Thursday, March 12, 2015

Evanston: graduation day

        Yesterday was my last day of physical therapy.
        I was not awarded a diploma.  I was given a t-shirt.
        I consider the therapy a success, though the possibility of surgery remains.  The tear in my rotator cuff is still there.  Unlike a broken bone, it will never heal.  The purpose of physical therapy is to strengthen the adjacent muscles and tendons to relieve stress on the torn element.
        Apparently rotator cuff tears are common.  Most people with them are asymptomatic.  The indicators for surgery are pain and/or inability to function.
        My shoulder has been strengthened and I have full range of motion, if sometimes a bit tentatively.
        The torn shoulder is my left and I’m right handed.  If it were my right, surgery would probably be unavoidable.  I can do everything I need to.  At least I think I can.  Sailing GANNET will be the test.
        I do still have a constant dull ache that bothers me more at night when I wake than during the day, and occasional, unpredictable short, sharp pain when I make a wrong move.  I can live with these.  I’m old.  I’m supposed to have aches and pains.
        I have been given a series of maintenance exercises that I’ll try to do three times a week when not sailing.
        I’ll experiment a little, but push-ups continue to be prohibitively  painful.  I doubt I’ll ever do my age in them again.  I can still do my age in crunches.  In fact in the absence of push-ups, I’ve increased the sets of crunches to 100 and 73.  Different muscles; same body.
        My last graduation was fifty-two years ago.  I had to wear a cap and gown.  
        I like the t-shirt better.


        The photos have nothing to do with my shoulder.  I just like them.
        The one above is from Rik of his Pathfinder yawl, VANESSA,
sailing in the Caribbean.
       And this one was taken by Will Calver in the Bay of Islands where I will soon again be.