Friday, February 14, 2014

Progress...

I'll bet you thought I was never going to post again.  (Okay, so maybe you really didn't miss me at all...)

This is the longest I've gone without writing a blog post, but I have good reason.  Sort of.

As I explained, I had to have surgery January 7th.  The dr who performed the operation told Dwayne that my rotator cuff and labrum looked great but the bicep tendon was "a mess".  If you look at the photo, you can see the bicep muscle has two tendons that attach it to the shoulder.  The long head (number 10) runs across the top of the arm bone, the short head (number 5) goes in front of the arm.  Using this photo as a reference, basically the doctor cut out most of the white part of number 5 out and then attached the end of the muscle to my arm bone.  There's a graphic youtube video here of a procedure like mine if you are interested.  (As a warning, I actually like watching surgery videos, but this one almost made me sick...maybe it's because I kept thinking about it being done to ME which puts a whole new aspect on watching!)

The surgery went well, and I'm now five weeks out.  The worst part about the whole thing has not been the not-working-out part (although that has been extremely tough).  It has been the wearing of the mammoth sling.  I just realized I don't have a picture of me in it to share with you, but this is pretty much the same one I'm wearing.  It's not horrible torture during the day, but it's a real nuisance to sleep with it on.  From what I understand I have three more weeks of captivity.

Physical therapy started the day after surgery.  I've been going three times a week.  I've always heard how painful shoulder rehab is, and I'm certainly not going to dispel that rumor.  However, I will say that since my rotator cuff and labrum weren't injured, my rehab has been much better than it would have been had that not been the case.  I am almost at 100% range of motion for a normal person.  Unfortunately (fortunately?) I am very flexible which means I still have quite a ways to go before the left arm matches what the right arm can do.

If you have ever seen a house being built, you know how at first it goes up so fast you can't imagine that it will really take months to be finished, then progress slows to a snail's pace and you wonder if it will ever be DONE?  Well...I'm at the snail's pace right now.

Last week I started a new stretch (the "towel stretch").  Before I got hurt I looked like the guy pictured.  After working for a week, I have gone from barely being able to get the back of my left hand to my left hip, to being able to grab the end of a long towel behind my back.

That.  Is.  Progress.

Progress is, by definition movement toward a goal, advancement, growth, development and/or continuous improvement.  I am making progress.  I do see that.  But, I have to look really close to notice.  At least once every day I think (and more often than not, I say) "I'm never going to be able to X again."  (X is anything I am wanting to do that I can't manage at this point in time -ride a bike, swim, run, move without pain...)  I do realize that it's ONLY been five weeks.  But, come on...it's been FIVE WEEKS already.

Of course, it's been six weeks since I have written a post and you probably barely even noticed I was gone.  Sometimes ---okay, most of the time--- progress is just a matter of perspective.  When you are right of top of a situation, or very close to it, you may not notice the changes.  Step away and things seem to happen over night.  (That's why they say a watched pot "never" boils.)

I have a lot more to report on, but for now, I'll leave you with this little gem I found when I searched for a picture of a snail to add to the post.  Enjoy.  Until next time. :D

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