I Broke Myself



You may have noticed or more likely didn’t notice at all that I haven’t been active on social media or commenting on blogs. Two weeks ago, just after writing my screenplay, I tore my rotator cuff (the ‘cuff’ is all the muscles and tendons that keep the ball of your upper-arm bone in your shoulder socket).

It hurt.

A lot.

But, I’d already written my Dragon’s Blood post, so I let it ride.

For a week and a half, it felt like a sledgehammer continuously smashed my arm. Gravity was not my friend. I got the pain under what I call survivable but not quite manageable and used the mantra “just one more day” to keep going. Now, it’s quite manageable.

However, I can’t quite use my arm yet. The mobility will return in time provided I don’t re-injure it. Currently, I can lift my arm about 45° from my side. Woohoo!

These injuries are quite common, but are not usually as severe as mine. More than 40% of peeps with a tear don’t even know it.

 Other things that suck with this injury:

  • sleeping on my back for two weeks with no movement—well sorta sleeping
  • nothingness, no writing, no walking, no cooking (couldn’t even slice a tomato), no reading (pain makes brain not comprehend)
  • being stranded in a t-shirt for days because I was too proud to ask for help out of it. Yes, I eventually did ask.

Now I can sleep on my side! I can read and go for walks, or I could if it wasn’t currently storming ’round here.

There are two ways this injury occurs:

  • trauma
  • wear and tear over time with every day use and continual mild injuries (this is me!)

Computer work is iffy. After 15 minutes, I have to stop and ice my shoulder.

Why am I telling you this?

  1. Fodder for your story. If you have a character with this injury and want more inside information, contact me!
  2. Sympathy

I’ll still be scarce for another week or so. I think.

PS: Full recovery is said to take six months! (Surgery is not recommended as a first option.)

Share! It will make you happy, trust me.

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  1. Hi Holly – well I'm glad you're coming back from that nasty 'tear' – sounds very uncomfortable … but am glad to read that you are improving. Hopefully the brain will let you read soon … and all else will start working too and you can over the six months fully recover – which means … doing the best for you… cheers and here's to less pain – thanks for letting us know … cheers Hilary

  2. I'm so sorry you tore your cuff. It's frustrating when you are limited on what you can do. Just keep allowing it to heal.

  3. Omg, I am in complete and utter sympathy with you! I fell off my bike back in September and didn't realize for almost 1/2 year that I had torn my rotator cuff! Why? Because I do light weight lifting and thought I had just pulled a muscle! So I was trying to rehab it at home, and it only got worse and worse, then finally the doctor diagnosed it.

    So…yeah, OUCH! Simple things like not being able to shrug off a jacket, struggling in slow motion to put on or take off a shirt, reaching for things, no comfortable position in bed. I feel for you, and then some! Mine's slowly gotten better. Thanks for sharing, and also warning folks. I would have been a lot better off if I had been aware much earlier what was going on and dealt with it then. Maybe you can help someone nip it in the bud. Hang in there, Holly!

    1. AHHH!!! That just hurt me to hear you were lifting weights!

  4. Sorry to hear about your injury. Take care and hope you're feeling better soon.

  5. Oh no! I'm so sorry you broke yourself. That sounds like it really sucks. And you didn't even hurt it doing something dramatic like falling off a buffalo. But you still get lots of sympathy from me.


  6. I'm sorry about your injury, Holly. I'm not supposed to be blogging, but occasionally I have a peep. Mend well and fast. 🙂

  7. Well, doggone it! That doesn't sound so good. Get healed soon. That sounds like such an inconvenience.

    Arlee Bird
    <a href="http://tossingitout.blogspot.com/">Tossing It Out</a>

  8. I don't know what I did wrong! My comment doesn't seem to have gone through. Arghh….! At any rate, I'm commiserating immensely with you, 'cause I fell off my bicycle back in September and didn't realize for 6 months I had torn my rotator cuff. How could you fall off your bike and not realize that, you ask? Because the most immediate injury was my cheek, which only clipped the cement, but it gashed open, geyersed blood, and hurt SO BAD I thought I'd fractured my cheek! Shoulder didn't even hurt. Over time, I lost movement in my shoulder but figured I'd pulled a muscle in the gym. Didn't click till much later–the accident! By then, my efforts at rehabbing at home had made it worse. So…I feel for you, Holly! Can't get dressed, can't get undressed, reach for things, stretch, shrug a coat off, put a seat belt on without pain! I totally took my rotator cuff for granted! Thanks for sharing, and if I'd run into this blog six months earlier, I'd probably have put the pieces together sooner…so maybe that'll happen for someone else! I'm feeling better now. It takes time. I hope you get better soon! And…sorry for the novel. 🙂

    1. I found it. I don’t know why it went into the spam folder. The cheek pain must have over overwritten all other pain. Yikes, not much you can do there but wait and let it heal. That was a bad accident.❤

  9. Yikes! I know it'll suck, but take it easy and recover. Last thing you want is that giving your chronic pain or issues.

  10. Ouchies! I have carpal tunnel and nerve issues in both arms, so get arm pain, but that sounds worse. I had a concussion in the fall and couldn't do anything for a month. Rest up and heel.

    1. I've have mild carpal tunnel–and it was messed up. I can't imagine having it in both arms!

  11. Omigosh. I know that's painful. Not from personal experience, thankfully, but my brother-in-law had to have surgery to finally fix his. Take good care of yourself. Will you have physical therapy?

    1. It seems to be healing on it's own, so no therapy or surgery (fingers crossed).

  12. My sympathies, shoulder pain is a grueling. If its any consolation I've had 20 shoulder dislocations over the last year and so I've stopped counting. You need to take care and heal properly. We're not robots or moon shuttle conductors. Dr McCoy was right about that much.

  13. When you say that you wrote your screenplay and then tore your rotator cuff, I can't help but put those together and imagine you working SO hard on your screenplay that you literally rip your arm out of the socket.

    Now THAT'S dedication.

    We both do hope you're on the road to recovery, though.

    1. That is exactly what happen. I didn't want to toot my own horn on how epic the injury was in the getting ot it though. Thank you for noticing.

  14. Ow. Hope you're feeling even better by now. My son dislocated his shoulder years ago playing ice hockey, and I remember how rough that was for him. Take it easy! 🙂

  15. So sorry to hear of your injury, Holly… What a BUMMER…. Take it easy and let time heal you completely. I know how frustrating it is, having had several injuries in my life. Thankfully the body rejuvenates. It just takes TIME….

    Take care!

  16. You poor dear. I hope you're feeling better. I couldn't imagine not being able to read or write!

    1. I think the reading made it the most sucky.

  17. Goodness! I hope you get better! I know what a toll injuries take on life. It's been that way for 6 months straight at the Town's End, and off-and-on for a year now. I hope you recover quickly!

  18. It sounds like you need a narration program: Dragon Speaking Naturally, or the like. My phone has been a great tool when I can't type. It's not always accurate, but I get down what I need to. I'm wishing you quick healing and much cheese to carry you through. (And yes, I know exactly what sleeping in on position is like for extended time periods. Darn car accident…)

  19. Shoulders are such tricky things! The good news is that this chronic pain will eventually go away, believe it or not.

  20. Ow that sounds horrible! I was also going to suggest Dragon. Although I don't use it myself, I know quite a few writers are and I probably will buy it as soon as I'm sure it'll understand my South African English accent. 😀 (It's a bit expensive for me to take the risk that it might not.)

  21. Sorry to hear about the injury, Holly!
    Now I'm wondering about giving my character an injury as an added obstacle… mmm, rotator cuff injury from continual mild injuries sustained over time which have been ignored by the character… but the 'injury scenario' needs to advance the story… how?
    Okay, enough thinking out loud, or is it typing out loud? LOL
    Get better soon!! 🙂

  22. Ironically I've been dealing with this issue for six months. I'm finally feeling better and able to sleep as well as use my right arm the way it was intended. Shoulders are complicated gadgets and not to be taken lightly when damaged. Well, we both know that now. Good luck with the healing. Ice is a big help.

  23. Hope you're ok Holly!!!

  24. Ouch!! You definitely have my sympathy. That's such a long recovery time too! I hope it speeds up and you are back to normal again quickly.

  25. Hi, Holly…

    Just checking in. Hope you are all better….

    1. Thanks MDG 🙂 Recovery is slow but most of the pain is gone and have motion back.

  26. Oh sweetie! I hope you're feeling better. I have a persistent issue in my back that's basically constant pain, so I can at least appreciate some of what you're dealing with. I really hope you're doing ok now.

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