Yep, that’s what my physical therapist said to me the other day. He also said “Wow!” When he asked me to show him my range of motion.
My appointment this past Tuesday was much different than the one I had at the beginning of the month. My PT was positive, excited, and only mentioned surgery once. The only reason why he mentioned it was because he wanted to know what my orthopedic doctor said about it. (I think he forgot our last conversation).
I was finally able to see my MRI results and boy, were they neat! Well, except for that whole labral tear thing. Check out the pictures!
The first image is of the X-Ray before the MRI – the left is before the injection and the right is after. Yes, that is a long-ass needle in my arm, and yes, it hurt like a mofo. Once the dye was injected, it felt like my shoulder was going to explode. I should also mention that the X-Ray box thingy was about an inch from my face. I love how the doctor asked me if I was claustrophobic after he had lowered the X-Ray box in front of my face. The dye is injected prior to the MRI so that it will be easier to see tears and such.
And here are some of the results of my MRI. The white arrows point to the injury location. The bottom right picture shows the Gleno-humeral joint. Notice on the right side of the joint that it looks like a thin black moat. It is my understanding that if there was no tear, the moat would surround the joint, but since there is a tear the fluid was blocked off (please correct me if I’m wrong). Yay, injury. Also, after reading the report, I found out that my tear is 2.3 cm long. Eek. That makes me a little nervous, but let’s talk about the positive. I’m done with focusing on the negative.
My PT took measurements and we found that I had gained 20 degrees in my range of motion in two important directions – straight over my head and to the side (my arm bent at a 90 degree angle and with keeping my elbow to my side, abducting (or opening) my hand from my body . I am now about 10 degrees from full range of motion. WOOT!
He has commented before that my overall shoulder strength is fine, but wants me to really focus on keeping my rotator cuff muscles strong to help keep the humerus in the joint. He gave me a couple exercises that will strengthen my scapular muscles and OMG. I think I overdid it with my exercises as I am so unbelievably sore that I can’t move very well and I may have strained them. I can’t turn my head, I can’t sit comfortably, and this morning it even hurt to breathe. At a few points during the day I was almost in tears. Yay for more pain! Note to self – simmer down when doing PT. Sheesh.
Overall, I am proud of how far I have come along on my own. I have also gained an immense amount of patience and have a greater understanding of how my body works. I know I have more to work on, but the end is near. I have a different outlook on my rehab – I don’t (really) dread it like I used to. Rather than focusing on how annoying and tedious of a task it is, I’m excited and focused on the progress I am making.
I know I am not out of the woods yet, but hearing my PT say, “You just may come out of this smelling like roses” (aka letting my body heal itself and not having to have surgery), has added much needed positivity into my rehab.
I would like to say “thank you” to my friends with whom I’ve whined and complained to about my injury and who have also helped me through my rehab process. Y’all are neat.
Sadly, I have been riddled with injuries these past two years, but these injuries have offered an opportunity (albeit a shitty one) to learn more about how my body works. My only real “New Year’s resolution” is to not get injured. 😉