Here is a picture of my new chair.

There was a time when I would have told you that I would never own a recliner. I don’t like them and I never have. So why do I now have one in my bedroom? Next week I am going to have shoulder replacement surgery. When I first found out about the need for surgery I was in denial, mostly because I had no idea that it was even possible to replace a shoulder joint.

I left that appointment in a daze.

At that point, I had been working on regaining full mobility in my shoulder for over two years. In addition to physical therapy I’ve tried massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, an anti-inflammatory diet, supplements, strength training, exercise, yoga, emotional release, and probably a few more. Sometime during the summer I reached a plateau, I was no longer making progress.

My PT wanted to get an x-ray to determine if I had a bone spur that was inhibiting movement. The x-ray showed that I did have a bone spur, and I made an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon. In anticipation of this appointment I was preparing for the removal of a bone spur. All of the research I had done told me that it was fairly easy as far as surgery is concerned with a relatively short recovery period. Instead, the surgeon walked into the room and told me I needed a shoulder replacement.

The day before that appointment my arm was in a lot of pain, and I asked to be shown what would be the right answer for me to restore my range of motion and alleviate the pain. Shoulder replacement was NOT the answer I wanted.

I’ve learned though that the answer to our prayers is not always the answer we want.

After that initial appointment I did a lot more research. I had an MRI. I had a second consult. I got a second opinion. This time I asked more questions.

How about stem cell or cortisone?

Can you just take off the bone spur?

Is there ANYTHING else I can do to avoid surgery?

The answers were again not what I wanted to hear. I have no more cartilage in my shoulder joint. Any of those fixes might alleviate pain for a time, but my cartilage would still be gone. I know that shoulder replacement surgery is the right thing for me. I know this mostly because of the timing of the answer to my prayer. There was a part of me that knew this even then, in spite of the denial.

So what does the chair have to do with any of this? In my research I found a lot of advice, lots of it conflicting. The only consistent piece of advice was the need for a recliner to sleep in for the first few months; again; not what I wanted to hear, so I tried to debunk that one too. But that didn’t work, so I have my chair on the advice of many trusted friends and sources. I still don’t like it, just like I don’t like the fact that I’m having surgery. I can know that something is the right thing for me and not like it at the same

time. Think about that. How does that change the way you show up for what you know is the right choice for you?