You may have noticed that “digitalflood Pirate Radio Volume 6 Episode 5” isn’t out yet. That’s because this week has been the absolute week from Hell at work. I’ve come home every night completely tired and there is no way I was digging into mixing it. So, I’m taking this week off. I’ll be back next week with this episode and from there get things back on track, but for this week– yeah I need some quite time to relax. I’m sure you understand. The next episode will be out on 2/9/10.
Last post I talked about how I was returning to a normal life. At 7 1/2 weeks away from Open Bankart Surgery on my right shoulder normality seems closer and closer. Shortly after my last blog post I had my follow up visit on 12/4 at physical therapy (PT) where I was able to reach an all time upward amount of 170 degrees. If you recall, 180 degrees is full rotation. It was very painful to go past 160 degrees, but I did it.
With that I continued my normal at home PT routine over the weekend and returned to work on 12/7. I was able to work both my PT in that day, as well as, my 3 at home (or work) PT sessions. Again, I was able to hit 170 degrees at PT and did so with less pain. We also continued external rotation (moving my arm away from my body) towards 30 degrees. Again, 180 degrees outward is your maximum, but for now this is the limit my orthopedic surgeon wants me working at.
I had to miss my 12/9 PT session because they closed their office for snow and to top it all off I came down with a cold that same day. This laid me up the whole week and stopped me from doing my at home PT work. When I returned to PT on 12/11 the effect was I reached upward to only 165 degrees, but was still able to go outward to 30 degrees. In short, my muscles though stronger overall from the rest are also tighter. We worked through a brutal upward stretching session that left my bicep feeling like chopped meat.
At that same PT visit the therapist added a scapular stretch, which is the motion you would do if you were standing straight up and pulled out a draw from a dresser while bending your elbows. Over the course of this coming week they will actually start me on scapular weight training to start building the strength back into my lower arms back up to normal, as well as, my shoulder blades and back.
The good news is that I’m noticing less and less daily pain. Sitting still there is normally little to no pain. Driving is minor discomfort when I get around 10 miles and I can finally sit through dinner while out to eat without having one of my arms pop out of the socket. This is all very good news. I also notice my upward reach in my protected zone (150 degrees or lower) is painless as well. I was able to get through four hours of mall shopping yesterday and over 50 hours of work this week. All with little to no discomfort. So there have been good gains overall. I plan now that my cold is letting up to get back to my at home PT starting today so I can catch up and restore any range of motion that I’ve lost over the last week or so.
As always, I let you know how it all goes by the end of this week.
You may have noticed we had a major outage to digitalflood.com from around 7 pm EST 12/8/09 into the early morning of 12/9/09 sometime. This was the result of a major spam attack against digitalflood.com. To prevent future attacks of this type against our site, yesterday afternoon I finished migrating email services from the same platform that serves our web page into burlier clustered email server solution. By splitting apart these services and using the web server to only serve web pages (a novel idea indeed) we should no longer see these type of spam attacks “downing” the web site.
While I was at it yesterday (12/9), I also did a whole bunch of OS updates, as well as, some plug in updates to df.com. This is too keep things up to date and secure, as well as, insure top notch delivery of the web site. As a result of all this work, we’re back in business and everything is loading pretty good on the site considering the recent spike in web page viewership. I’m still noticing some anomalies I’m trying to iron out, but ultimately it’s looking like I’m quickly outgrowing my current server. This is admittedly quicker than expected. I cannot complain about df.com being so popular so soon after it’s return– clearly that is a blessing. Therefore my only real long term solution will be to move to a beefier web server and I plan on doing that sometime early in 2010 if all goes right. I may have to “speed up” that new web server deployment though if things continue getting hairy during high volume hours.
Now onto the real bad news, that same night of 12/8/09 of the spam attack my computer’s main hard drive completely failed (it’s a total coincidence– but what bad timing for irony to strike). While I won’t lose any of my music or web cast recordings (including the still in production digitalflood Pirate Radio Vol. 5 Episode 4) it certainly stops production of Pirate Radio for this week. Thus I’m regrettably (but without choice) going to have to move the release of Vol. 5 Ep. 4 into next week. If things change and I somehow get my hard drive replaced/rebuilt faster I’ll let you know right here on df.com, but for the time being– consider this an unexpected week long hiatus in Pirate Radio production.
I’m finding that when it rains– it truly pours. *boom*
As I do every week, I’m following up to last week’s post to document the recovery process as I heal from Open Bankart Shoulder Surgery on my right shoulder. This week has been one of great success and some minor set backs. First the success, by last Friday (11/13/09) I had finally broken through on overcoming my healing plateau. I was finally during my at home PT exercises able to raise my arm during the pendulum forward/back swing above my shoulder (90 degrees) without pain. Later that same day during my PT session my therapist was able to raise my arm in a forward position while laying down to 128 degrees (about what it takes to reach a box of cereal on top of a 6′ tall fridge). I was told this was both significant progress over my prior 120 degree limit and better than normal healing usually allows.
As such, the therapist introduced two new exercises to my at home PT regime: The side to side pendulum swing (5 minutes) and the shoulder shrug (10 reps). This was in addition to my existing 10 forward and backward shoulder rotations, 5 minute forward and backward pendulum swing, 10 forward and backward elbow circles, 10 bicep curls, and 3 repeated 15 second neck to the shoulder stretches on each shoulder. My total work out time climbed from 15 minutes to about 20 minutes per session and believe me– it sounds like a lot less physical work than it really is. Especially when you consider this routine is done three times per day (that’s an hour long work out when you add it up total per day!). Needless to say, the first few times were a bit tiring. I noticed though day over day my endurance and range of motion continued to build.
Then came Tuesday (11/17). The previous day I felt absolutely great. I did light chores around the house (washed dishes, swept, and cooked). I was able to do light routine tasks with my right arm like wash under my left armpit, brush my teeth, shave, and wipe my rear side all without issue. I was also surprised to find out I could with a shuffling motion drive with two hands (I have an automatic V6 Mustang). I was even able to use the mouse for brief periods. In short, I was about about 40% recovered and around where I was about two weeks before surgery. I felt great!
I was doing my afternoon at home PT work out yesterday and was very hopeful about today’s PT visit where I could potentially accomplish some more movement forward in recovery. I was doing my 5 minute forward pendulum swing and my two year old daughter was running around getting into everything. I was busy watching her and not paying enough attention to the swing’s peak position. That’s when in one forward and upward motion I overreached with my swing limit. I ended up going well beyond 128 (I guess it was somewhere around 140). There was a brief sharp sting through my arm much like the kind you get when you get an electric shock from an outlet. I could continue on with the PT session, but my range of motion was noticeably reduced.
That entire evening I felt very sore, but not in any significant pain. I had no trouble sleeping, but this morning when I woke up I was more stiff on my right body than I had been for the past two plus weeks. I knew since I could raise my arm I hadn’t torn anything. This was discomfort and soreness like too hard a work out at the gym and waking up the next day to regret it. It was not shoulder dislocation grade pain though. It was clear I had over extended my arm and probably strained my bicep in the course of doing so. I spent the rest of the day icing myself and gave myself some heat before bed. I also lightened the work load on my afternoon and evening at home PT routine by reducing the pendulum swing range.
When I got to PT today they started by heating my arm. Then an elongated massage. There was noticeable reduction in swelling around my incision scar and bicep itself since my last PT visit. Clearly the inflammation (though bothersome) was not severe. In fact, but all observations the arm was near normal in size. Regardless, any motion above 90 degrees had to be done gingerly because of the lingering soreness. We did manage to get my right arm to 128 degrees so there was no reduction in range (which is good).
More concerning though was something else I hadn’t noticed until the major surgery swelling/pain was able to heal over the course of the last week. I had a bruised like feeling in my humerus’s frontal lobe (that’s the bone in the upper arm). I’d been noticing a lingering pain in the top part of my arm and had simply been treating it with both ice and heat (which helped it somewhat) thinking it was just part of the overall pain. That pain/bruise/whatever had been there since the major soreness of the surgery subsided some three weeks ago. The problem is that except for my pulled bicep; the rest of my arm was now painless except for that humerus lobe region.
The bigger problem is that is the very part of the bone in your arm that must pass through the collarbone/clavicle when going beyond 130 degrees as you reach forward and upward. There was no way that lobe would pass through the bone without a rubbing sensation that was indeed true pain (somewhere around a 6 plus). Therefore the therapist broke off therapy. It was clear that I needed to have that lobe heal before I could move any further. With that we ended the session with ice and therein my disappointment of:
- Pulling my bicep in a random accident that set me back a week easy.
- Finding out though the majority of my arm is healing there is still this abnormal inflammation of the humerus head. Leaving a bigger question of when/how can we make that go away?
I’m continuing, per my therapist, my at home PT exercises though in a slightly less strenuous manner during the pendulum swings. I’m also watching that I don’t go above 120 degrees. I’m continuing to ice the joint as well after each session. This Friday we’ll revisit my range of motion forward/upward from there and hopefully (if my healing pattern holds true) by the following Monday I should be able to get to 130 plus (or at least feel as well as I did yesterday before my accident).
I also had a minor side issue with my insurance provider. For whatever reason they only accepted eight visits to PT instead of the full 16 I need. Eight visits isn’t enough (I’m on visit five as of today’s visit) to let me recover properly. Apparently there is some paperwork the PT can do to show them I need additional treatment. I surely hope so– I cannot afford the non-insurance rates and there’s no way I can stop therapy after next week. I’m not even two weeks in on PT and by all medical professional estimates I’ll need a total of at least six weeks of PT to be able to work out on my own going forward.
My second major post operation milestone is on Monday (11/23). Before my Monday PT, I visit my orthopedist for post op check up number two (week five). He’s going to review my PT results and decide from there if I can go back to work (12/7 was the six week post op target) full time, as well as, what’s best to move me along to final healing in PT. I’m hoping for good news. My FMLA and disability goes out into the first week of January 2010 (12 weeks total), but I really want to get back to work. Sitting around the house and doing nothing is driving me crazy. The flip side is that if I’m not physically in a place where I can return to work I’ll be of no value to them.
This is all the more frustrating with today our CEO announcing my promotion to Network Operation Manager. I really am itching to get back to work and get the ball rolling on some projects, but here at I am at home– sore as Hell. Label that frustration number three for the record.
I’ll update next week as per usual to let you know how it all goes. Clearly this is where things get tough and patience needs to become a virtue I learn to respect for my own good. In my heart of hearts, I know that if I don’t let my body heal and recover properly I’ll, in the long term, be physically of no value to anyone (my family, my employer, myself, etc…) and that is something I keep in my mind to balance things out.
Week six seemingly cannot come fast enough.
I’m happy to announce that my Yahoo! Fantasy Football team, the Rhode Island Rabbits, have taken first place in my league as of this morning! Yahoo’s leagues run sixteen weeks total (the regular NFL football season) with the first fourteen dedicated to regular season place, week fifteen to semifinal play offs of the top four teams, and week sixteen with the final “Super Bowl” game determining the league champion for the year between the two semifinal game winners.
The league uses real NFL players’ game statistics for a given week (week runs Tuesday through Monday) to compile a score. You are rank first by how many wins you have. I have six wins and four losses right now– anything over .600% is consider good with .500% being average and below .400% being bad. When you tie others by win rankings (notice there are four others teams with the same win amount as mine) those aforementioned player statistic points are used to sort who is better than who in the tied group of teams. I’m at the top with 980; some twelve points ahead of the number two team.
Here’s the current standings in the league as of this morning:
|1.||Rhode Island Rabbits||6-4-0||.600||980.00||W-3||9||8|
|4.||really da really||6-4-0||.600||900.84||L-2||2||11|
This is my first year playing fantasy football, but I’ve being doing fantasy baseball for two years now (my Rabbits Baseball team finished in fourth place this year) and those same statistics/scoring skills carry over into football. I am not, admittedly, a football expert though I do follow weekly highlights and game stats. As I’ve always said, when you grow up and feel too old for AD&D role playing you graduate to fantasy sports to make yourself feel “cool” though obviously you’re still a pretty big nerd. I mean come on, the whole thing is mathematics (statistics, law of averages, logic tables, and chance determination) like chess so if you are good at it and won’t admit you’re a nerd you’re lying to yourself. 😀
Basic math says that if you win eight of fourteen game (or roughly .571 winning average) you are almost 100% assured of placing in the top four positions. Having said that you really want to win as many as possible and accrue as many points as possible because of the aforementioned ties by wins (we’re a very close league and anything can happen in these type of less than twenty point spread situations).
This week I play the cowboys21 team listed above. They are the “worst team in the league”, but if you look at their line up they have an incredible roster of players. The problem is many of them have spent the year hurt until now. There is the bigger problem– he has a team of great players very healthy who could turn an upset very easily. Prediction odds say I will come out ahead (105 to 90 points) according to the Yahoo! prediction math nerds, but anything can happen on any given Sunday as they say. A fifteen point spread on prediction is still pretty close (anything under twenty is close) so we’ll see what happens.
If anyone is interested in Fantasy Baseball (starts in April 2010) let me know. I’m contemplating running a public open league this year in addition to the closed invite only league I participate in. It will be head-to-head league (similar to the style of league above) hypothetically and it would be pretty cool to get some df.com contributors and viewers duking it out for the championship. Drop me a line via comments on the post if you’re interested. We’ll follow up with you from there via email (be sure to put your valid email address I can contact you at in the comment line– don’t worry it’s never shared for marketing purposes to third parties nor will it be used for marketing purposes by df.com or displayed in the post itself).