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Recovering From Surgery And A Personal Challenge Day 1.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Life has put me in the time out corner for a little while. To get to the point, I had an old injury rear its ugly head over the last year and it got to the point that I had to do something about it. About 15 yrs ago I was trying to be macho man at a softball game and swung way too hard and of course, I missed but I did succeed in tearing the cartilage in my right shoulder. July 30th I went in to have it operated on and so far my recovery is going well.

Recovery Room


Shoulder tear



The first 72 hours was pretty tough. Brushing my teeth and other basic things I took for granted now required ninja-like skills (I'm right handed) and dropping something on the floor was bad news. I couldn't just pick it up because bending over put pressure on my shoulder and was painful. That's when I would flip it up in the air with my foot and catch it with my left hand. :: Level 2 Ninja Skills Unlocked ::

Went for a 2 mile walk on the treadmill at the gym and felt really good. After several days of "house arrest", it was a blessing to be released for good behavior (and before family beats me up and throws me out on the street for driving them crazy) Seriously, it feels really good to be able to function again.

I will be starting physical therapy probably toward the end of August or early September. So until then, any exercise I do is pretty much from the core down until the pro's evaluate me and determine what is safe. This is something I DON'T want to go through again.

This also presents a very unique opportunity for me. For a minimum of about 6+ weeks I will have complete control of my time and my life. No shift work, no imbalances caused by my circadian rhythm being all screwed up, no outside influences, no work stress, no demands dictating when I sleep and when I can do what. Nothing. Short of therapy appointments, I am my own man for 30-45 days.... paid.

So... I pose a question.

If you have ever seen Supersize Me, where the guy goes on a McDonalds only diet for 30 days, you may have a clue as to what I am about to ask.

What would I be capable of if I had no distractions or external temptations for the next 30 days?

What this means-
1) A full nights sleep with no alarm clock. wake up with the sun as opposed to something unnatural.
2) Total focus on nutrition, I am in complete control.
3) Fitness is no longer something to be squeezed in, it is my job for 30-45 days.
4) Family time and other enhancing activities, no longer dictated by work demands.

This will be interesting because it would show that:
-Successes, previously unattainable, would show just how toxic and counter-productive our hectic modern lifestyle really is. How our rush-rush life is working against us.
-Failures and difficulties would also show who the real enemy is, ME. That for all the excuse making and finger pointing, at the end of the day, we are our own worst enemy.

There is a certain about of hesitation when I say I am going to do this because I am not too anxious to lock horns with the real enemy, he is truly vicious and unforgiving. We can sometimes lean on reasoning's like "if it wasn't for my job, situation, relationship etc.... I could do X, Y, or Z. Admit it, haven't we all day dreamed a time or two of what it would be like if we could live unrestricted, if we could live in a bubble, oh the things we could do?

Well, this is my opportunity to do just that. I have always wondered this and have often complained of how life holds me back from doing what I have always wanted.

So I am reaching out to you, my friends in the Spark community, to cheer me on. I am going to be doing a blog series here about my journey and my observations. Basically I am going to be a human guinea pig living in a glass box. What am I able to do for 30 days eating right, exercising, getting rest, and tending to much needed family time?

Let's find out.

follow my daily progress on Facebook...
www.facebook.com/robert.
wadhams.7
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MCJULIEO 8/22/2014 10:00AM

    What an intriguing proposition! I'm going to go look at what you've posted so far...

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MRSRIGS1 8/20/2014 7:36PM

    emoticon

I had a rotary cuff tear that I had fixed seven years ago. I feel your pain. Looking forward to your blogs!

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CFMOSS 8/12/2014 5:55PM

    Day by day....progress, healing, improvement.

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MAYBER 8/9/2014 8:58PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DMCWJR 8/9/2014 6:31PM

  Get rest, stay positive and continue on the road to a health you. Dorothy

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123ELAINE456 8/9/2014 4:38AM

  Get Well Soon. You Can Do It. Keep Pushing Forward. Hoping for a Complete Recovery. God Blessings Always. Hope the next 20 Days goes well for you. Do try to spend time and do as much time with your Family as you can. Make a lot of Memories and Enjoy Them. Good Thoughts, Prayers and Hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Coming Your Way. Thinking of All Of You. Take Care.

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CORNERKICK 8/9/2014 4:16AM

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JRRING 8/8/2014 10:46AM

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PROVERBS31JULIA 8/8/2014 10:11AM

    Oh Robert, Rehab in a Glass Bowl, Two-Way Window! I've never been in a situation like you are describing! Very interesting viewpoint. Someone suggested a Slim Jim, and I've never seen one of those, I don't think, but I have several of those "reacher grabber" things that my elderly in-laws had and we inherited. Some are strictly grabbers with a sort of pistol grip handle, and others have little magnet deals to help hitch things along. And will you have access to a swimming pool where you could basically do water cardio? or can you use a rebounder? I'm sure you are figuring out creative cardios and other exercises!! Your PT place might even have a therapy pool to use to GENTLY work out your arm without doing the Macho thing.

But you know what? I totally believe your rehab NOW will be much easier and faster and a better more complete healing for you than it would have been umpteen however many years you said (I already forgot!!) it was when you first tore it playing baseball!! Why? Because after you tore it and got in poor shape before you joined SparkPeople, it just would have taken longer.. Your heart probably would not have been in it to be faithful to physical therapy. But now... you've been working out like a badass these past few years, with the cardio and kettleball and triathlon etc and your muscles will just be jonesing to "work out" again, even if only gently and carefully in PT. Think of it as sort of a Non Scale Victory??

Rock on, Robert!! May the Healing Force be Ever With You! :)
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OPTIMIST1948 8/8/2014 6:47AM

    I'm sure others have said this, but you cant *truely* focus on fitness because your upper body movements are limited. I feel the treadmill and recumbent bike are going to be your best friends.

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WRITERWANNAB 8/8/2014 1:59AM

    What a great way to make your down time count! I hope for a quick recovery for you. Take care & don't overdo it. emoticon

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DALID414 8/8/2014 12:46AM

    emoticon emoticon

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MISSPEACHES3 8/8/2014 12:24AM

    In 2009 I had surgery for a torn Rotator Cuff on my right shoulder. So I know what you are going through. I had to learn to be left handed, which it sounds like you are mastering very well also. Even now, I can open a jar with my left hand. We learn to do what we need to learn.

Wishing you a speedy recovery.

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MAKEWEE 8/7/2014 11:29PM

    Sending prayers and good vibes. You will win this!!

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 8/7/2014 10:33PM

    That sounds awesome!!

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CHANGING-TURTLE 8/7/2014 9:37PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WALNUTT1961 8/7/2014 9:02PM

    You are on the right track. Take care of yourself.

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LIVELYLULU37 8/7/2014 5:50PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CUDDLYPOLARBEAR 8/7/2014 4:48PM

    Get well soon

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SUBMOM2 8/7/2014 3:26PM

    emoticon

What a great idea. Good for you for taking on this challenge. Yes, sometimes we do get in our own way, even after the other obstacles have been removed. I think you can do this and I bet we all learn something along the way. Thanks for sharing!

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REBIRTHDIVA 8/7/2014 2:46PM

    emoticon emoticon

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BONNIEB1947 8/7/2014 2:44PM

    It will certainly be enlightening to see how you do. Beware of boredom!

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JERALDTX 8/7/2014 2:36PM

    Best of Luck to you... I'm currently closing in on one year post abdominal surgery. My core isn't back to what it was pre-surgery yet. But at six months it was back enough to squeak by on my Black Belt tests. The key is to listen to you body and only do what it can do. Push the envelope but not too hard. And keep us all posted on how it goes.

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AMIEMICHELE 8/7/2014 2:21PM

    emoticon

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DOTTY7267 8/7/2014 1:49PM

    emoticon I'll be following to see how you progress emoticon

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LADYGSC 8/7/2014 1:03PM

    emoticon and after that SPARK ON!!

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SEATTLE58 8/7/2014 1:01PM

    emoticon I'm so glad that it looks like you're on the mend. And it looks like you're in a good place for good, awesome care, which you deserve so abundantly. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EGMINGA 8/7/2014 12:31PM

    emoticon Good luck with the next 30 days. Just stay focused it is so easy to let other stuff get in your way even if you are not working.

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EDWARDSC393 8/7/2014 11:54AM

    My husband practiced using his left arm, became ambidextrous. Practice!!! It will be frustrating! Take care.

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PRESBESS 8/7/2014 10:40AM

    I pray a speedy and healthy recovery for you and that your time of reflection, observation and relaxation serves you well. I can't wait to read your about it all.
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SANDRA_E 8/7/2014 10:20AM

    emoticon The most important part of the recovery will, in fact, be taking care of yourself. emoticon I am excited to see what you will accomplish during this time.

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REDSPIRALWOMAN 8/7/2014 9:35AM

    I love your articulation of this journey you are about to embark on. And yes, some aspect of you may, indeed, been an element that gets in your way. But the aspect who is a Spark colleague, the aspect who had the insight to look at this difficulty in your life and turn it into such an opportunity, the aspect who is articulate, thoughtful and insightful - all those aspects are right there within you as well. Never forget your own wisdom and perhaps your limiting self will accept your invitation to change, to grow and mature. What seeds you have planted! Looking forward to sharing the journey with you. emoticon

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DONNELDA22 8/7/2014 8:32AM

    Congratulations on "Biting the Bullet" and getting your shoulder fixed. For the next 6 weeks, we will be watching you carefully. I know you can do whatever you set your mind to. emoticon

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SHOOPETTE 8/7/2014 8:20AM

    Just reading made me cringe, it must have been so painful!
You have a very positive outlook on this forced stay at home, you can only do great!

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HEALTHYCHIC 8/7/2014 7:37AM

    You KNOW I'm dusting off my pom-poms!!!

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LEANMEAN2 8/7/2014 6:43AM

    Wishing you much good luck!

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TALLBIGGUY 8/7/2014 4:02AM

    You might try this: I tore a leg ligament last year and use a slim jim (about $8.00 at an automotive store). It is usually used to open locked cars, but the arrow points on the one end make it ideal for picking things up, putting on socks, pants, etc.

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ROXYCARIN 8/7/2014 1:34AM

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JIBBIE49 8/7/2014 1:07AM

    Great to see your blog featured in the Spark Mail.

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MAKBABE 8/7/2014 12:43AM

    Sleeping and reading would be how I spent my days while recovering!
Wishing you a speedy and enjoyable recovery

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SUGAR0814 8/6/2014 11:49PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TXGRANDMA 8/6/2014 11:11PM

    emoticon I know Rotator Cuff Repairs are very painful! I used to care for those patients freshly post op on the post surgical floor I worked on. Your therapy is very important, so work hard, do what the therapist tells you, and take a pain pill about an hour before every session so that you can successfully participate! God Bless! emoticon

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HOLLYSNOWWOMAN 8/6/2014 11:06PM

    emoticon

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CHARTHESTAR 8/6/2014 10:28PM

    I tried your link to your facebook page but it said it was unavailable.

Good Luck!

Only time I had that much time off since I started getting serious about my health was when I had knee surgery. so walking for my exercise did not work for me.

I am naturally a night person so getting up when it is light out doesn't work for me on my days off. But work days I have a dawn simulator that gets me up just fine. How is that for your brain doing things subconsciously?

in your after surgery ---You look good


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SUPERSYLPH 8/6/2014 9:39PM

    emoticon emoticon

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GOOSIEMOON 8/6/2014 9:29PM

    Take care and get well soon!

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CAROLJ35 8/6/2014 9:21PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KEEPITUP62 8/6/2014 9:18PM

    First and foremost get well soon and I imagine with all that healthy nutrition you will be consuming, your recovery should come along really well.


Be careful when exercising so you don't have any sudden movements in the shoulder area that will cause you pain.

I broke my right hand last year and I am right handed so I know the difficulty you are experiencing. It does get easier as you begin to rely on your super ability to compensate through other means.

All the best to you and I will be keeping an eye on how you manage over the next weeks.
Good Luck.

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MJ7DM33 8/6/2014 9:10PM

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DIANNEMT 8/6/2014 8:50PM

    Good for you! If you had 2 healthy arms, I'd tell you to meet me at MTU on 8/27 and help my DD3 move into her room--but, since you are laid up, you are off the hook!

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