Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Shoulder Update

It's been almost 6 weeks since my shoulder surgery, and the last couple of days were significant in my recovery. things seem to be going well.

Yesterday was my first day of physical therapy. Normally, after a torn rotator cuff, PT would start 3 weeks after surgery. However, my shoulder was such a mess that the surgeon is delaying everything by two weeks.

Physical Therapy wasn't horrible. Some light, therapist-assisted stretching, some pulley exercises, and some finger wall-climbing. Nothing too strenuous. I'm not exercising the injured tendon yet; I'm working on loosening up and strengthening the other shoulder muscles that have been inactive all this time. The therapist said my muscles were very tight, which was a good thing -- it meant I was probably inactive for the last six weeks, and that increased my odds of a successful recovery.

Of course I was inactive. I was told to be. And I always do what I'm told......

So it's PT three times a week until...I don't know....until the insurance company says they'll stop paying for it, I guess.

Then this morning, I had a follow-up with the surgeon. I hadn't seen him for about a month. He was pleased with the ways things were going, and he showed me a couple of additional exercises to help loosen up my shoulder. I'll work on them with the therapist tomorrow.

He's also having me taper off the heavy drugs he's been prescribing for me. As much as I joke to people about how great the drugs are, I'm happy to be getting off them. I don't need an Oxycodone addiction on top of all of my other problems.

One thing I found strange: I asked how we would know that the operation was a success. Maybe an MRI?

No. He said we'll know because of the progress I make with the therapy. No MRI or other imaging tom take a look inside and see if it's attached. I think that's kind of messed up. Why not take a look inside? Probably my cancer patient bias, but I see some real value in a picture or two. I haven't bothered tom look it up, but I assume this is normal procedure.

Most importantly, he says I can take the sling off when I'm home. I should wear it at night, and when I go out, as a signal to others to be careful around me. In two more weeks, I can be rid of the sling completely.

And best of all, he said I can drive again! That's been the worst part of all of this. I have three very active kids, who frequently travel in three different directions. Friends have been good about helping us out with rides, but I'm happy to take at least a little bit of some of that burden off of my wife, who has some health issues of her own these days. Maybe she can rest just a little bit now while I transport the kids to at least some of their activities.

So overall, it's been a good couple of days, as far as my shoulder is concerned. It's been a tough few months for my family, and a little bit of good news goes a long way around here.

Back to cancer stuff soon. Stay tuned.


blaze said...

HiThank you for your blog.I also have follicular lymphoma and find your blog informmative especially since I am in NZ so again thank you

Lymphomaniac said...

You are very welcome, Blaze. I hope things are going well for you.

Anonymous said...

Glad ur healing so nicely! Take care!


Lymphomaniac said...

Thanks, Jeanne. Physical therapy isn't fun (I can see why my massage therapist friend calls PTs "physical terrorists"), but I'm trying to think long-term.

Natasha Shelton said...

I'm glad you did nothing but allow your body to rest as needed. Best of all, I'm glad physical therapy has been working its magic for your shoulder injury. I know the doctor allowed you to drive again, but I hope you give your muscles more time to relax and recover. Feel better soon. Take care!

Natasha Shelton @ Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence