How’s Fearsome?

A treasured reader asked us through the comments the other day how we were doing post surgery. I appreciate his concern and appreciate even more his gentle nudge to open myself up and express myself more. I’m grateful to be part of a blogging community that is just that…community, a community that cares.

We are doing well. Fearsome survived uncut and unscathed. I got both scoped and cut.

The surgeon cut in order to open the top of the shoulder large enough to remove the rather large cyst that had developed on top of my right AC Joint. He then scoped into the AC joint and removed the end of my clavicle in order to clean out the arthritis that had caused the cyst to develop and then took a look at my bicep tendon as well as my rotator cuff. Both the rotator cuff and bicep tendon were in good shape so I got away with just a cyst removal and the clavicle clean up.

Pain has been tolerable and I am doing well as long as I don’t really do anything. So do nothing right now is the key I have discovered. Stitches come out this Thursday and I’ll be able to finally shower. Physical therapy will begin April 15th.

So during my do nothing time I sleep and I watch films. I also indulge in YouTube clips and just found this one. I’m not a religious man but I do enjoy a well performed gospel tune. Oh honey… is this performance fabulous. It’s truly a work of art that moved me to tears. I hope you enjoy it as well.

Leslie Jordan featuring Chris & Morgane Stapleton – Farther Along – 2021

Beard of the day

Surgery ready Beard

Today is surgery day. Right shoulder is having arthritis and a cyst removed from the AC joint. Fearsome can be rather invasive at times as he seems to get into everything, so we had a talk and he agreed I could tie him up for the time being. He doesn’t want to accidentally get cut off.

Wish us luck and healing. We may be back tomorrow, or we may not due to pain status.

Peace.

Right shoulder report

My surgeon found no tear in the right rotator cuff once in there with his scope. No tear had showed on MRI, but then again no tear showed on the MRI of the left a year and a half ago when they found one once inside with the scope. Therefore this surgery was much less involved. My surgeon simply removed the bone spur, cleaned up the impingement and drilled the bone to stimulate my stem cell release to reduce any arthritic inflammation.

Last time I couldn’t shower for a week and was completely immobilized for 5 weeks before starting physical therapy at 6 weeks. Today at two days post op I am out of the sling and already had a shower. I return Friday to have the stitches removed and start physical therapy. I am already using my arm for easy light tasks. Movements are limited but improving already. Pain meds are at a minimum.

I was prepared for the worst and I am relieved. Compared to the last surgery this one has been a walk in the park thus far. Fingers crossed I’ll be baking my coconut cake for Christmas dinner!

Surgery day

At 7:15 this morning I check in at my assigned outpatient surgery center. The Acromioplasty will begin about 8:45. I actually look forward to getting through this and into recovery. Shoulder pain isn’t fun.

Fearsome will be tied up into a tight pony tail as he has a tendency to get into everything. We don’t want the surgeon saying he needs a trim before they can start.

Pain

Short, sweet and to the point.

The trip back east last month when I met up with Anne Marie and Mistress Maddie before I met up with my family in Philly to train into NYC was fabulous!

What wasn’t fabulous is that during boarding for my flight home I didn’t think. I neglected to remember that being post operative (18 months ago) for a Left Rotator Cuff Repair/Bicep Tenodesis/Acromioplasty that I should never ever lift heavy weight above my head. Well that and having a history of Right shoulder impingement which also contraindicates lifting above the head.

I usually always check bags, this trip I used a roll aboard. The overhead was full and getting the rollaboard in wasn’t easy. Before I sat down I decided, not my best thinking, that I should make sure the full bin would close. I lifted it without success and it didn’t close. Rather than leaving it alone for a flight attendant to close I immediately tried again and harder.

It didn’t close. However both shoulders had a quick poppping sensation and I sat down with the immediate intense pain being in my post operative shoulder. I reached into my backpack under the seat in front of me and grabbed four ibuprofen (800 mg) and two extra strength Tylenol. I know my pain and what it was going to take to manage it.

During the first half hour of my 6 hour flight home, the pain in the left subsided as the pain in the right shoulder grew increasingly intense. My right shoulder had a history of impingement and had already had it’s limit of 3 cortisone injections. A previous MRI had confirmed that issue.

Right now I sit at my surgeon’s  office awaiting my pre-operative appointment. Surgery is scheduled for next Monday 12/18 to correct the Acromium impingement of my right shoulder. Topping it all off is the fact that during my Florida trip I pulled my back.

Bilateral shoulder pain, low back spasms and a topsy-turvy whackadoodle political environment of recent has made Shawn moody. Fearsome isn’t happy with my moodiness but I have to say that he’s a bit moody himself. The dry Southern California Santa-Ana weather conditions have made him a flyaway dry mess.

Pain. Yes we have it. Pain we are doing something about it. Pain sure doesn’t make life easier. Pain isn’t as bad as many others have it.

We are thankful for an incredibly good health plan, good doctors, a loving spouse, good friends, healthy finances, eight wonderful dogs and an amazing home.

The Pain of it All

This is getting old, really old.

Get a little better, get a little worse, get a little better, get a little worse. Fuck this hurts!

Look here… I prefer life on the sunny side. I am very blessed with every aspect of my life. Blessed I’m telling you. I focus on the blessings. I feel gratitude. More and more wonderful things come my way. The more I focus on good, the more good I get.

Why the hell do I want to write this down? Why do I admit pain?

Once in a while we all must take a moment, acknowledge the less than perfect aspects and then get on with moving on.

My shoulders both hurt dammit. Both.

The left post surgical is getting better little by little and is mostly just sore with challenging movements it hasn’t yet mastered since surgery. Expected slow post surgical recovery sensations.

The right, and formerly good, shoulder is driving me batshit crazy. Damn it hurts. The impingement burns and feels like a ripped open gaping wound. Reaching for anything is agony and don’t even think about turning it.

When both shoulders act out at the same time it can be defeating, debilitating.

Today is not a good day…however…I will focus on healing and tomorrow being better. I will get better in time. This, too, shall pass. I’m a healthy guy. I’m blessed with good health insurance. I’m blessed with a positive outlook. I’m blessed with love and support. I’m blessed with the ability to recover from life’s little bumps. This is just a little bump.

Setbacks? They are just setups for life’s greatest comebacks!

Watch out life, here I come!

Justice

It’s Wednesday. This morning we have a 90 minute in home massage to break up more of the post surgery scar tissue that still inhibits the use of our left shoulder. In preparation Fearsome desired a word to contemplate while receiving said massage. A contemplation as a meditation so to speak.

Due to recent news and circumstances, a word that came to mind and resonated with both of us this morning just happened to be:

Justice…

…according to The Oxford English Dictionary can be defined as…

noun
1.
just behavior or treatment.
“a concern for justice, peace, and genuine respect for people”
synonyms: fairness, justness, fair play, fair-mindedness, equity, evenhandedness, impartiality, objectivity, neutrality, disinterestedness, honesty, righteousness, morals, morality
“I appealed to his sense of justice”

So we post this contemplation as a place for us to look back and remember where we were and what was important to us this day. We also share it as it may be a contemplation that one of you dear readers may also enjoy this day.

A wise man once said…

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Avoiding defeatism

OK …I haven’t been posting much other than beards and fluff. I feel as if my thoughts haven’t been fitting blog fodder of recent. I’ve had a bit of defeated mindset syndrome and I decided that if I write about it then I’ll contemplate it. Maybe if I contemplate it I’ll see a way around it and out of it.

Let me take us back a couple weeks.

Shortly before leaving on the adventure into Ft. Lauderdale, which gifted me with an unexpected one night stay at the luxurious Dulles International Marriott, I fell. You see I was showing one of my listings and they have a large very strong dog. The dog is usually gone for showings but due to unforeseen circumstance she was there and it was my job to control her. She is a sweetie and I’m a dog person but she got spooked. In my efforts, to keep her separate from the 2 million dollar buyers, she pulled one way while I went another and face forward I went. The only arm available to catch me before I face planted was my left post surgical arm on the edge of the pool table. It went into a position that my physical therapist has yet to be able to safely obtain. Ouchfuck!

Defeat. I hurt bad. I felt defeated. I saw my surgeon. All physical therapy has been postponed for two weeks until after my follow up with him this week. I can’t lift, drive, excercise or even wash the left side of my head with it. I can only do two movement excercises that were the first two I could do after surgery. Square one, I found myself standing on square one yet again. This was fall number 3 on it since surgery and by far the worst.

Is it ok? We don’t know. I can only hope so. We see the Doc Thursday and he will decide then if I go for another MRI.

I had been making progress. I had been able to reach slightly above shoulder level without pain. Just the week before I was able to pull a parking ticket from the dispenser at the garage entrance to my physical therapy facility. Woo Hoo! I started to have visions of hopefully returning to yoga class in another couple months. At this moment hopes of a return to yoga class are but a long term goal.

Deafeated mindset syndrome. Yes I made that up. It’s a place I do not want to be. It is something that I must be aware of, acknowledge and move on from. Defeat is an emotional feeling that is so easy for the ego to grab onto and make part of its identity. I mustn’t allow my ego to grasp defeatism. I am better than that. I have found that the ego will grasp anything, either good or bad, and run with it as long as it is able to use such to inflate itself.

Humility. By denying my ego an inflated sense of self through undesirable identities, I can choose better things such as recovery, healing, strength and movement. This is not permanent. This is simply life. Life has challenges. Challenges strengthen us. I am able. I must work smarter and work harder.

When I remain humble and accept what is, I must have faith and believe in my ability. I will then improve, overcome and grow.

Obstacles I have. That’s all this is, an obstacle.

Pain, Death, Depression, Anxiety …and Hope

Let me just lay it all out on the table.

Most of the time I spend my Bearded life on the sunny side. Optimist, Pollyanna, Light Hearted, Happy, Positive, Uplifting …these are just a few adjectives that come to mind when I think of how I prefer to live my life.

I truly believe that most of the time I can stay in the positive mindset.

However at this moment I am being realistic. By realistic I mean that I have to admit I am not perfect therefore I will occasionally stumble. My stumble is a slip into negativity. Realistically I can stay positive for the majority of my experience with a rare and short lived negative experience.

My post surgical arm hurts bad this morning. The bicep burns. It woke me up at midnight, I found myself in a pool of sweat and laying there for an hour before giving up and taking a pain pill. I hate pain pills. I am recovering from a head cold. My Big Brother is still a breathing corpse with my poor mother, his wife, my nephew and the Middle Brother all there on death watch. All I can do now is call them and offer long distance support.

This morning I found myself in pain, feeling defeated, feeling helpless, crying, sweating and overwhelmed with anxiety.

Right now I sit on the couch after a good conversation with my friend Catherine. She helped to calm me as does Abner, my little one eyed poodle, who rests in my lap.

This is life. I must walk through it. Most times are good. Once in a great while things will be less than preferred. I must accept that life, like myself, is not perfect.

I now choose to move on as this too shall pass. I choose to inhale. I choose calm. I choose to go with the flow and accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can and to work toward the wisdom to know the difference.

Through my current illusion of fear, may I find the truth of hope.

Sober Beard

Earlier today we swore. We swore using several F-bombs due to pain.

We went to physical therapy and were referred to our surgeon probably because I was sweating and crying tears as the shoulder was getting checked out. Fearsome did his duty and just absorbed the tears into beard oblivion.

The shoulder and bicep are ok. The bicep is still attached to it’s screw and didn’t separate as was feared. Dr. Surgeon felt it best I step down the intensity of PT (trying to be the perfect patient I apparently overdid it a bit) and re-start on pain meds. As he put it “take these and get some sleep”.

I filled the scrip. I came home. I had lunch and took a pill. Now instead of in fucking pain, I am fucked up. Seriously fucked up. Pain is better but I’m dizzy, giggling and half in the bag. I remember feeling this way on the way home from the surgery itself.

Since getting sober almost five years ago this surgery and associated meds are the first time my consciousness has been altered in all this time. I can say that I do not like this altered state and am grateful I not longer live in it.

Why do I write this? FearsomeBeard is our journal. It’s a place for our fun, feelings, opinions, likes, dislikes, love, humor, sadness, anger, attractions, affections, inspiration, motivation and self realness. This post is self realness. A post to remind me if ever tempted to break my sobriety purposefully, that I don’t like this inebriation. A post to reinforce my sober life. A life lived in full unaltered experience.

God knows I had 35 years of altered experience. I did enough of anything and everything I wanted and more. It was fun, it was bad. It is part of what made me who I am today. I have no regrets. I have many beautiful days of sober clarity ahead.

Pain …(Language Warning)

Nine weeks out of surgery. For most part I have done well.

I have one thing to say this morning. Fuck! This fucking shoulder surgery recovery can hurt. Good god it can hurt. I just experienced the worst night since the first week of surgery. I don’t mean to bitch but I am because I need to. Fuck!

Off to physical therapy this morning, I hope it’s ok.

Fearsome’s shoulder surgery adventure

Ok so this just freakin’ hurts.

You see I had a calcium deposit on the end of the shoulder bone that was to be removed via Arthroscopic Acromioplasty -and- A biceps Tenodesis procedure. I was warned beforehand that if a rotator cuff tear was found while they were in there it would be repaired, however no tear APPEARED present on MRI.

Well when I snapped the post operative selfie that was posted Wednesday still under the left over anesthesia I didn’t really know what had taken place. My surgery had taken much longer than estimated due to a significant tear in that rotator cuff. The calcium deposit they were removing had pretty much turned my tendon into hamburger.

All fixed now. All fixed but my estimated recovery time has now doubled and the pain is everything that anyone who has had shoulder surgery will share in detail when given the opportunity.

Ouch!

So while I will be getting better soon….right now pain meds are my friend. My friend in relief even though I hate the way they make me feel overall, they do relieve the pain.

I’ll be back soon and in the mean time you know why I may be a bit absent.

 

Fearsome Post-op

Post Bicep Tenodesis

Post Bicep Tenodesis

Apparently there was a small rotator cuff tear that was discovered once the surgeon gained access through the incision so that was repaired as well. . We just got home and are now on the road to recovery.

Biceps tenodesis

Holiday travels are over. It’s good to be home with the pack of six. Last evening they showered us with love upon our return home. Fearsome loves his pups.

Today will be a busy one as it is the one and only day to tie up loose ends before surgery. The left arm will be immobilized for four weeks. I’m way behind on my blog reading. My apologies to my blog buddies and prepare yourselves as I am going to have some downtime to catch up.

A brief description of my surgical procedure:

-A biceps tenodesis is a surgical procedure performed for the treatment of a damaged proximal long head of biceps tendon. A biceps tenodesis may be performed as an isolated procedure, but more often is part of a larger shoulder surgery, such as a rotator cuff repair.

During biceps tenodesis surgery, the normal attachment of the biceps tendon in the shoulder joint is detached (if not completely torn already), and the tendon is reinserted to the bone of the humerus (arm bone).-