Having a frozen shoulder is definitely no picnic. What is a frozen shoulder you ask? I asked the same thing. The oncologist told me to look it up on the internet. Thanks doc!
Quoted from E How Health ”
Frozen shoulder, medically known as adhesive capsulitis, affects the shoulder joint, causing pain, stiffness and hindered range of motion. It is most often caused by inflammation of the shoulder joint, though it can also be caused by having your arm in a fixed position (such as when in a sling) for an extended period of time.” The condition is a long-range one, worsening and then healing itself over a span of 24 to 36 months. In most cases, the condition fixes itself through physical therapy, although rare cases do require surgery.‘
Well, (sigh) I realize it is wonderful they have cured my cancer. The description of the frozen shoulder said ‘fixed position’ for a long period of time. So all of you out there that might have breast surgery, be aware that you will probably hold your arm at an angle that ‘protects’ your breast area after the surgery ! If you don’t get busy and move it quickly, it will freeze in place. I disagree with some of the description, because it was not so painful, as it was and is…limiting. I cannot lift my arm up – straight out or higher. I cannot touch my left hand to my left ear. Its difficult to shut the car door. The arm has no strength and the muscles have deteriorated in the bicep area. Oh, no body told me to do anything except wall crawls and I told them I couldn’t do that. Nobody was listening and it was painful. It was probably the frozen shoulder that was all the pain in the beginning. Now the shoulder muscles are connected by scar tissue to the incision site.
The answer to all this is lots and lots of physical therapy and massage. It is improving every day. I have a long list of very simple exercises to do. But the one thing the doc wanted me to do was stay off the computer. Oh, wonderful. So I did that for three days that has just made it worse.
I guess it won’t be forever, its just another in the list of annoying things to handle while you are recovering from a mastectomy. I get so irritated with the lack of communication and medical coordination of recovery after surgery for cancer patients. I have talked to so many women that are so horrified with what they experienced they will not go back to the doctor anymore. Right where I live there are at least nine women who have experienced an assortment of side effects, that I think could have been eliminated.
I do want to say to all of you, that if you ever have something major wrong with you, that you get an advocate that goes with you to the hospital and participates in your aftercare. Its not an experience to do by yourself, and you of course, are going to miss some things and forget alot of things. You cannot depend on the medical community for your care, they don’t have the time to followup on everyone. And it is your body, so be very kind to it so it will reward you with years of continued use!!
So I am doing my exercises religiously. I am also on track to monitor my diabetes very carefully. It has not been a big deal before because I know I have to watch it, be careful what I eat. However, surgeries and various medications (Arimidex) have totally thrown my diabetes off track! This makes me so mad but, here is what I am doing: meditation, reading, walking, deep breathing, focusing, letting go of old grudges/hurts and being kind to myself.
Being kind to myself is something I haven’t done justice to myself in the past couple of years, when things were financially difficult, I was in between jobs and going to school (which I loved) and studying the law, I didn’t take the best care of myself. but that was the past and cancer has taught me to focus, cause ‘me’ is all I have left. The time is now!
Getting up in the morning, I am glad to wake up. I stretch, judge my pain level and deciding where its at, put my pillow to my chest and get up slowly, then remove the pillow, and I can stand.
May you never get the opportunity to have cancer. May the sun always rise and shine, and joy be in your hearts! If you do get it, know that there is hope, there are wonderful people that will help you but you have to ask. Friendship comes from the most unexpected places. Cherish those friends! know that you are loved. And I know that I am loved. I don’t always feel like it, but then I need to review it and tell myself the truth! I use to drive my kids crazy when they were young by asking them, are you telling yourself the truth? It was a book I had read, Telling Yourself the Truth and I don’t remember the author. But he said we don’t tell ourselves the truth, we listen to the lies in our head…and we need to sweep them out like we clean our floors…swish swish…go away…truth come in!
Have a good night and a fantastic weekend. I think I am back. I think I need my blog.