Thursday 1st February 1990   Morning surgery 09.50

“Come on, Mrs Vaughan, you try this on every Winter! I don’t know how many times I’ve told you. A frozen shoulder has got nothing to do with the weather.”
“It feels exactly like a frozen shoulder to me, Dr Dennis.”
“You don’t suddenly wake up with a frozen shoulder. It usually comes on gradually over weeks or months.”
“My frozen shoulder did start suddenly this morning. It was bitterly cold and there was a thin frost. I could feel it seizing up as soon as I got out of bed.”
“I don’t remember there being any frost.”
“I was up very early, doctor. You know I don’t sleep well.”

“Sometimes, a frozen shoulder can be caused by an injury. Have you fallen or have you wrenched it in the garden?”
“No, doctor, neither. There definitely hasn’t been an injury and, of course, I am not diabetic. I understand that a frozen shoulder is quite comon amongst patients with diabetes.”
“That’s correct, Mrs Vaughan.”
Mrs Vaughan turned to me and raised her eyebrows. “A useful fact for you to remember, Dennis?”

“Well, which ever way you look at it, it doesn’t seem like a frozen shoulder to me, Mrs Vaughan.”
“I suppose not. I’m sorry, doctor. I will try to remember next year. It’s probably just a touch of rheumatism. Even you would admit that rheumatism is affected by the weather.”
My Dad nodded reluctantly.
“Listen, while I am here,” Mrs Vaughan continued, “can I have some of that special cream for my chilblains. They’re really painful.”


A frozen shoulder.
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