Two new shoulders for 2012!!!! Can't wait to try um out.
After 7 years of knowing that I am going to one day need to tighten up the shoulders... That time finally came. I am sitting here in bed, on Dilaudid and just shy of drooling, but knowing that next year, I won't be worried about my shoulder coming out at the least opportune times!
On Nov 28th I had the left shoulder worked on and although it was supposed to be a bit of a routine labrum tear and bone spur removal , there was a nice surprise waiting in there... A half inch of cartilage that was scraped off the bone and finding that the piece had been rolling around like a polished rock in between my joint for the past 6 months. Gotta think that was the result of going over the handlebars on a 4th of July run on OBJ's big one and not getting my paddle away fast enough. Ripping my left shoulder to the far left in an instant isn't qood news. After that is when I knew surgery was immediately in my future. Turns out the surgeon did a "microfracture" procedure where the cartilage was missing which is darn right barbaric, but if it works... who cares how burley it is that he drilled holes deep enough into the bone to release bone marrow!!! With the idea that a cartilage like material will re-grow...
Since both of my shoulders are roasted (pulled the right one out on Lava in 2010) my initial thought was to do one shoulder this winter and the other next winter, but after a surprisingly fast initial recovery over the past 7 weeks with the left shoulder, I asked the doc about the right and... after another exam, he decided we could do it right away! This is awesome, based on just one ruined winter and from all indications this was a good winter to choose to miss the ski season.
Did the right shoulder last Wednesday and quite honestly, it's really f'n sore. I haven't gotten the whole lowdown from the surgeon yet, but apparently they had to secure the labrum down in about 6 places, so this one may not be so quick as the left to start feeling much better.
Don't let anyone ever tell you that shoulder surgery isn't that tough on you. I have never felt pain like the first two days after each surgery. It's genuinely amazing to realize that level of pain and there are no pain meds that can mask that level beyond just being fully knocked out. I did the nerve block for surgery (and recommend it highly) but once that wears off... You better be ready cause it's going to hit like a mac truck. After about 3-4 weeks, things start to balance out and although you need to be SUPER careful not to fall or jerk the shoulder, life starts to normalize. I haven't gotten there yet, but from what I hear, I will be able to paddle flatwater after about 4-5 months and whitewater in about 6 months. JUNE!!!!!
Bottom line... For anyone that is considering shoulder surgery in the Denver or entire front range for that matter... Dr Michael Hewitt has been flawless. He works in the same orthopedic practice as legendary paddler Peter Weingarten and Hewitt only works on shoulders. He did Willy Kerns (maybe Johnny?) shoulder, as well as Larry Vermeeren from Small World Adventures and countless others. He understands the demands of kayaking and gears his surgery to meet those demands that kayakers put on their shoulders. I didn't get a pro-deal! (HA!), or anything of the sort, but I do feel that when you find someone that does this good a job, you should let others know about it. I am sure that there are a lot of good surgeons... just not sure that there are that many that really understand the repair required for kayakers in particular.
Really looking forward to a great 2012 and hope this snow keeps coming in. Not wondering if my shoulder is going to pop out every time I roll is going to be a wonderful feeling!
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body. But rather...To skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming... WOW !!!! What a ride!!!!!!"