I’ve self-prescribed my release from Physical Therapy. I told my therapist after this morning’s session that I was leaving & I never wanted to see him again. We’re breaking up. We’re going to cut this off cold turkey. No more phone calls to make “appointments,” no more early morning romps on the therapy table, & no more man-handling my shoulder & arm. I’m through with this. It was a great 6 months while it lasted, but I’m done. Adios, Ciao, Sayanara!
The shoulder pains began in March 2011. Years of volleyball, among other athletics took its toll. I was still feeling young & invincible, so I stopped volleyball in July 2011, & headed straight into Crossfit. That might not have been the smartest idea. I told you, I was feeling
young & invincible dumb & reckless. Doing CF didn’t bother me until the end of the year when I noticed tightness in my shoulders that never went away. I went to a chiropractor who kept cracking my back & neck. I didn’t see how this was benefitting me. Then, I went to Active Release Technique (A.R.T.) chiropractor for 2 months. The A.R.T. made me feel better for a day or two, but the pain never went away. This was not a long-term cure.
In March 2012, I entered my first Crossfit Games Open, which was one of the most exciting moments of my CF career. I had recoreded numerous gains in my performance & strength. The adrenaline died down shortly afterwards, but I continued to push my physical limits. I was at the point of a major burn-out Crossfitting 24 out of 31 days that month. In May, I did a WOD with chest to bar pull-ups unassisted. Somewhere along the way, I felt pulling from the nerves on my right shoulder. That was the last time I did anything overhead. It was the beginning of a slight depression for me.
From that day on, I focused on lower body movements. Modifying everything was aggravating. I’ve never done so many lunges, squats, box jumps, sit-ups, v-ups, & running in my life. It was getting dull; I was feeling unmotivated & frustrated with myself. Most of all, I was mad, upset & disappointed at myself for even getting to this point. If I had only listened to my body & visited a doctor a long time ago, I would never have been in this position. Hindsight is always 20/20. I took 2 months off from CF in the hopes the rest would aid in the recovery of my shoulder. It didn’t.
It could have been my pride or fear, whatever it was, it took me a long time to see an orthopedic. I expected dreadful news. What was I to do if I couldn’t play volleyball or Crossfit ever again?!? Oh the horror! I know, I know, there are worse things in life, but anyone who knows me know athletics/sports are a big part of my life. It’s like telling me to stop eating bananas….forever. Blasphemy!
The orthopedic roughed me up. He moved my shoulder in ways I didn’t think was possible. My shoulder has never hurt so much as it did the next 2 weeks after my visit. He insisted I get an MRI with contrast to confirm a right shoulder labral tear. I spoke to numerous medical professionals, as well as hubby, to see what my next step should be. I decided to opt out of the MRI & start Physical Therapy first. If possible, I want to avoid surgery, but I have to admin, there was a huge part of me that thought surgery would be the quick fix. However, I failed to think of the consequences of surgery. I would still require PT & even then, it might never get back to 100%.
I made a PT appointment. After 4 sessions, I dropped him. He was awful. I told him I had pain after the 3rd session & he basically dismissed me by telling me I wasn’t feeling the pain where I thought I felt it at. Ummmm….okay. Peace out!
I tried another PT, who was better & more attentive, but somewhere along the way, she started over-booking appointments & had less & less time for me. 11 treatments later & I wasn’t where I wanted to be..
Finally, I let go of my pig-headedness and I reluctantly went to hubby’s PT in Dec. 2012. I had little expectations, especially since I came from 2 very unspectacular PTs. He would always spend 20 minutes or more doing manual work. January 2013 came & I was still weary. I just want to be fixed right now! I cried to my hubby. It was so frustrating going to PT every week & not see the instant results that you so desperately want. My exchanges with the hubby went something like this: Was I doing the exercises at home? No. Then how will I ever get better? I don’t know. Keep going to PT & do your exercises at home. Fine! *humph* Whatever. I slumped in the corner of the bed, crying into my stuffed Munkie, my annoyance with hubby was obvious. I’ve never felt so defeated in my life.
FINE! My response rang in my ears, over & over again. I’m NOT fine. The talk with hubby was definitely a wakeup call. It definitely boosted my morale & gave me the motivation that I lacked at the time. I started proactively going to the gym every day just to do my PT exercises & at home on weekends. 3 months flew by & I started noticing changes, I was feeling stronger, I slept better. Even I was surprised by my progress, although slow & small, but it was definitely an improvement nonetheless. 4 months in, I started doing unassisted pull-ups at CF, which I haven’t done in almost a year. 5 months in, I was hitting PRs (Personal Records) left & right at CF with weights that I never thought possible.
At my lowest point, I thought I would never do another pull-up or overhead movement again. I tried to convince myself that I would be okay with that. This lessened the blow in case my arm didn’t improve. It is very much a mental struggle when trying to overcome an injury. I’m so glad I continued to push myself with the help of my hubby by my side, even though sometimes it felt like a thorn in my side. I’m also grateful for all my coaches who accommodated to my injury & continue to inspire me to do everything with proper form so I do not re-injure myself.
I really didn’t think I would ever get to this point if you had asked me 6 months ago. I’m ready to let my therapist go & he was more than willing to let me go. Our time together has come to an end. The relationship was rocky at the beginning, but then trust was built & progress was made in itty bitty baby steps. We’ve outgrown each other, but we’ll stay friends. I know he’s only a phone call away if I ever need him. So, today, I say good-bye.