I Woke Up in the Middle of a Science Fiction MovieMonday, May 21, 2012
My postings have been on the light side, lately, and that’s because I have been a bit preoccupied with other “stuff.” There is much to catch up on in the world of freedom, and I look forward to getting back to work tackling some of the larger and more visible issues.
About five weeks ago I posted this piece: “Benefits of the Paleo-Primal Lifestyle and Great Health.” I wrote about my primal lifestyle and my ability to recover beautifully and quickly following a major joint (hip) surgery. Seven weeks post-surgery, I still feel great, I am moving great, and folks are calling me bionic. That nickname came from the first time I stepped out on the driving range at five weeks post-op, when I was cleared to start playing golf.
I wasn’t having good luck practicing my golf swing just five weeks post-op. The hip was stiff and I winced on the latter part of my swing. But the Doc said the hip was coming along good enough that I could ease into golfing. So I went to the range two weeks ago, thinking I would suck big time. I grabbed a 5-iron, warmed up, and my first shot out of the gate was straight as hell, perfectly lofted, and 130 yards. Each successive shot was the same. I picked up the 3-wood and belted it 150 yards. Driver – 150-160+ yards. I laughed my ass off. I had no expectations of even being able to swing a 9-iron. I must have dropped exclamatory, four-letter words at least a dozen times, and out loud. The guys on either side of me were hitting ground balls and short line drives. I think they were aggravated, and plus, bothered by my f-commentary. The golf pro at the range couldn’t believe I was 5 weeks post hip surgery. I had fun and I was ready for summer.
I also recently wrote an article about helmet laws and how we each individually assess risk and determine our needs for maintaining personal safety and minimizing risk. I described a violent cycling (bicycle) collision I had in this article, and how the helmet saved my noggin and put a little fear into me. My shoulder had taken most of the weight of my fall as I was launched off the bike. I knew something was wrong with the shoulder, but being just a few days away from the hip surgery (after seventeen months of pain until a proper diagnosis was made), I put it on the back burner.
A few weeks ago I saw my (shoulder) orthopaedic surgeon, the same guy who did my shoulder surgeries in 1999, 2000, and 2001. His clinical exam ended up with some bad news. Last week, after the shoulder arthrogram, the worst possible news was confirmed. The meet-and-greet between my left shoulder and the cement was so vicious that it dislocated my shoulder and tore the labrum away from the shoulder. I have a detachment of the anterior part of the labrum from the rim of the glenohumeral cavity. So I have to undergo a capsular shift shoulder surgery. I had this done on each of my shoulders, in 1999 and 2000, and it is the benchmark by which I measure all pain. I will undertake no activity whatsoever for three months post-op, with light duty to the six-month point, and my recovery along the path to “normal” will be in the 10 – 12 month range. Essentially, a whole year of my life (my active, normal life) will be gone. And the worst part is that I am still trying to rehab a hip.
My plan was to put off the surgery until post-Thanksgiving because I have so much to do at work, and also, I did not want to lose my summer – I wait all winter for May to roll around. However, the pain of the shoulder constantly dislocating, impinging, popping, and waking me up at 2-3am, is just too much to bear. Also, the surgeon told me I could wait the 5-7 months, no problem, but I had to discontinue all activity that impacts the shoulder. Otherwise, I am faced with tearing it up to the point where it cannot be repaired. So, 6+ months with this pain, in addition to none of my activities (cycling, golf, kayaking, weightlifting), then undergoing surgery with another 6-month period of initial rehab, is not an option. My Finance leadership at work agreed I should just get this done, and sooner than later. It looks like I will spend July 4th celebrating my release from the hospital. Fireworks, please!
However, I do have a plan for going into the shoulder surgery in top shape, just as with my hip surgery. If my recovery is half as good as with my hip, I will consider my strategy to be a success. Essentially, I will follow a similar strategy that I summarized in my blog post. I have 5-6 weeks to build up my body and inner economy. My strategies are as follows:
(1) Up the supplementation of Vitamin C and E, and keep up my normal dosage of Vitamin D3, B-12, iodine, and C0Q10.
(2) Keep up my ‘magic potion’ approximately 4-5x per week: spring or filtered water with magnesium chloride, potassium powder, and celtic sea salt. This is a great power med prescribed to me by my holistic Doc, because folks as active as me can tend toward a magnesium deficiency. Typical magnesium supplements just aren’t high quality enough to make up for the deficiency.
(3) Eat lots of the following: coconut oil, coconut water, and coconut meat.
(4) Eat less of all the various meats and more than usual amounts of grass-fed beef for an Omega-3 blast (I just brought home a quarter cow last month).
(5) Eat massive amounts of free-range eggs. I ate 6-8 eggs per day, every day, for the first four weeks post-hip surgery.
(6) Eat tons of deep-water fish and high-quality shrimp.
(7) Eat lots of fermented goods, like kimchi and sauerkraut.
(8) Eat a lot of homemade bone broth – both beef and chicken.
(9) Lay out in the sun for a short bit each day that there is sun. The sun was a great, natural healing agent after my hip surgery.
Following these conventions, I was an animal post-hip surgery. I never took a pain pill, I never napped, I never got tired, and my energy levels were insane. I also lost eight pounds in the first 3-4 weeks post-op. My energy has not trailed off a bit since then. Hence people joking I had become “bionic.”
Also, the attitude is important as recovery from such a major and nasty surgery is so much more mental than physical. So, I shall embark on another experiment – involuntarily of course, but I can’t change my reality. I can only roll with it. Folks have been sayin’, since my hip surgery and my news about the shoulder surgery, “how come you are always smiling, happy, and acting like there is nothing wrong?” I’m not a whiner, and I don’t complain about these things. The only complaint I have about this injury is that it was caused by the negligent act of another individual. That person’s negligence is taking one year of my (active) life away from me, as well as interrupting my employment and wage-earning ability. Bitching and whining and falling into the “poor me” trap doesn’t benefit me, or anyone else around me.
Beyond that, I have to prepare to sail through this surgery just like I did the last one.