Saturday, June 26, 2010

What it was like, what it is like now

I take in Lake Huron's soothing powers four days after surgery.

By Mac Arnold
MAHFS editor

Obviously, in this picture you can see I've had something major done to me.

What ailed me was a torn rotator cuff and a handful of other breakdowns in my left shoulder, such as bone spurs and cartilage damage.

No, I never pitched for the Detroit Tigers, and I'm not even a southpaw to boot, but I threw enough jabs and hooks in 30 years of gym workouts to make up for it.

Then, add in all those Army push ups and frosty afternoons behind the snow blower, and you can see there's been plenty piled on this man's hinge.

What seemed to put the shoulder over the edge was a late night dumb bell workout in January. The nagging, dull ache wouldn't go away and kept me up at night, even after I quit all workouts all together.

Finally, in May, a MRI confirmed the findings of a tear and Doc Makim of the Orthopedic Associates of Port Huron said, "Surgery is your best option."

I went out with a whimper during the spring gobbler season. Often struggling to carry a light blind around through the woods. But I didn't let it stop me from putting a maneuver on a gobbler.

I even found racking rounds in the shotgun to be difficult and noted it would be tough to get a second shot off in prompt fashion if the situation arose. Luckily, it wasn't an issue.

Now I'm two weeks on the other side of the surgery. And let me just say, it hasn't been easy. The first three or four days were hell. The pain? Whew. Lots.

But I am beginning to see progress, even if it's just baby steps. For the past two days I've been able to put on my own belt. Whoo-hoo.

A lot of these strides can be attributed to this confounded CBM machine that slowly raises and lowers my arm to stretch out the tendon.

I must say sometimes I feel like I'm on a roller-coaster that keeps going up and you want it to stop.

What keeps me upbeat is Doc Makim saying, "You should be able to go back to whatever you were doing before."

So while I glumly sit in the garage with the drone of hydraulics buzzing next to my ear, thinking of all the summer fun I'm missing -- quad riding, bass fishing, canoeing, running, working out, archery shoots -- I need to stay focused on what is up ahead after the rehab period: upland birds, early does and geese in September and then, archery for deer in October.

I'm going to be looking to make up for being blanked by the cagey toms at Dairy Farmer Dave's this spring.

I must say I came very close on that May 30 afternoon. A big boy did come in and displayed but I just couldn't get a good look at him, nor get him to close the magic 50-yard barrier.

That's all water down the river now.

Rehabbing for archery is the main course on the agenda.

(For video from the May 30 hunt, scroll down.)