Bruce details his limitations after the surgery and how his line of work factored into both his decision to have surgery and the length of his recovery. He did not want to have to either leave the force and take a pension or take a desk job. He went through months of physical therapy to return to work.
The complete recovery from start to finish probably was six or seven months, probably longer than normal, I don’t know, but I have a more of a demanding job, a more physical job at times.
Post-surgery, just take it easy. I mean, act like you on vacation. You know, you don’t have to be nowhere, don’t rush to go nowhere. Just get your rest, R and R. Rest and relaxation. And that’s what I did probably for the first two, two and a half weeks. Just took it easy. One of things was I had to take the kids to school, so I really was enjoying that. [LAUGH] My house, I have two flights of stairs, so I had to take my time going up the stairs. And there was one time I think I may have aggravated a little bit trying to do too much, it gave me a setback. And one of the things you have to remember about having this particular procedure is that you have to take it easy, because everything around your joint is swollen.
I don’t go to work, sit behind a desk, so if you have a job like that, you probably could be back to work in a few weeks, a month or two, providing you don’t aggravate your injuries. I know I look good at 49, but my body is… I’m 49-years-old, I’ll be 50 this year, and-and I feel it. I’ve had maybe five or six different surgeries throughout my lifetime since I’ve been on the job. And with those surgeries, they-they take their toll on you. Physical therapy went on for six months or so. I haven’t done it in a couple weeks, but I’m waiting on another prescription for more physical therapy.
And physical therapy for me now at this point is just trying to strengthen the core muscles around the area, and keep doing the exercise that-that they’re telling me I need to do. It’s demanding. Going there is not like a little picnic, you think you gonna go there and relax. When I come out of there, I’m sore, I’m hurting, but you know, after that go away, I feel a lot better. You gotta go in, you gotta give 100 percent, because if you don’t you-you’re not gonna feel better. I can remember at the beginning, I was still in a lot of pain, so, you know, I was trying to take it easy. And they would tell me, “Oh, you need to do this,” and I would half-ass do the job, per say. And after about maybe a week of that, I was like “I gotta do it.
“You just gotta fight through the pain.” And it wasn’t really-really painful, but it-it’s kinda uncomfortable. Maybe that’s a better word. Uncomfortable, not so much as pain. ‘Cause they-they don’t want you to be in pain. But they want you to be a little bit uncomfortable. I-It’s all about strengthening those muscles that you haven’t used, or don’t use. And once you get through the-the initial couple of weeks, I enjoy going to physical therapy now. One of the issues that I think a lot of people don’t think about is your loved ones around you. My situation with my wife,