I had been getting along pretty well with my left shoulder, almost to the point of thinking that whatever had bothered it during the summer had resolved itself and gone away. Then came last weekend’s shopping extravaganza, and my packing and flights to Chicago, and now I’m achey again.
Obvious Lesson One: Be gentle to my left shoulder when carrying loads. It’s easier said than done, because after a while toting whatever is heavy with my right shoulder, the temptation to switch the load to my left is practically irresistible. Likewise sleeping on my left side: try as I may to sleep on the right most of the night, I feel a compulsion to roll over, and that puts pressure/weight on my left shoulder. Still, I should definitely try both things.
Not-so-obvious possibility two: It occurs to me that the problem with my shoulder may be the same as the problem with my thumbs — that is, some form of hypermobility. With the extra stress I put on my left shoulder this summer, packing and moving unpacking and moving and packing and moving, then traveling all over with heavy suitcases, then more unpacking, and so on, I can easily imagine my left shoulder just pulling out of its usual snug fit, and then causing havoc as it shifts around. At least, that’s the way it feels to me: nothing feels broken, no particular muscle or ligament distinctly strained. It mostly feels bruised inside. Clearly I’m not a physician, but this explanation would be consistent with other joint problems I have had, and would account for the type of pain and the circumstances for my shoulder being aggravated.
And yes, now that I have an NHS number, I will definitely have someone look at it when I get back to Scotland. I’d have done so already, except that the aggravation took place over the weekend, before I came to the States.