Monday, July 17, 2006

Strange But True

The bizarre medical condition that is my shoulder continues to confound me. It’s funny that I avoided going to the doctor when it was just a soar shoulder, but now I’m thinking I should go just because it so odd. Wouldn’t it be cool if I ended up in a medical journal or something?

This morning I woke up just as I have for the past three weeks with a very soar shoulder. This time, however, instead of babying it I treated it as if it wasn’t injured at all. The first few hours were difficult but the more I used it the better it got. It wasn’t just a time issue, though. That is to say, I don’t wake up with a soar shoulder and as the day progress it gets better. I have to use it to see improvement, and the more strenuous I use it the better it gets. The less use it sees, it either stays the same or gets worse.

The best it got today was when I was on a ladder sanding shingles by hand with a wadded up piece of 80 grit. I’m writing this as soon as I can because I know that after a few hours of sitting on the couch my shoulder will get progressively worse. I think I’ve discovered a pattern, though.

When I’m at rest my arms drop to the side and it is this downward pull in the same position that irritates my shoulder. (Damn you gravitiy!) When I’m working, especially on prepping the side of the house, my arms are mostly lifted up, and a lot of times are over my head. Today at work when I wasn’t doing much and my arms dangled I would start to feel pain. When this happened I would stick my arm straight up in the air perpendicular with the ground and then reach back and grab the back of my neck. It looks odd. My elbow is pointing skyward while I’m grabbing the back of my neck. It works wonders though. Within in minuets I being to feel normal – I just don’t look normal.

The best part about all of this is, I can work on my house. Today I finished prepping the front. The paint just fell off the house. The front faces east and has seen a lot of morning sunrises. After 80 years the paint just gave up the ability to hold on to the wood. For some reason it adhered to the shingles on the second story better than the horizontal lap siding on the first story. On the first story I could just make two or three passes with my bare hand and be down to bare wood. Tomorrow I should start with the primer. With any luck I will begin the topcoat on Wednesday.

I used a urethane caulk for the first time today. A friend – actually he owns the property next door – is very knowledgeable and I have nothing but the utmost respect for him. He told me about urethane caulk. He says if you put it on bare wood it will never come off. It expands. It’s paintable. And supposedly will out-last any latex acrylic caulk by eons. It does cost about $7.00 a tube so you don’t want to go hog-wild with it, but for certain places it may be the way to go. You also have to clean-up with mineral spirits. I used it around the big stained glass window on the front of the house. I’m never going to be scrapping this house back to bare wood so it’s now or never. I'll give an update on the caulk in a few eons.


StuccoHouse said...

I've used a caulk called Storm Blaster by White Lightening. Its a "hydrocarbon polymer" (is that a urathane? - I never took chemistry). You can use it on dry or wet hot or cold materials. The written warranty is for the remaining life of the house. I'm pretty sure a nuclear bomb would have little effect. Word to the the wise. Stock up on caulk guns & gloves....and don't let that stuff near your hair. Trust me on this :-)

mindy said...

Weird problem - I would definitely get it checked out. You don't want to end up out of commission! Though, it would be a nice excuse to take a break from all the hard work you've been doing.

Carol said...

You could have tendonitis in your shoulder. I got it bad in my wrist when I was in window restoration mode. It could be as simple as a cortisone shot. At worst, you will have to shell out for an MRI, they will rule out a muscle problem and say its 'nerves' and send you to occupational therapy twice a week. BTW, urethane IS a hydrocarbon polymer, its what makes rubber.

amanda said...

The thing with your shoulder reminds me of a problem I've been having with my upper back (serious pain near where my left shoulder blade sticks out). It never bothers me when I work on the house but it absolutely kills me during the week- no position is comfortable. I guess that I should just quit and work on the house full time... it's for my health!

Angus said...

When I’m working, especially on prepping the side of the house, my arms are mostly lifted up, and a lot of times are over my head.

Too much blood in your arms. That's the problem. When you raise them up it drains into the rest of your body.
I'd recommend leeches if you want to lower your arms.