Alive and Moving…6-8 weeks Post-Op

Day 27, Oct 8

The second half of my disturbed sleep was quire refreshing, and so I took my good mood as an impetus to raise the bar a bit in my workout today:

20minutes spinning at ave HR 140bpm

60minutes interval TM training: 2minutes slow jog, then 8minutes TM walk on 15% incline

10minutes spinning at ave HR 145 bpm

120reps ab crunches

…and voila! 1000 calories. Sweat dripped all over my smiling face.

Started more serious rehab on my arms ROM by wall exercises…even if I feel a bit silly doing them. I know  I have significant improvement in ROM since my hand and arms reaching for the steering wheel is now easy and fluid, despite my moving the seat nearer by a notch.  Here’s a list of things I still cannot do or do well:

–          Scratch my back, scrub my mid-back

–          Wear racer back bra

–          Reach for the higher shelves

–          Carry Mark the hedgehog in my hands

–          Wipe the full-length mirrors

–          Scrub the bathroom tiles

–          Sleep on my side

–          Carry groceries and laundry bags

–          Give my man a better foot massage

I am really looking forward to getting that “sports” clearance from my Ortho next wed. I’ve been a happy camper these past 2 weeks, regaining  a lost of my lost energy and getting as much rest as I can.

Started also high-calcium choco drink 2 days ago, with hopes that it may be instrumental in getting faster bone growth.

Day 33, Oct 14

Still got a little nervous with getting an xray done 4weeks post –surgery. I made a resolution to see another ortho after Dr Torres ignored the feedback I was giving him about my right shoulder.  Over the weekend, I  felt my left arm was improving much faster in terms of reach and mobility.  In fact, I started to scratch my back as far as my left arm would allow.

Dr Gary Eufemio, who also treated stress fracture in my ankle in 2010, saw things in a completely different light.  If it were up to him, he would not have operated, instead “force the two broken bones to fuse” with aid of a scapular brace.  At least , he praised the good alignment work on the ortho implant.

I agreed on an “aggressive” rehab program that will bring my recovery up to speed within 2months. But I was happy that Dr Eufemio said I can indulge in as much sports as I want while undergoing rehab.

He also made the expected diagnosis of frozen shoulders (adhesive capasulitis : shoulder impingement syndrome) after I showed how way off my right shoulder was, compared to the left with the clavicle fracture.

Day 34. Oct 16

Having a definitive, aggressive rehab plan sounds scary, because IT IS.

Before the actual rehab, I was subjected to a nerve test that resulted in “partial denervation” in my right shoulder, biceps and triceps. This complements the diagnosis of rotator cuff tear that had led to this frozen shoulder issues.

First, I had some neuromuscular electric stimulation with warm compress over my shoulders and neck. This felt even soothing, until the therapist increased the current and then I was NOT having fun anymore.

Second was a therapeutic kind of ultrasound for the shoulders. The clinic temperature was very cold, hence the touch of transmission gel on my skin made me a little chilly inside.

Third was another electrical stimulation but this time it was alternately done with arm raises. We found out that my right arm could be raised all the way up (almost 180 deg) while my left only at 50 deg angle.

The last and fourth one proved to be really challenging. Shockwave therapy is used to awaken those muscles, nerves, ligaments from my accident and innervate those scar tissue for a more rapid healing. Or so they say because when the pains came, I was already shouting…oh well. At least I could stand the pains for 10minutes each shoulder.

For the 1st time in weeks, I slept for straight 5hours..

Day 36, Oct 18, 2013

Like a child deprived of play, I set my sights on completing my first 1hr of running on the treadmill, with an average speed of 6 (progressively from 5 and ending at 6.5). I ended up at 8km with a low caloric output of 350 calories due to seemingly low HR. Made up for calorie deficit with 20mins spinning and 150abs. How’s that for a great comeback?

Throughout that 1 hour, being very observant on my body and possible responses to this stress called running, it was a relief that I was breathing quite normally. I do believe that I have gained some good endurance these past weeks.  Half of the time, I was even talking to the guard on duty…

But it is NOT yet a comeback as I still struggled out of my wet singlets.  My indication of a real comeback are based on two really important things:

–          That I can squeeze myself in and out of a sportsbra (you know how compressed they are L )

–          That I can road-run an 8Km for an hour (Treadmills are 5x more forgiving than roads)

I also started additional rehab workouts seeing that my arms are now more cooperative. To my mind, I will come better prepared for my real PT sessions next week if I keep myself properly stretched out.  It is fortunate that I have somehow mastered the art of deep breathing to manage stress (in this case, pain).

In addition, I was pleasantly surprised I could raise BOTH arm in a lying position on the gym bench, and even do leg raises comfortably.

Day 39, Oct 21

Tried to jumpstart my day with a treadmill run but I couldn’t raise my HR enough with my restrained stride.  Even if I have somehow resolved in my head that the suture is fine and I have no reason to fear tearing, the bra strap clinging to my surgical would is a constant reminder that I am not yet 100% back.  At least I had some improvement as I am now officially cruising 8KM on the TM for an hour.

I rationalized that I will probably need some strength-preservation due to the afternoon’s 2nd PT session.

Getting too early at the Rehab Clinic gave me time to walk around and calm my nerves.  It wasn’t fear or worry that sent the jitters; it was actually a degree of excitement, pretty much like anticipating the start of a race.

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