Tuesday, May 1, 2012
I’m one month into my recovery and things are definitely looking up! Per my Doc, the result from yesterday’s X-rays shows that the fractures are healing. I’ve been given the green light to toss out the sling-YES! Sling be gone!
Acromion Fracture-frontal view
Intra-Articular Fracture-frontal view
My left arm muscles are atrophied and are pretty weak. The Doc had me do a series of movement with my left arm to test its strength. A few weeks ago, I was only able to lift the arm to about a 45 degree angle. Today showed much improvement-it can go up to a 90 degree angle; slowly but surely it’s getting there.
The goal to full recovery is of course regaining full range of motion to the left shoulder/arm. She wants me to continue doing the pendulum swings (front, side, back) and circles for the arm. In addition, I’m to do a few isometric exercises in a static position which will activate the rotator cuff muscles without any visual movement of the arm. I hold my left upper arm against my side; lift my forearm up at the elbow to 90 degree. The palm of my right hand is pushing out against my left wrist while the left arm is pushing in-maintain that for 10 seconds and switch. Now the right hand is pulling in while the left arm is pushing out. Same thing-maintain for 10 seconds and switch. I do 10 sets and can really feel the contraction of my shoulder muscles while doing these opposing resistance exercises-I am so on it!
Here’s what I’ve been doing-through the generosity and support of a friend, I have a loaner LeMond Excercyle which is set up in my living room in front of the TV. I spin for a couple of hours-6 days a week and it can get pretty boring. I must confess the saving grace is the ability to catch up on my favorite crime show-Law & Order: Criminal Intent on Netflix. There are 193 episodes! In classic Perry Mason style, Goren & Eames always manage to get the murderer to crack and confess during the last 5 minutes of the show-ha!
Post-spin workout includes squats, lunges and lifts for the lower body followed by the shoulder/arm strengthening exercises. I do manage to get a good sweat on!
The Doc also gave me thumbs up to ride a recumbent bike-it’ll be less strain & stress for my shoulder with a lower center of gravity. And guess what-another cycling friend offered me the use of his recumbent bike for as long as I need it during my recovery period! Life is great-putting out positive energy brings back more positive things to you. It’s like a boomerang effect-what you throw out eventually comes back to you! Now I have this wonderful opportunity to learn a new skill!
Michael’s only concern for me being on a recumbent is that I need to be seen by motorists, people and other cyclists. So we’ve attached a tall yellow flag to the back of the bike along with pinning on a fluorescent reflective yellow vest on the rear bag. I run daylights; front and back at all times. I’m doing my part to be safe and hopefully the flapping flag and bright colors will get folks to notice me out on the roads.
My plan is to get on the recumbent, avoid any long steep hills and ride the flats around my neighborhood and along the Canal and Iron Horse Trails.
According to the Doc, if everything goes well, I may be back on my road bike by the end of this month-Hooray! I can also get back on a tandem within the next couple of weeks if my shoulder/arm feels better. I promised that I’ll be a good patient.
Thanks to Louis Q for the extended use of the Exercycle and to Fil M for the loaner recumbent bike! I’m going to have fun with the bike-the coolest thing on the recumbent is the kickstand! What a great convenience-it’s always the little things that count. Oh yeah, the rear bag is huge-I think a baby or a dog can fit in there!
Learn to adapt. Things change, circumstances change. Adjust yourself and your efforts to what it is presented to you so you can respond accordingly. Never see change as a threat, because it can be an opportunity to learn, to grow, evolve and become a better person.