Tuesday, May 03, 2011
Here I am, waking up from surgery:
Here I am, just after getting home:
No pain, thanx to the nerve block - which i made them wait until AFTER to give me.
The tear was 'massive.'. Will be in this sling for 6 weeks, supposedly.
Mostly right now I'm just thirsty...
Tuesday, May 03, 2011
Thanks you all for the knd words and wishes! I'll be reading 'em over and responding this week while recovering. It'll give me something to do.
It's time to get up, change the litterboxes, fill the birdfeeders, put out the trash & recycling, and do all the last minute things that are easier to accomplish with TWO arms...
Then it'll be off to Rochester.
Seeya on the flip side with an update...
Monday, May 02, 2011
Well, here goes.
They're cutting my shoulder tomorrow to reattach the infraspinatus to where it should be. (apparently the humerus end of it is about an inch from its original location)
I've been reading TRAVELNISTA's blogs with particular interest because she had something similar done 3 weeks ago.
I've arranged to take the rest of the week off from work. I've stocked up on frozen veggies and apples and frozen protein of various kinds. I have a few frozen entrees available for the first couple of days when I might not feel like cooking at all.
I figure if I can handle it I'll be working out on the elliptical in the basement a couple of times a day and walking in the state park next door to get some outside time.
Next Monday I'll probably still have my arm in a sling so I've arranged for the vanpool to pick me up on a corner about half a mile from my house. (My car is a manual and it's my right shoulder we're doing.)
I hope I recover swiftly. He seemed to think that I had a lot of strength considering what the MRI looked like and he said the fact that I have almost no pain and no mobility impairment are both good signs.
I picked up a couple of 1.5 lb weights at Walmart in case they let me start doing some PT at home at some point. (I have heavier weights I can graduate to if/when necessary. I also have the resistance bands they already gave me for PT.)
They wanted me to have someone stay overnight in my house tomorrow "just in case you don't feel good." I was like, "why? how would having someone in my house make me feel better? I'm not used to it. Is there some kind of fatal risk?"
They said it was because I might feel off or nauseated due to the pain meds. I'm sorry, but why would I put another human through that? I have spent plenty of horrible nights alone suffering from reflux or the stomach flu and survived OK. I'll survive this too. And if I'm really afraid I'm going to die, I have neighbors I can call, like the friend who is driving me to the appointment tomorrow.
Apparently there's no risk of dying from something - if there were, they told me they wouldn't send me home in the first place.
I'll let you know how it goes. Maybe the next blog entry will say, "Holy carp, I feel awful. I sure wish there were someone staying in my house with me!" Or not.
One thing I can guarantee is that the next post won't be so long, because I don't type so well one-handed. Yet. LOL
Friday, April 29, 2011
I got some unhappy news today. I went to a sports medicine shoulder specialist for a second opinion about my shoulder.
I hurt my shoulder while snowboarding last month.
While they were waiting for the inflammation to go down enough to do an MRI I came up with a plan to focus more on my diet and exercise the things I could.
It's been working and between then and now I've lost 8.61 lbs according to Physics diet, and my % body fat has dropped from 27.2% to 24.42%
I had to drop out of a kayak race and do the bike section instead.
I finally got the MRI results done and the first surgeon (a general orthopedic guy in the small town where I work) said I could continue paddling and fix the shoulder in the fall if I could handle the pain. When I tried explaining that I'm not talking about piddling around in a lake in a rec boat, he glazed over. I don't think he even knows what class IV white water kayking is. Anyway I tried it last weekend and paddled 9.5 hours over 3 days and had almost no pain, which made me a little suspicious, given the scary sound of the MRI report.
So today I went and got a second opinion from one of the highest-regarded sports shoulder surgeons in Rochester. His eyes did not glaze over when I mentioned white water. And when I said "class IV" they widened. He knew what I was talking about.
And he basically told me that while I probably could physically paddle this season with the injury, that such injuries tend to gradually fray apart and become harder to repair. And that there was a risk that it would get so bad that it would not be repairable at all.
The recovery time for this surgery is 6 months.
So I was basically left with a choice. Either give up this entire season of kayaking or possibly risk never kayaking again.
So of course I'm going to choose option A, but I'm not happy about it. He's cutting me on Tuesday.
This summer is going to suck. I'll probably be able to do the elliptical and spin class with the sling on (4-6 weeks) and after that I'm guessing I'll probably be able to ride on the road, but there won't be any boating.
Which is horrible. Because I love boating. I love it more than anything. I even love it more than eating, which if you've noticed I love an awful lot - a person doesn't get to be super morbidly obese without eating an awful lot.
I'll get over it and make the best of it, but right now I'm just upset. And I'm going to LET myself be upset. Because processing the feelings is better than eating them.
So much for getting that new boat once I go below 160. So much for all the camping trips and epic adventures I'd planned with my friends. So much for learning how to surf better and do tricks in my new boat.
Monday, April 25, 2011
This past month or so I've been out with some injuries. I tore my rotator cuff snowboarding in March and had to stop paddling, lifting weights, and tae kardio. Basically all I could do was cycling - and even that for the first week or two I could only do indoors so I could sling my bad arm.
In the meantime I've been focusing stringently on the indoor cycling and on controlling my food. I've been using the energy expenditure estimates from Physics Diet to try and figure out my caloric needs and a sane deficit. So far it's working. I'm back down to 165 again.
I'm pleased to report that although the MRI came back last week indicating the need for surgery*, the PT exercises have been working and I've got full mobility and a lot of strength back on that side. The surgeon agreed to defer cutting me until the end of kayak season, provided I can handle the pain. He tried to be comforting, saying, "sometimes these injuries can be asymptomatic."
My shoulder was so much better this weekend that I ended up paddling 2 hrs in a pool class on Friday night, 5.5 hours in local creeks Saturday, and another 2 hours in a local creek on Sunday. And it didn't require a SINGLE PAIN PILL. So maybe I'm one of the lucky (asymptomatic) ones.
Saturday AM, Fall Creek, Ithaca
(9+ miles, class I-III+)
Saturday PM, Taughannock Creek, Trumansburg
(2.7 miles, class III-IV)
Sunday AM Flint Creek, Phelps
(5.4 miles, class III-IV)
Sunday afternoon I went to a spin class and burned some more calories.
There is sometimes discomfort if I move the wrong way, but I can DO paddling, and all it seems to require is icing to calm down the inflammation after use. Now I just think I need to start gently lifting weights again so I can regain my former strength.
Upshot: I'm Baaaaaaack, baby!
*Here's what the MRI report actually says, for anyone who knows what this gobbledygook means:
The glenoid labrum appears intact with no evidence of labral tear. Supraspinatus is disrupted and retracted with a gap of approximately 2.1cm. There appears to be a small amount of supraspinatus which remains attached to the greater tuberosity, although this is a slender bit of tendon. The infraspinatus demonstrates slight hyperintensity near its humeral attachment, consistent with tendinopathy but without frank tear. Subscapularis tendon appears intact. The acromion does have a downward lateral sloping position with undersurface spur along its lateral margin. Deltoid attachment to the acromion appears intact. Degenerative changes are noted in the AC joint with only slight undersurface spurring, as seen on coronal image 11. Long head of biceps remains intact, although there is slight increased signal intensity centrally, as seen on sagittal images. The supraspinatus tear and retraction has uncovered the biceps which may contact the acromion.
Impression: supraspinatus disruption and retraction. Mild biceps tendinopathy. Downward later sloping acromion with slight undersurface spur. AC joint degeneration with slight undersurface spur.
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