Yesterday was exactly four weeks after my rotator cuff surgery, and my first day with my physical terrorist - oops, I mean therapist - M. I thought I'd give you a quick update on my progress.
First, let me say that I've decided to spare you a self-portrait of the six-inch scar that is now gracing the top front of my shoulder. It starts just to the inside of my bra strap and curves down just in front of the point of my shoulder onto my arm. It's not bad, considering, but I'll never be a swimwear model again.
I'm still using the sling, although I ditched the big pillow part two weeks ago. I also still ice it daily (thank the gods for the cryocuff that wraps around my shoulder and contains a constant flow of cold water), but I've tapered significantly on the pain meds I'm taking. I've been still taking one at bed time, one in the morning, and one midday when it starts to ache a bit, but I think I'll see how skipping the night one goes tonight. I really don't like taking pills if I don't have to.
Yesterday and today I timed the midday pill for just before my physical therapy appointment, but I don't think they did any good. This week, M just has me doing passive stretches. At home, I stretch my arm out in front of me on the table, slide it forward until it hurts, hold for 30 seconds, and repeat seven times. I do the same thing out to the side. I also have a pully sytem to help me passively lift my arm to the front and side. It all really hurts.
What I'm finding is that the majority of the pain is from having pectoral muscles that are too tight, not from the shoulder injury. M wants me to stretch my pecs as much as possible so I can get past that pain and be able to identify when its the shoulder that's actually hurting. Argh!
Okay, too many details, I know. The upshot is that the whole experience has not been as bad as I'd thought it would be. I put off committing to doing a number of things this fall because I was afraid I'd be completely out of action. Having one arm in a sling is definitely limiting, but I can take care of my day-to-day needs without too much trouble. (Thane might disagree since he's the one who has to listen to me whine.) I anticipate much pain over the next six weeks or so from physical therapy, but I don't mind it so much when I know it marks forward progress.
Oh, if you really want to see the scar, I'll send you a photo. Just let me know.