Frozen — and I don’t mean that Disney movie

Incidentally, I’ve never even seen that Disney movie. I don’t know what it’s about, nor do I really want to. I know that my niece is rather obsessed with it and sings the refrain of the song over and over. I know that that name and pictures of those characters are all over clothes and products. I remember being disappointed recently, in Target, I think, that a particular company (I can’t remember which one now – if I do, I’ll update) had descended to the level that they were stamping this shameless advertising on their children’s product. Hmm, was it underwear? Applesauce? I don’t recall.

Anyway,  I’m not talking about that Frozen, I’m talking about my shoulder.

It is doubly official. First, my physical therapist diagnosed it, and today, an orthopedic doctor has confirmed that I have adhesive capsulitis, more commonly known as “frozen shoulder.”

It is absolutely amazing to me that modern medicine does not have more information about this condition. No one really knows what causes it. No one really knows what helps to improve it. No one knows why it goes away, nor why it takes as much time as it does to do so, nor why that time actually varies from one person to another. It is mind boggling how little is known about a condition that can be quite painful and quite restrictive for a very long time.

The medical experts of our time have agreed that there seem to be three separate stages of adhesive capsulitis: the painful, the frozen, and the thaw. And they pretty much agree that it takes between 1-3 years to progress through all of them, and that outcomes are generally pretty positive, with little permanent loss of range of motion.


Maybe that last explains why so little is known. If everything turns out fine in the end, why devote time and expense to researching causes or treatment options?

But the end for me is still quite a ways away, I fear.

I’ve progressed to the frozen stage; my range of motion is pretty limited (though I can imagine it being more severely limited–we’ll see, I guess), but the dull, constant ache has receded, and (knock on wood) I haven’t had any of those moments where I unwittingly do something that tweaks my shoulder and causes me to do a little “Ow, it hurts” dance while holding it and mumbling obscenities in over a week. So, yes, that’s progress.

But it looks like I could be in this stage for four to six months or more (and I don’t really know if it’s going to get worse than it is now; that hasn’t yet been made clear to me from my readings or visits with healthcare professionals).

There is a surgery option.

But that mostly just scares me.

So I’ll live, rather than watch.




And wait for the thaw…


4 thoughts on “Frozen — and I don’t mean that Disney movie

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