Also orthopedic doc said if I don't do the surgery I risk starting from scratch again if something goes wrong in the gym.
This article http://stevenlow.org/overcoming-tendonitis/
(wfs) gives two options. Heavier with less reps or lighter with more reps. The PT I had favored reps and seemed to resolve the first outbreak in 4-6 months, with 2 months of PT. The second outbreak is taking 3 months of PT and 7 months total.
I couldn't make physical therapists give me a gym program, only at home bodyweight. Should I look for athletic therapists and trainers?