|(picture take a couple of years ago-to remember the horrible sun burn and all those tan lines!)|
...not the words you want to hear from the Orthopedic doctor. But that's much better than, "you need surgery" or "it can't be fixed" or worse "give up triathlon".
After almost a year of trying to figure out what's going on with my shoulder I went to see a doctor in Birmingham at the Andrews Orthopedic Center (arguably the best orthopedic clinic in the US). Following the most thorough exam I have had, the doctor gave me his very educated diagnosis, "your shoulder is a mess". As I suspected, there is a combination of things going on (welcome to my life). I probably have some chronic tearing, likely a torn labrum, tendonitis/inflamation and some impingement. He said it wouldn't get better quickly, and it will take work. He was glad I didn't have any races planned so I can stay away from the pool and off my aero bars for "a while". I'll start physical therapy as soon as I find an "overhead shoulder specialist" who can work with all the various issues I have going on and I'll start praying for a full recovery with PT.
If there's not some improvement in 6-8 weeks I will go back and "see the guys down the hall" (the surgeons).
You might think I would be down about this news, but I'm actually thrilled. I remember when I had to stop running due to Periostitis. That's when I discovered swimming and when I got to thinking about triathlon!! And, when I was able to start running again I came back stronger than ever before. This will get better. I will be stronger. Next year will be my best year yet. All because this year I had to rely completely on God's strength to get me through, giving me a strong faith and mind...next year He's going to bless me with both a strong mind and body!
Let the healing begin!!