by Beth Rodden

Happy New Year everyone! I hope that everyone had a wonderful time climbing, spending time with family, or doing nothing at all.

I am making much better progress after my last blog post. I am no longer an innate blob on the couch, although the excuse to be lazy is slightly missed. About a week or so after my surgery, I started making a conscious effort to walk every day. At first it wasn’t very far, a block or two, but slowly it grew into a half mile, then a mile, and then several miles. Luckily for me, I had many good friends and their furry canine companions visiting my house in Yosemite, and were able to entertain and distract me from the pain.

For the next three weeks, I became much more versed in using my left had for my dominant hand. Typing was extremely slow, opening a jar or a can was impossible, and I became a permanent passenger in the car.

The biggest thing at the forefront of my mind was following the doctor’s instructions and generally being a ‘good patient.’ With past injuries, I have assumed the ever so common athlete mindset; that the doctor’s instructions are for the laymen, and actually I can do much more than they state. With this mindset, I successfully turned my foot injury and a three-month cast sentence into a nine-month ordeal. I assumed when the doctor told me that I couldn’t weight the foot, that he meant, I couldn’t weight the front part of the foot (where the broken bone was) but the back of the foot was fine, so I rode the stationary bike with the pedal strategically positioned on my heal. And when he progressed into saying I could gently start weighting it again, I took my boot to Sportiva and we glued sticky rubber on the front of it so I could start climbing again. Needless to say, I was a horrible patient, and wrote my own destiny with the foot. However, this time, I am determined to follow instructions. Unfortunately this has led me to being a complete hypochondriac with my shoulder, and any pain I feel, or any odd noise I hear. I am just hoping that I have done an okay job and my one slip on the ice didn’t destine me for another shoulder surgery later on…

I made a short video (pardon my amateur skills, perhaps I will start improve slowly in this arena) about starting physical therapy and a little of my short, ‘one armed life.’ Thanksgiving was wonderful as always, but I had to recruit some help to complete my normal duties of pie-making. I actually should not even say ‘help’ it was more of a ‘take over’ as I am sure if left to my five-handed self, I would have produced nothing that resembled a pie.

I hope you enjoy, and one of these days, there will actually be pictures and video of my climbing again….that is if I behave myself. Wish me luck. I also want to offer my sympathy to Paxti Usobiaga. I heard that he just went through the same shoulder surgery over Christmas. However, I also read that Chris Webb Parsons, who went through this in early 2009, is crushing the boulders in Bishop, which gives all of us shoulder gimps hope! Yay.