24 days from now Alabama bow hunters will be patiently sitting in their tree stands and ground blinds. Some will be tucked inside several rows of standing corn, while others will be quietly sitting at the base of a mature tree. While the method may vary, each hunter’s objective is to validate the time, effort and resources invested in preparing for the Alabama whitetail deer season.
This preparation has resulted in me effectively abandoning fishing for the past couple of months. Instead, my attention has been turned toward getting into shape, shooting my bow, pre-season scouting, and trying to get through the shoulder pains I’ve been experiencing lately. Will this shoulder pain disrupt my hunting season? Not if I can help it.
I’ve been racking my brains trying to figure out what caused the inflammation but, for the life of me, cannot identify “the moment”. Was it when I rolled my ATV this year? Was it the wooden yolk of the canoe slamming into the shoulder while preparing to carry it out of the Flint? Could it be an old sports injury that’s just starting to rear its head? Did I overshoot my bow? I think it may be a combination of all of the above. After all, at 36, I’m not getting any younger.
Not one for doctor visits I’ve been trying to “handle it” for as long as I can. Unfortunately, I’ve reached a point in which the discomfort is too much so a trip to the doc was warranted. My Dr. suspected inflammation but recommended that I have X-rays ran to ensure the skeletal system had not been compromised. Thankfully they came back negative. With negative X-rays in hand she wrote a prescription for Celebrex, an anti-inflammatory medication. While the discomfort subsided a bit the root cause was not addressed.
Several weeks and a new physician later I was referred to a specialist. After a short visit in which I explained symptoms and provided additional background information the TOC Dr. informed me that I had minor bone spurs and some other technical term that flat out escapes me. I do remember the words mild arthritis being used somewhere in his sentence. I immediately thought he would recommend surgery and sure enough he did. Thankfully, surgery was recommended as a secondary option.
The primary option we’re going to employ is a more aggressive anti-inflammatory. This will be coupled with exercises that target the muscle groups I’ll be using to draw the bow. If, in three months, there is no improvement in the discomfort level, the surgery option will need to be reviewed. Thankfully he agreed to hold off until the end of hunting season, assuming I can tolerate it that long.