Thanks everyone for all the replies!
There have been a lot of questions so I'll try to answer them the best I can with this post. If I miss one just remind me and I'll answer that too.
Answers to questions:
1. What did I do to cause the injury? - It actually happened in two stages. The first event was pretty dramatic, and the final straw was the dumbest
thing you can imagine. I'd had some pain in my shoulder for a while, but the first time I "injured" my shoulder I was jumping over a 5.5' foot corral
panel to get out of the way of a charging steer. I put one foot as high up as I could and threw my other leg over the top. Right then the steer
slammed into the panel which sent me flying. I couldn't really get my arm fully extended to break my head first fall so I kind of landed on the
outside of my elbow and then crashed into the ground on my right shoulder. My shoulder hurt but I could still function. I figured I just strained
some muscles. This was early last spring.
The final straw was the dumbest thing imaginable. In early September I was pulling on the ripcord of a stubborn weed whacker which wouldn't start.
It suddenly started mid-pull and my elbow went backwards unrestrained. I heard something snap, and I went to my knees. I knew my shoulder was pretty
badly injured then. After that it's just gotten worse, but I've still managed to function (sort of).
2. Pain - While this might be an asset, it is also a curse in some respects. I have an extremely high tolerance for pain. Even my doctors are
usually shocked, as was the orthopedic surgeon yesterday. His first comment after looking over the MRI's and X-rays was how he couldn't even believe
I was standing there at all. He asked me to do a number of movements and tests and wondered out loud if he was even looking at the correct MRI's and
X-rays because it shouldn't have been possible. Even as I sit here and write this today, I'm not in any particular pain. I can use my right arm
pretty much normally, but there are certain motions I just can't do well because I have no strength and there's pain. According to the doc these
motions would cause most people to go straight to the ER immediately. To me, they're just uncomfortable. Sleeping is probably the most difficult,
but I don't sleep much anyway.
3. Being left handed - This one is really hard for me. Really hard. Part of the reason is #2 above. Over the years I've had other injuries (lots),
my back in particular. I compensate for those injuries by doing something a different way. I can only bend and twist in certain ways, and all those
ways are to the right. I didn't realize this so prominently until I started to try to use my left hand and arm for things. My right hand, arm and
shoulder are everything, and the thought of being without them is almost overwhelming (hence the 'religion, yoga, zen' comment).
4. Religion/Yoga/Zen - I was only half joking when I made this comment in the OP. I realized last night that, mentally, I am not in the right place
for this. And, it kind of also comes down to the pain thing from item #2 again. Historically, I've been able to just power and grit through about
anything. Just rub some dirt on it and keep going. This time I can't...and to be quite honest, it scares me. My mind is in the wrong place, and one
part of me just wants to give up (which is totally contrary to my nature). My wife is my soul mate and my best friend, and she's also the most
positive person on planet Earth. She tells me not to worry, it'll all be fine and she can do all this stuff. I love her dearly for this, but there
are some things which just require raw power, or danger, that I'm just not okay with having her try to do. God forbid were she ever to get hurt (or
worse). Somehow I know my life will be different on the other side of this whole ordeal. Getting from here to there I just don't know how to do,
hence the wondering aloud about finding the inner strength to get there.
BTW - And for some of those holier than though thou' comments, I never meant to imply that I was asking God, Buddah or a yoga instructor to make
anything easier or less painful for me. I was only wondering where I would find the inner strength to cross this bridge.
5. Current state - It's a toss up as to which is harder, this one or the left handed part in item #3. In my current state I can pretty much do
everything I need to do, and this is the hardest part. I just have to be careful and take it slow. After this surgery my ability will be 10,000%
LESS than it is right now. So I have to go way backwards in order to go forward. This is contrary to my core being, I never go backwards. It's like
my antithesis. But the problem is, this won't get better. It will only get worse, and I know this. So I've got to do it...somehow. I just don't
Sorry for the long post. Hopefully I answered your questions. One last thing. Yesterday, the doc said my other option would be to just go straight
to PT now and try to get the most I can get out of the remaining structure. He recommended against this, and I agreed, but he had to throw it out as
a formality. I hope I'm making the right decision.
As things stand, I will go under the knife at 7am on January 11, 2021.
edit on 12/22/2020 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)