A weight on your shoulders

Ruffian on rocks.

16th June 2021

Port de Pollença, Mallorca  – Port de Pollença, Mallorca via Ila Alcanada, Mallorca

Yo-yo’s can be brilliant toys. They return again and again to the safety of your hand and when release them they can perform all sorts of tricks. Over time however Yo-Yo’s do become tiresome. Ultimately, they just go back and forth, they travel the same route and while they’re in your hand it can’t do anything else. Circumstances have turned our lives into a yo-yo existence.

Over time Fiona’s shoulder had been getting painful and it had come to the point where sailing was difficult and crossing oceans would prove to be dangerous. Something had to be done and so we sought out some expert medical opinions.

Like the aforementioned yo-yo, back and forth we went across Mallorca to get ultrasounds, MRI’s and examinations. Fiona was prodded and poked (not in a good way!) and we finally had the diagnosis we already knew and a course of action that was not surprising. Fiona had Adhesive Capsulitis and the initial fix were cortisone injections deep into her shoulder and some seriously ‘ouchy’ manipulative therapy.*

As Iain and Fiona sat in the surgery the expert wanted to kick things off quickly. Witnessing the sort of needle that should only be seen in cartoons sent Iain scurrying to a safe distance and Fiona bracing herself for the inevitable. As the needle probed for the perfect spot Fiona’s yelps of pain mirrored the implements movements and it was all viewable on the ultrasound. Finally, with Fiona’s yelps reaching the crescendo, the gloop was expelled, the needle withdrawn and Fiona’s relief was instant (from the removal of the needle, rather than the miraculous fixing of the shoulder unfortunately).

With a set of exercises in hand, we took the now familiar route home and hoped that Fiona was on also on the road to recovery. That road however was going to involve lots of yo-yoing, but we had some time before the next flick of the wrist.

As the days passed and the exercises increased, things were improving. Cala’s were hiked and mountain goats chased, islands were visited and paddleboards deployed, Ruffian was leapt off and endless swimming ensued. Activities which would have been impossible a month ago were happening and all thanks to Fiona’s dedication and that painful injection. All too soon however the yo-yo effect pulled Fiona back to the hospital and into the hands of the good-looking German Osteopath.

Once again, the tiresome road was travelled and again improvements were made. As a reward for this improvement Iain had one of his most excellent ideas which Fiona thought would be moderated by inviting the valiant crew of Calista.

Departing the bus in Old Pollença town, collective groans were heard as it dawned on everyone what Iain meant by a ‘little walk up a hill’. High above us, perched on the top of a 300m tall rock was a tiny church and that was destination number 1.

Half way up with the town growing smaller below us there were collective groans of relief. Wet cement covered the road as dump trucks delivered load after load. The road was being resurfaced and even with our pigeon Spanish we could tell from the gesticulations of the workmen that they’d be very grumpy if we left 8 foot impressions in their work. The climb was off and coffee was on.

The ‘good news’ for everyone was there was another climb planned for the day. Apparently 365 steps, one for every day, led to another church that over looked the town and as we scaled them autistic Iain counted them. Getting to the top Iain felt that the Gregorian calendar needed changing as he counted 416, but Paul and Karen were happy that there were only 51 too many.

The reward for these extra 51 steps was the mother of all lunches way off the tourist track. Course after course of the ‘Menu de Dia’ adorned our table and we thought that waiter had some sort of yo-yo condition as he returned time and time again to the kitchen.

The yo-yo existence will be continuing for some time as fixing bodies is never quick and always painful. There will be trips for more injections, trips for manipulation, and trips for deep tissue massage, but this pause will allow us to continue travelling and in time cross oceans.

* Adhesive Capsulitis is where adhesions form in the shoulder joint, restricting movement and causing severe pain making everyday tasks painful and driving Ruffian in a sea impossible.  In true yo-yo form Fiona had this same condition in the other shoulder four years previously.

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Author: Iain & Fiona Lewis

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