Living with a broken shoulder

My shoulders are fine. Nothing broken.

I didn’t try to fly and fail, so I can do this:

But Shaun did fly and fail, and he’s broken his right shoulder.

He can’t flail his arms around like a maniac. He can’t even get comfortable.

As an outsider looking in, having a broken shoulder looks like it sucks.

As a two-armed saviour, a broken shoulder means my arms get a good workout.


Watching Shaun wince, forget and cuss, and hearing him muttering colourfully with his Yorkshire tongue, got me thinking that I don’t know what he’s going through.

Unable (and unwilling) to replicate the pain, today I borrowed his sling and pretended my shoulder was broken.

To start, working out the strap, untwisting it, placing it, and securing it requires a very dexterous left hand. When I tried, my right was all nice and comfy, kind of gloating, as my left needed to rope Shaun’s left hand in for assistance.

At first, it was novel using my left hand to do things.

Making tea, opening doors, using the remote — these things my hand has done before.

Brushing my teeth, though, was a joke, and don’t get me started about going to the toilet!

After battling myself into my coat, I headed out the door and walked into town.

Instead of swinging by my side, my arm bounced by my chest, which quickly became annoying.

Shopping started easy with nothing to carry, but after a trip to Wilkos, Tesco was tricky, especially since I didn’t think to get a trolley. Juggling a bag and a basket in one hand, putting everything down only to pick everything back up again, heavier, cut my shopping trip short.

Whilst paying, the lady behind the till asked what I’d done and I said I’d only broken my shoulder. She gasped and asked how long I’d be trussed up, and I answered with May.

“Oh my, that’ll be awful —”

“Nah,” I smiled, “gets me out of doing the housework!”

And we laughed!

Oh, how I wish it was true…

The walk home saw my left hand complaining and my right hand laughing, bouncing by my chest.

I got home and I was done.


Having endured a shopping trip with a mock broken shoulder, I can safely say I don’t want one. It’s irritating. Your arm feels warm, your hand is cold, and your other hand has to do all the work!

In terms of pain, I’ve only got to look at Shaun’s face to know I don’t want it.

Tomos James