This anti-aging diary finds me struggling to maintain my usual optimism. I recently had shoulder surgery for a rotator cuff tear. The top shot shows the original injury, the bottom the surgeon sewing it up. This surgery now stops me from cycling, swimming, tennis, and sailing for months, my favorite summer activities. Sports keep me young, and their lack has taken their toll; I’ve gained weight - just a bit, but this was after adopting dietary changes that were intended to send my body mass index south. I have to redouble my calorie control efforts.
I’m really at a critical crossroads. I can’t afford to feel sorry for myself, and stoke my self-pity by choosing food for enjoyment before low-cal nutrition. I’m still allowed to walk and hike, which I have to do whenever I can.
I found this state of affairs to be so discouraging that I couldn't even post these images for a while.
One shoulder for the better part of a year will continue to be immobilized, but I keep telling myself that I’ll be able to fully use it again soon. I'm employing both physical therapy and acupuncture to get back my full range of motion without pain. I'm using minimal pain medication. My natural tendency is to push, a quality that’s led to whatever success I've had, as well as my being criticized occasionally for being pushy.
I have to keep in mind my vivid impression of the woman I saw walking toward me today after I got back to Venice and strolled down the boardwalk toward home. Her arm was wrapped in a diaphanous sleeve. It wasn’t until we passed next to each other that I was able to confirm that she had only one hand. I have both and am facing but a temporary affliction. There are moments when the universe does offer genuine life lessons if we pay attention.
One simple goal is for me to find a way to get through the next five months in the healthiest way possible, given my limitations. After six weeks in a sling, I should be able to resume running, my least favorite triathlon leg, but maybe if I begin the training in August, I'll be ready for my third triathlon in little more than a year from them. Not only will I get the use of my shoulder back just in time for ski season, but there might actually be decent local snow for the first time in years if weather forecasts of El Nino hold up.
Photos of Paul Suchecki's shoulder by Dr. Sango Park, used with permission Anti-Aging Diary c. 2015 Checkmate Pictures - Paul M. J. Suchecki - webmaster