Last year i seperateted my shoulder on a three foot wave in OCMD. I was in the barrel for only a second and the wave flipped me upside down and i nailed the sand hard. I heard a loud pop even under water. Worst pain i ever had, But im all heeled up now. The only thing is my confidence is not the same at all. Before i got hurt I could make some sick gnar barrels, sometimes even with my fins dragging in the sand haha. Now i notice myself not going for barrels as much. (sux cause i love barrells!!) Any one else have any similar stories?
I'm about 90% coming back from a rib injury/ muscle tear. I strained (on a three foot wave in Asbury) then subsequently popped some cartilage in my rib. I did it once before too. Once you end up nabbing a sick barrel you'll remember why you took chances. It takes some time. I'm just getting back into swimming and exercising at this point so I know how you feel. Good luck!
10 days ago I split open my foot on the fin, still not sure how. I got 8 stitches and lost blood. Layed on my back for a week. Today we took out the stitches. I hope in back in the water in a week to 10 days but... I'm also hesitant,
have gone through shoulder dislocations and a couple surgeries.
The most important thing I can suggest is to don't push it when you are not at full strength yet. It is not worth rushing to get back in, when you are risking long term problems.
As for the confidence, it usually comes with time. It is pretty normal to be timid at first, and as you clock more and more time without any problems that you will start forgetting about it. Surfing is extremely tough on the shoulders. I'm not sure about a shoulder separation, but with my shoulder dislocations, the best thing I can do is get to the gym and work on strengthening the muscles. Talk to your doc about the best exercises for you and how to rehab.