To Health With It!

It’s been a wet, gray winter here in the Pacific Northwest, and this week we’ve got sunshine and temps in the mid seventies. And I’ve got good news…yes, I’m actually willing to admit it…my frozen right shoulder is starting to “thaw!” I’m so ready for this. Frozen shoulder is a very weird condition, sometimes brought on by an injury, more common in those with heart disease, diabetes or arthritis…of which none pertain to me. But, last July I began having pain and restricted movement as I used that arm. It was the kind of pain that would not allow me to sleep. I gotta admit, I’ve not dealt with a chronic health issue before, or chronic pain, or sleep issues. So, that was a new challenge that I hit with traditional medicine, physical therapy, acupuncture, massage and energy healing. The best advice I got came in early January, which was…

“Yes, you do have frozen shoulder, and the only treatment is time.”

Fast forward to February. I was all set for a long overdue vacation to sunny California to see family, celebrate my Mom’s birthday and to be with my daughter, her husband and their sweet two-year old. But, my kitty, Karma, had other plans. She got deathly ill with pancreatitis or a liver infection right as we were due to leave. So I stayed home to care for her with tube feedings and medications due every 4-5 hours that went on for 10 days. Good news is that Karma is now fine. Bad news is this lovely trifecta of wet gray, frozen shoulder and no vacation hit me hard.


I’ve discovered a few things that are helping me get out of this tough phase:

  • During the peak of things, I was real about what I was experiencing. I didn’t dramatize it, but I didn’t say “fine” when people asked me how I was or what I was up to.
  • I was open to trying alternatives, be that for my health, and with Karma’s care. I came at it from “what is possible” vs “this totally sucks.” OK, so there were a few “this sucks” moments.
  • After realizing I was in a funk, I regrouped to see what was contributing to that and what might help me feel better.

I decided to use my own group in My Best Year to move me forward by offering a Movement Challenge and a Clean Eating Challenge.

Here were the goals I created for myself:

  • Getting back to walking 20 miles a week. It’s something I’ve done for a few years, since my Camino, but it fell off during all the rain this winter.
  • I’ve also gotten back to yoga three times a week. It’s a 10-15 minute home routine, but very effective, and my body appreciates moving and flexing more.
  • I’m doing five weeks Clean Eating by combining my own Raw Cleanse with Whole Detox by Dr. Deanna Minich. My goal is to break my own record of cleansing for four weeks by taking it to five. Whole Detox is a great new book filled with recipes, exercises in exploring seven key body systems, and lots of information to support your health and well-being. Whole Detox also offers an online community for support and information throughout the detox. It’s been a GREAT experience! Look for a post soon where I will share some of my favorite recipes from the book and how I was a bit sneaky.

I am almost able to do this again with my shoulder!

Why do I do this?

  • Walking outdoors is like mother nature’s antidepressant. You get a dose of nature while at the same time moving your body. Just add a friend to the equation and you’ve got it made!
  • Yoga and stretching and bending keeps you young and limber. By flexing and bending I feel more at home in my body. More able to do various moves. And just more grounded.
  • Clean eating clears my thoughts, my skin, helps me refocus on caring for my body and my health. Raw cleansing and Whole Detox are programs with structure that make the clean eating easier for me. Having group support dramatically increases one’s chances of achieving their goals.

So here’s to spring, to my thawing shoulder and to health. When health and balance start to get out of reach, it’s a good time to pause and regroup. If you find yourself in a funk, stop, listen to your body, look at your life and ask what it needs…then take baby steps in that direction. In my monthly subscription program, My Best Year, we are having a clean eating and movement challenge in spring, summer and fall to help us be at our very best. I hope you will consider joining us!

Have you ever dealt with a chronic health issue? What are your tips for coping and moving forward even when faced with challenges? Please post in the comments below. 


  1. Kate says:

    Hi Kathy, what an excellent article. While I’ve not been in your situation specifically, I do appreciate your tips. That ‘Trifecta’ must have been rugged, so good on you for recognising the funk and doing your darnedest to get out of it before it got any worse. May the thaw continue!


  2. kendrakayathavemercy says:

    I’m so happy for you!!



    I have had shoulder problems since a hiking accident several years ago, so I totally understand:) I am so glad your kitty is doing better Kathy. Here’s to your health!


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