About six weeks ago I hurt my shoulder while at the gym, and as I have been going through my convalescence I have made many mistakes that I thought I might share with you. These are all mistakes that I have seen many people make many times in my 8 years of working with Dr. Barb, but even though I was aware of them, I still made them anyway.
For the first two weeks of my injury I kept working out at the gym, figuring that I could work through the pain. (Mistake #1)
The pain persisted and Dr. Barb was concerned that I might have a tear in a muscle or tendon. She told me to stop exercising the shoulder and suggested I get an MRI. I did not. (Mistake #2)
Even though I am surrounded everyday by a Naprapath, an Acupuncturist, and a Massage Therapist, all of whom are incredible healers, I did not take advantage of Dr. Barb, Master Han, or Mimi. (Mistake #3)
Than one night at the gym I found that I could no longer even lift a weight, and when I decided to just go swim a few laps I could not even lift my arm to make a stroke! I finally went to Dr. Barb to get an exam and a Naprapathic treatment, asked Master Han for Acupuncture, and got a long overdue shoulder massage from Mimi.
I felt better right away after the treatments and the weather had warmed up so, since I felt healed I figured it would be OK to go to the driving range and hit a bucket of golf balls. (Mistake #4)
Did I forget to mention that Dr. Barb emphatically suggested I NOT go to the driving range and hit a bucket of golf balls. (Mistake #5)
Finally I wised up and took a couple weeks off to let myself heal. Unfortunately, I stopped exercise altogether even though I could have kept in shape by doing sit-ups, lunges, or anything else that did not impact my shoulder. (Mistake #6)
So as of today I am still not 100% but I am getting regular treatments, I am going to the gym again but limiting the activities that affect my shoulder, and most important I am listening to the advice of my Doctor, which is not so easy for me since she also happens to be my wife.
There is a big difference between the good pain that comes from activity, and the bad pain that comes from injury. The bad pain is my body’s way of telling me to STOP
- An injury will seldom improve on its own. Next time I will get help sooner – and the sooner the better.
- The reason I have health care practitioners that I trust, is so when they tell me to do something I know I need to DO IT.
- Just because one part of my body is in pain does not give me an excuse to just sit around and feel sorry for myself. There are plenty of things I can do to stay in shape while I am convalescing.
- Just because the symptoms of a problem are relieved or eliminated, does not mean the cause of the problem is eliminated. If I don’t want the problem to return I need to complete my rehabilitation.
This was such a humbling learning experience for me, and I now have new empathy for everyone who walks into our office in pain because I have now experienced firsthand how life (and stubbornness) do get in the way our healing.
And as a postscript, after a couple of weeks of listening to both my body and my Doctor, I was able to schedule a tee time for Monday.