I’m sitting in my office today, struggling to hold my right shoulder back and up the way I know it needs to be. It’s a painful, frustrating thing, and it’s all too familiar. When I stop actively thinking about it, my shoulder drops forward and rolls down, and I don’t even notice until I start to get alternating stabbing pains and pins and needles in my forearm and fingers. This is what my chronic joint problem looks like when I’m not taking care of myself.
I haven’t added up the miles I traveled in the last month, but I bet they’re impressive — Potsdam to Cooperstown, Utica, Minneapolis, Virginia, and Idaho — and every one of those involved a 2-5 hour drive and carrying a briefcase bag. On my right shoulder. Of course.
I love to travel. I really do. And I don’t want it to become my truth that traveling breaks my body. So I’m trying to think of coping strategies. Sadly for my self-image, a wheelie briefcase carryon may be the logical answer. They’re just so … ugly. They’re certainly not stylish neon pink bags.
But this thing where I spend huge amounts of brain energy pulling my shoulder back into alignment (and then weeks of stretching and exercise to get myself back into functional shape) isn’t gonna work. Something’s gotta give. And it needs to not be my shoulder.