February 15, 2011
It’s been a great week of success and focus for this journey of health through dancing. I wanted to share a little about my shoulder injury, surgery, and full recovery. After my surgery, every time I went to see my surgeon, Dr. Gamradt, he would examine me and say, “Keep on Dancing!” He said that I was ahead of others with my same surgery because of my continuous movement and use of my shoulders. The danger of having adhesive capsulitis (shoulder freeze) was a strong possibility and I was determined not to let that happen to me.
I would visit my surgeon and say “Watch this!” I would then stand in ballroom dance position and rhythm position and move my arms. I would demonstrate arms styling and show him how I had improved through my dancing. Dr. Gamradt would always laugh and say, “Keep on Dancing!” I heard that phrase many times during my recovery.
During the many painful visits to my physical therapist, I would practice my exercises in ballroom dance position. I would have my arms held in Waltz position as I did my stretches. In the open therapy room I would hear from other patients, “What is that guy doing?” and the answer would be, “Oh, that’s David and he is a ballroom dancer. He is getting his shoulder back in dancing shape!” I must admit that recognition as a dancer got me through some rough and painful therapy sessions.
My experience at the dance studio was amazing and the support wonderful. Early on, I could dance with the use of my right hand and arm with my left arm in a tight sling. I was able to dance all my dances and lead and even teach. The students were wonderful as they gave me encouragement. I would dance every dance at the studio parties. Believe it or not, I choreographed a Quickstep professional staff formation, taught it to the staff and performed the dance two months after my surgery.
As I was healing, everyone could see the progress and they all knew it was from the dancing and movement. I am now released from my doctor, and he said the surgery was 100% successful. I am so thankful that my experience of being a judge, coach, choreographer, and dancer gave me the tools to heal perfectly.
Oh, and I have lost 5 pounds since my start at 250. Gotta keep moving and dancing!
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