It has been 2 months since my surgery, and this marks my 3rd week of physical therapy. I am making steady progress and now have a whole list of AROM (active range of motion) exercises which I do on the days that I don’t go in for therapy.
I can now brush my teeth, tie my shoes, put the key in the ignition, and this week I even washed the car, but I only used my right hand for assistance. I’m still not supposed to use it for lifting anything yet.
On Monday of this week I was encouraged to think that quite possibly the passive range of motion exercises were going to start getting easier. Jason had told me on that day that he felt we were making pretty good progress in that area (PROM exercises).
But today (Wednesday) was a different story. After my heat and Anodyne treatment, which is the first thing that is done when I come in, Jason told me to go down to one of the private treatment rooms where he will be waiting. I believe I’ve detected a pattern after today’s appointment. They take you to one of these private rooms when they anticipate that they are going to work you over very painfully, and you won’t be on display as you writhe in pain.
Today’s PROM’s were some of the most painful yet. What made it even worse was that I actually expected that after the positive comments that I received on Monday, things were going to get easier. I was wrong. Jason told me that I am far from that point.
I still have quite a ways to go, but I can definitely see major improvement. I continue to take pain pills before I go to therapy, and I sometimes need them to get to sleep at night. I have tried very hard to just take ibuprofen and naproxen, but they just don’t cut the pain. I told Jason today that I was trying to use those, and he told me they won’t do the job. This I now know from experience.
I have found that without the pain meds, I cannot take the level of pain that I’m subjected to when doing the PROM exercises. Jason told me that no matter how much I writhe in pain and make horrible faces, he’s going to do what he has to do, so he said to make it easy on myself. And, he is not just kidding. When he does the PROM’s, it is pure torture.
So, today’s therapy was another rough one. I started writing this post on Monday after I had a pretty “easy” day by comparison. But today I had to revise it substantially. After Monday’s appointment, I felt that things were going pretty well and maybe the worst was over, but it appears that Monday was just a day of grace. Recovery from rotator cuff surgery is a long road.