Some of y’all may recall that a lifetime of hard work, neglect of my body and health, combined with more recent efforts to recover the same, and culminating in an awkward fall, resulted in some significant shoulder injuries.
The word “catastrophic” was used by at least two surgeons I consulted (who couldn’t do anything positive for me).
Mostly by luck I found a passionate, talented, and determined artist/surgeon to attempt to tackle these difficult repairs.
In mid-January I had the surgery on my right shoulder (the worst one) to correct a couple of massive, complete tendon tears (with retraction and muscle atrophy), as well as smaller tears as well. Before the surgery I couldn’t even lift my arm. The surgeon was successful beyond expectations and got everything reattached as it should be.
I’ve spent the last 7 months applying a precision amount of pain (rehabbing) to that shoulder. It’s not, by any means done, but it IS functional. Realistically I’ve got another year of DAILY work before it will be back to where it should be.Meanwhile, the LEFT shoulder, in which “massive tearing”, “full width and full thickness tearing”, and lots of other scary terms apply, has been reminding me what unhealthy pain feels like and severely cramping my style.
Surgery is scheduled on that one quite soon.
The aftermath of that will be 6-8 weeks in a sling. NO working out or physical labor during that time, as it risks jarring the tendons or a fall/etc and they need that time to begin the healing process.
Then there’s 6-ish months of rehab, and another YEAR past that of work, and curtailed upper body work all the while.
My injuries rate high on the severe scale, and as I understand it, tendons are slow to heal, graft, or strengthen due to the very restricted blood supply.
If I re-tear them there’s not much left to work with. There’s a 30% re-injury rate in the 1st year with this sort of thing. If I make it the year, I should be fine for life (yanno, if I don’t abuse myself again).
Taking the time to do it right is as frustrating as it is mandatory.
Given the magnitude of my overall fitness problem I am working to correct and the rare juxtaposition of events/circumstances that afforded me the opportunity and means to tackle the issue (at the time the motivation to do so manifested), this frustration combines with a very strong feeling that I’m running out of time.
The curtailed activity hinders more than just my fitness plans. Some of y’all may recall my Old Victorian project…80% of that house is “over my head”…that’s a real problem when ya can’t work overhead…
Intellectually, I know I’ve got this…I’ve maintained my weight despite the severely curtailed exercise regimen this year (much of the time I DO spend exercising is spent on shoulder rehab, which while critically important, does not overly tax much of the rest of my body). I’ve even managed to improve my endurance cardio performance and other things…but I’m impatient to “get back to it” as a main focus.
I’m SO close to my overall goal…and this feels like a failure.
…and I’ve got another year+ of it ahead.
Lot’s of “leg day” at the gym I guess 🙂
Intellectually, yeah, I’ve got this.
Emotionally, I’m not so sure. It’s hard NOT to be discouraged.
Ah well…pre-surgery jitters for the most part…the degree of success of the procedure is not certain, there’s a lot of damage to correct, but I’ve aligned all the factors I can to get the best result possible.
…and sometimes that just has to do.
I’ll see you on the road.
You can read more about my fitness journey here.