Word has been trickling down in my direction that many people who regularly attended my class have been asking, “Where is Dana?” “Is she coming back?” “What’s taking so long?” “Why can’t she just come teach and not DO the class?” “Why isn’t she back at the gym by now?”
First, I’d like to apologize for not returning to work yet. Please know I am not being lazy, selfish or insensitive to your requests to have me back at the gym. I’m flattered that the sentiment is that I am missed but the conclusions many people are drawing from my absence are simply inaccurate.
I DO fully intend on returning to work. At this point I am both not ready nor healed enough to perform my job in ANY capacity, nor am I cleared by my doctor, physical therapist and my employer to teach.
I fully take the blame that people are misled because I have not been communicating enough since my surgery and explaining to everyone the severity of my procedure. My initial intention post surgery was to post weekly or monthly detailing the progress of my recovery. Unfortunately, my efforts were thwarted by my inability to sit in front of the computer or ANY keyboard and type without discomfort. Sad, but true.
I know that sounds REALLY strange, but maybe it gives you an idea of how difficult this process has been….the mere idea of extending my arm slightly in front of me at that angle created both fatigue and muscle spasms that were both upsetting and extremely uncomfortable. Adding fuel to the fire was the resulting mental aggravation, disappointment, and sadness that I felt knowing I was helpless in so many aspects of my everyday life, leaving me with not much to do except….WAIT. If you know me at all…sitting still and doing next to nothing is unheard of. I eat, watch television and do household chores standing up and walking around. It has been torture.
Over the past couple months I have struggled to feel more like myself–active, capable, self-sufficient etc. But I can say today–4 months in–that I am starting to see progress and improvement that give me hope…something I was losing a great deal of every day that passed.
It’s not that the surgery was not successful–it was!! My doctor repaired MANY issues (more than initially planned) inside my shoulder joint that were complicating my mobility. He tightened the labrum which was almost completely detached from my joint, removed several pieces of cartilage and ripped tissue that were floating around and getting trapped in the socket, and did a general cleaning of the area. It was invasive and the nature of the surgery and shoulder joint (ball/socket) require extensive retraining to return to normal.
If I had addressed this issue the first, second or anytime before the 7th traumatic dislocation, rehabilitation may be easier and faster. Due to 25 years of compensation and protection, I have been working tirelessly against my brain and body’s inclination to compensate and protect the joint from dislocation. This has complicated and blocked my progress from moving forward at a normal pace. The “undoing” and RE-training is so tedious and challenging, it’s something I didn’t anticipate. As I try to move my arm where it is now protected and capable of moving, my body initiates muscle spasms denying my range of motion out of my control.
Little by little, I am overriding the fear and re-teaching my brain how to properly control my muscles, but it is truly taking things one simple movement at a time to re-establish proper muscle mechanics. I’ve accepted this is my path to success and true to my nature I am dedicating 100% of my time towards healing and I work nonstop both during physical therapy appointments and at home to overcome the obstacles.
I will be back. I want to teach again, and I look forward to bringing back my fast-paced, loud music and crazy combinations to all those who will wait for my return.
Thanks for your support and I will post an update as soon as I can!!