Last Friday, I woke up at 5 am with pain shooting down my left arm from the shoulder to the elbow. It felt like connective tissue that had become inflamed, and left me gasping and unable to get back to sleep. I had the day to myself around the house, and I was glad to see that the pain faded away over the space of the day.
M suggested I go to the doctor’s, but I was fairly sure it was just the result of sleeping on it wrong.
Then, last night, I woke at 3:15 with the same shooting pains. Ibuprofen failed to make any dent in the pain at all, and a hot water bottle didn’t do any good either. I finally found some paracetomal with coedine, which took enough edge off of the pain to allow me a bit more sleep. It wasn’t much – a couple of 45-minute dozes – but it stopped me whimpering in self pity.
The morning was a challenge – it was my day to get the kids up and get them to nursery. Alex was deeply sympathetic and protective of me (he’s a good guy when the going gets tough). Fiona, though oblivious, was charming and co-operative. But I usually lift them over a tall iron fence near our house, which was clearly impossible. We had to take a longer route, with Fionaberry on my shoulders (she doesn’t walk very fast yet).
I don’t know whether it was the medication or Fiona’s habit of holding onto my throat, but I was intensely dizzy and nauseated by the time I got the kids to Goose.
Just when I was sinking into self-pity again, though, I got a good dose of proportion. Three or four doors down from the nursery, I came across one of the neighbourhood lasses lying down on the pavement, attended by three other women. She appeared to have had some sort of siezure, and one of the others was clearly onto the emergency services. A couple of doctors from the local surgery strode up as the three women declined my help, and an ambulance drove screaming up just afterward. For a while, my shoulder didn’t hurt a bit.
It was a tough day, between the pain, the dizziness, the nausea and the tiredness. In retrospect, I should have stayed home and called the doctor, but I was sure the pain would go away as it did last Friday. My colleagues were both sympathetic and truthful, saying things like, “You look terrible.” (They meant well.)
By 3:00, I had lost all strength of will and went home. I nearly fell asleep on the bus, and did collapse on the bed as soon as I got to the house. Not even the new flatscreen TV could keep me awake. A couple of hours’ nap helped reduce the nausea and exhaustion, but the shoulder still hurt.
As a matter of fact, it still does hurt. If it doesn’t go away tonight, I’m calling the doctor first thing tomorrow.