A Marathon – Not a Sprint

I am now going into my 13th week of therapy, and it has been 4 months since my surgery. Anybody venturing into this surgery needs to understand, up front, that it will be a LONG and tiring event.

When I was in high school, we had gym class, and every year we had to do track and field. We did the shot put, the javelin, the hurdles, the 40 yard dash and the 100 yard dash. But the event that I did not like was the two mile run.

All the other events were done quickly, and they were over. I did well and had no problem with most of the other events, but I really disliked the two mile run. In the two mile run, you had to pace yourself for the long haul. It wasn’t going to be over quickly. Some of the runners even gave up half way, and ended up walking the rest of the race. I always finished  and usually did well, but I just didn’t like it because it took soooooooooooo long.

That’s pretty much what you must be prepared for with rotator cuff surgery. I see people come in for therapy on the first couple of visits, and they are full of optimism and self confidence, but then as time goes on, they are ready to quit the race. They no longer exhibit the same happy self confidence that they had at the beginning of therapy.

I had one person tell me that they weren’t going to even take any of the pain pills that were prescribed, because they didn’t think they’d need them. I was pretty surprised about that, but after their first session in one of the private therapy rooms, they changed their mind. Those are the rooms they take you to when they’re anticipating a rough session with some vigorous and painful therapy.

As a potential candidate for this surgery, you should develop the attitude and mindset of a distance runner. Don’t think this will be a quick sprint to the finish line, and then off to the showers. This will be a prolonged race that will take months of therapy and then, as my surgeon told me in my last visit, 9 to 12 months for a full recovery.

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