Rip, tear, stab

Several years ago I tore my left rotator cuff. And now, apparently, I have torn the right one. To be precise I have torn my supraspinatus muscle. Basically that means it hurts when I move my arm in certain directions. Generally only a 0.5 to 1/10 on the pain scale. You forget pain sometimes and sometimes you don't and sometimes you move it in a direction it doesn't want to go and the pain goes up to a 4 or 5/10.

"How did I do it?" I hear nobody asking. Well I'll tell you. I first tore my right rotator cuff while sitting on the toilet. Yes. The toilet. Please stop giggling and let me finish. I was sitting on the toilet and I was out of toilet paper. And I had to reach up and back to get some. And I said ouch, good golly that smarts. I didn't tear it. I had just annoyed it.

So. Yes. My painful shoulder started as a toilet-related accident.

Fast forward a month. And I'm sleeping soundly. And I roll over onto my shoulder. And I abruptly woke up. I said words. I said loud words. I used, shall we say, more colourful metaphors. I jumped out of bed in total searing pain. I could not easily go back to sleep. (And, now that I think about it, I haven't slept well since).

The "Tom's been bad and I'm waiting for physio" face.

The "Tom's been bad and I'm waiting for physio" face.

So. To recap. I injured my rotator cuff on the toilet and I tore my rotator cuff while sleeping.

I'm such an elite athlete.

My shoulder isn't going to repair itself, so off to physiotherapy I go.

Physiotherapy is fun. In the same way as <insert something that you think is not fun because I have no creatively at the moment> is. OK. It's not fun. But it does make my shoulder feel better.


Our first meeting she tests me and pulls me and pushes me.

"Resist me when I push down". I resist. She says "No resist me". I say "i am". She says "oh," and types copious notes into the computer. 

Apparently I have lost a little more strength than I had thought. Well. Actually. Almost all strength is lost. Oh bother. This will take some time (and some money) to fix. Oh double bother.

Needles and attachments. Oh. My.

Needles and attachments. Oh. My.

It's been several weeks and now we are still in the repair and loosen phase of physio. We start each session with a good dose of massage and stretching and massage and stretching. Then, after that bit comes my favourite bit: acupuncture with electronic stimulation. 

She inserts four tiny needles into my skin. I feel a little prick but once they are in I don't even notice they are there. Then she attaches little clips to each needle and then attaches a battery pack to the clips. Then she slowly turns the power on. Presently I'm on 5 out of 10 on one of the needles and 3 on the others. The higher the number the more power. The power cycles on and off. On and off. On and off. For 10 minutes.

If you'd like to see what it does, I'll just leave you with the video below. Sorry about the shakiness, but I am quite literally being shocked. Oh. Sure. It's just a small battery pack but its a battery pack attached to needles that are in my skin.