It’s been a year and a half since I last posted about my shoulder. I continued to go to therapy three times a week for six months, and by the way had an amazing new physical therapist (Paul, thank you my friend). I also continued my home exercise plan. I did pretty much everything I could to get better. I guess I did get better, to a degree.
Maximum Medical Improvement
In May of 2017 I finally reached what is called “maximum medical improvement”. Basically that means medically speaking there was nothing else they could to do to help improve my situation. I had reached my plateau. I continued to go to work for the next year, and did the best I could while remaining on “light duty”. I also went to the orthopedic surgeon for another year, my last visit being just a couple months ago. My external range of motion never came back, and my strength is still very limited. So after two surgeries and 130+ therapy sessions my treatment ended. My pain is now manageable, and I continue to exercise everyday to ensure it stays that way.
A time to reflect
As I write this I’m sitting down by the ocean reflecting on this journey. Three years ago I started this chapter in my life. I had just finished my CNA certification and had told everyone I was gonna get a job in the new hospital just a few minutes from my home. I applied for and got a position as a operating room assistant with hopes of being a surgical tech as soon as possible (hopes that ended with the injury). The first couple of months were both exciting and terrifying. Learning the ins and outs of the operating room was fascinating for someone who had never worked in healthcare before. Plus the job I was doing was scratching an itch I’d had for a while.
All things come to an end
My workers comp case finally closed recently. I signed my settlement paperwork and a week later it was over. I told my managers, said my goodbyes, and walked out of the hospital for the last time. The Bible says “he who endures to the end shall be saved”. Now I know that means something totally different, but for me, for now, it’s how I feel. In closing out this chapter I have been saved. The stress I’ve carried during all of this has been heavy at times; so now the relief I feel is beyond expression. I will miss the hospital. I will miss my co-workers. I will miss that feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction that I used to feel when I did my small part in the care of patients.
Today I move forward, and I look back only to remember where I’ve been in order to remind myself not to go back. I’m grateful for the journey regardless of the pain, the people I met along the way, and the things I experienced. I wouldn’t trade those things for anything.