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11:04am on Friday, 20th January, 2006:

April 1988


I went to the hospital this morning to have a physiotherapist look at my bad shoulder. After an hour, she'd given me a series of strange exercises to undertake three times a day, and I had another appointment for 8:30am next Friday.

My shoulder problem is caused, apparently, by the joint trapping some soft tissue when I hold it back. This means the muscle has pulled the shoulder forward, rounding it, which has "set" it. To fix it, the first step is for me to exercise various muscles so they stretch better, which will mean the shoulder is in the right condition to be moved back with a series of other exercises yet to be determined. It crossed the physiotherapist's mind that the shoulder could, as I suspected, be fixed in one almighty wrench, but the chances are greater that I'd be in surgery the next day having my tendons reattached if I tried it. She decided to go with the softly-softly approach (or "baby, baby", as she called it).

The reason my shoulder went wonky in the first place isn't clear. It could just be something that crept up on me, or it could be that I did something that threw it out, or it could be work-related (hunched shoulder from using a computer the whole time). I'm not supposed to do anything that hurts, as this will cause inflammation, which means my decision not to take pain-killers for it is vindicated.

Oddly, as time progressed, the physiotherapist started to anthropomorphise the problem. She identified it as an enemy, referred to it as "him", tried to figure out what he was "thinking" — I was expecting her to call him Charlie next. Then again, some programmers are the same way with bugs ("got you, you bastard!") so I can't criticise too much here...

It seems there's a feedback loop in physiotherapy treatment. It would have been a lot easier for the physiotherapist to fix me had she seen me sooner, but with a 3-month waiting list it means I'll need extra sessions. This, of course, means the waiting time is longer for the people behind me in line. Still, I'm at the front now so I don't care, tra-la-la.

Oh, the waiting room. Despite its only being 9am, they were running late so I picked up a copy of Reader's Digest to thumb through. It was the July 2000 edition. I finished that, and was just about to start another one I'd found, but then the call came and I went to be examined. Still, given that the date on this second one was April 1988, I dare say it'll still be there when I turn up next week...

Referenced by Exercises.

Referenced by Lying in the Sun.

Referenced by Scientific Curiosity.

Referenced by Another Bad Shoulder.

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Copyright © 2006 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).