Friday, April 20, 2007

The so-called results.

Just back from my appointment with the orthopaedist.

The OUTSTANDING news is that there is no rotator-cuff muscle tear, and no serious degradation of the biceps tendon. And all that means NO SURGERY. HUGE sigh of relief.

The bad news is that they cannot really tell why I am experiencing this pain, so it is back to physical therapy, which may or may not do anything. Apparently my labrum, which is a part of the shoulder that the ball of joint touches, I THINK, is stretched, but this probably is not the source of pain but rather a symptom of swimming.

The doc had a student with him today, so they did a lot of "palpating," which in regular human speech means touching the places where the pain is and moving my shoulder all around to see what hurts. All that, plus the leftovers from yesterday's arthrogram fun, mean that my entire left arm fucking hurts. I am wondering what the repercussions of an entire afternoon of bourbon drinking might be..... Probably would not put me in the best frame of mind for this evening's swim team banquet, which includes masters + kids team.

So I am really happy not to be looking at surgery, but profoundly frustrated not to know what to do. I do have an appt with a special shoulder doc for next Friday, so maybe he will have some more detailed or specific sense of things.

Oh, and no swimming for now, of course--but you had guessed that, hadn't you?


Joe said...

> my entire left arm fucking hurts.

Isis, I don't think you ever swear on your blog, so I know it MUST hurt if you are swearing about it.

I know this must be frustrating. I suffered through some pretty bad knee pain last year and some bad ankle pain a couple of years ago. I know you are tired of hearing this but you must continue to be patient.

The good news is that you don't need surgery. That means that, given enough time, you body should be able to heal itself. The key phrase is given enough time. You may have to lay low and take it easy for many, many months -- not days, not weeks -- months.

That's exactly what I had to do with my injuries. It was tough not being able to run for months at a time. Heck, even swiming was a challenge at times (I had to take it easy with breaststroke kick).

You will have to do what you can to stay active. Think "cross training" in the broadest sense: not just running, biking and yoga but also gardening, dancing, walking, stair climbing or whatever. I know physiotherapy can be a drag but what choice do you have? You have to do it. Find a way to make it fun.

When you do start swimming again, do what recovering runners do. We start by walking 9 minutes and running 1 minute. Then 8 and 2, 7 and 3 and so on. For swimming that means kicking 9 minutes and swimming for 1 minute, and so on.

Spence said...

YAY no surgery!!! That's GREAT news. I know it's frustrating but I swear the ice and rest and rehab will do the trick. It WILL. And hopefully the shoulder doc will be able to help.

Maybe this is a sign that you need to cross train - like throw in some running and biking?? ;) Retired runners resort to triathlon when their knees no longer work... perhaps it's where retired swimmers should turn as well? No one said you have to swim 10,000 yards/week until the end of time!!! C'mon over to the dark side!!!

Timothy said...

"I am wondering what the repercussions of an entire afternoon of bourbon drinking might be...."

Well, if you take it nice and slow, don't mix it with anything but ice, and are lucky, a nice steady glow and totally relaxed muscles will result. Otherwise, at best a headache, at worst a session praying to the porcelain gods and a lifetime aversion to brown liquor.

At least, that's what I hear will happen, based on the experience of friends. Me? No lifetime aversion to brown liquor, no sir. Southern Comfort, on the other hand, is forever safe from me...

estaminet said...

"Mommy, what is the pretty lady at the other banquet table drinking? Mommy, why won't her eyes open all the way? Mommy, what does 'fucking' mean?"

Yarngineer said...

Gosh, I understand how you feel. I tore my right knee's meniscus in two places back in 1998 (the one downside to military service). Of course they misdiagnosed and denied further treatment. I paid for my own surgery in 2004. But I am still not running, and recently I just suffered a serious setback. It kills me not to run, and to have something like gardening and falling really twerk it out again. I hope someday I can feel strong enough to run again.

I like some of your music choices. I also have to indoor cyc for rehab, so my video iPod and old tv episodes also help the time go by. It was my only Christmas present from DH, so it is well worth it.

Check out my blog again in a few days. Our Asheville trip is tomorrow.

Yarngineer said...

I forgot to say, we have a couple of knitting groups in town that get together every week. You can let me know if you are interested.

MartyTheFool said...

Oh Dear.

Sometimes you HOPE for no surgery, but it leaves you wondering what it takes to fix it.

I think bourbon would be a very temporary fix don't you?

Healing vibes still coming your way...

Scott said...

Again I'm with Joe here. If the problem can't be identified then you need to take half a year off and not use the shoulder period. I'd strongly recommend using a sling around the house for a couple of months to force you to rest it. I'd also suggest you look into Bikrum's Yoga (they're all over the place). It's a series of selected postures designed with therapy in mind and works by counter stretching the muscles in ways opposite to normal use. It has worked wonders for my gimpy spine so it will do even better helping repair your shoulder's soft tissue damage.