I was still in a sling 24 hrs/day. My shoulder was 100% immobile. I was unable to write, to put on my own clothes, to wash my face effetively, and I couldn't begin to put my hair up in a pony tail. My poor husband had to do it!! When we weren't irritated by it, it was pretty funny really. And picture a 5 year old Boy trying to snap his mother's bra after everyone else was off at work and school. Yes, it's true. My little son used to dress me. I would lay on the floor or couch, suck in my stomach and he would button my pants. I could not open the peanut butter jar unless I used my knees, I couldn't fold laundry (darn!) and sadly, I couldn't pick up my little 2 year old. It was winter. Imagine getting 3 kids dressed to play in the snow with 1 arm! Not pretty. Oh, and I couldn't drive. That was a royal pain.
What I am remembering today isn't just the fact that daily life was so hard but the fact that I could not swim! I couldn't run! For 6 weeks I couldn't run. That wasn't too too bad. I did sit on the bike but it was a joke. I couldn't hold the bars and I didn't want the sling to get sweaty. This wasn't just an lightweight sleeve sling. It was a heavy thing that had a big firm pillow attached under to keep my arm out away from my body. So, biking was not much of an option either. I was pretty much a slug for 6 weeks.
While I started running on March 1st, the day I was freed from my black sling, I wouldn't be allowed to even think about swimming until May. MAY??? Real hard core physical therapy started March 1st or a bit later really. You see, even though I was now allowed to move my shoulder a little, I couldn't. It was as if it belonged to someone else. I felt like the signals from my brain to my shoulder were short circuiting. For ex, I could barely lift my hand to my mouth with a fork. If I stood and tried to lift my arm up, it went to the level of my stomach. I had a long road ahead. There was lots of pain and discouraging times. I wondered if I would Ever Really be able to fly down the pool again. I was a bit scared.
I am smiling as I remember these times because I am cured. I had an amazing physical therapist and my surgeon did his job well. I worked hard and lifted my small 1lb weights and stretch bands Every Single Day of the summer. EVERY Day. I'm not kidding. I am smiling because I swam 3000 yards yesterday, 2000 today, and plan on 4000 tomorrow. With no pain. And most notably, I am joining my brother's Master's team next Wednesday for a crazy 7000 yard workout. I had to stop and recall the agony of last winter and spring as I found myself getting more and more nervous about next week's big swim. It will be far. It will be hard. And it will be fast. One of the women on the team was in the Olympic trials! There are a bunch of fast guys there and their intervals are tough. I have my work cut out for me.
But, this is a workout to improve my fitness and to have fun by swimming With some other people. I get a little tired of trying to push myself though fast 200s while some ladies are bobbing up and down in the next lane on green and orange noodles.
I just have to stop and remember, one year ago today, I was sitting around the house feeling frustrated by all that I could not do.
I am feeling lucky today.