30 May 2011

PT coniniuing

PT exercises continue. I haven't been to the PT place since Wed, but they tell me which exercises I'm supposed to do at home. Those are done 2x/day. They don't seem any easier, but the shoulder has a little more range, not dramatic. The arm is out of the sling, except for sleeping, but mostly hangs there, because it does raise on its own, but bends at the elbow most of the range that joint used to have.

I looked up shoulder cartilage tears yesterday to verify what I had read before. They don't heal due to lack of blood supply, so I don't see how PT on the left side is going to help the tear on the right, as the therapist suggested. PT would help restore it AFTER its surgery.


A few weeks ago the subject of Dungeons and Dragons games came up. Our daughter was interested in the open-endedness of the game. We decided to try a board game of that type, because it would be simpler than having a dungeon master, though that confines the flow of the game to a set path. I ordered "Wrath of Ashardalon" and we have been playing it the last two weekends. Usuallt just the two if us, especially since the wife was out of town. The games take about 90min to 2h. According to the rules, the characters start over as new characters at the beginning of each adventure, except the one we three started yesterday. It's a three-part campaign and we keep the characters improving through each part. We played the first segment yesterday and might do the second today. I think the second and third are going to seem easy because we second-level characters going into them, but the adventure rules and monster abilities stay the same.

When I was thinking about movement, I pulled out my old tai ji videos, which are VHS. When I tried to play them and others in the VHS/DVD-combo player and recorder, the player screeched and the video was wavy and noisy and the audio was distorted. I tried different tapes, but finally decided to buy another one. Not new, because who makes VHS machines any more, even if it does have DVD too? When we (I can't do it by myself with one good arm) set up it, I found the VHS tapes and player had the same problem, plus the supposedly digital tuner didn't put up any channels. I set an email to the seller that it wouldn't work for me. As a played with the tapes, I noticed the quality was improving and eventually they would all play well, except for one, which I threw away. The others I transferred to DVD, mostly with that "new" machine, but as an experiment, I had the wife switch out the players. After some experimenting like with the other, VHS quality improved like with the "new" one. Hmmm. Nothing really wrong with it. The belts probably stiffened up from disuse and needed working.

This morning my wife boxed up the "new" one and she'll mail it back tomorrow, because even though the VHS works, the lack of digital channel support is a killer.

27 May 2011

continuing recovery

Physical therapy started last week. It's going okay. The shoulder gets sore doing the exercises, which are primarily range of motion. One arm dragging the other along. It doesn't stay sore though, well, it's not any more sore from the exercise.

Saw the Dr this week and he said to use the sling as needed, so I don't wear it during the day, but it's helpful to sleep. Still need to sleep sitting up, to keep the pressure off the shoulder.

Meanwhile I'm still a couch potato, because, aside from the PT work, I can't exercise because I'm not supposed to put direct or indirect stress on those biceps. If I walk, I get pain behind my knees, due to bad mechanics from not swinging the arm in a natural gait, so I haven't been walking as much as I'd like. Don't know when the arm will be ready again. Not much point in doing arm work with the "good" side, because the healing side has to catch up once it's ready. The "good" isn't all that good, but there's no rest for the weary. There is a thought that the PT work will rehab that shoulder at the same time, "as it gets stronger", ummm, it was strong before this when I was lifting. Have to see how that goes, but if the cartilage is torn, probably (hopefully) not as bad, and cartilage doesn't heal, I don't understand how it can get better. There are a number of arm-back movements where it catches, one of which is the dip exercise. Before the surgery, the Dr said we would look at the other shoulder again (MRI) when the first was finishing PT. I've done one week of six so far.

I am curious about this surgery or no surgery bit on the other shoulder. When this series of PT is far enough along that I can start doing some exercise again, I wonder if it's worth it, if more surgery is coming: would have to start all over again after that.

Last week my wife was out of town for the week, so our daughter and I were alone with the pets. The kid had to do much more around the home than she is used to and didn't it. As it was, we bought some paper plates and plastic cups, so she would have fewer dishes to wash, and ate take out or heated-up frozen food. In the course of the week I figured out how to do some additional things on my own in a decent, though not ideal way, because the kid was overwhelmed with responsibilities (school, home, and pet care).