Shoulder Recovery Milestones

While I've been keeping up with Mailbox Monday and Wildlife Wednesday, the blog has fallen down the priority list. The last couple months have been all about shoulder recovery, as will the next couple months. I'm now 14 weeks since surgery and making progress, which is slow going when you are dealing with shoulders. I have an incredible support group of friends and healers that have kept my spirits up and my calendar booked.

Since I can't catch up the last 7 weeks in one blog, here are a few memorable recovery milestones.

The one I'd been waiting for and actually accomplished weeks ahead of schedule was my 1st bike ride! I was off the saddle for 4 months, but on June 10th I tentatively climbed on the mountain bike and did a slow ride on the pavement. After 2 weeks, I graduated to my road bike and have been increasing my time and climbs. Next weekend, I'm doing my first organized ride and attempting a metric century.

On June 15th, I was officially released to do any activity within reason and without falling. This means I'll be very careful once I try trail running and will likely put off real mountain biking until next season. The most important take-away was to not be afraid of damaging the surgical repair going forward and start trying to do more with my left arm.

I'm quickly becoming a Pilates convert. I'd heard plenty of great things but never made the time or financial investment. Now 8 weeks since my 1st session, I can't imagine stopping. Our teacher is amazing and has developed specialized classes to strengthen our shoulders and everything else. Terry is also going and seeing vast improvements for his back and balance. A week ago, I did my 1st plank and survived! This was a major physical and mental milestone as I had done planks the dreadful night in February when I had the final dislocation.

When it comes to Physical Therapy, I'm still going several times a week. After an hour of therapy, I do my exercises in the gym until I have to get back to work. My range of motion is improving and maybe 75% for most everything. In a few more months, I'll get my external rotation to open up which will allow me to start swimming. In addition to going in, I do 30 minutes of exercises at home every morning and evening.

Last but not least, my bodywork sessions are getting more and more tolerable. We push as far as my nervous system can handle and then back off. It's all about breaking up scar tissue and improving range of motion. After 90 minutes, I need ice and just want to curl up in a ball, but it's helping. My non-shoulder related muscles are also in need of some love with all the hiking, biking, pilates, and compensation.

On the mental side of recovery, we've had several weekends of friends and family to keep things happy and hopping. June included lots of hikes and laughs with 2 weekends of visitors followed by a weekend in Montana! I've also had more work weeks at home than on the road which allows me to stay on top of all the above and focus on recovery.

Our 1st ride since our surgeries - high five for our left shoulders!
Getting more comfortable before moving onto our road bikes
Bouldering on a rainy day - so proud of my nephews
Next visit I'll be able to join them
So Happy to be Riding!
Montana Continental Divide Hike