1. Today was my last doctor appointment for my shoulder.
  2. Two surgeries later.
  3. And finally cleared with no restrictions!
  4. I dislocated my shoulder very badly 9 years ago.
  5. Ignored it for 7 years because I'm an idiot.
  6. Dislocated it about twenty-something more times.
  7. At this point it was basically being held together with a paper clip and a rubber band.
  8. Finally decided to see a doctor after it popped out while I was half asleep.
  9. I moved it awkwardly...in a way I would have known not to move it had I been awake.
  10. Had to go to the ER at 4am. I couldn't get it to pop back in.
  11. MRI, tests, all that crap.
  12. Basically, the rotator cuff was the only part of my shoulder that didn't sustain some sort of damage.
  13. Here's the rundown:
  14. A ligament torn completely off the bone.
  15. Torn joint capsule (whatever that is).
  16. Torn connection to the bicep tendon (I think?..pretty sure.)
  17. A bone fracture I never knew I had and never healed correctly.
  18. And most notably, a torn labrum.
  19. Your labrum is a ring of cartilage that keeps the top of your arm bone in the socket. Without it, your shoulder is going to pop out eventually.
  20. Most labrums with tears have small to moderate lesions.
  21. Mine was almost 100% torn.
  22. If you think of your labrum as a clock, mine was torn clockwise from 2 to 10. Off the bone.
  23. Only 11 to 1 was intact.
  24. Six surgical anchors drilled in to stabilize the joint.
  25. To put this in perspective, the average torn labrum requires 2-3 anchors.
  26. Recovery was a nightmare.
  27. 5 months of physical therapy, 7 months post-PT workouts.
  28. And I was no stranger to PT.
  29. I tore my ACL in high school.
  30. That was 6 months rehab, 9 month total recovery.
  31. This was much worse.
  32. The knee was simply physical.
  33. The shoulder was both physical and mental.
  34. I was terrified walking into PT every time.
  35. Because my arm still felt like it was going to pop out for months after.
  36. Every. Single. Exercise.
  37. I was assured this was normal.
  38. Eventually that subsided. But I was still having issues.
  39. I didn't want to admit something might be wrong AGAIN, but in the back of my mind I knew I needed to see the doctor.
  40. So eventually, I went.
  41. MRI, again.
  42. Tests, again.
  43. Nothing.
  44. Shoulders are tricky.
  45. Even with an MRI and tests it's sometimes hard to tell what's wrong until you actually open it up and take a look.
  46. Initially, my doctor thought it was probably some debris that needed to be cleaned out.
  47. Not a huge deal. Small procedure.
  48. A few weeks and back to normal.
  49. Fine.
  50. I woke up the news that my labrum (the main structure that was repaired the first time) had a small area that was taking too much stress, for a number of different reasons.
  51. So, it was stretching.
  52. Stretching= eventual tearing.
  53. So they drilled 2 more anchors in.
  54. There was also the aforementioned debris.
  55. A piece the size of a peanut M&M.
  56. Which is apparently gigantic in the surgical debris world, since there's very little room in the joint capsule to begin with.
  57. Another 4 months of PT.
  58. So that was a kick in the balls.
  59. But fast forward to today. It's good now.
  60. It really is.
  61. This whole thing pales in comparison to people that have to go through real problems, like cancer and other life threatening shit that nobody deserves.
  62. But when you're in your mid-twenties and constantly question if you're going to have a working (dominant) arm for the rest of your life, it kinda weighs on you.
  63. So, yes. It feels awesome to not worry about my arm popping out randomly anymore.
  64. 20.5 combined months of PT and post-PT workouts.
  65. 2 surgeries.
  66. 8 surgical anchors.
  67. And a grand total of 9 years later...
  68. It feels good to have two working arms.
  69. 💪💪