Ten weeks on – how’s the shoulder?


 An outing to the top of the cable car towards the end of January

So here we are ten weeks after my injury. Time to take stock. I spent the whole of January in Switzerland looking longingly at the perfect snow and sunshine. Well, there was one week of blizzards where it was so cold that I hardly dared venture out.


But in all honesty I am in such pain that my longing is tempered with a reality check. I am on opiates (tramadol and then codeine) four times per day with Paracetamol and ibuprofen in between. My brain is fried and I exist in a fog. If I try to lessen the opiates (having just watched Dopesick I am under no illusion at how easy it can be to become dependent) the pain is unbearable; when I get back to pain-free dosage levels, I feel nauseous and depressed. Oh and I am also taking sleeping pills as I initially have to sleep sitting up (for three weeks or so) and then only manage an hour or so without waking up. Executive summary – the worst pain I’ve ever had, even worse than the sarcoma as it takes so long to go away…IMG_7729

Meanwhile start physio in Champery (2x pw) and have various scans and x-rays – all going well. The physio and Swiss doc seem confident that I might recover enough to go diving in early April.


The Queen’s reunion came and went in a blur  – the gang have a great time, and I stagger along to the various meals. But it lightens my mood. But the thing that keeps me going is the secret hugged tightly to my chest that Tommy and Anna had told us there will be a baby Cattell in mid-August…

Then back to London (and Pickle) in early Feb: the surgeon here very doubtful about diving – he says it will take 6-12 months to get back to normal. Never one to take bad news seriously, I start physio here and as of today my therapist is very pleased with my mobility and chances of getting in that wetsuit. I even try on my old 5 mm shortie to see how it feels – not bad!   But I feel the cold so badly – even if the water is 28 C – that I decide to purchase a 1.5mm one to go underneath; I also have my normal 3 mm at the ready so am prepared for all eventualities. I’m also doing acupuncture twice a week and acupressure massage with cranial osteopathy  – determination is my second name!

Back in London my main preoccupation is weaning off the opiates while not feeling pain; this has been challenging. But here we are in week 10 down to no sleeping pills, only co-codamol at night, and paracetamol and the occasional ibuprofen during the day. Doing the physio religiously. All of these drugs mean that I have barely had a drink this year and have lost 3kgs…so some good out of bad!

A routine NHS health check shocks me to the core when I am told I have high cholesterol. Find this hard to believe with our mostly plant-based, dairy-free and no processed food diet…shome mishtake shurely, ed? I’m getting some extra bloods done to make sure…I do feel so tired all the time.

I have also been admiring the first signs of spring in my garden, somewhat vicariously, doing a lot of reading, a bit of work, submitting my Czech passport application after five long years, and marking Louise’s 12th anniversary with the annual pilgrimage to the bench and to the recently re-opened Steeles pub. Seeing friends, young and old, reinforces the need to live for every moment and to look forward to new beginnings. This injury will soon pass but a broken heart doesn’t mend so easily.696b85e0-5a3c-48e2-859e-248f015247b3

 At the Bench with Tommy, Anna, and Ross


2 responses to “Ten weeks on – how’s the shoulder?

  1. Good to read this full accounting Vicky. Sorry this is such a slog. But your last line, of course, is the key one here.
    Looking forward to giving you a (careful) hug soon. xox

    Liked by 1 person

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