I ventured back to the driving range today following a winter season, surgery, re-hab and self imposed confinement due to pain in the backyard. Yes, winter came first. It always does and that causes me to set the clubs and shoes aside waiting for spring. However, this time I was not certain about when I would be able to bring out my gear. Then there was the surgery.
The surgery was the repair to a torn rotator cuff suffered at the Trapeze School of New York (TSNY) in 2014. Why wait? Maybe there will be time to say why later on. But the surgery was undertaken on January 12. It was not only a repair of the rotator cuff where two anchors were drilled into my humerus and sutures were used to pull the torn tendon into place so it could heal back into its proper position. The surgery was quite a bit more involved to my surprise. The torn labrum was repaired and the biceps tendon was detached in order to access the labrum. The biceps was re attached or scarred-in lower on the humerus. A “Mumford” procedure was performed on the A/C joint. That is where the scapula and the clavicle are separated at the cartilage (worn out) creating a gap of about 3/4 inch. All in all I got a lot more than I bargained for and I had to wear a sling while i waited five weeks before starting physical therapy.
Physical therapy was no snap. It was six weeks of three visits per week. The physical therapy assistants were gentle and considerate of the healing process. I wanted to go a lot faster than they were willing to allow me to do so. They saved me from hurting myself. Finally, at week five, I was allowed to use heavier weights (3 to 5 pound) and at six weeks after seeing my surgeon I was released to my own care to continue exercises at home.
I continued exercises at home and started swinging a practice golf club in the backyard. The exercises were tolerable but the practice swings were not. I had pain when attempting to make a full swing. I would try one day and lay off two or three. I even tried hitting the racquetball around too but that along with the practice swings set me back. Finally today, 13 1/2 weeks since surgery, I was able to make a full swing with the practice club without pain. So, like the impatient person I am, I raced off to the driving range to see if I could hit a golf ball without pain just as I did with the practice club in the backyard. Yes, I did.
I started with the lob wedge then the sand wedge then the 4 iron hybrid then the driver. Then I chipped and putted a while. No chance of swing induced pain chipping and putting but, I kept working at the game. I’m happy to report that so far, there is no pain.
I am happy with the swings, the chips and putts thanks to recovery time but, even more than that, the way I was able to stay down on the ball. Deepak Chopra stayed with me. Thank you and Leela. I might say more about Leela later but for now she helps me play the game inside my mind.
Now, rest until racquetball at 6 AM. Then see how it goes. So far so good.