The body is a funny thing, isn’t it? Twelve years ago I fell off my bike outside the Hat and Feather (it was icy, honest) and, having the sense not try to save myself by sticking out (and probably breaking) my arm, landed slap-bang on my shoulder. Since then, no amount of physiotherapy, cranial osteopathy or ultra-sound has rid me of the pain and stiffness that resulted. Not to mention the horrible crunching noises.
I was unable to raise my arm above shoulder height, prompting hilarious (not) jokes from my doctor about my not qualifying for membership of certain right wing political organisations.
The world’s finest surgeons had given up on me. Live with it, they said. Well, if anything has turned me into a grumpy old man, it’s living with the constant gip from my dicky shoulder.
Until the other night. I turned over in bed, putting most of my considerable weight on my elbow. There followed a very loud, sickening clunk and a short sharp electric shock. Since then, no pain, no stiffness. I find myself free to indulge in the most baroque of arm movements. I can’t stop myself waving to passing traffic. I am constantly thinking up reasons to select crockery from the top shelf.
It’s a miracle cure!
Something similar happened with my foot a while back. Again, horrible pain, probably brought on by the frequent wearing of Lady Margaret’s ‘sensible’ shoes. And pain in the wallet too as I resorted to private practice for a solution. You’re wasting your money said the guy at the posh clinic. We don’t know what it is and we can’t fix it. I limped off to the bus stop, not knowing whether to nurse my creaking shoulder or my throbbing in-step.
A month later, I noticed my foot was no longer hurting. When did that happen, I wondered? So subtle was the segue into pain-free walking, to this day I cannot remember which foot had been playing up!
All I need now is a third miracle for my blooming knee. Or is it a fourth? I said to the doc, my right knee is in agony again. What do you mean again, he said, it was your left one you came to see me about last time!
I hadn’t registered the change of leg.