What seems like four weeks ago, more or less, toward the end a one-hour gym routine I felt discomfort in my upper right arm deciding it due to lack of exercise and would go away in time. I even rigged some weights at home with pennies, and empty glass jars to expedite the situation. Boy was I wrong!
Saturday May 25th was the last time this area worked and on Sunday the 26th enough is enough, I need to find what is causing this muscle to ach so onto the internet I ventured first searching for and found a schematic of human muscles of the upper arm: the biceps, triceps, and the deltoid. Then, running my forefinger along the triceps, nope nothing then the biceps all is normal, then north to the deltoid muscle near the shoulder, OUCH! Found it! Since exercising has not relieved the discomfort I now search for: how to relieve deltoid pain and up comes more information than needed so a quick scan narrowed the selection to three You Tube videos.
The first video features a gentleman in Australian as he places a tennis ball on his sore deltoid then leans against a wall, applies pressure, lingers about one minute, and then repeats on another sore area. Easy enough, I thought. The second video, an Englishman, explains a procedure of sinking two fingers from one hand into the spot where the arm and shoulder meet then move the arm forward. He says in time this will relieve the pain but being part of a multi-video program I nix this one.
The third video confirms the tennis ball routine from my Australian friend but gave two additional, easy exercises: grab the sore muscle, pull, and then release repeating numerous times and the other grab muscle at the sore spot, hold, and then move the arm both are supposed to relax the muscle making the sore history. Throughout Sunday evening I apply the third video procedures with overflowing confidence that the “pain in the mambo” would soon be over, hallelujah.
Monday morning with intense pain I continue applying the grab and hold, move the arm, and the tennis ball treatments nevertheless knowing relief was sure to come. The Australian and English instructors kept repeating “…this will both take time and be very painful…” no kidding. Later, I went to the gym and, using one of those Styrofoam rollers on the shoulder in the same fashion as the tennis ball, hoped to hasten recover then, while dressing each piece of clothing I put on created teeth clinching pain like having dental surgery and given no pain pills after the anesthetize wears off. I’ve made a huge mistake. Arriving home I consumed four of those brown beauties ofIbuprofen, and through excruciating pain continued the massage tricks on the arm all the while thinking back to the mantra of those videos. Confidence is high, as Monday closes, that the morning will bring satisfaction.
Tuesday dawns with extreme pain throughout the right arm as I hoist up out of bed. The entire upper portion is locked tight, no movement without severe pain, Ouch! Then, as if a 16-ton weight dropped on the old head I realize the videos are for pain first noticed not after you ignored it for x-amount of weeks hoping it would go away in the meantime continue to compound the problem by working the muscle. I stop the treatment and momentarily bask in the horror of what may have occurred hoping nothing worse and a doctor’s intervention not needed.
On Wednesday, the deltoid still has that dental surgery without pain relief sensation so I assess the situation (Mom was a medical nurse and taught us basic first aid) and find nothing swollen, red, or burning all looked ok from the outside but seven layers deep a problem laid. This put me at ease knowing for sure the only thing I have to do is wait and keep the Ibuprofen bottle close to hand for temporarily, blissful relief. Daily functions take on a whole new meaning as the right arm hangs to the side like walking my dog and, not thinking, use it which Smokey Joe is not afraid to remind me as he tugs on his leash yanking the deltoid. Taking a shower is slower with just one arm and dressing afterwards becomes meticulously uncomfortable, simple tasks take longer. Exhaustion overcomes from all the extra work and with only a sore muscle to think about nothing more can be done not even, sigh, writing. Sleeping too is a challenge as I lay in bed pressure and gravity pushing down on the deltoid region resulting in sleeplessness. Amazing discoveries come out of unintended moments. Remembering a similar circumstance a few years ago when suffering from Pleurisy as then I use a comfortable, upright chair and ottoman to sleep on keeping the body at a 90-degree angle and, what ho, sleep returns and is deep however, the pain diminishes but still intense.
Now into the fourth day of recovery the deltoid is still sore with about 25% movement and many days ahead before it gets back to 100%. In all of my five years of working out in a gym this is a first for me. I’ve experienced stiffness after workouts but nothing to this extent never realizing the importance of a healthy deltoid. Over these past days limping along as a one armed man trying to eat, dress, bath, walk my dog, sleep, even using one finger to peck out this story I know what individuals go through with permanent loss of an arm, hand, foot, or leg. My hat is off to these folk and their courage.