, the council have installed new skips which are twice the height and necessitate climbing up several steps to get to the rim which is then still higher than the old ones. When this happened I asked Carole to put less items in the black sacks and, when light enough, had got into the habit of hurling them over the rim with my right arm, sometimes without even going up the steps, and did the same with shop tip trip stuff when light enough. This was not a good idea.

So:diagnosis pulled muscle. Treatment: paracetemol and rest.

And about 1.30am I woke up in agony. Even the slightest movement caused pain. I struggled through the night until around 4.30 when I got up, emptied smelly cat litter, let cats out, read a magazine, and at 5.00am took two paracetamol and went back to bed. The pills must have had some effect as I dozed until half seven when I again woke in agony. An hour later I was on the phone to the doctor's. I wasn't disagreeing with the diagnosis, I just wanted to be prescribed heavy duty painkillers. She told me to start taking ibuprofen every three hours alternating with paracetamol and trying heat treatment (a hot water bottle on my shoulder). 
So I'm going to have be careful what I do this week with regard to cat-related activities. I certainly can't do any tip runs and transporting food (which involves collecting from three food bins and two deliveries) is going to be a delicate operation. 
I just hope this pain goes away by Christmas.

Sooner would be better.

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