Monday, November 21, 2011

Getting Better - 11/21/11

Rehab is going really well.  The clinic takes measurements of the range of motion in my shoulder.  The results of the measurements are improving session by session.  I am very happy with the progress. I recently got to spend time with Dr. Kibler and had a chance to ask him some questions while getting a full evaluation.  I have learned a lot about the relationships that muscles have with one another.  Dr. Kibler gave me a layout of my deficiencies.  Although I can lift a lot of weight, the muscles that control the stability of my joints, and consequently my overall functional strength, are weak.  My hips are tight and weak.  My lower back is tight.  The muscles holding my shoulder blade (scapula) in the correct position are weak, allowing my shoulder to slump forward.  My right pectoralis is tight, pulling my shoulder forward.  All of this causes my shoulder to be in an unhealthy position, thereby putting stress on my shoulder when I throw.  I want my hips, back and scapular muscles to be taking the punishment from throwing, not the small muscles and connective tissues in my shoulder.  In order to get my shoulder healthy, and hopefully even better than before, I must get these muscle groups sorted out.  Once I have my shoulder in the healthy position, it will heal and get strong.  If you look at pitchers you can see how this weakness is evident.  In a lot of pitchers, you will see their shoulders slumping forward, which is a direct symptom of tightness in the front and weakness in the back.  I was told every time I walk through a door I must pinch my shoulder blades down and back.  This is the correct and strong position for my shoulders to be in.  So, in effect I need to walk as though I am standing at attention in front of a superior officer.  This will strengthen those muscles controlling the scapula, put my shoulder in the correct position, and train those muscles to take responsibility for my shoulder so that my ligaments don’t have to.  I have met quite a few athletes while training at UofL.  I have met an athlete training for the Olympics.  I have met an athlete training for the MLS (Major League Soccer).  The common theme that I have come across is how important the small things are.  Even that tiny muscle that controls the scapula has a huge impact.  I have to take care of the small things as well as the big things.

Until now, I haven’t prayed about the healing of my shoulder.  I have not presented any request asking Him to heal me.  Some of this has to do with my confidence in Him.  I am convinced that He knows what He is doing better than I do, so it just makes sense to trust Him.  But, this is not what I see in scripture.  I see people presenting requests, people coming to Jesus to be healed.  They come to Him knowing that He is the Healer.  While much can be made of doctors’ skills to heal, nothing will come of it if He is not involved.  I have heard about it in surgeries.  Some go well, others do not.  As great as Dr. Kibler and his rehab team are, the real one I want on my side is God.  The question is: why do I want to be healed?  I think that is a valid question for any of us to ask about our motives.  “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” (James 4:1-3) Here I am, injured and coming to God with a request.  For you, maybe it is something else you are asking Him for.  Maybe it’s that job.  Maybe it’s a test or game to go well.  Maybe it’s a much more serious health issue than mine.  The question is: Am I better off, from God’s perspective, with this issue not being solved the way I would like it to be?  If being healed will cause me to sin more, if being healed will cause me to think more about myself and my plans, if being healed causes me to care less about God, if being healed causes me to be concerned with the things of this world and not Him, then it is better for me that I remain hurt!  When I ask Him for things, am I thinking about what is good for me or am I thinking about how I can serve Him better if this was resolved?  I think that whatever causes me to be closer to God, whatever causes me to love others better, whatever causes others to love Him more, that is what He wants to do in my life.  He wants us to come to Him for healing.  He wants us to come to Him and stay with Him.  “Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.  So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.”  (Luke 17:11-19) “Father, please heal my shoulder.  I am Your servant and I want to accomplish Your will.  If it would be better for my shoulder not to be healed, I am fine with that.  I trust You.  I know the platform I get, the opportunities I have to shine Your light when on or off the field, so if You do choose to heal my shoulder, please help me, Your servant, to love You and others the way You have loved me.”

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