It has been 8 weeks since my rotator cuff surgery (August 27th). I had a 3.5 cm full thickness “L” shaped tear and a completely ruptured bicep muscle. My surgeon spent all of 2 hours repairing my tear and cleaning up the surrounding joint. He was not able to do anything with the bicep muscle, so that’s just a goner.
For the last 2 weeks, I have been into the thick of my physical therapy. Jason didn’t do anything of substance until my 6 week appointment with my surgeon (Oct. 7th). Since then though, he has been pushing me hard. This week in particular, he really raised his aggression level. I left there today drained of energy because of the painful stretches he was putting me through. The guy has had NO mercy on me. I take pain medication an hour before my appointment, but it does not relieve the pain. It only makes it somewhat tolerable.
The good news is that we are making some progress. After Jason stretches me (Passive Range of Motion exercises), and then makes me stretch myself (Active Range of Motion), he measures my range of motion. I have achieved 35 degrees of range on my external rotation of the 90 degrees that I need. When we begin our workout, I probably have about half of that. The important thing is that we make progress every week. The last time we measured it, it was 32 degrees. That’s not much, but it is progress. Unfortunately, other areas of range of motion are not making much progress.
And then, the progress has to be sustained. The problem I ran into with my right shoulder was that we stalled out on the progress. We got to a certain point, and then we couldn’t get past that. That was when I had to buy the JAS EZ Shoulder System.
I bring my therapist fresh roasted coffee beans and other gifts, but that doesn’t stop him from being unmerciful with my PROM exercises. It’s definitely not the job for those who are of faint hearts. And, I know that he has to do it, so I’m not being critical of him.
This week was the worst so far, as far as pain goes. Every exercise I do is painful. As soon as something gets easy, we quit doing that one and move on to something hard. My average appointment now lasts almost 2 hours. Each appointment, we add more things to do. This week we actually started doing a couple strengthening exercises for the bicep and tricep muscles. My only day off is Sunday, because I have a whole list of exercises to do on the days that I don’t go into the center.
Fortunately, this shoulder rehab is going better than my last one in 2012, because I know better how to manage my pain medication and also my digestive system. The pain meds make you get bound up, so you have to take laxatives to keep things moving in there.
I am grateful for the progress this week. As Jason told me early on in my therapy, “this is going to be a long road.” I am thankful for each hour of every day when my pain medication is working, and I’m not in pain. I know that it has pleased God to have me go through all of this, and so I know He will make it beneficial to me.