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06-11-2019, 15:48   #1
Rented Mule
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Soooooo.....six months ago, they rolled me into surgery.

You can skip to the last line of this story, if you don't want read everything below.

The initial thought was a 45 minute surgery for ""Left Shoulder Scope- Subacromial Decompression - Distal Clavicle Excision - SLAP repair vs Debridement - Bicep Tenodesis and possible rotator cuff repair.

No biggie....right?

When I came out of surgery, I looked at the clock and knew that I had been under for twice as long as they had expected.

The bicep tendon had to be cut and reattached. There was a small tear in the back and they had to shave down the bones on the top and bottom where the muscle slides through. They also found a tear in the rotator cuff that needed to be repaired.

Hurray for me.

I was in surgery for 90 minutes.

I'm just thankful that they got it all done at once.

As anyone who has been through shoulder surgery finds out, the surgery is the easy part. What comes next is the hard part.

Physical therapy.

I completely underestimated what physical therapy was going to be like.

I'm not one to complain about pain. The fact that I was swimming 5000-7000m regularly with my shoulder in this condition should bear credence to that.

How do you rehab four different surgical repairs at the same time?

Saying that it "sucked" wouldn't do it justice. Early on, it was pure hell.

My two therapists were incredible.

I went through six weeks of physio before deciding on having the surgery.

When I decided on the surgery, I walked into their office and they both stopped what they were doing an immediately came over to me.

I explained that after getting an MRI and speaking with my surgeon, that I decided to have my shoulder repaired.

They both looked at me, almost in deep thought and said "Ok. This is going to be tough, but we'll get you through it.".

I was so naive about what I was about to go through. I should have read the moment much better than I did.

There were some excruciatingly painful days.

To say that I dreaded going to physio also wouldn't be fair. I knew that there was only one way to get to where I wanted to be....and that was "on the table two to three days per week".

There was some cursing. I may have "flipped off" the therapists a half dozen times while my arm was trembling from being stretched across four surgically repaired points on my shoulder. I'll admit to that.

I also admit to thanking them after each and every session.

The surgeon said that I'd be able to get back in the water in three months. When August 1st hit, I was on the the pool deck.

I was able to stretch both arms above my head. I went under water, pushed off the wall, stretched and took a long stroke with my right arm and then with my left arm. After following through with with my left stroke, my entire body came to an immediate stop.

I couldn't lift my elbow out of the water.

I was absolutely crushed.

This was the first time that I had any doubts as to what I had put myself through.

The weekend passed and I was back on the table on Monday. I explained what had happened and how I was feeling.

I was then immediately put in my place.

You do realize that you're only twelve weeks out of a pretty substantial surgery. You're looking at something that has a minimal recovery time of five to six months.

I breathed a little easier after that.

Insurance companies are absolutely hateful entities. I despise the very thought of dealing with them.

My Orthopedic surgeon kept writing me scripts for 12 physio sessions. The insurance company kept cutting these down into 8,6, 4 and finally 3.

My final appointment was last month.

My therapist wrote out all of the exercises and cut two different stretch cords. He told me that they were all there if I needed them.

I am incredibly grateful for my two "Steves".

I went to the pool tonight.

I swam 880m (22m pool).

I felt every point in my shoulder that was repaired.

It didn't hurt nearly as much as "why" I had my initial surgery.

My shoulder started to feel better the further that I went, but I'm going to take this slow.

It felt like my heart was beating out of my chest when I decided to stop.

I'm convinced that it was more out of excitement, than a lack of conditioning.

My heart rate never went above 119bpm.

I'm sitting in my kitchen smelling of chlorine, and I've never felt sexier.

For anyone who skipped through the story, you can read below.

Soooooo......I got back in the pool today and I'm really ****ing happy about it!
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13-11-2019, 15:12   #2
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Fair play man, that was a tough, tough journey but you never took your eye off the prize!

I've just been given the all clear to go back swimming after a 6 month lay off myself (costochronditis) so heading for the pool Friday. I was warned to leave it at 10-20 lengths but if I'm pain free at that, it will be torture to drag myself out of the pool!! Big Picture though.

Best of luck getting back into it, well deserved ...
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28-12-2019, 18:21   #3
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Damn that was some surgery alright!.

Well done on getting back and knocking out 880m.

Puts my problems into perspective, I've been lamenting a drop off in my running, cycling & swimming performance in the last few months but it turned out that it was caused by Beta blocker medication I was put on.

Long story short, I passed out during a parkrun in early summer.. Follow up medicals showed I had very high cholestorol and a BP issue (despite being very fit and training running, cycling, swimming & competitive Judo regularly).

Put on beta blockers and statins and almost immediately my performance started dropping off and I couldn't get my heart rate up into training zones.. This totally mentally wrecked me, I don't know how I'd come back after the ordeal you underwent.

So very well done on getting back into the pool, hope the recovery goes well.
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