Zero to 180

Why am I updating my blog at 2 a.m.? I know it’s ridiculous. I’ve basically reached the point that I’m tired of trying to go back to sleep over and over again.

I don’t mean to sound like I’m whining and complaining. But for those who have asked, this is what life has been like the past seven days.

Our schedule feels very similar to what it’s like to have a newborn in the house. Except we don’t have a super cute little baby to admire during the waking hours. Instead, we have some very bruised, very sore muscles that are bundled up in knots, screaming and needing to be nursed around the clock.

I’ve been trying to think about why this experience is so different from anything we’ve been through before. I mean, I’m the Queen of Broken Arms. I’ve broken both of my wrists and both of my shoulders at various times in my life. I’ve been in full length casts and smaller casts and slings. So, I get the pain and discomfort of having one arm immobilized.

But the unique thing about having surgery on a muscle is that you are basically fighting against your own body’s attempts to repair itself.

In both cases, the human body is creating scar tissue as fast as possible to fix the injured area. With a bone, this is great. Just don’t move it for six weeks, and the bone actually ends up stronger than it was before.

With a muscle, your body is wrapping the area in scar tissue, which, if left alone, will become as hard as bone. If you don’t continually move it and break it up early on, you won’t be able to regain full movement later.

Right now, Capable Dad’s ability to move his right shoulder is at zero. He has to exercise his injury three times a day without actually moving the muscle that is trying to heal itself. In other words, he has to use the other arm or his pulleys or a long cane to pick up, pull, lift and lower the limp right arm.

My amazing husband has always been naturally athletic. So, it’s hard — and somewhat surreal — to see him struggle and wince in pain as he pulls up his arm to 90 degrees or slowly pushes it down to lower it to the bed. It’s hard to imagine that these small movements can create such excruciating pain.

His schedule has become a four-hour cycle throughout the day. Eat. Take pain medication. Do physical therapy. Apply ice. Fall into a deep, comatose state from the pain medication.

Three days a week, he leaves the house to go to his torture session with the therapist (as opposed to exercising at home). She stretches and manipulates his arm to the point that he requires a lot more ice, more pain medication and more sleep. While he can move his bicep zero, her goal is to get it to 180.

Throughout the night, he starts to get restless around hour three of sleep as the pain medication begins to wear off. He has to pull himself out of bed and eat a snack so he can take more medicine and get back to sleep.

We can see him getting stronger each day. But I definitely wasn’t expecting this level of pain to continue at Day 7. I really didn’t know what to expect.

Anyway. We can’t even begin to say how much we appreciate people who have helped with our kids and brought us food and prayed for us this week. We are super thankful for everything. The warm weather also has been a huge blessing that has made our days SO much more pleasant!

I wanted to post a photo of the injured area because there is nothing like an enormous bruise to make a blog post more exciting. Instead, I will post a photo of the 2-year-old eating one of the smiley face cookies sent by friends from Capable Dad’s office. They totally made us smile!


Discover more from

Subscribe to get the latest posts sent to your email.

One Comment

  1. Emily and Kent and family, Completely sympathize with your waking up during the night and not being able to go back to sleep. I have been like that for some months now with our move and all. Am beginning to sleep better now, though, that we are actually moved and beginning to feel at home in our apartment. I am sure your sleep pattern will return with the return to your normal schedule when Kent gets out of so much discomfort. We are praying for his quick recovery and trusting that it will be so. Sincerely, Tom and Billie Benson

Leave a Reply