DUAL Olympian Samantha Hamill's dream of training and competing pain-free is yet to materialise despite undergoing a hoped for life-altering operation.
It has been almost four months since the Kawana Waters butterfly specialist's surgery for a long-standing troublesome shoulder, but she is still struggling.
Hamill is particularly disappointed with her winning performance in the 200m butterfly final at the state championships which are under way in Brisbane.
Her time of 2:12.38sec was five seconds slower than her personal best.
She finished fourth in the 100m butterfly, but was more pleased with that effort given she almost matched her PB (59.9sec) in a heat and the final.
Hamill bombed at the London Olympics, failing to make the semi-finals, and had the operation in Melbourne upon returning home.
"I'm still struggling getting my flexibility back where it was, which it may never be," she said.
"With that comes pain because I can't get into the right positions.
"I have good days and bad days. Probably more good days at the moment."
Hamill, 21, had carried the bung shoulder for about two years before the operation.
It was so painful it kept her awake at night. That is not the case now.
Her immediate focus is making the Australian team for the FINA World Championships in Barcelona in July-August.
The national championships in Adelaide next year double as the world championship trials.
Hamill wants the chance to at least partially atone for her poor showing in London.
"I can't really explain why the results were that bad," she said. "It was probably a combination of the environment that we had to stay in (and) I guess some of the pressures.
"It was obviously disappointing to come away with 2:11sec (in her 200m butterfly heat).
"It was more than three-and-a-half seconds over my PB.
"Obviously, I'm not happy with that. I guess I move forward from there and focus on the next thing coming up."
Hamill's only major international medal to date is a silver in the 400m individual medley at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games.
At the 2008 Beijing Olympics she finished 12th in the 200m butterfly and 22nd in the 400m IM.