Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Good News Feels Like Bad News

I am officially 12 weeks post surgery today. I had my follow up with my surgeon this morning. This is the first appointment I've had with him since my shoulder repairs. PLURAL: REPAIRS. Because I hadn't seen him since the actual day of surgery, I wasn't aware of all things that had been done to my shoulder. I had a general idea, but I didn't know what half of it meant. Today he pulled up my x-rays and did some much needed explaining, 90% of which I still didn't understand but...

My shoulder was in worse shape than we thought. He said for a standard labral repair, recovery time is about 4 months from the date of surgery, meaning patients can generally begin doing normal sports stuff (in my case, crossfit). If that were the case, I'd be almost done with physical therapy. But I didn't have a standard labral repair, I had a reverse "hagl" repair. I don't know why that's worse, but has something to do with where the tear actually is and what it tore from. Or something like that. I think.

Then of course I had a dislocated shoulder, so he had to put anchors in there to stabilize the rotator cuff. I have anchors in the front, the back, and on top. Eventually these will "disappear" and my body will naturally fill in those spots with bone. This is why my shoulder feels SO TIGHT. Because he tightened it. Makes sense.

Aside from that was the "divot" that had formed in my shoulder joint (He made a lot of golf references today--something of which I know nothing! HA). Because my shoulder had been dislocating repeatedly for so long (3 years), it had created a "pocket" in the joint. So not only was my shoulder dislocating, it would sometimes get caught in that "divot." So he had to fill in that divot with my own bone. I don't know where that extra "bone" came from; I'm not a doctor.

He ended up making 3 repairs to my shoulder in different locations. He said that kind of extensive shoulder repair doesn't happen very often. I'm so lucky! ???

The good news is that I am recovering as expected. He said he was not surprised that I still have a lot of pain and that I can't raise my arm on my own past eye level. He wasn't surprised that I feel like I'm not progressing very quickly. So I guess it's good that all that stuff is expected and I'm where I should be. He also said I should progress more in the next few weeks and if I don't, he'll want to put me under again and.... I didn't hear the rest of what he said because I was shaking my head no PLEASE NO.

The bad news (in my eyes...): I CAN'T DO CROSSFIT FOR ANOTHER 3 TO 6 MONTHS, possibly even more! When he told me that I felt like I was going to fall over. I THOUGHT I WAS ALMOST THERE! He said to work on core. I can run. I can do body-weight leg related stuff. BUT I CANNOT DO ANYTHING WITH MY SHOULDER other than what I do for physical therapy. He recommends I continue physical therapy for at least another 3 months.

So that's where I'm at right now. I am going to refrain from posting any more updates until I hit the 16 week mark. I'll continue to train for my half marathon, and I will continue going to the gym and doing ridiculous amounts of double unders and box jumps.


Friday, February 17, 2017

Almost to 12 Weeks...

Well here's an update for all 2 of my fans (thanks husband and mom)...

I am a few days shy of the 12 week post-op mark. Goodness time is dragging! I have another follow-up with my doctor next Tuesday in which he will most likely send me to another 4 weeks of physical therapy. I made SO MUCH progress this week! Weeks 9-10 were so maddening. I felt like I was getting nowhere. And then this week, BAM, progress!! It feels so good! No, I still can't put my hair in a proper high pony-tail BUT I can give a [super soft] high five! Here are some things I can now cross off my goal list:

1. I'd like to be able to wash and fix my hair normally again. PLEASE! I can now mostly wash an fix my hair! High pony-tails are still hard, but I can do it (it just doesn't look very good..). I can, however, rock a low pony-tail, curl, straighten, and scrunch. BOOM.

2. Put on deodorant like a normal person...  YES THANK YOU! And shaving isn't quite as difficult anymore, either.

3. Sleep. Well... this one is about 50/50. On days I hit physical therapy pretty hard, I'm super sore and do not sleep well. Other days I take it easy and I sleep well enough.

4. I'd like to eliminate my fear of injury. I'm not worried anymore. Physical therapy HURTS, but it is definitely a different kind of pain and I'm so relieved.

5. Muscle ups. Still a long ways from this one.

6. Carry my son again. I love love LOVE being able to carry my big heavy sleeping baby to bed when he falls asleep on the couch. I still have to be careful but I can do it. Definitely my favorite thing. <3

Here's what's going on with fitness:

I am still training for my half marathon. I can run around 5 miles fairly easily. I don't think I'll have any problems staying with my training program!

I'm doing CrossFit again about 3 times a week on top of running. I modify 90% of the movements, which totally sucks, but it's better than nothing!

I am regaining muscle mass in my surgery arm! Physical therapy requires I do some weight training for my shoulder but it is suuuuuper light (I'm up to 3 lb dumbell curls! HA). So far I have had ZERO problems with this part of therapy. I still struggle big time with mobility, but that's normal (so they say). They keep telling me "We need to get you to 160 degrees by 12 weeks." This refers to how far back I can get my arm to go when I'm lying down. Last week I was at around 150, but since I made so much progress this week I think I'm almost there! We measure again on Monday.

And that's about it! I expect the next 4 weeks to show a TON of progress. I'll be back doing pullups and hang cleans and snatches and all the fun stuff in no time!

Oh, and for fun, here's a picture of my right [surgery] arm (top) versus my left arm (bottom):

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

10 Weeks Post Op

UUGHH Could time go any slower!?!? It has now been 10 weeks since surgery. Today I started my fourth week of physical therapy. I'm on schedule and doing well... but I'm nowhere near where I want to be!

The good news is that I get to start doing more this week. YAY! I mean really it isn't much (I'm up to 2 pound bicep curls...) BUT I did leave physical therapy looking like someone had mugged me in a dark alley, so that's gotta be a good sign. He did a lot of pulling and bending on my shoulder. I did a lot of yelling and some crying, and may have issued a few threats. I always leave feeling like they put my shoulder through a meat grinder. Must mean improvement!

In other news, I'm still training for my half marathon, slowly but surely. I'm up to 4 whole miles now! I'm also back to crossfit. Yea, you read that right! Basically all I can do is leg stuff and double unders, but it's so nice being back. I haven't missed the workouts (maybe a little...) but I have really REALLY missed working out with my group! It sucks having to modify everything, but I WILL get back to normal eventually!

In two weeks my physical therapist says I get to start doing the hard stuff (3 pound curls?) and I am SO excited. I asked if that meant I could practice muscle ups... he laughed at me before realizing I was serious. "Uhh, no..."

laughing monkey