About Me

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My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Accepting Life on Life's Terms

Tomorrow will mark my fourth week post op. Its been a rough ride. I'd always heard that rotator cuff surgery was a long and painful recovery... they weren't kidding. There are improvements though. The other day at physical therapy they measured my stretches. A 5% improvement in 2 weeks. While that sounds discouraging, at least I'm moving in the right direction and regaining, however slowly, a good range of motion. I can get my arm up above my head on my own now and I can fix my hair without even thinking about my arm. In the first week after surgery I would prop my arm against the wall to comb my hair.

Sleep still eludes me however and that is the biggest challenge for me. Last night was the best night's sleep I've had in quite a while and I was still up for 2 hours in the night. I lose energy fast. I've lost any semblance of a routine or schedule. On a good day I get up around 7:30 and eat breakfast and am at the gym by 8:30 or 9. After a workout I drop by the store to pick up anything that we need, come home, shower, eat lunch and take a pain pill and go to Physical Therapy. PT can take up to 3 hours of my time and by the time I'm home from that I'm usually pretty wiped out. I asked my therapist the other day how long it would be before I could expect to sleep. She just said, "Oh darlin', you've got quite a ways to go". Good to know.

The pain is better. It used to hurt all the time. Now the worst times are during and after PT and at night. A few times I've even gone more than 24 hours without pain meds. I still have percocet and take it as needed - usually twice a day. I don't' like taking it and want to get off of it as soon as possible but for now, I need it.

I'm behind on work. Really behind. Between the lack of energy and the time going to PT, I can't seem to get much accomplished. I wonder how people who have a job do it. I'm really glad I made up those freezer meals - we're still eating them but I think this week will be the end of those.

PT is tough. Everything you've heard about it is correct. I've had some pretty tough men tell me they screamed and cried at PT. I don't doubt it. I've not screamed yet but have come close to tears and have gotten dizzy enough that I thought I might pass out twice. I hate everything about it from the pain to the time it takes up but I know its the key to getting my arm back. No PT, no use of my arm again. So I do it.

Despite what this post may sound like, I'm not complaining. It is what it is. When I was in recovery - you know, the other kind of recovery, I learned that things go better when you accept life on life's terms. In a nutshell that means accepting what you can't change and taking things a day at a time. One day I'll be back to normal. It won't be tomorrow and it wont be next week but the day will come. For now I'm just here doing what I'm supposed to do and doing what I can do. I get frustrated at times but that's OK.


Kansas Bob said...

"accepting what you can't change and taking things a day at a time"

..good advice for me today Amber - Thanks!

Hope to day brings a bit less shoulder pain.

Christy said...

I'm needing to have this surgery but I have hesitation. I am a stay at home Mom with 3 kids ages 9,7, and 2. I'm wondering if I should wait until summer when my 9 year old can be more of a help. I'm nervous about getting the kids ready for school in the morning and just changing a diaper. Thanks for your incite.