Sometimes I do better with goals if I put the goal and my progress in writing. I see lots of blogs about people training for their IronMan or some other high level, super-human event, but I don't see a lot of blogging by people in terrible condition who are starting out with very, very modest goals. This is that blog. If your goal is to walk a whole mile, or ride a bike three or five whole miles, or walk 1000 steps on your pedometer, then follow this blog. We are in the same boat. I could use some company in this boat. I think it's a pretty big boat, but there are not that many people yet who have signed on as crewmembers of this boat. Ahoy! Welcome aboard!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Almost done re-habbing my rotator cuff tear. I hope to be back at work next week. I started a Spring Training schedule on the spin bike that sounds really, really wimpy, but it's more than I have been doing. It starts out with 5 miles the first week, measured at an average speed of 12 mph, or 1 mile per five minutes. So the first week is 25 minutes of cycling total.
Each week the distance/time increases a little bit, until by 12 weeks, there are 30 miles a week scheduled. That's 150 minutes a week, or 30 minutes a day for 5 days. That's plenty. It takes a long time to work up to that. Right now I am doing 5 minutes at a time, 5 days a week. Next week will be 7 minutes at a time, 5 days a week, then 8, 10, 12, 15, etc.
This should allow my poor aching behind to adjust to the seat again.
I am also doing some walking on the treadmill, or an elliptical trainer, and a weight workout in the pool. This should be a nice, well rounded, and a slow and easy build up to get back to being able to ride on the paths this summer.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas 2012

It's Christmas Day. Actually, it's Christmas evening now. The temps have been in the 20s at night and 30s during the day. That's Farenheit. Pretty chilly. Post-op day 7.  I had a rotator cuff repair and subacromial decompression one week ago today. The first four days afterwards were pretty nice. I had a block that lasted for ~20 hours, and a pain pump that lasted another few days. So I had a little pain, but not too bad, and the pain meds covered it completely. I had a session of physical therapy during that time. My arm is in a sling, and I am not supposed to be using the arm at all, although I can use my hand. Three or four times a day, I take the arm out of the sling and do "pendulum swings" and shoulder shrugs. As the days go, it seems to get more and more uncomfortable. I have cut out the narcotics because they made me nauseated, so I am just taking tylenol, toradol and ultram. Something stronger that would not make me nauseated would be nice, but the narcotics all seem to do that. I also have some homeopathic remedies that seem to help a little. Been watching TV and sleeping a bit. Tried some knitting, and although it felt o.k. when I was doing it, a few hours later my shoulder was really painful. I will wait another week or so to go back to that. I have several knitting projects in progress that I would like to get finished. Next physical therapy is the day after tomorrow, and then my first follow up visit with the surgeon is next week. When I had my total hip done, this same surgeon mentioned that the joint was extremely inflamed and bloody. Talking to him after this surgery, he said something similar about my shoulder joint; it was massively inflamed and bloody. I don't know what that means, but I would like to find out before I have the other hip replaced.
Strange things.
Pain today is running 4-7/10 with muscle spasms. I have some flexeril that I will take for that, and hope to get a good night's sleep. So far I have slept o.k., and even been sleeping in my own bed since the first night, but as my arm gets more sore and tight, it is less comfortable.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Post-op day 2

you may remember me posting about my injured shoulder. I fell off the bike, onto the grass in my yard trying to get the hang of "clipless pedals". They might indeed be "clipless"  but they attach your foot firmly to the pedal. There is a learning curve for these pedals, but I fell off on the upward slope of that curve. I waited a few weeks, and then a few months for the pain to go away; I had landed with all of my weight on my shoulder because my feet were stuck in the pedals. After many months, I had hit a plateau, most of the pain was gone, but if I lay on that side, or tried to do something overhead, it hurt. I got an MRI that showed a rotator cuff tear. The day before yesterday, I went in for surgery to get the two torn tendons repaired. At the moment, I am 48 hours out and I have a pain pump keeping my shoulder full of local anesthetic, so I have been very comfortable thus far. By the end of the day yesterday, I was aching pretty badly, so I took some pain meds before bed.
I start physical therapy today. I am looking forward to doing well there because my surgeon said that because of intense inflammation inside the joint, I am at risk for a "frozen shoulder". That will not do; I have many things to that require two strong arms, so I am extra motivated to get back to a nice, strong arm.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

November 4, 2012

Changed the clocks back last night from Daylight Saving time to regular Winter time. I am trying to get ready for Winter with the animals. Looking forward to having my shoulder repaired as soon as possible.
There are four muscles that attach the arm to the body and allow the arm to move in a circle, the four are collectively called the "rotator cuff". These muscles are attached to the bone via tendons. In my shoulder, two of these tendons are torn.  One is torn completely, according to the MRI and the other one is partially torn. This is what causes me to have weakness and clicking in my shoulder and pain in my shoulder, back and down my arm.
The surgeon will go into the joint with a scope and find the torn tendons and tack them down to their respective bones. The tacking down is done with little anchors. These anchors are tiny and compared to bones and tendons, are pretty flimsy. The body has to heal scar tissue, then new bone and tendon tissue over these anchors before the shoulder can be strong again. In the meantime, these little anchors have to be protected and allowed to heal. That means several weeks of no movement of the shoulder. No movement means no lifting or turning the arm. This is going to make dressing and bathing a bit of a challenge, but more importantly, will make it very hard to get feed and water out to my animals. Feed comes in 40 or 50 pound bags, and water is 8# per gallon. All have to be taken out and feeders and waterers filled at least once a day.
I am going to try to make up a list of things that I do daily, and see if I can plan ways to get these things done without using the arm. This will require some advanced planning and stocking up on feed.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

My shoulder and clip-less pedals

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you may remember that I put a couple hundred miles on my bicycle last summer and was getting really enthused about improving my cycling. As I got better, I got more tack and gadgets for the bike; the last one being "clip-less pedals". Those are where there is a little plate on the pedal, and a similar little plate on the bottom of the shoe, and these two click together to make a very stable connection between foot and pedal. The only problem is that the connection is SO stable, that it's hard to get your foot out of the thing. I tried these new pedals out in the backyard on the grass and promptly fell over. Twice. I gave it one more try, and this time, I fell pretty hard. As my feet were caught in the pedals, I was not able to break my fall at all, and this time I landed on my left shoulder and my head bounced off of the ground. That hurt. My shoulder hurt pretty bad for several weeks. I had a hard time dressing myself because I couldn't get my hand behind my back for a while, but over the next few months, I slowly got most of my movement back. The shoulder still hurt if I laid on it, and I had some limitation in the range of motion with that shoulder, but I figured that over time it would get better. By about 4-6 months, I was kind of stuck. The acute pain was gone, but it was still aching, and hurt at night. To get a real workup I would have to have an MRI, and since I am pretty claustrophobic, that did not sound like a fun thing to do.

Finally this month was the one year anniversary of my fall and the shoulder pain is not going away, so I bit the bullet, took a valium and had the MRI. My rotator cuff is pretty torn up. Two of the four muscles that comprise the rotator cuff are torn, and the acromium is compressed. I may be looking at shoulder surgery before I can think about having my other hip replaced.
Knowing how bad the report looks seems to make my shoulder hurt even more. I'm not really looking forward to having surgery, but as the orthopedic surgeon explained "rotator cuff tears don't heal themselves". It has to be repaired in order to heal, or my shoulder will be painful and I will lose my range of motion permanently.

Friday, January 13, 2012

More Physical Therapy for the New Year

Been going to physical therapy for the past few weeks. I still have very weak abductors and for the past few months my groin muscles are very sore and they hurt when I lift my leg. I have been going up the steps at work every day for about a year, and it does not get any easier, so I finally broke down and went back to PT. We are working on stretching, strength and a lot on balance. According to the tests, I am making progress, but it is slow and very frustrating because the improvement is not obvious to me. I have a set of exercises to do at home, and I do a bunch of exercises with the PT in their gym. They have also been doing a lot of deep tissue massage/release work, and that has given me more range of motion. It's painful, but it pays off. I made a lot of progress right after my hip replacement, but at that time the improvements were big and easy to see. Now I am making smaller improvements that are not easy to see, but I hope will pay off in the Spring when the roads clear up and I get on the bike again.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Physical Therapy

Spent some time at physical therapy this week. Trying to determine what my balance and knee pain problems are from. Got some stretches and strengthening exercises the first day, then got a major deep tissue work on my TFL. Wow, did that hurt. It also seems to have loosened up my TFL a little, and lengthened my stride. I am off the bike for a while until we get the hip girdle back in balance. The bike is too much flexion and not enough extension. The therapist knows that my goal is to get on the bike in the Spring, and he says that is do-able. I might have an exercise routine that I will have to follow to balance out the cycling posture/movement. We'll see as things go along. I left much more optimistic than I went in. I felt like I was just aging and not all that comfortably when I went in. Came out feeling like I could actually get back to baseline or better with some work.