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"Hard is not hopeless." - General David Petraeus

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Five Weeks Post Op Rotator Cuff Surgery

For anybody just discovering my blog, the purpose of my posts about my recent rotator cuff surgery is to fill the gap of knowledge--because unfortunately doctors don't even come close to preparing you for what you'll deal with post surgery for this type of repair. 

Today marks five weeks post op.  Things have been very uncomfortable since week four--because both last week & this week therapy has been ratcheted up a notch.  That means you are nearly constantly achy and, as a result, very worn out.   Don't get me wrong--it's not a 10 on a 1-10 pain scale.  More mid-range.  But the constant drain on your body wears you down.  I'm ready to be fixed already. 8-)  Unfortunately, recovery is a good 9-12 months in the making.

Despite all that, I am achieving my therapy milestones on target thus far and today graduated to doing a few short unassisted exercises.  Despite the pain it is a very curious process.  Basically it feels like re-teaching your shoulder to do all the things it used to do automatically.  It's weird.

I do not regret having the surgery--not as if there was any choice...but I sure wish they could find a way to speed up the recovery process.

The physical therapist, however, reminded me of one of my motivations to keep going: the sooner I get better, the sooner I can wear real clothes again! (still wearing tube tops & shoulder shirts (velcro shirts).  Have I mentioned lately how much I despise tube tops???? 8-)

Next step is physician check next Monday, at which time I will presumably at least be able to ditch the sling.  I'm not sure, however, if I will be cleared to drive.  At least as it stands right now, I don't feel I've sufficiently recovered enough mobility to drive safely.  But we'll see what the next 4 days bring.

My main concern now is returning to work next week.  Knowing the 4+ hour a day time investment in PT (combined a.m. & p.m.), the resulting fatigue, & the stress & breakneck pace of work, it will be a recipe for utter exhaustion.   I can only hope my endurance level will begin to increase.

But I'm in this gig for the long haul and once I've recovered, I'll have a whole new appreciation for the work our shoulders do. 8-)

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