After a month of doing physio for the 2nd frozen shoulder, I can now swing the left arm through a not quite 30° arc, with my arm resting by my side. I can't lift my arm that far outwards but it's a huge improvement on the >95% range of movement that I'd lost.
And pain management is finally doing it's thing.
Despite 6 weeks on 20mg of Amitriptyline - which was the magic number for the right shoulder - I was getting nowhere. It was making me sleepy but not knocking the pain out enough to let me sleep. 8 sessions of acupuncture sorted my grumpling sciatica and the horrible spasms but still a mid level nerve pain in my left wrist and elbow soldered on, not to mention the muscle and joint pain (in my right side, acupuncture worked a treat for the nerve pain and spasms after 6 sessions, but the rest was managed by the TENS machine and the Amitriptyline). I've been living with the TENS machine on 24/7 since February and while I'm some way from not needing that on all the time, upping the dose of Amitriptyline has worked out and it's all now starting to fall into place.
One key thing was working out that more than one major nerve was impinged in the left shoulder. A frozen shoulder nearly always brings an impingement due to the inflammation, which doesn't just hit the joint itself but also the muscles, nerves and tendons surrounding it. When my right shoulder was at its worse I had all the signs of Carpel Tunnel syndrome which we knew I didn't have, but the Meridian nerve was being bothered higher up my arm. This time I've all the signs of Cubital Tunnel as well as Carpal Tunnel, suggesting an impingement of both the Meridian and Ulnar nerves, so dealing with those things as they present has been a major help - never have I felt so relieved to have elbow and wrist splints!
And now I can work at the PC and can even knit more than a few rows at a time.
Many people have no idea how incredibly painful a frozen shoulder can be, or how debilitating they are. It's still a widely misunderstood disease that doesn't really come into our awareness until it strikes us, or someone close to us. There's still so much I can't do and keeping the arms still only adds to the pain, so it's a catch 22. Tom is still very much my arms for many things but I am slowly gaining back some independence as both arms gain some strength.
I know that there's light at the end of the tunnel; that although on average only 80% or 90% range of movement is recovered, there is an end in sight to a frozen shoulder. My right arm has a reasonable range of movement now although it isn't strong enough yet to be the dominant arm and any kind of repetitive movement results in pain, but it's so so much better than it was.
These are all small wins, and I'm counting them.
It's almost two years since I started to lose movement in my right shoulder and I've pretty much the same amount of time ahead with my left shoulder before it can be comfortably used day to day. But unless the very rare thing happens and a shoulder freezes twice, I'm through the very worst of it. Knowing that keeps me going each day.
Heck, just knowing I can knit more than a few rounds at a time is worth shouting about!
Its been save up all my pocket money and spend it all on silver time, so I'm proudly showing off my latest treasure.
Saving up for treats and buying just the right thing at just the right time is a wonderful medicine.
This is a piece that's been in my Etsy favourites for well over a year, maybe even two years. I'm telling myself that clearly it was waiting for me and now is its time to be mine.
Onwards and upwards. Thank you for your patience x