6 Months Since Bicep Surgery

Biceps brachii - Muscles of the Upper Extremity Visual Atlas, page 46

Hardly seems possible, but with the snow falling outside I realized that tomorrow marks 6 months since my bicep tenodesis surgery. Here is a short update on where I am.

I had the surgery after more than a year of physical therapy that provided little relief to the pain and limited mobility I was experiencing in my right arm. I am not sure how I injured it in the first place but I am willing to guess that there was a dumbbell bench press somewhere along the way that did not go right. I reached the point early last summer where I knew it was not going to get better and, in fact, I was finding it harder to use my right arm and having difficulty sleeping from the pain at night.

The surgery was done by Dr. James Rosneck of the sports medicine department at the Cleveland Clinic; it was done outpatient at the sports medicine facility. Previous posts talk about my progress during the first week, two weeks, month, etc. My main complaint after the surgery was the continuing discomfort. It was not until about a month ago that I really began to sense that the surgery was worth it. I am almost pain-free; every once in a while, I get a twinge when turning my arm a certain way. I have returned to lifting heavier weights. I am no longer feeling like the injury and subsequent repair are in any way impairing my ability to do my work–especially teaching my fitness classes. I am still careful, and in the coming months I expect the improvements to continue.

My words of advice to those considering this bicep repair surgery: recovery will take longer than you think. The timeline given to me before surgery was not so accurate (is it ever?); I was able to get back to work in a week (although limited) and was back in the gym a week later. In terms of feeling “back to normal,” however, it was more like 5 months. Consider the risks and the benefits and make the decision that fits for you and your doctor.

My COVID-19 Test

Michigan National Guard conducts COVID-19 testing in Marquette

Today I had to get a COVID-19 test in preparation for a surgical procedure on Thursday. So what was it like?

The picture above pretty much sums it up. I had my test at the Cleveland Clinic main campus and somehow thought I would be going inside to do it. My GPS brought me to the main campus and as I was close to the address that they had given me I began to see signs by the side of the street pointing to the testing site. It was around one corner, around another, around another and then I saw the line of cars in a parking lot. “Not too bad,” I thought. Maybe 6 or 7 cars in front of me. A Cleveland Clinic Traffic Police Officer directed 3 cars at a time into a parking garage so I thought this would be relatively quick. I also realized that the test would be done while I was still in my car. I was finally directed into the parking garage and (as happens at Disney parks), there was another line inside. This line was for check-in. Once check-in was completed, there was another line. Finally, three cars were called ahead to three spaces inside the garage where I finally got the test.

It literally took about 5 seconds. It was not enjoyable. I felt like I wanted to sneeze, but it was not the least bit painful. It happened so quickly that there wasn’t enough time to process it.

20 or so minutes in line for a 5 second test. Given everything that is going on in our country and how the numbers are spiking in Ohio, I am grateful that it was this easy. I know that there are places in our nation where accessibility is a much greater issue.

Now I wait for 24-48 hours for my results. I am symptom-free and I have to get my temperature taken every time I walk into the building to work–so far without any issues. I expect that my result will be negative, but it is altogether possible that I have the virus and am simply asymptomatic. I am hoping for the best, and thankful that a test exists.

I will keep you posted. In the meantime, stay safe–distance yourself, wear your mask, and wash your hands!