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  1. #31
    Senior Senior JEFIT Member is304's Avatar
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    Eleven weeks and going. The improvements are not as obvious, but every now and then I stop and think: "Hmmm, this doesn't hurt anymore." Getting a little stronger, a little more flexible, but the process is still slower than my wishes. Not only my shoulder doesn't hurt most of the time (except for being a bit sore from the exercises), when I reach too far or apply too much force (like holding a door in an uncomfortable position) and I feel a twinge or a stab of pain, all I need is to sit down and rest for a couple of minutes, and the pain is gone!

    I started doing push-ups from elbow-high surface - can't go any lower yet, and even there the shoulder starts hurting after a while. Nevertheless yesterday I did 80 push-ups total in my daily walk during lunch break. Doing push-ups in trousers and shirt feels funny (at least I took the tie off), but I don't care - as long as I can do it. My only problem - it's getting pretty warm outside and I sweat more than I I'm comfortable with. So far the deodorant is holding.

    It's funny that these days I spend more time working out than I did when I was in perfect health. I do 20 minutes of therapeutic exercise in the morning, walk for an hour three days a week plus at least once on weekends (plush push-ups), and then work out for another hour at night. It's not very balanced - very little for arms, almost nothing for legs and chest, no core, and plenty for the shoulders, but I can't possibly squeeze another set of exercises on top of what I already do. The good stuff will come too, in just a few months. I still have some patience left.

    My right shoulder started bothering me some more. If last week I wasn't sure whether the next surgery is too soon or not, now I'm certain that I can't wait any longer. It may be the biggest calculated risk I have to take in the last 20 years, but there are times when the right shoulder hurts more than the left one - that can't be good.

    While physically I'm getting better, emotionally I'm still a wreck. While my weight seems to hold steady at decent mark of 175-177, my pants started shrinking. I'm losing muscle that I earend with a lot of hard work and gaining fat instead. Intellectually I know that this is temporary and will be fixed soon, but I can't feel good about it. I read plenty of fitness sites - now, when I cannot practice, is a good time to read up on the theory and work on my plans. Unfortunately, in addition to the useful information there's a lot of "motivation" that just reminds me what I could be doing right now if my shoulders were intact. It's very aggravating. The main reason though - the elephant in the room - is my next surgery, which is only 17 days away. I will probably take it a bit better than the previous one since I have pretty good experience, but there's still plenty of uncertainty and a lot of pain coming up. Will I be able to recover as fast now, when my metabolism slowed down? Is my left shoulder doing well enough to take over all activities once my right arm is in a sling? Will I manage the pain as well or will it be worse? So, my mood swings from normal (but not great) to depressed a couple of times per week. The worst part of it - my work suffers because I cannot concentrate on it well enough. My coworkers are very inderstanding, but their patience has limits as well. I hope that I'll last through the next two weeks - once the surgery is over my mood will improve. In all honesty, I should be very happy now, because I'm doing very well indeed, but the knowledge that very shortly I'll be pushed back is standing in the way of that happiness. It's good that this knowledge comes with an expiration date. For the next two weeks I'll just carry on.

  2. #32
    Senior Senior JEFIT Member is304's Avatar
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    Thirteen days to the surgery, and there are a few developments that I ought to record.

    As of three days ago I can do regular push-ups. Tried several times, can't do more than eight, but the technique is good. My wife said "wow". My therapist said "Very good, but don't do them just yet." So, I stick to elevated push-ups, and today I managed a total of 100. I can touch my fingers behind my back (one arm above and one below). Prior to the surgery I could do a handshake on the days when I was well-stretched, but even reaching this far shows that my shoulder already regained plenty of flexibilty. I realize now, that one of my fears was whether I'd be able to cope after the surgery with one arm in a sling and the other one still healing, but now I see that it's healed enough to take over, and I'm in a much better mood.

    Shoulder still hurts, but most of the time I can ignore it, and instead of sharp stabbing pain in the joint or twinging ache in the muscles, it feels more like the pain from stretching that has gone a bit too far. I don't know whether it's the healing of the tissues or possibly my neural system readjusting and moving my pain threshold back to normal, but I'm doing far better, and that's good enough. Today I realized that I tuck in my shirt automatically and feel no pain except a minor stretch - another good development.

    Staying fit is pretty hard, as I already mentioned, and doing therapy exercises at night is the worst part of it because my sleep schedule suffers and I feel tired. Next time I'll get back to the gym as soon as the doctor lets me - to spare nighttime exercises and add some variety. In the gym I'd have a choice of cables and weights and by now I'd pick heavier weights and lower reps. At home I'm stuck with light dumbbells and rubber bands, doing the same routine 5-6 times a week. I'm not a stranger to physical effort, but the monotony of it is very annoying, almost as annoying as working out in a room not suited for it. I'm holding so far, and next Wednesday or Thursday will be my last workout anyway, since my shoulder needs to rest before the operation, so as long as I don't go bonkers from another week of doing the same routine day in and day out, I'll be fine.

    My right shoulder keeps hurting. I can't wait for the surgery so I'd be rid of an illusion that I have a choice. It is an illusion - the operation seems to be the best option so far - and I just want to be done with it and move on. Besides, once I pass this point of no return I should only get better, provided the operation goes well and I don't do anything stupid afterwards. Thirteen days left...

  3. #33
    I Am JEFIT Legend Deviation's Avatar
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    The monotony is what keeps a lot of people from continuing rehab. I've seen in my family as well. But it sounds like things are getting much better for you. Just gotta stick it out.
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  4. #34
    Senior Senior JEFIT Member is304's Avatar
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    One week left to surgery. My mood swings up and down. My shoulder feels better, then it feels worse, then it's better, but the other one starts hurting... Some Facebook posts lift my mood, then some others remind me that I'm falling behind and there's nothing I can do about it... I've done plenty of housework today - made me feel better. My shoulder hurts after the housework - made me feel worse. I just can't wait to get through the operation - that should make me more stable. I ought to be more mature than that, but maybe this is my version of being an adult - behave normally, and leave a little room to vent.

    I have a confession - I missed my morning exercises. I can deal with monotony, I can deal with pain, I can deal with stomach infection, but the three together managed to overpower me, temporarily. I'll get to my evening exercises after I finish this post, but I'll do the light version, same as yesterday. The infection was a huge scare - I had a severe one last fall, and I definitely don't want to deal with one right before the surgery. (I think it would be a good idea to talk about that one, but in a separate post, maybe tomorrow.) So, I took a day off, stayed put, and ate very little. So far it helps, except that I'm very hungry.

    I need more exercise. My arms look well enough, my legs are still fine, although I've lost definition, but my belly started expanding. Unfortunately, there's little I can do about it right now. I don't want to starve myself right now, so I'll have to pack a couple of pounds of fat. I'm not happy about it, but without nutrients my shoulders won't heal, without good shoulders I can't work out, and if I can't work out I won't lose weight. So, I'll have to gain fat now to lose it later.

    During my last therapy session I tried to curl a ten properly - with the right form and good squeeze. My shoulder was on fire for two days afterwards - apparently my tendons are not fully ready - but after that I've noticed a jump in strength. Now would be the time to start working hard, but I only have three sessions left, after that I won't be doing any exercises - my shoulder needs to be relaxed and loose for the surgery. I also temporarily stopped taking fish oil - apparently it thins blood, same as aspirin and some other painkillers. Something to keep in mind.

    My left shoulder is getting better - today I did ten proper push-ups, and what stopped me was not my left shoulder, but my chest - I haven't done any chest-related exercises in three months and it shows. My range of motion is increasing, and I think in a few weeks my shoulder will be back to normal, or almost so.

    It was too boring doing chores on my own, so I put on a movie I wanted to watch fro a while - "Cinderella man". I though I'd just go about my business and listen in and glance at the screen once a while. For the next two hours I could not look away. In addition to being a great film, it reminded me why I started looking after myself and what is the most important part of my life. Those who saw the movie will understand, for the rest - I very highly recommend it.

    Well, I think it's enough for today, can't miss another workout.

  5. #35
    Senior Senior JEFIT Member is304's Avatar
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    Today was my last therapy session for the left shoulder. I also took a very long walk and did 200 elevated push-ups during that walk. Then I got home, did my best on therapy workout. My left shoulder is sore, but the right one gives me just as much trouble as the left, which means the time is right for the operation. I guess I'm very lucky to have found a good specialist - his timing is perfect.

    I've been getting more positive lately. There were many positive messages that I've received, and I realized - the positive part is not in the message - it's in me. As my left shoulder regains strength and flexibility and I get ascertained that I can handle the next couple of weeks, my mind is more at peace and I can concentrate on tasks at hand.

    The biggest drawback in my situation - because of the exercises I have to do at home my last meal is inevitably after 10, and my spare tire started to expand. It will be different for the next shoulder, right now I just have to get through the next couple of days, get ready for the surgery, and start picking myself up again.

  6. #36
    Senior Senior JEFIT Member is304's Avatar
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    Thirteen weeks from the surgery. Three long months. Time to reflect.

    There was plenty of pain, but also plenty of progress. I've learned a lot about myself. I've learned plenty of shoulder anatomy. I also got a decent suntan from walking outside - last year I was much paler. I also have much better control over the muscles in my shoulders and upper back. To be honest, I'd exchange all of that silver lining for a pair of healthy and strong shoulders, but who said I can't get strong healthy shoulders in the future? It will be harder, but I can do it.

    Speaking of progress, my range of motion is almost fully restored. Some movements still hurt, but the pain no longer stops me. I'm still weak, even the movements that are painless on their own start to hurt when I try to pass a book or lift a pitcher. My next phase should be strength recovery, but this phase is suspended.

    Yesterday we took the kids to an amusement park - my last chance this summer. I was pretty tired, so I did a short version of my workout. This was my last workout - I'll take it easy for now. Three days to surgery...

    P.S. I just wrote this post, but there are two things I need to add.

    First, yesterday I had to put on "Presentable" shorts. Since I seldom wear shorts outside of my home and backyard, I only have a pair or two for going out, and I haven't shopped for them in a while. So, I took the shorts that were right for me two years ago, and notice that they are waaaaay bigger than my waistline. So, in spite of my whining and griping that I'm getting fat, I'm still much better than I was two years ago, and, possibly, last year this time as well.

    Second, I want to thank people who developed the app. Sticking with my therapy for all this time was pretty tough, but having the routines in my phone made it much easier. Thank you.
    Last edited by is304; 07-04-2014 at 10:03 PM.

  7. #37
    Senior Senior JEFIT Member is304's Avatar
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    Second surgery tomorrow. My left shoulder is not fully painless yet, so next couple of weeks will be tough. I'm far less worried than I thought I'd be - I guess I ran out of worry prematurely.

    I took advantage of long weekend (my last one) and cleaned up the house. Having a vision is very important for recovery, so I did two things. The first one - I assembled four-tier shelf for my supplements, so they are no longer stored in boxes; now I can tally them and order more when ready - probably right when my right shoulder starts regaining flexibility. The second one is not finished, and while I'm not too superstitious, I prefer not to talk about it until I'm ready. This recovery may appear slow, but in retrospect it's almost unnaturally quick, so I'd do anything to keep it safe.

    Now, I only have one dilemma - should I shave my chest (I've never done it) or should I let the nurse in the surgery do it? I think I'll pick the second option. I will shave under arms. Giving non-solicited advice is a bad habit, but this time I'll risk it. Here it is: If you anticipate a situation in which you wouldn't be able to move your arm I strongly advise shaving arm pits, especially in the summer. You'll do a huge favor to yourself and everyone in your immediate proximity. I didn't do it last time, and I won't repeat the same error twice.

    I had a good laugh a few days ago. My wife bought a package of frozen yogurt. Guess how they advertize now? "More protein than ice cream"! I had a bad case of giggles.

    I might drop a line or two tomorrow morning, if I get up early enough, otherwise my next post will be short and typed with the left hand alone.

  8. #38
    Senior Senior JEFIT Member is304's Avatar
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    Woke up at 5, decided not to go back to bed. It's 6:30 now, I'm leaving in 15 minutes. Very apprehensive, but convinced that I'm doing the right thing.

    Nothing new to say. Wish me luck.

  9. #39
    Senior Senior JEFIT Member is304's Avatar
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    Operation was successful. Can't move right arm. Going to rest now, details tomorrow.

  10. #40
    Senior Senior JEFIT Member is304's Avatar
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    The day after. Shoulder hurts - what did you expect from a fresh wound? Otherwise not too bad.

    Anesthesia worked slightly differently this time. The first time the numbness spread from the shoulder to the ear and cheek, but by the morning all of it was gone. This time I only felt numb from the shoulder down, but the effects lingered through the morning - my thumb and index finger were numb until noon. Now I can finally move my arm. I can even type with it, a little, but decided not to - I'll keep my elbow super-stable for a few more days.

    The doctor was pretty busy (making up for long weekend, I guess), so we only went through the basics of what happened, and I'll find out more on the follow-up next week. He did look at my left shoulder one more time before the surgery to make sure it's up to the task. What he said afterwards was a huge surprise. Apparently, it takes most of their 15- and 20-year-old patients four months to recover as much as I did in three - and I'm 40! I don't know what happened - was it my - and your - prayers, or genetics, hard work, luck, something else, or all of the above - but I'm a month ahead of the schedule, and that can't be bad. He mentioned that I may be working my shoulder too much if it still hurts, but for the next few weeks I'll have to take it easy anyway - even when I simply raise my left arm too high, the right one tries to balance, and I feel it.

    There are a couple more things I'd share, but they are not as important, and I'm tired of typing with the left. The bandage is coming off tomorrow morning, and then I'll be off to work.

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