A Squirrel Sneezes — and My Pain Flares Up

Karen Del Vecchio avatar

by Karen Del Vecchio |

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shoulder subluxation

Overall, things have been going great in my life. My new horse Cherry is learning quickly, my other horse Spots is healing, and Pilates and massages generally keep me pretty well put together. Nevertheless, at times my body decides it just doesn’t feel like cooperating and rebels.

As my massage therapist, Kim, often says jokingly, “Your body goes haywire when Saturn is high in the sky, a squirrel sneezes, and you put on the wrong pair of socks.” Obviously, that statement makes no sense, which is exactly her point: At times, it seems as if my body gets tight and “angry” with very little provocation, and sometimes for no apparent reason at all.

The past two weeks have been like that. Last week, in particular, wasn’t a great one from a physical standpoint. My back was already sore, and when I went to Pilates, my shoulder experienced subluxation while doing a very basic and nontaxing exercise. The good thing about my shoulder subluxation is that I’m so flexible it doesn’t hurt. The bad thing is that my joints are so loose that it doesn’t hurt! I put my shoulder back into place, but I think that started the downward slide.

My shoulder historically has been a mess after I severely injured it as a teenager before I was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. While I’ve made significant improvement since my diagnosis with the help of lots of physical therapy, massages, and Pilates, it will never be “normal.” When my shoulder flares up, the pain radiates up into my neck, down my back, and into my hips. If my neck gets involved, I often get headaches from the muscle tension. With my hips, sometimes my muscles tighten enough that it torques them out of alignment, causing me to walk unevenly with compensatory soreness.

Thankfully, Kim did a great job of putting me back together last night during my massage. Sometimes when I get like this, any part of my body that she tries to work on is like a jumping bean, and she has to figure out which areas are tangled together in their soreness to help calm them down. I don’t know how she does it. Half the time, I can’t figure out the connections, and it’s my body!

I’m so glad she can do that, and that she finds the challenge so entertaining. This morning, I feel better, and I’m definitely not as tight as I was yesterday before she worked on me. Now I just need to try not to overtax myself for a day or two to let everything settle down. Then I should be good to go — at least until another squirrel sneezes, and I pick out the wrong pair of socks.


Note: Ehlers-Danlos News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Ehlers-Danlos News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Ehlers-Danlos.


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