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A Week of News on the Shoulder Surgery Recovery

So…playing a bit of catchup on the Shoulder Surgery Recovery Diary. Since my last entry the days have been, as far as the recovery goes, pretty consistent. It has now been 2-1/2 weeks since the surgery. I’ve been steadily upping the range of motion on the OptiFlex S CPM chair, now at 122d/52d on the way to my 140d/60d goal, and consistently using it for a minimum of 3 hours a day. I’ve also been doing the exercises that Dr.Ziegler prescribed.

A couple of days ago I basically stopped using the sling because the strap is wearing out bad no longer secures well.

The past week has seen me getting some wrk done in somewhat limited way.

A week ago Saturday I was out of the house most of the day at the shop working on some computer and photo library maintenance.

Monday I spent a few hours preparing the GT Design books for taxes. Plus, I stopped by the house Bob is flipping in Glendale and caught up a bit with RC as well.

I spent more time at the shop organizing including photos on the old G5 on Wednesday.

Also been watching a couple of Philip K. Dick derived shows on Amazon Prime, The Man in the High Castle and Electric Dreams. Both have some pretty good episodes so far.

Thursday was my meeting with our accountant. I also took a drive up to Two Rivers to check on a building I am interested in and had lunch at Nicky’s that has what is claimed to be the best hamburger in the area. It was a tasty burger.

Sydney came home Friday PM and the Olympics have started so that scenario saw the whole family together in the living room. Nice!

The next milestone I’ll have to report on is Thursday’s follow up appointment with Dr. Ziegler. Hoping for a good report!

Every Day is a Recovery Day – The 10th One Since Surgery

2-2-18 Day 10

6:45 AM – I continue to get decent sleep in the corner of the couch. I forgot to mention earlier that we don’t own a proper recliner, the kind my grandfather used to own, that I would use if we had one. If you get this surgery, and you have a recliner, I’d expect it to be your favorite sleeping spot for a few weeks.

For some reason I’ve got more soreness in the shoulder today than I’ve had waking up for the past few days. Slept differently? I don’t think so. Maybe over did it some yesterday? Haven’t been icing as much?

Did the couple of passive exercises Dr. Ziegler prescribed.

8:30 AM – First 1 hour chair session. Currently have the upper/outer limits of the range of motion set at 82d and 29d.

Things I expect to be able to get done today without my surgery recovery getting in the way of:

  • Writing – Still mostly left-handed but I can throw the right hand in for a few minutes at a time.
  • Continue the consolidation of my digital photo library. Over the past few days I’ve probably got about 25% done but that is most of what I have available at home. I’ll need to head to the studio to load up more on a hard drive.
  • Get Garrett new winter boots. For some reason his feet keep growing!
  • Pick up iPhone X.
  • Decluttering the house.
  • Push things around at the studio to get the video recording area functional.
  • Photograph items for eBay.

11:00 AM – 2nd Chair session with increase in range of motion to 86d/32d. Well on the way to the 140d/60d goal.

Picked up an iPhone X today. Pretty impressive! I’ll have more to report on it as I get more use out of it. Here is a photo in portrait mode.

I made it to the shop for a bit today. Not a lot of work getting done but I am getting some projects prioritized.

Garrett headed off to Winter Camp with the Scouts tonight so Wendy and I have the house to ourselves for the first time in I don’t know how long. She’s not feeling well in the tummy and Ive got this surgery recovery going on. So we’ve got that going!

Shoulder/Bicep Surgery Recovery – Day 9

6:30 AM – Exciting day! It’s February 1st! Well, that and I have my first follow up appointment with Dr. Ziegler, a week and a day after my rotator cuff and bicep tendon surgery, coming up in a bit. I am hoping for a good report as I have been doing the CPM chair 3+ hours a day, resting well, not in too much pain and have been using the meds sparingly.

7:30 AM – 45 minutes of chair time.

8:45 AM – heading to the doctor.

9:30 AM – So far, so good according to Dr. Ziegler. He gave me a couple of exercises to do. I already forgot one though. Recovery to some benchmark activities will be longer than I’d been thinking but we will just have to get ‘er done! Here are some of the activities that I asked about with some estimated times:

  • CPM chair use – Day 2 through 4 weeks. Dr. Ziegler suggested using the chair a bit differently than the generic program the charipist suggested. Basically, increase the range by session based on how my arm feels.
  • Active Physical Therapy – Week 4 through 3 Months
  • Typing/Desk work/Filing w/both hands – About 6 weeks
  • Working on a tabletop assembling/cooking – About 6 weeks
  • Pushing 50 pounds on wheels – 9-12 weeks
  • Moving 20 pound boxes to shelves chest high – 12 weeks?
  • Then overhead – 3 months+
  • Riding bike – About 3 months
  • Push ups pull ups etc. – About 3 months
  • As good as it will get – 6+ months

Noon – Sooo…I ended up getting a 10.5” iPad Pro today. The last week working almost exclusively the 9.7 Pro convinced me that my workflow going forward will be a lot more iPad-based. Knowing that, here are a few of my justifications for the new rig:

  • Bigger, better screen. I do a lot of photo and video.
  • Better processor and graphics allows programs like Lightroom CC, Photos, Snapseed, Photoshop Express, iMovie etc. to work more efficiently. Plus, Games like Civilization VI move faster especially towards the end of a large game.
  • More capacity. I got the 256g WiFi version. I actually skipped the cellular model for now. I’ve used my iPhone for a hotspot before and it works fine. Just have to remember to bring auxiliary power like a Mophie Juice Pack.
  • The screen is a lot less susceptible to finger prints and those that do show up are less visible.

5 PM – Disappointed in the new Logitech Slim Combo keyboard for the 10.5 Pro. I ended up returning it already and got the Apple Smart Keyboard that I am typing on now. Too bad because I really liked the Create that I have for the 9.7 Pro. Frankly, for a moment I thought about just returning the 10.5 too because I really liked the 9.7/Create combo but after using the 10.5 for a few hours of productive time I am sold on the size being a great balance between portability and screen size.

Wendy has conferences tonight so I went to dinner at HōM with Garrett then helped him get his gear ready for this weekend’s Boy Scout Klondike campout.

Garrett and I stopped at the Apple store and, while we were waiting to swap out the iPad keyboards, we were messing around with the new iPhones. I’m ready to upgrade from my 6S having completely skipped the 7-series. I thought I was fairly settled on the iPhone 8 because I really like the size of the 6 and the 8 is basically the same. I know for sure that I don’t want the 8 Plus although the better camera was a draw. Well, the X is only slightly larger than the 8 and has a better camera than both the 8 and 8 Plus so I checked out the X’s camera a bit. Here is the photo, straight out of the iPhone X in Portrait mode that convinced me that X marks the spot!

8 PM – More chair time.

10:30 PM – Busy day so I had to hit the CPM chair one more time before bed.

Still doing the single 5mg Oxy IR right before bed. Also, still sleeping through most nights.

Day 8 of Shoulder Surgery Recovery

6:30 AM – This might be starting to sound like a broken record but my recovery from the rotator cuff and bicep tendon surgery is somewhat monotonous in that certain things need to be done each day. So, here goes again!

Ate B-fast with Wendy and Garrett before they went off to school and then hit the CPM chair at 7:30. The first 30 minutes I caught up on news on the iPad and then watched a bit of Victoria on our PBS TV subscription. I’m trying to find a replacement for Poldark. Don’t think Victoria is it though. 1 – hour in the chair for the first session.

I plan to pick up an Apple Pencil today. I’ve got $50 in Apple Gift cards to help with that. I hope the 10.5” iPad Pro doesn’t pique my interest too much. I’ve been considering one as my current 9.7 Pro doesn’t have Cellular. Now that I’ve been using my iPad almost exclusively during this surgery recovery, I can see using one a lot more in place of my MacBook Pro. Ironic that portability and connectivity is not an issue right now as I am mostly at home but I am looking down the road and the iPad form factor is winning me over for content creation. Lightroom CC, WordPress for iPad as well as iOS 11 may finally be mature enough for production work.

Tomorrow is my first follow-up appointment at Dr. Ziegler’s office and I am looking forward to getting a better picture of what to expect for my recovery going forward.

I’m getting more work done on the consolidating of my digital asset collection today. I spent a couple of hours culling and exporting files from Aperture for import to Lightroom CC Classic.

I’ve got some stock photo ambitions after having several people find my photos on Flickr and using them for commercial applications that I got paid for. Yes, more please.

1:15 PM – 2nd Chair session today 79d/26d and feeling it some in the top of my shoulder.

8:30 PM – Chair session for another hour totaling 3 for the day.

Tired and not an eventful evening.

On Going Posts About my Shoulder Surgery – Day 7

6:30 AM – Awake

7:45 AM – Iced shoulder for 15 minutes prior to CPM chair session

8 AM – 1-hour in the chair. Same range as last night.

10 AM – First time driving the van as I needed to get to the shop for a few things. I can tell that I won’t want to drive regularly yet.

11 AM – Investigating the feasibility of getting water service at the shop. I’ve still got to get a real darkroom going! Hope to know costs soon.

Noon – Chair session. Upped the range of motion to 75d/23d after 30-minutes and continued for a total of 1-hour.

Did some prep work on the main computer for the reorganizing of my digital photo library. Looks like 80,000+ images over 3 computers and several hard drives. Got some work ahead! Main goal is consolidation and getting rid of duplicates. Working with my right hand on the mouse still isn’t a great idea so the project is pretty slow moving.

8 PM – 1 hour in the chair. 3 hours total today.

9 PM – More work at the desk.

11 PM – Getting ready for bed. Iced the shoulder for about 30 minutes. Still taking 1 x 5mg Oxy before bed. Don’t remember taking any other meds today.

More Words About my Shoulder Surgery Recovery – Day 6

7 AM – Breakfast

Felt twinge in my right shoulder when standing up and balancing as I got out of the couch cocoon. Have had a couple reflexive moments that work the arm before I can quell the instinct, reaching for something I’ve dropped, deflecting an errant bar mate and that’s is really the only pain I’ve felt so far.

8 AM – Chair 1 hour. Watched Letterman’s Obama interview. Ice post chair

Chair tip, ignore what the chair is doing the motion is passive, not active, so you don’t use your own muscles. Distractions like surfing on the phone help me ignore the machine.

The arm feels pretty good so it is a bit frustrating that I can’t use it. There are a lot of things that I’d like to be doing including working on my R/C planes, getting my shop organized, listing items on eBay and redoing my digital asset scheme.

I am glad that working and writing on the iPad is going well. Besides the diary of my Surgery Recovery, I’ve started several reviews.

I’ve been thinking about some new business directions. New websites and businesses.

Watched a couple of episodes of Longmire on Netflix. Was a pretty good show early on but seems like this season is rehashing old themes.

12 PM – in the chair for 15 minutes then changed settings to 70d

/22d for 45 more minutes.

Did some studying for the FAA Part 107 Exam that I will be taking in the next couple of weeks. Basically, when my arm lets me.

Did some light work in the home office. Organizing, hooking up a new RAID (NewerTech Guardian MAXimus mini) in anticipation of redoing my digital photo collection as well as other digital files.

7 PM – 1 hour in CPM chair. The rental model I have is called the OptiFlexS. Did 3 total hours.

10 PM – Hitting the sack. Still taking 1 x 5mg Oxy before sleep which seems to work well and lets me get 6-7 hours of solid sleep.

Continuing Diary of my Shoulder Surgery Recovery – Day 5

7:30 AM – Another 7 hours sleep with no real complaints. Still sleeping semi-upright in my corner of the couch. Woke up a couple of times. Put Harry Henshaw’s Stargate on the Living Room Sonos. Good sleep/relax music.

8 AM – Back in the chair. 1 hour. Changed upper limits to 66d/20d with 15-minutes to go.

Took another shower. Noticed that bruising is more pronounced than a couple of days ago, especially along bicep. I know the bicep was detached at the top. Not sure what the exact repair was yet.

Watched S2E2 of Frontier on Netflix.

12:15 PM – Jeff picked me up to hit a couple of watering holes. Riding in a car is not that great. The jarring of the road rattles up through the bones!

Aja recommended Shameless for binge watching. It sounds like a show that will piss me off like Arrested Development does but I may give it a try.

6 PM – Chair action for 45 minutes before dinner.

10 PM – In the chair for 45 minutes. Total 2-1/2 hours CPM time. Feeling very tired tonight.

Shoulder Surgery Recovery – Day 4

On the 4th day of Surgery Vacation, I woke up, I went downtown to look for a job, then I hung out in front of the drug store.

No, wait, what really happened was…

6:30AM – Woke up after about 6.5 hours sleep on the couch. That is working pretty well. I woke up once, maybe twice. Mouth is parched when I wake. Pain has not been an issue during sleep. Maybe owing to the Oxy before sleep?

7:30AM – Icing the shoulder before the chair session and took 2 x Excedrine in anticipation of the extended movement session. Again, arm sore but no pain, per se.

8AM – Sat in the CPM chair for 40 minutes while Wendy made breakfast. Kept range of motion the same as last night. Seems to be a good plan to do that and then add more range for the second session. Feeling a bit of stretch.

After breakfast I iced the shoulder for 30 minutes and hit the chair for another 40 minutes after adding more motion and am now at 61d/17d of motion on the upper and outer end of the chair movement. Shooting for 4 hours today. We will see how it goes.

Finally had a BM after I took some Miralax earlier. Stomach doesn’t feel all that good in general though. Not sure if it was the Miralax but my gut HURT for quite a while. Worse than the arm!

Napped for a couple of hours this afternoon.

4 PM – 1 x Excedrine, 30 minutes icing and 55 minutes in the chair.

Wendy went to a friends house tonight so I made an easy dinner for Garrett and I. Salisbury Steak (doctored up a bit), OreIda Crispers and mixed vegetables. Even that was a bit challenging with one hand although I gently used my right hand to position or stabilize items on the counter.

Been watching Electric Dreams on Amazon Prime. Stories from Philip K. Dick. Also started a bit of silliness that is The Grand Tour.

I am really liking the iPad Pro/Create Keyboard combo for writing, Lightroom CC, surfing and posting to via the WordPress iPad App, readings news via Apple News and Flipboard, checking my eBay auctions, emailing etc., all with my left hand only!

10 PM – 55 minutes in the chair. Total today 3 hours and 10 minutes.

11 PM – Icing post chair for 20 minutes.

Found that Frontier Season 2 is available on Netflix. Watched a bit of that.

11:30 PM – 5mg Oxy IR and sleep came pretty quick.

Recovering From Shoulder Surgery – Day 3

Slept about 7 hours in the couch cocoon. Sore, but not painful.

Woke up during the night with a jolt as I elbowed someone in a dream! Sling on though so no harm I hope.

Woke up about 6:30AM and did some bicep curls no weight! That’s supposed to help with elbow stiffness.

8 AM Sitting in CPM torture chair for the first of 3 hours split into 1 hour chunks!

Catching up on texts with the iPhone all left-handed while the robotic arm moved my right.

Kept yesterdays settings the same for AM up 2d and 1d for PM. 57/13

Did a load of wash

Removed Gauze from my shoulder and had a Shower!

Checked out the incisions…

Got out of the house w/Mark and Jeff to Oscar’s for Lunch. The Big Gringo is the bomb!

Read Bono interview in RS.

Watched Dr Strange w/Garrett and Wendy.

No #2 yet.

Iced for about 4 hours today w/30 minutes before each chair session.

Switched to the iPad Pro with a Logitech Create keyboard for this diary. Pretty good for one-handed typing and better for posting to WordPress as well as using Lightroom CC than the iPhone.

  • 3 x Excedrine throughout the day. Again, I’m experiencing soreness but no real pain.
  • 1 x 5mg Oxy IR at 11PM Before Bed

Tips I thought of today:

  • Button shirts are the way to go.
  • Airline pillow, the C-shaped version, works well for sleeping upright.
  • Find a comfy place to sleep upright.
  • Benchmark activities I have questions about that I should have asked/researched before but will now ask at the follow up appointment.
  • Physical Therapy post CPM chair

When can I expect to be able to do the following:


  • Working on a tabletop assembling/cooking
  • Pushing 50 pounds on wheels
  • Moving 20 pound boxes to shelves chest high
  • Then overhead
  • Riding bike
  • Push ups, pull ups etc.

Shoulder Surgery Recovery – Day 2

No sleep again today. Just sort of nodded off a few times.

Nerve block finally wore off about 7PM or so.

Arm felt like a lump on the nerve block. No feeling except 3 little fingers. Tingled like pins and needles. I made the mistake of taking my arm out of the sling earlier today and it just flopped onto the bathroom counter. Couldn’t move it at all. Luckily it didn’t stress my shoulder. I put the sling back on! You’d want someone to help if you need the sling off before the nerve block wears off.

Now that the nerve block has worn off, it mostly feels like I took a good punch to the arm so far. Soreness, not stabbing pain.

Ice, ice, baby! I rotated the 3 Accu-Therm cold packs the hospital sent me home with all day. The packs stay flexible right out of the freezer but I’d go for 5 to keep a constant supply cold. They say the first 48-hours are the most important to help keep swelling down.

Dinner was beef and gravy from Sendick’s.

Watched several episodes of Tin Star with Tim Roth on Amazon Prime Video throughout the day. Good stuff and a super soundtrack. Also finished up Season 4 of Peaky Blinders. Looking forward to a season 5.

I began to write this diary on the iPhone today; one-handed, with my left hand (not my good side!). The computer keyboard on my MacBook Pro was too big.

In the CPM (Continuously Passive Movement) chair for 1:05 at 55/40 and 0/12. Felt a stretch last 5 degrees or so. Not horrible but hurt a bit more so I took a 5mg Oxy as prescribed about 11PM in hopes of getting some sleep tonight.

Diary of Rotator Cuff and Bicep Tendon Detachment Surgery – Day 1

1-24-18 Surgery Day

  • 7 AM No food since last night and none ’till after the procedure.
  • 11 AM arrival at The Orthopedic Hospital of Wisconsin where Dr. Dean Ziegler is going to fix up my right (dominant side) shoulder that has rotator cuff tears and a detached bicep tendon.
  • 12:30 Anesthesia. Say Bye!
  • 1 PM Surgery Time was about 1 hour and 15 minutes for the procedure.
  • 3 PM Woke back up with no memory of the operation and no pain.
  • Wendy was waiting at the hospital and was getting text updates from the OR nurse. 9 in total I believe. Pretty cool!
  • No pain post-op due to nerve block.
  • 4 PM Left with Wendy.
  • 4:15 PM Home and hungry! Asked for a Kopp’s burger! Wendy picked up burgers when she went to Walgreen’s for my prescription. Yummy!

No nausea from the general anesthetic but the nerve block was uncomfortable. A feeling like there was weight on my chest, a slightly droopy right eye and my index finger and thumb are very tingly.

Set up the corner of the couch for recovery and sleep. Not supposed to lie down to sleep for a couple of weeks I believe. Sleep never really came though. I watched several episodes of the Peaky Blinders, Season 4 on Netflix and played some CIV VI on the iPad. Maybe dozed 1.5 hours total??

Didn’t need any pain meds as the nerve block was still doing its thing.

In a sling the whole day/night, of course,

Spectrum Solutions Painting Company Website

Did a quick website for my friend RC. Nothing fancy yet. We need more content and let the site tell us what it wants to be but we have a start at –

From RC:

Spectrum Solutions is a painting and fine finish contractor in Southeast Wisconsin specializing in interior and exterior painting, cedar staining and many other types of finish work on homes in the greater Southeast Wisconsin region including the counties of Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha, Waukesha and Ozaukee.

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