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slick's shoulder surgery blog

Pain and PT, Round 3

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by , November 16th, 2012 at 06:21 PM (803 Views)
Had my first PT appointment today. I was nervous and took a pain pill beforehand because I had heard that PT could be super painful at the start. But luckily it was no big deal. Just got some basic assessments done, and was given a handful of very light and basic assisted movements to do, and we worked out my schedule for the next few weeks. Nothing was overly painful at all....if anything, most of the pain I felt was from general stiffness and not from the surgery itself. It felt good to stretch out a bit and get things moving. I basically have no ability to externally rotate at the moment, so thats the only movement that hurts, but its like a good hurt like you feel when you do a deep stretch. I am able to straighten out my elbow and move my arm up and out in front of me (assisted) with no problems. My neck area is still fairly stiff but I mainly blame that on having to sleep upright. Afterwards they iced me down and then sent me on my way. I was told that I would most likely feel 'bored' for the first 4-6 weeks, as I need to really restrict my movement even though I might feel that I'm able to handle certain things. Basically I'm just supposed to move enough so that things don't get too stiff, but otherwise I should be letting things heal and should be doing nothing more. Fair enough. I guess I realize now that I was ready to get the PT show on the road....but I'll still be in a holding pattern for a while yet.

Speaking of pain, it has been fairly manageable over the past few days. I honestly thought it would hurt a lot more than it has. Granted, I've got some pretty good pain medication to help me out. For the first two days I took the full allowed dosage, but since then I've scaled back to half and even quarter doses. I have also been taking ibuprofen as recommended and have been icing my shoulder like a mad woman, and I think that has helped a ton with the pain and swelling. At first it was tricky to get the medication timing down....they say you should "stay ahead of the pain" when using the medication and I totally understand that now. Problem is that it can be hard to even recognize that you are in pain. During the second day, I found myself getting super cranky and emotional, and I got overly frustrated with simple things. I started to head down the road of despair and no hope...and then my husband asked me if I had taken my pain meds that morning. I then realized that I had taken my ibuprofen that morning, but not my pain meds. I didn't feel like I was in any more physical pain, but it obviously had manifested itself in other ways. And so my lesson learned is that I need to just let myself feel comfortable this week, physically and emotionally....therefore I will not be slacking on the pain meds when needed!

I've also been relatively self-sufficient over the last few days, which has been somewhat surprising. First, I am lucky that this was my left shoulder and not my right, because that would have been a completely different game. But since I'm somewhat able to use my hand/wrist/elbow on my left arm, things haven't been too bad. I've actually been able to dress and feed myself without much assistance at all. Today I was *finally* allowed to shower and I was able to get my hair mostly washed all by myself! The only thing that I need consistent help with is putting my hair back in a ponytail, lol. Granted I have had practice with all this before. With my all my prior dislocations I guess I have a lot of experience operating in single-hand mode, so I already know all the tips tricks for everyday functionality

So today I showered, had my first PT appointment, took the dogs on a short walk (they are only chihuahuas, no risk of sudden pulling that could cause re-injury lol), and wrote this entry. Aaaaand I'm completely spent for the day lol.

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Updated November 20th, 2012 at 02:25 PM by swimslick



  1. Medicine Woman's Avatar
    Glad to hear things are going well. Thank you for posting the journey. It has been educational. Best wishes for a continued speedy recovery.
  2. swimslick's Avatar
    Thank you!