I have a shoulder injury. It’s from a rather silly incident: throwing a ball for my dog. And since I’m no longer in the military, getting injuries looked at isn’t the same as being in the Army. I should say that I’m rather fortunate that even though we run with some movement to our shoulders and we (are supposed to) swing our arms while moving forward, the pain in my shoulder doesn’t manifest itself during a run.
So, whenever I had an injury in the Army, I usually got treated immediately, or more often, go to “sick call” the next morning. For those who don’t know, sick call is when servicemembers go to get checked out by medical personnel, usually around 6 in the morning. And more likely, a supervisor or higher-ranking person will tell an injured but reluctant patient to go to sick call. Problems and ailments can range from ankle sprains all the way to colds, fevers, and the flu. And once a physician’s assistant or a doctor sees you, you get something called a profile. A profile says what the service member can or cannot do and for how long. These profiles are followed and adhered to very strictly, lest someone gets in trouble. I used to hate getting a profile that restricted my running, but the doc’s word is final.
When I injured my shoulder, I didn’t call my civilian doctor, mostly because I’ve been leery about learning how healthcare from off-post medical professionals happened. But after a couple of weeks, I went to the acute care clinic on base. Yes, I couldn’t avoid getting seen by the military; it was within my comfort zone and they don’t turn people away unless it’s something they cannot handle or the issue is very, very trivial.
So, the doctor on duty checked out my shoulder, asked several questions, and prescribed me to physical therapy. A few days later, I talked with the physical therapist, and while talking about my shoulder, I told him that it was amazing that I could still run with no issues. Of course, I also told him that I can run and keep my right arm and shoulder pretty much still since I do run with a GoPro in my hand. I’ve done two races so far with this shoulder injury and the only time it hurt was when I reached for a tree branch. That pain was terrible, by the way.
Even though the shoulder isn’t currently a problem while running, it is a problem to get me out there to run. I do wake up with some very bad pain some days, and it’s enough to knock me off my rhythm and routine for something I like to do.