My Shoulder Surgery Experience

Here are some highlights from Episode 201 of The Lifetime Athlete Podcast. I recently returned from my “surgical road trip.” It was an amazing adventure to say the least. In this discussion, I share some of my story as well as offer a number of tips for anyone who is preparing for an upcoming orthopedic surgery. 

  • A quick review of how I ended up needing a specialized surgery.
  • I woke up in recovery and began planning the next year.
  • Why I elected to turn the journey into a scenic autumn road trip.
  • How the surgical destination vacation isn’t a new thing.
  • The method in which I prepared for the surgery, from months out to hours before.
  • The comprehensive reconstruction I underwent which included a total joint replacement and several other procedures.
  • My experience with medications including narcotics.
  • Advice for Lifetime Athletes including:
    • Getting both fit and healthy before surgery.
    • Using meditation, breathing and pragmatism to deal with postoperative pain.
    • Getting through the first week after surgery.
    • Staying patient and keeping a long term view.
    • Expect everything to take more time and energy.
    • Don’t be a jerk to people trying to help you.
    • Staying ahead of pain the first few days.
    • Being conservative early in your course of rehabilitation.
    • Getting aggressive in the later stages of recovery. 
    • Work with your healthcare team and communicate often.
    • Reward your caregiver.
    • Give back and be of service once you are able.

I’d be a liar if I said this hasn’t been extremely challenging. It’s been tough on multiple levels but I’ve maintained a relatively positive attitude throughout the process. I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me, but I’m committed. I hope you find some of this information useful in your own circumstances.

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