Yeah, don’t google that. In a nutshell, it’s soft tissue damage in the shoulder, brought on by poor posture, an injury, age, and so on. The solution can include physical therapy, cortisone shots, and surgery. I have a hunk of scapular dyskinesis in my left shoulder and being conscious with it ain’t the bad part, but the pain robs me of sleep. I went for weeks looking for a comfortable position before seeking treatment.
I’m not writing to whine or pout or any of the sort, but to educate. This medical challenge took away quality sleep time, and I spent more than a few weeks in a fog, going through the motions at home and work. Editing the sequel to ASIN was hit-and-miss, and mostly miss. The irony here was that early in my writing career (such as it is), I was advocate of “powering through.” Got a sixty-hour job? Write on break. Got a family? They have to sleep sometime. Chores? Yard work? Whatever? Get a thousand words in first. I am so over that now.
I’m a great believer in listening to my body’s messages, perhaps to the point of hypochondria, but the system works for me. When I exercise, I don’t push into my asthma limits. When my blood sugar was in the 500+ range and kicked me into Type II land, I modified my diet and lost forty pounds. When this little doo-dah in my shoulder, I started going to physical therapy and have rejoined the gym. Yes, I barely bright enough to understand that that’s reactive care and not proactive care, which would be the smart thing to do. On the other hand, I set a new personal record today for consecutive days alive, so I must be doing something right.
If you’re of a certain age, you used to hear, “If you have your health, you have everything.” The opposite is true, too. Don’t be me and wait for a bad situation to improve, because sometimes it doesn’t. If you think you got a soft tissue injury, seek help. If you need dental work or physical therapy or nutritional advice or whatever, do what you gotta do. “Self-Care” means taking care of the physical shell that houses your awesome writing ability.
Let me speak for everyone who loves you: please take care of yourself. You matter.