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slick's shoulder surgery blog

  1. The Executive Lane

    by , December 28th, 2012 at 06:30 PM (slick's shoulder surgery blog)
    Been to 4 practices since I got clearance to kick 9 days agoÖ.so far so good! Iíve been kicking in the Ďexecutiveí lane, aka the gutter lane. Itís actually very roomy Ė about 4ft wide when the pool is setup long course (just have to watch out for the ladders) and even wider when in short course. Very executive indeed!

    I was only out of the pool for 5 weeks and 4 days but as soon as I hit the water I felt like I was going to cry chlorinated tears of joy lol. Right now I cannot use a kick board and I can only use one arm while I keep my other arm at my side. I started off my first day back with a whole 1000 (my intent was to get to 500, but I just had to keep going cause it felt so awesome!), then I upped it to 2000 and then for the last 2 workouts Iíve gotten in a 2500, which is about all the kicking I can do in a workout right now before Iím bored out of my mind lol (takes me about an hour using short fins most of the time). I do flutter/fly kick on my stomach and backÖ.sometimes with both arms at my side and sometimes with my good arm stretched out, and then breaststroke kick on my back. Iíve been throwing in some side kicking and underwater dolphin dives too. Pretty much Iím just swimming along and doing my own sets and just getting the feel for the water again. Still taking it pretty easyÖ.the few times I attempted to get up to speed it quickly became cramp city! Gotta ease back into it. But Iím just thrilled to be back in the water again!

    Coach also suggested that I try out a training snorkel, which Iíve never used before. So I ordered the FINIS one and will be testing that out soonÖ..looks like it will really help me hone in on body alignment and using my core. So yay, new toy! Iím all for getting back to basics as well as trying out new things while Iím in kicking purgatory!

    I think in another 6 weeks I will move on up and get clearance to do some breaststrokeÖ..never in my life have I been so excited to do some breaststroke! Seriously, itís my worst stroke and I despise it, but I shall be forced to improve lol. Really looking forward to all kinds of progress in 2013!

    PS - No PT progress to report this week as my PT was out sick. Wonít see her til Monday. But I gotta say that I have seen some huge improvements in my everyday functional activities. I can now easily wash my hair, reach up and get things from high shelves, and even carefully reach out to close my car door! Still no external abduction or extension movements, but its interesting how non-essential those movements are for everyday functionality....

    Updated December 29th, 2012 at 04:46 PM by swimslick

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  2. Legs be forewarned....back to the pool!

    by , December 19th, 2012 at 07:31 PM (slick's shoulder surgery blog)
    Today my PT gave me clearance to get back to the pool to start kicking! Such a great feeling and it has totally made my day! Technically my surgeon said that I could get back in at 6 to 8 weeks. Today I am at 5 weeks and 3 days. Part of me wants to be good and wait EXACTLY 6 weeks, but Iím about to go out of town for the holiday and I donít wait to wait until I get back! I figure thereís no harm as long as Iím carefulÖ.I mean its not like Iím going to jump in and kick 3000 yards or anything. I figure for my first workout back Iíll get an easy 500-600 kick in and then hit the hot tub. Basically I just want to suit up and get wetÖ.so I think I might head to the pool tomorrow night! *excited*

    I think my PT gave me the go ahead because I made really good improvements this week. Forward flexation is at 152 degrees (last week 145, plus my max on my good shoulder is 165Ö.soooo close to a proper streamline!!) and external rotation is at 50, up 15 degrees since last week! Iíve also been hitting up the gym for the past 1.5 weeks and getting 20-30 minute cardio sessions in on the ellipticalÖ.ie, Iíve been doing all my homework and I have earned a gold star, yay! I am also officially ditching my shoulder brace for good

    New exercises for the week include two gentle external abduction stretches, and one very slight extension (behind the back) exercise. Iíve also graduated to 3 pound weights for my bent over rows and tricep exercises, lol. Couldnít be more trilled though! And after next week I switch to every-other week appointment schedule. Meaning that the show is finally packed up and ready to hit road! Letís go!
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  3. One month out

    by , December 12th, 2012 at 05:37 PM (slick's shoulder surgery blog)
    Today it has been exactly one month since my surgery, and this week has thankfully been much better compared to last. After attempting to adjust back to normal life last week, I got a bit overwhelmed and that resulted in a low-grade fever and slight sickness. But luckily it only lasted a day or two and I was able to sleep it off. I attempted to work a full week last week but only ended up working 27 hoursÖoh well. Since then I think Iíve finally adjusted as my sleeping seems to have returned to normal patterns and my energy level is much improved. I think Iíll actually make it through this week, and will be able to get in a few light cardio sessions at the gym as well. I havenít had proper cardio exercise in a MONTH now so itís definitely time to start building back up!

    Because of last week I didnít think Iíd see much improvement with my range of movement at PT, but I did still manage to make some progress. This week Iím at 145 degrees forward flexation (last week 138) and external rotation is at 35 degrees (last week 30). My PT wants me to ease up a bit on the forward flexation, since now Iím above where I should be (Iím like 10-15 degrees away from a decent streamline position ), but I still need to keep working on the external rotation. This week I get to add bicep and tricep exercises using light weights, and I also get to start weaning myself off the shoulder brace! I can have it off while at home and at work, but I should keep wearing it whilst coming/going and when Iím out and about in public places. Honestly though, Iíve been weaning myself off for a while now alreadyÖ..shhhhh. But mostly looking forward to not having to sleep in the damn thing.

    Another milestone is that I can *finally* get my elbow high enough to tie my hair back and get my contact lenses in with ease. Victory!!! Ö.lol.

    Iím also starting to get excited because 2 weeks from now Iíll hopefully get clearance from my PT to get back to the pool and start kicking!! Iím hoping Santa will bring me some new fins and socks for Xmas And then I will laugh at my teammates as they are tortured by holiday training while Iím fluttering around like a 6yr oldÖ.mwahahha! (Of course, we both will silently acknowledge that we would rather not be in my positionÖ.maybe lol).

    Updated December 29th, 2012 at 04:54 PM by swimslick

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  4. Back to the routine....

    by , December 5th, 2012 at 03:40 PM (slick's shoulder surgery blog)
    Ugh, rough week so far.

    Last week I was rearing to get back to work, as I was feeling quite stir-crazy after almost 3 weeks post-surgery. So on Friday I went in for a half day and then walked a half mile on the treadmill at the work gym. It felt so good to get out and get some brain stimulation (in the form of wading through hundreds of emails) and a bit of physical activity! Since that went well, on Monday I decided that I would work a full day and then walk an entire mile on the treadmill. I didnít think that would be over doing itÖ.if anything I would be nice and tired by the end of the day and then sleep really well.

    Least to say I havenít recovered from Monday yet. I donít know why but since being back at work I am sleeping even more terribly than before, but not from any pain or discomfort. Itís like suddenly I have insomnia....just canít fall asleep it seems, which has rarely been a problem for me. Make sense I guessÖ.Iím one of those people who have a hard time falling asleep if I know I need to get up and go somewhere in the morning. I guess my brain juices are fast flowing again and I canít get my mind to relax. Last night I went to bed at 10:30 and was still awake when I heard the clock chime at 2:30am. I know Iím physically tiredÖ.just getting up, showering, making myself look presentable, and then getting to work takes quite a bit of effort. By the time I sit down at my desk I am totally exhausted. Iím so out of shape! Lol.

    Also, Iíve only been back in the office for 3 days now and I feel like Iím getting sick. Donít know if itís an actual bug or if Iím just feeling a bit overwhelmed by getting back into the routine of things. Iíve had a couple moments of frustration and emotional release this week, so Iíd say re-adjusting back into normal life has proved to be a bit of a challenge. Obviously Iím a bit stressed, but Iím unable to do what Iíd normally do to deal with it (swim and/or sweat it out at the gym). Luckily I still have plenty of sick leave and a very understanding boss, and Iíve been given the OK to just go home early or come in late if I need to. In hindsight I should have just planned a gradual return to work schedule over a week or soÖ..few half days, few six hours days, etc etc. Though this would all be much easier if I could just catch some sleep!

    Shoulder is doing well otherwise. Iím following my prescribed exercises exactly and have seen steady improvements over the past week. My forward flexation (lying down) is at 138 degrees today, which is spot on schedule at this point in recovery (should be 120-140 degrees at Week 4). My external rotation last week was only 10 degrees and this week Iím at 30, which is a good improvement but itís still a bit shy of where it should be (35-45 degrees). So my PT upped my daily external rotation sets and gave me a few more stretches and movements to do. I also was given two yellow band exercises to add to my list today as wellÖ.woo hoo! Movin on upÖ..

    So yeah, road is fairly rocky right now, but still moving forward
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