Sunday, January 4, 2015

Shoulder Injury

I was in a shopping mall late yesterday morning when I received a call from my sister. She had wanted to visit me at home because she had heard of the recent accident, and she wanted to know if I were in before actually coming to my house. 

She wasn't the first person to ask me about my injury. In fact a fair number of people have asked me the same question, and I've given the same story which is fairly famous by now, but fast becoming monotonous. So I've decided to blog about it. I can then direct the next person who'd ask me the question to this post, so that I'd be spared from telling the same story again!

As you all know, most kids these days are allergic to house chores; and JJ is no exception. I dare say she's perhaps just slightly above average in school, and she'll be going into Form 1 when school reopens the week after next. Unfortunately, she's been put into the class with Chinese lessons in Lok Yuk. I'm not in favour of her taking Chinese at this stage because I'd rather she focus more on English and Malay. There is a lot of memory work for Chinese, and JJ's brain isn't so good when it comes to memorizing stuff. I reckon her memory space is not so big—so far the capacity is barely enough for memorizing things like the lyrics of Let It Go, you see. Wait, I am getting to my injury, please be patient!

So as a part of JJ's training, her mom told her to wash the bathrooms. Although some of our friends find that surprising, it's actually a good training for JJ, really. I mean, I was doing my own laundry when I was her age. So anyway, as I said, JJ is allergic to house chores. She did wash the bathrooms, but because she wasn't supervised, she did not rinse the floor thoroughly. I'm sure you're getting the idea now?

I was in the shower on Monday evening, and I slipped on that forsaken floor. It happened so fast. My right hand reacted on instinct to break my fall; except that my body was turning as I was falling. I landed heavily on my shoulder, but my arm was in an awkward position—it was folded to the back upon impact. Because of the stretch to the back, I could feel my biceps stretched too suddenly, thus causing a tear. I must have torn some tissues in my right shoulder as well. Surprisingly though, I did not break any bone.

Now as you can imagine, there isn't much flexibility in the shoulder of a man of 49; and for the arm to be folded to the back like that is not a proceeding to be recommended. The pain was excruciating to say the least. I took Celebrex 200mg and went to bed. Considering the nature of the accident, I passed a satisfactory night, but I was awaken several times—the slightest movement would cause so much pain.

The next morning, I could hardly move my right arm. In fact it was aching badly even when I let my arm dangle down. It felt like it weighed a ton, and my shoulder was complaining. It was then that I had a revelation. To lose the use of my right arm was very challenging. Simple chores that we tend to take for granted like brushing teeth and shaving were extremely hard to accomplish. I said so to Mia, but because she's an ex-St. Franciscan, it was absolutely necessary for her to disagree with me, you see—she said that if it were her, she'd probably be able to cope just fine; she reckoned that she'd still be able to do stuff by about 70% of what she could do with her right arm. 

After over 20 years of marriage, you'd have learned that sometimes it's a waste of time and energy to debate this sort of things with your wife. But that's not to say I did not have to suppress the flash of brilliant idea of breaking her right arm so that she could demonstrate her 70% to me. Thankfully, however, I was able to come to my senses in a jiffy.

Anyway, I went to see a GP that morning, and then ended up in an arm sling like this:

I've been on Celebrex since Monday evening, and by 48 hours after the accident, I was able to bend my arm. I've been regaining strength in my biceps, but there is still a big patch of blood clot there from the torn tissue.

It will probably take another week or two for the pain in my shoulder to subside, and right now I will still need Celebrex. But as soon as the pain becomes bearable, I shall stop taking the painkiller. By Friday, with the help of Celebrex, I went to the gym to run. I ran 7km and found that by limiting the arm swing, the pain in my shoulder was bearable. So this morning, I went ahead with my scheduled 21km LSD with Dr Peter. I survived the workout. Another dose of Celebrex after breakfast, but I hope this can be the last dose. I shall try to endure the pain beginning from tomorrow; and I'm confident that I can run without painkiller by next week. However, I'm afraid swimming and cycling will have to wait a little longer; perhaps 2 weeks is a conservative estimate.

So there you go, folks, not a very good start to 2015 for me. But I'm convinced that I'm still on target for a PB in Tokyo in February! Keeping my fingers crossed!


Fan Teck Tsen said...

hope you recover soon from your shoulder injury.. i actually saw you and Dr.Peter running yesterday morning, both of you were across the road running back to Likas, and you look ok to me at least from across the road..

Cornelius said...

Thanks, Fan Teck Tsen. You'd be surprised what Celebrex can do when you're in pain. But actually, prolonged use of Celebrex isn't a good thing. I had planned to stop taking yesterday, but this morning, I was still in pain. So just ONE MORE DAY, I promise!

Besides, both my legs are still intact - I can still run as usual...just that my gait is a little awkward because I had to keep my right arm fairly still. Otherwise the swinging would cause a lot of pain!

Jacqueline Hodges said...

Ouch! I guess you will have to be more careful in doing chores now. Bathrooms in particular are tricky, since the floors are slippery most of the time. Still, you are fortunate to have people to run to, and who immediately show concern about your injury and how it occurred. It's cool that you got some treatment right after as well. Take care!

Jacqueline Hodges @ Dr. Koziol