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Randy Stein

Having Surgery

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Some years back I had an accident during a performance that derailed my career as an acrobat in the circus and started me on the path to devote my full time to play and develop a repertoire on the English Concertina.

Through the years I have had some issues and arthritis in my right shoulder until in my waning years it has become unbearable to even sleep let alone play for an extended time. As it turns out I had some extensive rotator cuff damage as well as the need to rebuild my bent up clavical. 3 hours of surgery and 5 shoulder screws later I am a month into a 5-6 month rehabilitation. The worst is not being able to practice and play daily let alone perform.

Today I finally practiced my dominant scales and few choice tunes before setting the box down for the day. Slowly slowly.It will return.

But I am not a very patient man! mad.gif

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Edited by Randy Stein

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Some years back I had an accident during a performance that derailed my career as an acrobat in the circus and started me on the path to devote my full time to play and develop a repertoire on the English Concertina.

Through the years I have had some issues and arthritis in my right shoulder until in my waning years it has become unbearable to even sleep let alone play for an extended time. As it turns out I had some extensive rotator cuff damage as well as the need to rebuild my bent up clavical. 3 hours of surgery and 5 shoulder screws later I am a month into a 5-6 month rehabilitation. The worst is not being able to practice and play daily let alone perform.

Today I finally practiced my dominant scales and few choice tunes before setting the box down for the day. Slowly slowly.It will return.

But I am not a very patient man! mad.gif

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May you quickly heal, Randy! And try not to push yourself too hard out of enthusiasm. :)

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But I am not a very patient man! mad.gif

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May you quickly heal, Randy! And try not to push yourself too hard out of enthusiasm. :)

 

Just learn the words of wisdom from our lass Anlej, whose parable for your present condition is:

"You hum it pet ... I'll play it ... but not necessarily in the same key"

(This will also take the pain out of your stiffening jaw from grimacing....as you suffer the twinges of bellows exercise!)

 

just take it squeeze by squeeze to be safe :)

 

Pet is generally a usage with a Geordie / Wearside accent where the man going back to the doctor for another sick note to stay off work was told by his doc: "Well I think you can start to walk again now"

And the patient's response was

"Work?! I can hardly waalk doctor" (geddit??!!)

and reggub me, there is even a song which I did not know about and which you can now set about learning Randy as remedial therapy!

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geordie_dialect_words

I can;t find the song words yet (it is 0130 and I am still jet-lagged...) so if u are interested in singing it pet, rather than playing it, you can have a dig around) Written by Wilson in the 19th century) for this toon Geordie Ha'ed (or haud or haed.. meaning hold) the Bairn

tune:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-k5qVBKqKFM

 

have fun in the safety of your own hyem! :)

Edited by Kautilya

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...maybe you should have been shopping for one of those curious one-handed concertinas, that conversation comes up about once-in-awhile?? Where there is a strap for a leg and buttons only on the opposite side? Of course, you KNOW, the one you'd find would have the buttons on the wrong side :rolleyes: Just yanking your chain, Randy. You have my full sympathies, rehab on an open surgery (as opposed to arthroscopic) will be very long and arduous. Keep the faith--two years from now you'll be shaking you head--"...why was I trying to do that only a month after surgery?" Whether it's walking 2 miles instead of 1/4 or playing the concertina...Do you still love your physical therapist?? And don't forget donuts (for the therapist not you!) will do wonders on the crank factor.

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"Gradual" is the watchword. My wife found, after her back surgery, that she didn't notice improvement day by day or week by week or even month by month, but then she looked back and saw very great improvement. I think you can assume that even though you won't particularly notice improvement, it is happening, and one day you will notice and be thrilled by the cumulative accomplishment. Doesn't mean that the day-by-day will be fun, though, but you already know that!

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"Gradual" is the watchword. My wife found, after her back surgery, that she didn't notice improvement day by day or week by week or even month by month, but then she looked back and saw very great improvement. I think you can assume that even though you won't particularly notice improvement, it is happening, and one day you will notice and be thrilled by the cumulative accomplishment. Doesn't mean that the day-by-day will be fun, though, but you already know that!

Building on that, keep a diary of what you can and can't do, what hurts, how far you can move, etc., so that at some point in the future you can look back at it and make real comparisons with your limitations after a known amount of time.

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...I am not a very patient man! mad.gif

Please don't be like a fellow I once worked with:

A prominent ballet dancer, he was having difficulties with his back. He went to a world-renowned specialist for treatment/advice and was told -- among other things -- to refrain from dancing for 6 months. But he had a scheduled special performance that he was loath to cancel. He did that performance, and it was the last of his dancing career.
:ph34r:
:(

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Contrary to what Jim said...

 

It took me two years before I was comfortable with my new knee. Being a gym rat from an early age, I was reluctant to stop going to the gym, as the doctors suggested. The pain of rehab was awful and there were times I wished I hadn't had the operation.

I was advised to take it easy, not to stress the joint. I understood that impact could be dangerous, but I was more resistant to give up doing squats and leg work: deep knee-bends with weight on my shoulders. I persisted. My workouts continued, utilizing the stair climber, the stationary bicycle, and the squat rack. Now, six years later, I can walk for miles, climb mountains, and do many things that other people who have been more careful with their TKRs cannot do. I have regained 95% of function and I am virtually pain free. But for a while there it was awful. Pure hell.

My point is that you should push the recovery. Accept pain as part of the healing process. The process has three components: work, recovery, and rest. Rest is an important part of training. There is a point at which it becomes obvious that you are overdoing it, and then of course you should back off. I have found that going to that limit -- carefully, mindfully -- works best for me.

 

Good luck Randy. In time, all will be well.

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Now, six years later, I can walk for miles, climb mountains, and do many things that other people who have been more careful with their TKRs cannot do.

FYI, TKR = Total Knee Replacement

 

(Does everybody know that or just doctors and patients?)

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...so Randy, how's the rehab coming on that shoulder?? 'tina harness?? ready for the backpack sprayer yet?? Shelly

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...so Randy, how's the rehab coming on that shoulder?? 'tina harness?? ready for the backpack sprayer yet?? Shelly

 

I have started practicing and playing. Albeit slowly and my shoulder is still very sore and there is residual pain. I do PT 3 times a week and slowly slowly mobility and strength are improving. My group Ein Lanu Z'man had a short concert but the music is not very taxing in this case.

This has been a good time to get back to some of the basics of practicing: Mazas etudes, arpeggio and scale studies, etc. Also working on an arrangement of Stardust...very slow going. Jim Besser is hosting our second DC/Baltimore Squeeze-In on Oct 14th. I am hoping to play some of the Bach Double with Robin Wilson if I can get my chops back up in time.

I did not make or use a harness. Balanced on my knee instead which helped. I pushed and pulled with as little effort as possible. During the gigs I was miked so I did not have to strain to much.

Thanks for asking!

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Edited by Randy Stein

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Good news. The Paralympics made me realise what peole can go through and achieve great things.I just read a piece on how too many painkillers can affect hearing adversely so I'm very sparing with them . I know some climbers, runners etc who dose themselves up before big events but that's not my approach to things. I'd be interested to hear what others think.

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I have not played my concertina for two weeks . I am waiting for a shoulder Op.I have been told recovery is about six weeks from keyhole surgery.After that I have to have my other shoulder done (Subacrominal Decopression).All the Morris dancers are rooting for me to return .You would think that I would take the time to learn some new songs but without my concertina in my hand I don't have the same interest. I have tried playing with one hand pressed against the arm of the chair but it still pains my shoulder. Bob

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