Lifeguarding is one of the many jobs I have held over the course of my life (and one of my favorite jobs at that) and when I was 21 or 22, my Senior Guard pulled a "white cap" drill on me. It's called a "white cap" because the "victim" (usually a patron but sometimes it can be one of the other lifeguards) puts on a white water polo cap to signal that they are the "victim" while they are floating in the water.
This time, my "victim" was another guard - "J". J is about 6'2" and weighed about 250 pounds. I, on the other hand, stand a full 5'3" tall and (on a good day) weight about 115. This drill took place back when the Red Cross still used the "1-2-3-Dunk-and-Hoist" method of extracting a drowning victim from the water (assuming that you did not suspect a spinal injury).
So here I am, all 115 pounds of me, dunking and hoisting a 250 man out of the water. I "1-2-3'd", "dunked", and began to "hoist". About that time I felt (and HEARD) a "POP!" in my shoulder. I managed to get J out of the water and finish the drill before I ran, screaming, in to the guard office. There was a HUGE knot near my shoulder blade and good GOD, did it hurt.
Off I went to the urgent care. They wrote me off as having pulled a muscle but I learned, much later after the damage had been done and was irreversible, that I had torn the rhomboid muscle in my back. The rhomboid muscle is the one that allows you to move your shoulder blade back toward the center of your back (i.e. in a rowing motion). Come to find out, I have a good inch or so of scar tissue along the edge of my shoulder blade where the tear occurred. OUCH.
Over the years, it has occasionally flared up and been quite annoying and painful.
Fast forward to last week. I woke up and stretched. Bad move. BAD move. Immediately, I heard another "pop" (not quite as loud as the first time) and pain shot up and down the right side of my shoulder, back, and up in to my neck. I dove for the Advil. I managed to get the pain under control and it was *this* close to being gone.
And then I stretched again. It's such an innocuous move. Stretching is one of those things you do without thinking about it. It's as much a part of the "wake up" routine as peeing and brushing your teeth.
Not any more. I cannot look over my right shoulder. I can barely look over my left. I can't find a comfortable position to sleep in nor can I tolerate turning over. Advil (4 of them at a time...I'm just going to start taking McGyver's "Ranger Candy") doesn't touch it. I can't pick my kids up and I can't really drive.
It's pissing me OFF. I am about *this* close to heading over to the Acute Care Clinic and *ASKING* for a shot of Toradol. Those of you who know me, know that I am deathly afraid of needles so this speaks to the level of pain my shoulder is giving me.
Between my knees and this damn shoulder, I need a rebuild. Good grief. And of course, there are no appointments to be had today.
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