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We had a good run, didn’t we? Remember all the things we used to do? Climb trees in the front yard. Dance the YMCA at weddings. Lift weights with Dad. Put on a sweater….

Seems like these days things are not going so well for us. I’m not sure what started it, but I sure did notice when you were not part of the cohesive unit, battle ready, as the rest of the warrior known as “Me.”

It all seemed to happen at once, that night when I was making a pot of pierogis. I reached across the sink
and upwards to open the cabinet where I keep my seasonings, my treasure called Fox Point, and at that moment the world changed. I felt a bloom of something from you, a small bloom like a baby’s breath in your senior prom corsage. Then the bloom began to grow in heat and intensity, spreading across you dear shoulder, into my chest, my back, not throbbing, not stabbing, just a wide swath of pain. I’m not sure if I screamed, but I definitely dropped my arm and staggered a bit, and the strange new bloom ebbed and stopped hurting. What. In. The. Actual. Just. Happened. To. Me? Dear Right Shoulder, you best believe I finished cooking that pot of pierogi doused in butter and Fox Point, and my body did the thing it always does which is to forget pain and move on.

The next time you came to visit I was sitting on the couch and I felt a touch cold so I lifted the Snoopy blanket up to cover me, but some of the blanket was stuck under me so I hit the power button that tells you, my dear, to lift harder and it happened again. A small bloom that spread across the top and over my shoulder and I know this time I definitely hollered, and this time I felt a crunch.

The last time it happened, that’s when I knew I had to let the old you go. I had to install a new printer on the credenza and retrieve the wires that need to connect to it that fell on the floor. I put my awesome warrior woman body on the floor and reached back to get the wires and I heard another crunch, as if someone put my shoulder back in place and I screamed as the pain bloomed. Shoulder, you punish me for a wire?

Dear Right Shoulder, we had a good run but I’m not done with you. I’m not going to soak you in pain meds or prayer or surgery. I’m going to let the teeth grinding refusal to move because it might hurt go. I’m going to fight you with personal PT, the silly elastic strap to exercise the pain bloom out of my life so I can wash my hair, brush my hair, sleep on my right side, and put on a sweater as the goddess did intend without caution, without fear, without second thought. So help me, I will bring you back into the fold of muscles, tendons, blood, condition, and demand you do what I need you to do as my body requires. Get on board, the work is coming.

Mother Who Knows Pain And Does Not Comply