My fishing days may be going away

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by GAT, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. I'll try the shots... if my primary doc will give them to me -- for all I know they may not mix well with all my other meds. If that doesn't work, surgery may be an option but I'd rather not go the route until the bitter end.

    GT, you are absolutely correct in your analysis. You don't realize just how much the arm muscles play a part when doing something as simple as unscrewing the lid on a peanut butter jar until you have bursitis and your upper arm hurts like hell when untwisting a lid. That's crazy.

    I won't go the bait casting route because I'm into catching fish with a fly rod. I don't eat the steelhead so there would be no point in using spinning gear.

    I'll let you guys know how this all turns out and thanks for your suggestions. Obviously I'm not the only old guy with a piece of junk body ... I think the warranty has expired. :)
  2. I have a right shoulder that is falling apart on me as well. I am 58. This past winter i could not get my shoulder to stop hurting even when using a 2 hander. After about 6 months of trying P/T, accupuncturre, 2 shots, and a ton of stretches and exercises my shoulder broke loose. One day I was laying on my side, raised my right arm and I felt and heard this loud clunking noise. Since then my shoulder has felt better. I continue to stretch and exercise and so far it is feeling good enough for me to go back to the single hand rod this summer
  3. Start using your other arm. It'll be frustrating at first but I bet you'd get the hang of it. Every time I go out I make a point of casting some with my left arm. Sometimes it's handy for the back cast room.

    *Edit* Now that I've actually read all the replies I see others have already mentioned this. Turns out I'm not the visionary I thought I was.
    Patrick Gould likes this.
  4. Gene, there are some good acupuncturist in the valley, do some research and give one a try before having any more chemicals pumped into yourself.

    When Susan was dying of an undisclosed disease 2 years ago her acupuncturist was the only hope and comfort she got during the 5 months it took the medical guys to diagnose her. It sounds like you have little to lose at this point, maybe you can find some relief. I used chiropractors and acupuncture after the plane crash years ago when the docs just wanted to give me pain killers. I have been pretty much pain free for years despite damage to my neck and upper back.

    I have some killer pain meds should I ever need them but have only taken 2 in the past 4 years. I hope you can beat this rap and stay on the water for many years to come. Hell, you're still just a kid!

    Kent Lufkin likes this.
  5. Isn't it funny that when you reach the age of 55 you start to fall apart. When you get 60 that's when you really start to hurt. I was always knocking on wood every time I took a tumble when working on Airplanes. Now my knees are shot and I've opted out of any operations. My right knee hurt/aches all the time. I stumble when I first get up in the morning and try to walk. Or if I sit to long. I only fish for about an hour at a time. Any longer and the next day I stay home sitting in a soft chair. I'm lucky as I don't have to wander to far up or down stream to catch fish.

    I use a cane to get around and now I'm using those powered carts when I go shopping at the grocery store. I love fly fishing and if I can't do it I might as well just cash it in.. I hope you all make it as old as I am. 78 ain't that bad. I don't think I could fish in Washington anymore. To damn many trees to climb over or under.

    Get well Gene.
    smc and flyfool like this.
  6. I may try acupuncture myself for a recurring lower back ache. One of the local surfers here is married to one, and a couple of other surfer's I know here have used her with positive outcomes, and recommended that I go consult with her.

    Some of the actions that I have learned to avoid are:

    Throwing balls and sticks for dogs. Just don't do it.
    A kind of "chewbone" on a short rope that you swing bolo-like and then launch is much easier on the arm. This might also be good practice for hurling a river-rescue throw bag.

    Run. I don't, unless a swarm of mad hornets (or a roaming pack of wild young nubile women drawn by the aroma of my cologne) is after me. Of course, since I never wear cologne, I don't have to worry about the latter. Running brings back an old knee injury that doesn't ever bother me unless I try to run, and has caused inflammation in my Achilles tendons, which takes too long to heal.

    Carry anything over 50 lbs on my back or slung over my shoulder. I'm going to reduce that upper limit to 40 from now on. I'll need yet another specialized kayak dolly. A 40 lb max loaded expedition pack should be just fine for a few days in the back country.
    I won't be loading/unloading 60 lb bags of concrete mix any more. All my gate posts are in. I now refuse high dollar offers for me to help pour concrete in the capacity of "wheelbarrow jockey." (Just ain't gonna ever happen again). My knees also thank me for this.

    Play sports or games like basketball, volleyball, softball, any racquet sports (quit that stuff 15-20 years ago). I can still flip a frisbee, though!
    No skiing or snowboarding and no skating. I can't survive any wipeouts on terra firma without suffering some consequences. I am careful when riding my bikes, and only use my mountain bike on logging roads and groomed trails.

    Surfing is a double edged sword. As one of the best upper body workouts that I know of, as well as the absolute funnest, I remain fully addicted. There is always the potential for the unexpected, and I try to avoid any false moves. A good session beats me up a bit, and I may need a full day to recover, but its worth it, as long as I avoid injury. I like to think that I know my upper limits, here, but...:eek: sometimes stuff happens. I can usually pull two good days in a row, and sometimes muster enough energy for two sessions in one day, if the waves are really good, but at my age I need my R&R days.

    Don't let any young hooligans talk you into doing anything that the little voice in your head warns that you should avoid. The "little voice" knows. The hooligans just need some other monkey to fill out the team.

    List goes on. Gittin' old is hell!
    Steve Call and flyfool like this.
  7. Hey Gene hang in there! I went through this like the others have mentioned here. Did the shots and finally the surgery and all when well. I have some friends that CCI guys and have helped me with the Lefty style of what I would call side arm casting and that really made a difference for me. Not painful and does not aggravate the shoulder. Lefty calls it keeping the elbow on the shelf. I also live in the valley and if interested I can get you in touch with these guys.

  8. Gene, My hunch is that you need a qualified orthopedic surgeon and an MRI to accurately diagnose this issue. And the longer you go without that the worse it can get. If there is a surgical repair for this you need to get on it quick.
    Jim Wallace likes this.
  9. Yes
    Well done:D
  10. I am 54 and have had both shoulders done Rotator cuff that is
    Right 10 yrs ago healed up fine left 6 months ago stiff but I am back n the gym with light weights I will miss archery this yr but will back on it next yr. Get a second or third opinion and get it fixed if it is possible,
    Hang in there!
    Kelly Michelsen
  11. My shoulder hurt for years...just kept getting a little worse all the time. Did the surgery where they scrape down the bone spurs rubbing on the nerves. Been good as new since that day. Don't wait seven years like I did, just go get it fixed, whatever it is.
    Grayone likes this.
  12. Gees GAT, I hope things work out. I'll be getting my FIRST steroid shot in my lower back this Tuesday. I have had a sciatic nerve problem that (this last winter) shoots down my leg and feels like a knife in my left calf. Went thru this all winter. It eased up here this spring, but comes and goes. I'll tell you if that works. On the other hand, I also had a shoulder problem about 5 years ago. I went to the physical therapist for some sessions, but they mainly gave me exercises to do. With one of those "rubberband" thingys that you stretch. I did exercises with that, and be danged if it didn't work. I don't have any shoulder problems today.
  13. Gene,

    Broken shoulder and frozen shoulder afterwards for me. A combination of PT and acupuncture helped me get my casting back and I've been mostly painfree ever since (at least from the shoulder).

    Several friends have also had shoulder and elbow problems @ bad times (like right before a Keys Tarpon trip) that have been helped/cured by acupuncture.

    As you age, I'm told all the ligaments and minor muscles and tissues that hold joints in place weaken. If they're not holding the shoulder in the correct position and that's causing your inflammation/pain, the acupuncture and PT route will fix you.

    If you have structural damage, you best friend is a good Orthopedic Surgeon.

    Good Luck with your rehab! Nobody gets a perfect body, and the older we get the more care they seem to require.


  14. It took an MRI (had insurance back then) for my orthopedic surgeon to diagnose my "impingement" problem. He couldn't figure it out by looking at x-rays.
    If the cortisone and PT (least invasive approach to treating it) hadn't worked, the good doctor told me that arthroscopic surgery would do the job. (Would have been the same procedure that WW had).
    Until I saw my orthopedic surgeon, I had mis-diagnosed my shoulder condition as being a return to my old rotator cuff problems.
    Bob Triggs likes this.
  15. Gene - Oh crap, I feel your pain, brother . . .

    Gittin' old ain't for sissies is it?

    My problem is arthritis. The one help I've found besides my anti-inflammatory meds is a topical gel - Voltaren.

  16. Well GAT:

    A few quick answers. Cortisone is NOT indicated as an initial treatment, and your doctor would be committing malpractice by giving cortisone to you (or surgery) based on your suggestion/self diagnosis. You don't get an MRI on day one either. Your doctor will do some initial tests without machines, and on that basis likely prescribing non-steroidal anti-inflammitory drugs, an ice pack, and doing exercise - for about 6 months or so; if after that time, there is no improvement (and you listened to your doctor about not doing things that hurt); then you will get an MRI. Based on the MRI, you may get more exercise/physical therapy; possibly with a single cortisone shot; and, depending on severity - a recommendation for surgery. Surgery should be a last resort option for the shoulder. Without going into it; there are things cut and sewn; it isn't put back together completely like a pristine shoulder; and the success rate is no-where near 100%, some will be better, a few completely free of pain, but a significant proportion will be permanently worse off with the surgery than without.

    My guess is, if you can lift your arm at all above shoulder level, even with pain, you are dealing with a partial rotator cuff tear. Serious, but treatable without steroids or surgery. But it can take much more time to heal than what brought it on.

    The initial response you admit to with drugs/exercise ("kinda help but not enough") is typical and actually very promising. I would recommend keeping that up for a minimum of 6 months, and up to two years, and listening to your doctor in the mean time (not telling him what you need). As testimony to this regimen, I had a similar condition to yours (perhaps much worse than yours); it did actually got worse, then better, and finally completely healed for over ten years now. I'm about your age. I was given cortisone (twice), but only under a specialist's prescription, and only on the basis of the extent of tear and response (or lack thereof) to long term physical therapy. I did not want or ask for it.

    Injected cortisone is a strong steroid that has significant risks; including glaucoma (you want to able to see, right?); a very coarse rule of thumb is to never use it - and if absolutely necessary - limit the number of injections to 2 or 3 in one lifetime.
  17. Try acupuncture and a switch rod. Seriously.
  18. There are a lot of anti-inflammatory supplements and diet guidlines. Everyone my age and greater should give them a looksie. And drink a lot more water.
  19. I'm not drinking more water. I've seen what fish do in water! :D
  20. I agree with everyone. My shoulder is mess up a bit and I use a lot of switch or single spey casting for my fishing. You can use it in lake, stream or anywhere you fish. It has let my fish all day instead of a half a day or so.

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