Back in October 2009, I tore the labrum in my left shoulder lifting weights, and now, two and a half years later, I am having it repaired. In fact, the surgery is tomorrow morning. This will be the first real major surgery I’ve had, and definitely the first with an extended recovery time. My friend had the same surgery eight months ago and is fully recovered and is really happy that he had it done, which makes me optimistic. I am uneasy though about the restrictions that are about to be forced on me. As long as I can remember, I have hated being restricted. In my head, its a sort of claustrophobia, where my inability to move causes me tremendous anxiety. I’m not sure what it stems from (maybe it was when my babysitter’s son locked me in a small chicken cage when I was around age 10), but I don’t think I am abnormal in this feeling.
I’m not sure for exactly how long, but after tomorrow, my left arm will be converted to a useless nuisance for several weeks. Not only will I not be able to use my left hand/arm to get dressed, open jars, drive, type (basically anything except squeeze a tension ball), but I imagine that it will constantly be getting in the way. I’ve been practicing doing everyday things with my arm locked in its future position, and I’m pretty sure its going to triple the time it takes me to do just about everything.
There is a small part of me that sees this as a positive challenge that will make me mentally tougher and help me be more grateful for my arm, and my health in general. That being said, I have much to be grateful for already, including medical insurance to pay for this surgery and rehab, my family who will certainly help me out, and a teacher’s schedule that allows me the summer to recover from this surgery without having figure out how to put on dress shirts or pants with buttons without assistance. It’s definitely a great excuse to wear basketball shorts every day this summer.