Thursday, March 29, 2012


Me? I don't think I've ever been called an overachiever. "Just-enough achiever" is probably closer to the truth. But Tuesday, in the examining room, that's what the doc called me. It was during the exam to see just how bad my right shoulder is. He started by examining my left arm. People who've had injuries know this drill: the doctor pushes one direction; you resist, repeat for a series of movement directions.

After checking the left arm, which is kind of the control for the experiment, he made the declaration: "You're an overachiever," to which I didn't hesitate to reply. "No, just left-handed." Then he proceeded examining the right arm. I did pretty well, until he had me stick my arm straight out, rotate the arm so my thumb pointed down, then try to push the arm up while he pushed down. No go. There was no power. That was the test. I failed. Or passed, depending on how you look at it.

You're probably wondering why I'm telling you all this. You already know I have this shoulder injury that I've been trying to treat with physical therapy. But it's been just over six months since I went over the bars and life doesn't slow down while we're trying to recover from an injury. I know that this is the best it's going to get better on its own. If I stay on this path, I won't be on the bike by fall. Every week I delay is another week longer until I can ride a bike without feeling the pain in the shoulder.

I've had a few people say I should take care of it; get the surgery sooner rather than going the PT route. But reality set in when somebody I don't even know posted a link on a social site announcing she'd just signed up to do a month-long bike trek through Nepal and Tibet in the fall. It wasn't quite travel envy that kicked in; it was knowing that if I wanted to go on this trip, or any trip, I wouldn't be able to handle it. Okay, I'd really love to do this trip. But I will never do another bike tour if I don't fix the shoulder.

Next Friday, the day after Jon's birthday, I go in for the surgery. It's scary. It's going to take a long time to heal. I won't be able to do much. I won't be able to drive for over a month (this is the only time I wish both our cars weren't manual transmissions). I hope to read books and watch movies. I hope to do more writing. But mostly, I want to start moving forward. I want to be able to make plans, ride my bike, do yard work and help with the driveway shoveling next winter.

Yes, it's a long road I'll be traveling, but others have gone there before me and ended up good as new. That's still no guarantee. Maybe that's part of what is distracting me so much this week. I'm nervous; I'm kind of worried. I'm afraid I'll go a bit stir crazy being home bound. But I'll be moving forward.

1 comment:

Alaska's Dirt said... wishes on your surgery. You are young and it will heal fast. Just look forward to all the great writing you will do. Frida Kahlo and so many artists I can list were laid up with serious injuries but continued to do their craft successfully.

It is scary! It is facing your mortality too....but on the lighter side - you will have years to go and years to bike.

See you Wed.