First I would like to thank all of you who have reached out to me during my recovery. It was touching to see patients old and new reach out to me.
My neck feels great. I am now 18 weeks post operative on a multiple disc replacement surgery. I noticed my strength coming back to my right arm slowly but the last few weeks I really started noticing a huge difference.
The delay for getting full arm strength back makes sense. For 10 months I was only able to lift, at best, 60 percent of the resistance of my left arm. So now with the nerve coming out of my neck into my arm firing correctly it was a matter of time to get the muscles strong again.
If you recall my previous vlog posts, the final straw that made me decide to have the surgery had nothing to do with weightlifting. It was more of a quality of life issue. One night while watching a movie with my daughter I realized she fell asleep. I was watching the movie while laying on the carpet. I found it difficult to use my right arm to get off the floor. Then trying to carry her to bed my right arm was too weak and I almost dropped her.
I found in the past the most noted weakness in the right arm was holding items in front of me. I then realized if I wanted to have a life where I can keep up with my very active daughter things would have to change.
Physical therapy helped as did decompression therapy and exercises, but it would seem the slightest activity with my neck would cause a regression and the arm would get weak again.
Not just slightly weak, it would get as bad as 30% strength as the left arm.
It is important to understand that surgery was a last resort.
When working with other patients I would have had the same objective process of decision making. Is the therapy working? Are we seeing the rate of progress we expect? Are regressions or setbacks occurring that come too easily? Is the nerve seeing a neurological weakness that needs to be addressed in a timely fashion? Too many of these questions resulted in the conclusion surgery was becoming necessary.
So at the end of February of this 2022 I have a two level disc replacement in my neck.
Well, I am happy to say at this time the right arm is near back to full strength. But more importantly, I can keep up with my active daughter, who loves gymnastics.
Neither of us can just lay around a pool, so on our last trip we tried some fun gymnastics stuff in the pool. To see, watch the video.