10.5 weeks post-op

Seems like it’s time for another therapeutic blog session again as I continue this long process of shoulder surgery recovery.  In the last 3.5 weeks I have made huge gains in terms of strength and flexibility.  It’s almost like I have a real arm again…almost.

I can put on t-shirts, brush my teeth, eat with my right hand, pick up things that are 5-10 pounds, lift my arm up (kind of), and most importantly, sleep in my bed again!  Despite the progress I still go through constant cycles of encouragement and frustration.

Some days I’m ecstatic, like today after physical therapy where my range of motion measurements improved significantly.  In 2 or 4 directions I am actually close to full range of motion.  But then there are other days when I want to saw my arm off and I don’t think I can psychologically handle another painful set of multi-daily exercises and stretches.  In those times I wonder, will my shoulder EVER stop hurting all the time?  How long?

Despite the cycles, I have made one significant observation in the last three weeks: no matter where you are in the process, it’s hard to believe that it will ever get better than what it is right now.

I KNOW that I’ve experienced tangible, measurable improvements, but STILL there is a doubt in the back of your mind that it will or even could get better than the present condition.  I’ve found that a bit odd, but also that the feeling carries over to most aspects of life.  Whether it’s a job, a relationship, whatever, sometimes it feels like how life is now, it will always be.  I’ve realized in life, you have to make a conscious decision to disbelieve that lie.  If you don’t, in the difficult times life can become unmanageable and absolutely crushing.

I KNOW things will not always be like this, but often times I choose to BELIEVE that it will.  Maybe you can relate.  Today however, I’m making a conscious decision to believe that it will get better because I KNOW that it will.   This summer I will celebrate this truth by throwing a baseball around in the backyard.

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