The past 4 weeks have been extremely difficult both physically and mentally. I was prepared for physical therapy to be very hard but I was not prepared for what I am dealing with now. It is so hard to wrap my head around the condition that my shoulders are in. As I've been writing these blogs, and "reliving" a lot of what has happened, I thought it would help me figure out how my shoulders even got in the condition that they are today; what I'm finding though, is that it makes absolutely no sense. There is zero reason as to why I'm in the shape that I am in today.
I am 4 months out from surgery on my right shoulder. From a stability standpoint, my shoulder is a million times better. However, ever since I had this surgery and whatever the thing was that popped, I've had stabbing pain in the front of my shoulder with motion, and my motion hits a "wall". I do not have enough motion to feed myself with my dominant hand (right) because I can't reach my mouth. When I brush my hair, I have to bend over to the side to reach the top of my head. If I want my hair in a ponytail, I have my sister Kelly do it. When I brush my teeth, I have to alternate between hands because my shoulders get tired. If I want something that is high on a shelf, I have to get a chair in order to reach; if I still can't reach I ask for help. I can't carry anything heavy; in my eyes a gallon of milk is heavy for my left side. I don't even attempt to lift it with my right. These are just a few things that I can't do. The thing that bothers me the most is I can no longer draw which has been my way of dealing with stress.
As you can see below, there once was a time that I never gave lifting my arm up over my head a second thought.
|2004 I never thought I wouldn't be able to put my right arm over my head again.|
I know for a fact it would be easier to deal with my right side if my left side wasn't in bad shape. My right isn't capable of doing really anything; therefore, my left side gets stuck with all of the demands. When I saw Dr. M in Colorado in October, I was able to raise my left arm up to shoulder level and my shoulder blade sat in a good position. Since surgery, my left side has taken a turn for the worse. My shoulder subluxates out the back, and when I raise my arm, my shoulder blade "wings like a chicken".
It's so aggravating for me, and I'm sure for my physical therapist, when I do all of the exercises I am supposed to do and I don't get results that are worth jumping up for joy over. I go to pt twice a week and the other 5 days I do it on my own. I do my exercises (which consists of like 4 different things) in the morning and in the evening. They're such basic movements (I can't believe they are considered exercises) and they are ridiculously hard. Nothing could have prepared me for what I am dealing with now. When I said, "This year I have an uphill battle against me; it is going to test me and push me probably in ways I haven't yet experienced" in the blog titled "A Glimpse at the Present", all of that is true. I've never been in this situation before. All I know is I do not like it even a little bit.
So that's about it for now; it has been one very long month. It has been very hard having to accept help because I have always been a very independent person and I want to do for myself. I live with 7 people in my house (4 generations); even though 97.8% of the time it is loud and chaotic in my house, I've learned I am very lucky to have every single one of them because they all chip in to be my arms. I've been going on an exercise bike in the mornings to keep the rest of me in shape, and doing a lot of core exercises. Unfortunately though, there is still stress and most people need more than one outlet to deal with it. So my next plan of action is to teach myself to draw with my left hand. Wish me luck; this should be interesting!!