Doctor, Doctor

gimme some news…

I got a bad case of shoulder op blues!


not really!

its been a few weeks since I last spoke to you so thought I’d start off with a little tune today before I get on to the outcome of my meeting with the surgeon yesterday and whats been going on since I got swallowed up by an avalanche of self grown lemons!

Where we left off last time, I was really rather devastated after having spoken to my doctor and he broke the news that my options regarding my shoulders boiled down to

a) stop doing bodybuilding…forever

b) double shoulder surgery.


since then its been a rollercoaster…again – you know I reckon I’m due a freebie here…a sort of  ‘frequent rider’ reward…time off for good behaviour, maybe…???


random! :-p

anyway, rollercoasters…yes so after talking to the doc I immediately got myself into a negative spin and decided that everything was awful. The only reason I trained at all the next day was because I was training with Aiden and I wanted to discuss it with him, but the day after that I didn’t train – I mean what was the point?  As you know I’m a big goal oriented person – take away the goal and there goes my motivation. So now I didn’t have anything to aim for – comp season is over before I’ve even got started, and potentially I might not be able to compete again…ever. I have to say I found it very hard to deal with.

For the first week I went through the motions of turning up at the gym because I didn’t know what else to do – like I said before, training has become my rock in a pool of uncertainty – but I just felt hollow, it was a battle.

thank you to everyone for their kind words and support – it means a lot 🙂

Now, I am a fairly pragmatic sort of person, so I’ll have  bitch and moan and feel sorry for myself for a short while and then I’ll start to work it through, process the information I have and decide what I can do about it – if anything.

So my reasoning sort of went a bit like this:

Do I want to compete again? yes

Do I want to compete beyond next year? yes

Do I want to have a real crack at getting somewhere with this? yes

Do I want to stop bodybuilding and just focus on mountains? no, I want to do both (yeah I know..demand, demand, demand! :-p )

If surgery fixes my shoulders for good is it something worth doing? long as it fixes my shoulders for good

Can I do anything else with what information I have now? no, so stop stressing about it.

right, decision made. Surgery it is.

Now the next thing I needed to discuss was how surgery would affect my physique and how quickly I could get back what musculature  I lose during rehab and what training I can do during rehab.

so a training session discussion went something like this:

me: it looks like surgery is my only option, and they can’t do both shoulders at once because the shoulder has to be immobilised for 2 weeks after surgery then there’s 3 months rehab, so thats nearly 4 months for each shoulder.

A: so we’re looking at 8 months? what comps were you aiming for?

me: All Female in June + ANB season 1, then INBA/ANB/WNBF September/ October

A: so even if you can get one shoulder done before Christmas you’re still not going to make it realistically.

me: Thats what I figured. bugger.

A: we can still go heavy on legs, glutes and abs during rehab and then focus on upper body afterwards and focus on refining lower body

me: ok…

A: What if you can get the ops back to back? you could compress the rehab into 4 months maybe…and anyway it probably wont be that long for you to rehab…these docs just say what works for normal people and add a bit extra to be on the safe side

me: hadn’t thought of that, didn’t ask that question. will ask when I see the surgeon.

(12 heavy lat pulldowns W dropset)

me: ok worst case scenario I’m out for the entire of next year. not going to happen if I can avoid it. so best case scenario I get both ops done before Christmas, 2 weeks apart and can squeeze the rehab into 4 months that takes us to April-ish. That gives us roughly 5 months to get some mass onto me for September – is that possible?

A: yes. we know your body adapts well and is suited to this training so if we go hard, mix it up we’ll see some results.

me: ok

me: correct me if I’m wrong, a few weeks ago when I was still going to do my mountains in February before switching to back to comp training for Sept next year , you told me I’d lose my muscle mass but because of muscle memory I’d get it back quickly…

A: yes..

me: so…if we go extra hard, now, before I get surgery and stack on as much mass as possible then that will be the level I come back at after rehab…

A: yes…glad you’re thinking that way…I was going to suggest that.

me: ok

me: right. let do it. decision made. we’re going to smash it! 🙂

A: yeah! mad dog!

So I’m back on deck training wise, new levels of motivation now. I’m determined that this is not going to stop me and I will be the comeback queen!

can you make a comeback when you haven’t even hit the big time?? just a thought! 🙂

Anyway the meeting with the surgeon was interesting – I hope he’s a better surgeon than he is at communicating!! it was like getting blood out of  a stone!

here’s what I found out:

the surgery itself is keyhole so the recovery time is lessened. He will go in and scrape off the damaged bone and arthritis and check out how badly damaged the cartilage is – that may have to be removed as well depending on severity. As it heals the scar tissue will eventually form a spongy pad which will act like the cartilage so I will retain full movement…as long as I don’t get frozen shoulder (1 in 10000 chance – 2 years of agony will follow) or I don’t die (1:100000 chance), or…

don’t you love how doctors are so keen to give you a massive list of all of  the things that could go wrong!

Whilst in there he will also check out my rotator cuffs which according to the MRI are ok, but he’ll have a look just in case.

So once the surgery is done, which takes about an hour, they’ll keep me in hospital overnight and feed me drugs (yay!) then for the next 3-4 days I’ll be in a sling to minimise any movement in the shoulder. After that I’ll need to gently move the shoulder around…(so it doesn’t freeze!) and do the exercises that the physio will give to me after the surgery.

I see the surgeon 2 weeks after so he can check my progress and decide when to schedule the 2nd op. If my progress after 2 weeks isn’t sufficient, I will have to wait another 4 weeks before seeing the surgeon again and at that point we can schedule the 2nd op…

hmm….it could be 2 months between ops – that means I won’t be able to compress my rehab time.

I said to him that I wanted to schedule both ops for as soon as he could fit me in…I can always cancel the 2nd appointment if I haven’t made sufficient progress…

so I’m all booked in – and the timing is excellent! 14th Dec is left shoulder and 4th Jan is right shoulder. Very pleased. This means I can compress the rehab into just under 4 months and will be able to get back into serious training by mid march!

It couldn’t have worked out better.

so now I have a case of ‘good shoulder op news’



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