Wednesday, April 11, 2012

6 weeks, making progress

(I actually wrote this on Tuesday 10th April, but the website wouldn't upload it)

Today marks 6 weeks since my surgery which is (apparently) an important mark.  It means I have had time to heal and can now move on to more vigorous physiotherapy without worrying about doing damage to the repair.  This pretty much means the physio has licence to torture me!!

I saw Dr K in Lexington last Friday and he seemed pleased with the way everything is progressing.  He basically told me how I was feeling, where it was sore and tight and why, which was very reassuring and good to know that everything is exactly as he's expecting.  He said there are two factors, one is to deal with the weak, tight muscles and the other is to to get the brain to recognise I have these muscles again.  Basically after not being able to use the muscles for 10 months, the neuromuscular connections have to be rebuilt.  He said it's like the "thinking brain" says "raise the arm" and the "acting brain" goes "huh"?

The trainer in Lexington gave me some exercises to do and really made me work.  I basically rolled a ball about with my hand (or tried to) and moved a towel about a mirror (again, tried to) and then felt like I'd run a marathon.  I really can't believe how much effort and energy it takes just to do a few tiny exercises.  I have to concentrate so hard on every movement to get my arm to do what I want it to! They told me that it's really important I get it moving now so I can make my recovery faster.  If I do well, I am looking at 5 months, if I don't get it moving now it might take up to 12 months - motivation to torture myself!  

They did also tell me that they have never seen this muscle detachment along with a fracture before and bone involvement usually makes things take a bit longer.  The specialist in Philly who sent me to Kentucky said Dr K was pretty much the only doctor in the world doing scapular muscle reattachment surgery.  A sports doc I saw at home said he wasn't aware of anyone in the UK doing it and that Dr K was known worldwide for his surgical technique.  (And Google doesn't know anyone else doing it either!) This means that I am the only person to have had scapular muscles reattached to a fractured (although now healed) scapula!!

The worst pain I still have is to the right of my scar, just to the right edge (lateral border) of my scapula, it still feels bruised and swollen and they told me that's my infraspinatus which is the muscle they had to "get out of the way" so the drill could get to the bone. No wonder it hurts!  To break up the scar tissue I have to get a golf ball and press it between my shoulder and the wall and then roll it about for a few minutes.  OUCH!! 

So the golf ball makes me want to cry, rolling the ball on the table makes me feel sick and then "washing" the wall with a towel brings on the blackness.  Mum reached me with a chair just in time at physio on Monday - I almost hit the floor!

It is definitely time to muster as much grit and determination as I can...

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
             ~ Lao Tzu

1 comment:

  1. "And happiness comes when you overcome the most impossible challenge"
    Gail, you are going to be very happy!