Sunday, June 20th, 2021, was a good day. It was after all, Father’s Day. Later in the day we were going over to my son’s for one our raucous family gatherings. So, I had time to hang my new backyard party lights, but soon things took a sudden turn south. 

I confess, my ladder was on less than staple footing. I did a nice backflip but did not stick the landing. My right arm and right leg were underneath me as I landed, which means I messed up my right arm and my right leg. I hobbled around for a few days, took avail for a few weeks, and eventually, felt better. I thought I was all healed up. 

My right shoulder hurt a little bit when I had to reach a certain way for something, but I simply dealt with it by finding less painful ways to get the job down. It was a range of motion issue and it let me alone unless I challenged it. It would briefly hurt several times a day, depending on what I was doing, but it did not change my lifestyle. However, at night, it would sometimes hurt so bad it would wake me up. Honestly, I ignored it.

About seven months later I mentioned it to my doctor during my annual checkup. He labeled it,  “Impingement Syndrome of the Right Shoulder”, defined as follows:

Impingement syndrome describes a condition in which the tendons of the rotator cuff of the shoulder are pinched as they pass between the top of the upper arm (humerus) and the tip of the shoulder (acromion). The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and bones that share a common tendon.

The good doctor referred me to a physical therapist. Currently, I have had five appointments, with more to follow.

My therapist revealed somethings about the afore mentioned joint. I was using it in an entirely unnatural fashion, more like a hinge than a shoulder. It functioned totally differently than my left shoulder. And other muscles were attempting to perform its function.

In short, it was messed up and my ignoring it for seven months was a bad idea because it re-enforced a lot of bad behavior in the way that part of my body functioned. It took several appointments to just get where I could do some of the exercises properly and finally begin to see some improvement.

I didn’t do anything about it for so long it because I had figured out how to get by and just ignored the flashes of pain.

As I attempt to live life with my eyes and mind open, it occurs to me that we all compensate in some manner, mentally and emotionally to avoid some kind of pain.

I have a theory that parents mess up and mess their kids up to varying degrees. They weren’t perfect. Parents have their issues which begat issues in their children. I believe we grow up thinking our family life was normal because it was our only personal experience with being a family. It is all we really know. 

I believe that at about forty years of age, it crosses our minds, that maybe everything was not so normal, or healthy, in our formative years. The result may be some “injuries” that we may live with for a long time before we ever really think about them. 

We find ways to get by. We compensate, or perhaps, over-compensate and life goes on. 

We might have an “injury” that needs to get healed up in order to function more “normally.”

This is all based upon my experience and observations. So, I am wondering if it makes sense to you.

About Glenn

Glenn Hager is a blogger, former newspaper columnist, and author of two books, An Irreligious Faith and Free Range Faith.
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