New Status/Plans

Funny how fast things can happen to alter plans. Nothing life changing, I hope, but changing some plans and priorities.

This morning, I had a telecon with my orthopedic surgeon in regards my left shoulder. This entailed discussions of my right and where we are now with it. One of the threads that came out is that recovery is a process (duh), particularly when we are looking at damage done prior to surgery. Over several years, as the joints lost range of motion and strength, various muscles and tendons have contracted and/or atrophied. We are at a point where PT is not only to dealing with the surgery, but also is having to stretch those muscles and tendons back out again, and rebuild as needed. While there are a number of words that apply to the effort to stretch muscles and tendons out that have been shortened for years, interesting is the one I will settle on for now. It is definitely the politest and most family-friendly descriptor and it beats %#$@#$%%@!#$!!!!.

The doc is very supportive of continuing PT and will continue to recommend continuation to insurance. Yep, tried to find one more place to work continue into that first sentence. The PT place is also supportive and thinks we can do a lot more. That leaves it up to the non-medical bureaucrats with insurance. Crapshoot to be polite. So, more on that in a moment.

While I’m not precisely where I would like to be, the right shoulder and arm are at a point where I can deal with having the left joint replaced. I’m hoping we can get even further along on the right arm and shoulder before the surgery, and as such I’m looking at mid- to late October. The real decider on the date will be the surgery scheduler, and I hope to hear from them soon.

As discussed with the doc this morning, the left has gotten even more problematic. For the most part, I experience discomfort on the right side rather than pain (except when doing the stretching exercises). I still have pain, sometimes large amounts of pain, from the left. The loss of range of motion, strength, and pain are such that it is impacting (to some degree) some of the PT on the right. It’s impacting sleep and life.

Given how well replacing the right shoulder has gone so far, and it is far better than I expected, it’s time to do the left. If we do it soon, by the first of the year we could be in a position to be doing combined PT on both joints and working on some serious strengthening and even some muscle building. We may also be able to schedule a number of PT sessions without having to get prior approval from insurance given the new year.

With an eye towards stacking the deck, my therapist and I have started doing appropriate PT on the left side to try to get it as ready as we can for the surgery. The idea is to have a head start on the PT and recovery. No matter what, we are looking at a year or more from the last surgery for full recovery. It is indeed a process. Long one, but worth it.

Thanks to an anonymous donor to the fundraiser, I ordered some additional PT items this morning. They are needed for some of the stretching. From just the other day, my priority list has shifted. I really need a therapy table for some of the work, but they are expensive (even building it myself) and take up room I don’t have. However, if I get a folding massage table (roughly same size), I can set it up, do the stretches and exercises that require it, then take it down. Sadly, about the same as the cost of a ticket to Loreena McKinnett, so know what I will buy (first). I’m also looking at one more professional cold pack (right now we are often having to ice both shoulders after PT), and want to get good heat therapy to go with it. Using heat on the bicep/tricep and/or upper arm and shoulder before and after stretches helps with results before and relieves after. I may also be looking at a percussive massager to augment a regular unit I already have. Getting the bodyblade comes in after those items.

So, the right is better than I expected but not near where I would like it to be. I still can’t do a full knife kata, and drawing is neither fast nor smooth. Picking up items, particularly heavy items, at or above eye level is interesting. One of the best things I did last time was to get critical living items down at waist level for the most part. So, while not ideal, doing it now gives me what I think may be the best shot at a full recovery as well as being able to move out of Indy to a better location as soon as possible. Given how things are going in the world, that is a not insignificant consideration.

I really wanted to be moved a year ago, but that was not to be. While there are a couple of things to check on, the left shoulder should be the last major medical issue that needs immediate intervention. Once it is taken care of and I’m into the recovery process, well, we will see. I’ve got a plan. I’ve got a GOTH plan. Need a few more in between but working on them.

Thank you all for your support, help, and prayers. With your help and encouragement, I’m making progress.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.