And meanwhile, here’s me, getting the cold shoulder

Cold Shoulder

Cold Shoulder (Photo credit: smkybear)

I’m not sleeping.

Well, I say that.  Obviously some sleep goes on.  I’d estimate 2-3 hours a night – 4 on a really good one.  That isn’t deep, refreshing, all-at-once sleep, though.  I doze off for 40 minutes or so and then there’s the painful awakening.  I writhe and twist, gyre and gimble (Lewis Carroll, Jabberwocky – I’m a massive fan) and vainly attempt to get some relief from the pains that are shooting down my back, my arm and up into my neck and head.

Eventually I get up and wander off to the bathroom or pace around the house for a while, before collapsing back on to the bed and waiting for the discomfort to return to a sleep-throughable level.  That can take hours; it usually does.

I have, I’m told, a ‘frozen shoulder‘.  It’s the most ridiculous ailment; even the doctor admitted as much.  The information sheet he gave me reads like something Lewis Carroll himself might have penned.  For reasons no one can discern, the shoulder becomes increasingly painful and stiff over a period of months.  This is, apparently, the ‘Freezing Stage’.  Seriously.

Mobility may be affected, it says.  My shoulder has definite and ever-expanding no-go areas.  They include behind and up.  Stray into them by mistake and the pain starts small and takes up to five minutes to develop a vice-like intensity that has me gasping for breath.

The pain is frequently worse at night, it says.  Hell, yeah.  As described above.

So what do I have to look forward to?  Apparently next comes the ‘Frozen Stage’.  I can expect less pain but the same level of stiffness and lack of movement.  That, it tells me, will typically last between 18 months and 3 years.  After that – you’ve guessed it – there is a ‘Thawing Stage’.  A year or two more for it to subside and disappear as quietly as it arrived and I will be back to normal.  Physiotherapy and painkillers are offered, more to placate the GP’s feelings of helplessness than to make any difference to the condition, he agreed.

I’ve already tried deep tissue massage and acupuncture, to no avail.  Since there’s no medical reason, and since I tend towards the Louise Hay view of dis-ease in any case, I opted for some Reiki.

Now this is where it gets seriously weird.

Reiki symbol1

I went to a Reiki practitioner I’d only met a week or two before.  She knew very little about me and I knew very little about Reiki.  I sat for a long time listening to pleasant music while the healing took place.

When she’d finished, she came to sit with me, looking rather shocked and puzzled.

“I saw a face,” she told me.  “He was right here.”  She motioned the front of my shoulder.  “He was looking straight at me.”

Like I say, this lady didn’t know me well, or any of the people in my life.  I asked her if she could describe the person she’d seen.  As she did so, I started to realise who it was.

I went to fetch a photo.  “Is this the person you saw?”

She gasped and nodded.  “The hair was a bit different, but that was exactly the face.”

Well that made sense.  The photo is about five years old.  It’s of someone who has played a huge part in my life; someone I helped, mentored and loved for many years.  And then, little by little, he moved out of my life and stopped responding to letters, calls and emails.  He’s given me, you could say, the cold shoulder…


Of course, as I’ve said many times before in my blog, I don’t believe others cause us pain.  I believe we allow ourselves to feel pain in response to the way they act.  My Guide explained it to me in this way:

What if I stick a knife in someone.  Surely then I will hurt that person – cause their pain?
And what causes the pain?

Fortunately, my Reiki healer had another strategy for me.  She told me to smile into my body – giving a smile of love and gratitude to each part of my body in turn – and to linger on that shoulder, giving it extra love.

English: Smile

Oh how right she is!   I don’t intend to wait years for my shoulder to thaw.  I’ll see if that smile, and any others I can collect, can defrost it.

All smiles gratefully received 🙂

16 comments on “And meanwhile, here’s me, getting the cold shoulder

  1. I am so glad you turned to Reiki and are using your intuition. When I took a Matrix Energetics workshop, frozen shoulder was one of the diagnoses that can respond very well. Just some info to keep in your back pocket so to speak. You’ve inspired me to write about one of my knees that has been acting up. I have been receiving physical therapy to rehab my right foot. But now my left knee is acting up and worsening. Started acupuncture 2 weeks ago, and I’m giving messages from intuition to my acupuncturist.

    • That’s very interesting, Sue. I’ll check out Matrix Energetics; haven’t met that one yet…
      I found acupuncture was excellent for shifting blocks and pain in my body, but a week or two later the pain would turn up somewhere else! As a friend recently commented, “It’s just moving around your body.”
      I look forward to reading about your knee x

  2. So sorry about your shoulder which I understand can be extremely debilitating. Have you ever read “Your Body Believes Every Word You Say?” You may find it of interest.

    • I haven’t, no, although the idea sounds very familiar and I’m sure there’s a great deal of truth in it. I’ll certainly look it out, and thank you for your concern.

  3. Hi Jan. Interesting post. It sounds like you were guided to a Reiki practitioner who was able to help you see how your choice to think of this person as giving you the “cold shoulder” may have something to do with your frozen shoulder symptoms. If you’re not already trying it, it might be interesting to see if you can choose better-feeling ways about thinking of this person, and see what kind of difference those choices can make on your symptoms.

    I’m imagining you finding choices that allow more of the feeling of love from the larger part of you into your relationship with the person you mention, regardless of whether this person gives any outward indication they acknowledge and/or appreciate this love. And I’m imaging these choices also allow you to come to better-feeling conclusions about this person’s attitude toward you, and these better-feeling conclusions are helping you have the wonderfully restful and rejuvenating evening sleep you desire.

    -Bob 🙂

    • Hi Bob. I’ve been looking forward to reading your intuitions and thoughts about this post – amazing as always.
      The story has moved on quite a bit since I wrote this. I’ll do an update soon. Meanwhile, rest assured that some incredible healing has taken place in all aspects of this story, largely due to help you, Cynthia and The Council gave me earlier in the year and I’m now able to sleep through the night.
      Thank you 🙂

      • Glad to hear there’s an “incredible healing” chapter to the “frozen shoulder” story and that it includes sleeping through the night. Looking forward to details in your update. Thanks for your appreciation. It feels good to hear we’ve been helpful. -Bob

  4. Pingback: The not-so-cold shoulder | Looking at Life

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