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January 19, 2018

What about your GAINZZZZ, brah?

I saw the orthopedic surgeon who did my shoulder replacement a week ago Thursday; he was happy with what he saw on the X-Ray, but perhaps not so much on my range-of-motion progress because he wrote orders to my therapists instructing them to "get aggressive" with their therapy. So I know they went home and starting poring through books they have in their libraries such as 'Insane Tortures of the Nazis' and 'Aztec Cult Initiation Pain Rituals' as well as 'Extreme Yoga' by Guru Mahirajah Manalishi Mahesh Mariachi (also known as 'The Amazing Rubber Man') looking for ideas.

So, with its own strength, I can raise my right arm straight out in front of me pretty much horizontal, but no further. Call that 0 degrees as a baseline. With the pulley contraption, I can hoist it up to about 35-45 degrees so that it looks like I'm doing a half-assed Nazi salute. So I keep my arm raised about 5-10 seconds, and then lower it. I can do 5-6 reps and then it hurts too bad to continue. I'm doing this exercise 4-6 times per day.

It stops hurting immediately after I stop lifting it, so I'm OK.

Here's another thing I can't do: With your arms at your sides, raise your forearm to a horizontal position while keeping your elbow at your side. Got that? OK, now swing your arm out away from you while your elbow remains stationary. What is enablng you to do that is called "external rotation" and I have virtually none in my right arm. So the range-of-motion exercise for this is me holding a cane and gently push my arm out, only I can't do it very extensively because it immediately starts to hurt like a mother Fokker (yes, those German WWI airplanes were not comfortable to fly) and I can get maybe 5 degrees of rotation. I'm told this will be the most difficult motion to restore, and the surgeon says I may never get some of it back.

But I am making progress and I can now reach for some things and do some things with my right arm that I couldn't a couple of weeks ago. I'm a little over 3 months post-injury, and they tell me recovery will take about a year, so I have a ways to go. One other thing, though: When I watch old westerns or cop shows and somebody gets shot in the shoulder and then he's perfectly functional after the next commercial break, I just laugh and laugh.

I now believe that if I were to get shot, the last part of my body I would want to get shot would be my shoulder.

So those are my GAINZZZZ... What about yours, brah?

Update: For those of you who don't know, here is my account of what I did to lose range-of-motion in my right shoulder/arm.

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posted by OregonMuse at 03:58 PM

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