Status Update, Thursday, December 1, 2016

I had my long-awaited follow-up appointment with my surgeon, Dr. Warden. It has been 12 weeks since the surgery to reattach two of the three heads of my triceps on my right elbow, and he was worried. In my first follow-up two weeks after the surgery he had accused me of having a year-old injury, that prognosis based on the difficulty he had in stretching the tendons and the fact that the first pin he had used had pulled out, so it was with some trepidation that he entered the room, closed the door, and said “Well, let’s see what we have here.”

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Just scratching my back…

I dutifully extended my arm and he began going through his diagnostic routine. His glumness very soon morphed into something more like glee as he assessed my progress, which he deemed remarkable. I have full extension and flexion, which amazed him, and all muscles seem to be fully attached and functioning. He did caution  me that the attachment takes on the order of 9-10 months to fully heal, so he did not even want to start on any kind of therapy aimed at strengthening the muscles at this point, and no heavy pushing is allowed. He also said that maybe at the 9 month mark I might be able to start PT but that given my track record to date I might not even need it.

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On the other battlefront, the re-training of my gait is really coming along. My goal is to be able to walk 20 miles any time I want to. That has been a distant goal for the past year as I have been working on completely reworking the functioning of my right leg, and that has often greatly restricted my walking range. There have been many objections by many body parts, starting from the smallest of toes, migrating up the leg through the knee, with the current front line being the muscular systems high up on the leg that control the orientation of the femur. They were kind of stuck in a turned-out mode for a long time, and muscles that are supposed to be loose were too tight, and muscles that were supposed to be tight were too loose.

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I think I have now regained the necessary flexiblities and basic strength to walk properly and I am now working on building strength. In the beginning phases I was lucky to get in five miles in a day, but lately I have had a number of 10-12 mile days. My experience is that the best therapy for my is trudging long distances up steep hills, something that Long Beach largely lacks (sad face emoji here), so it is off to trudge Signal Hill two or three times!

 

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