Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Old Arm Injury Showing Itself Again

About 5 1/2 years ago, I hurt my arm while I worked at Pier 1 Imports. I used to help do truck early in the morning (like 5am) and I actually really enjoyed it. Even though I am very personable, sometimes I just like to be left to myself in a stockroom. I enjoyed organizing the shelves and keeping tabs on what inventory was available. That way if someone was interested in a table set, I immediately knew if we had it in the back. I've always taken my work very seriously even when making $7.00/hr. I was Associate of the Year in my store! HAHA It is still something that really makes me chuckle when I think about it.

For those of you who haven't ever worked in retail, doing truck doesn't mean you get out of being on the sales floor. Basically you do the jobs of what 5 people would do at a real corporate setting. For this reason, that is why there is such a huge turnover rate.

Now with the economy in the toilet, turnover may not be quite so high since it's extremely difficult to find a NEW job. You have people with master degrees working at Kohls, Walmart and other retailers. Doubt me? Ask around! I worked alongside 2 women with master degrees who couldn't find work in their field! Whenever you can't find a job for whatever reason, just remember you are competing with people who are OVER qualified.

While I did truck, I lifted a lot of heavy stuff. Looking back, I actually had a worker's comp case. However, it is just one of those things you don't think about at the time. Now it wasn't an injury that occurred overnight. My shoulder/arm was injured doing the repetitive task of moving tables, dining chairs, entertainment centers and heavy boxes from the truck to the stockroom. Then from the stockroom to the sales floor. If a customer needed 6 dining chairs, you had to get them from around the perimeter. Phew...imagine me with heels standing precariously on a ladder carrying down multiple dining chairs! I don't know how I did it.

Eventually I started to notice my left shoulder was bothering me. It was more of a nagging pain at this point and didn't think about it. It started to get MUCH worse over the next few weeks. I was having difficulty driving my car. Making a simple turn in my car caused severe pain to shoot into my bicep and into the shoulder. Taking shirts off and lifting my arm higher than my heart was almost impossible. At this point, I went to my manager and told her I was hurt. She was VERY concerned and immediately and permanently took me off of all truck. I was told not to lift anything heavier than 10 pounds, which is really hard at Pier 1. That week I went to the doctor and immediately started physical rehab. I went through several months 3 x a week of phys rehab to get my arm back to what it used to be. For these past few years, I have babied it. The physical rehab helped it, but it has never been back to 100%.

Just a few weeks ago I decided to try out violin. It's been something I have always been interested in. What I didn't consider was if my left arm could handle being up above my heart for extended periods of time. Well I am finding out that it cannot. I'm not sure what I'm going to do. It may come down to finding a new instrument to play.

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