I am now 3 weeks post operation. The wound forms a splendid scar, but it is healing properly, with no infection or apparent disturbance. It still does feel sore from time to time.
I went to the consultant on Tuesday and saw the x-rays of the injury and of the repair. The injury was bigger than I had thought, with the clavicle appearing to be broken along a length of about 3 inches and quite separated. The plate that has been inserted had therefore to seal the bone together over that distance. I tried counting the screws, but gave up at 15. Talking to the consultant he was happy that the mobility I was already showing was better than I should properly expect, and of course this is pleasing.
I ceased taking the opioid drugs within the week after the operation and was then on paracetamol, but have changed now to ibuprofen. This does appears to be working better with what is now really a problem of muscles and the injury being inflamed and uncomfortable. The bony pain seems nearly to have finished.I am content with the ibuprofen and am taking slightly less than the maximum dose and hopefully less as each day goes by.
My swimming pal, Stuart also has injured his shoulder. Neither of us will be able to swim properly for some time. He was two or three weeks ahead of the, but his injury, I think, was more serious. In any event we have switched to the gym. I went yesterday, Friday, and this morning and I am pleased to say that although, clearly, I have lost some speed, I have not lost it all, and I feel that it will come back.
In particular, this morning, I ran on the treadmill and though these things are never the full story, I appear to have run 3 miles in 25 minutes at a small incline. This is, I think, an optimistic view of what I actually managed, but even allowing a substantial pinch of salt, I am pleased with it. Most importantly, I was able to run this morning without thinking all the time of my injury and the need to avoid any bumping of my shoulder. I was able simply to run, and to do so concentrating only on the difficulty of maintaining the speed government rather than worrying about the injury.
So far as physiotherapy has been promised it, I am to receive an appointment shortly. My main concern now is that I think I will be well beyond what would be the point at which they see me recovered by the time I get to see them. I really do need to get back to swimming and that does, and will require very full extension of my shoulder, regularly and repeatedly. The only thought I have is that my mobility is increasing every day and I have to persist in finding the balance between pushing too hard and making sure that improvements occur without any damage.
One of the sad lessons from all this is that at least two of the professionals I have seen have suggested that I need to start again swimming only breaststroke. It is uncomfortable to point out to them that that stroke involves at least a similar range of extension to the other strokes, and imposes probably the greatest strain on the clavicle because of the shape of the pull under the water. The simple truth is that I can only hope to get back swimming in a month or so.