Home > Clint's Blog > Dislocated my shoulder during an install…

Dislocated my shoulder during an install…

April 4th, 2008

…Almost. Right now I have my arm in “sling” position, with any movement upwards causing extreme pain which shoots through my shoulder. I type this looking like a gimp. How did it happen? Well, if you go back a week ago, I was doing an install (one of a series of 5 I am doing for an article) at my buddy Frank’s house. He joked about falling through the ceiling and I commented that doing so is an extremely rookie mistake, and something that should not happen with any experienced person who has spent any time in an attic.

Needless to say, that sort of ramps up the odds of something going wrong – courtesy of one Mr. Murphy and his “law”.Well, nothing happened and the install went swimmingly well. This week I went to another neighbor’s house – we’ll call him “Joe” (cause that’s his name.) I was in Joe’s attic by myself. Joe’s attic was typical in that the access was via a square point of entry in the 9-foot ceiling. I had to use my 4 foot ladder to get as high as I could, reach my arms up over my head and then pull myself entirely up into the attic through the entry hole. This wouldn’t be so bad except for the lack of a taller ladder ( I really need to buy one this week.) It’s quite the physical feat.

Well, no one was home (Joe had a “meeting” in Orlando so I was solo on the entire install) and I was walking the attic heading back towards the entry. That was when it happened.

I stepped on something that either moved, or caused me to slip – I have no idea anymore which… Absolutely DETERMINED not to fall through a ceiling I cemented my hand onto the nearest joist with a vice-like grip. I mean a really powerful grip like you see in the strongest men competitions when they… OK, well, anyway it was a tight grip.

My body swung underneath the joist, but my grip held fast. As I did a 180-turn I reached out with my other hand to steady myself at which point I heard a strange noise from the shoulder attached to the vice-like grip. I have no idea if I really heard it or if I just remember hearing it – or if I’m just making it up now to make the story more interesting. I DO remember thinking “ah, this must be what it’s like to dislocate your shoulder.”

Followed quickly by:

  • This REALLY hurts bad.
  • “I don’t have my cell phone with me.”
  • “What if I can’t get down?”
  • “Am I trapped up here until someone gets home later tonight?”

Well, somehow I managed not only to get down from the attic, but to get up and down it 4 more times (hey, I had to finish the job.) On the very last time I prayed out loud that everything would be in place so I would not have to egress again. I don’t think I had another one in me… But that was it, I was able to wrap it up, clean up the mess and leave. That night the pain grew and I’m attempting to nurse my shoulder to allow it to recover.

It will be nice to be able to take off my shirt again without help… I never quite realized how important it is to be able to lift both arms up over your head! But, Joe is wired for surround sound. I’m ordering him speaker mounts and he’ll be all set. I guess this goes to show that a true Audioholic will do anything to get surround sound into his friends’ homes!

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  1. April 4th, 2008 at 14:30 | #1

    well, at least you didn’t come through the ceiling…. sometimes a physical injury is better than a prideful one!

  2. Rob
    April 5th, 2008 at 04:17 | #2

    Wow, that really sucks, Clint! Hope you’re healed and feeling better soon. Did you have to get any medical attention?
    Might be time to invest in a Little Giant ladder, perhaps!
    I’m a little shocked though. After all, you must know that you’re an example for all the kids out there! Safety first. Always use the proper safety equipment. And always have a partner around to help you and help keep you safe! At least I know for sure that you were wearing your safety goggles the whole time…right?



  3. davemcsjr
    April 7th, 2008 at 08:15 | #3

    Running speaker wire through my attic I missed a joist and went hip deep through the bathroom ceiling! no injuries (aside from bruised ego) The sheetrock broke along a seam and was simple to repair…rear surrounds sounded AWESOME!

  4. April 7th, 2008 at 17:42 | #4

    Shoulder now has less pain. Not sure if my movement is back yet. Everyone keeps saying “hope you didn’t tear your rotator cuff…”

    I have no idea what that means except that apparently you lose most of the ability to reach over your head and it takes surgery to fix.

    I won’t be able to tell if this is what happened until the pain goes away and I still can’t reach up over my head…

    For now it looks to bea muscle pull/tear cause I can pretty much reach up a bit, just not all the way without pain.

  5. May 13th, 2008 at 13:35 | #5

    Just as a follow-up It’s May 13th and while I have full range of motion, the front of my shoulder still suffers from piercing pain when I twist it in particular directions…

    I do think it’s a fully recoverable injury, however based on my current level of healing…

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