Showing posts with label surgery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label surgery. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

The Journey to My New Bionic Shoulder - Part 1

So, my arm hurt.  

But I was raised by a Swedish mother and a Christian Science father, so I was used to sucking things up. I basically accepted it and went on with life.  It hurt, but not that much. I am a healthy (mumble) year-old.  Never broken a bone, never been in the hospital except to give birth, nary a scar.  I go to the doctor once a year to get my prescriptions filled because I do have a slight blood pressure and cholesterol issue, but that's it. 

But the last time I went to the doctor, I must have felt that I wasn't participating fully in my medical care and wanted to be interesting to my doctor, so when my doctor asked me if everything was okay, I foolishly mentioned that my arm hurt sometimes, so she ordered some physical therapy for me.

And thus my journey to my new bionic shoulder commenced.  

So...physical therapy.  

I am wondering if physical therapy makes things worse.  Because after a few sessions, my arm hurt so much more that the physical therapist thought I needed to go back to my doctor for some pain meds.  It wasn't until I went back that x-rays were ordered and it was discovered I had advanced arthritis of my shoulder. 

Ew. Not a pretty sight!

No wonder my arm and shoulder hurt.  The ball and socket of my shoulder had no cartilage to work with.  So it wasn't a rotator cuff issue, which was what the physical therapist assumed.  I wondered, why were things assumed? Why weren't x-rays called for in the beginning? You know what they say about assuming.

So now my arm not only really hurt, my shoulder really hurt too.

I was sent to an orthopedic surgeon for a cortisone shot.  After reviewing my x-rays, she shared information with me about shoulder surgery.  Oh, just a little 2-3 hour reverse total shoulder replacement surgery where she puts in a metal and plastic device to act as my new ball and socket with a two night stay in the hospital, arm in a sling for three weeks and six months of physical therapy.


I thought, er, no way.  For one thing, with a metal prothesis in my shoulder, I would set off the alarm when going through security at the airport, something I don't want to happen, so bring on the shot.  

"Can I just keep getting the shot forever?" I asked, thinking that was going to do the trick.

The surgeon said, "Sure, the damage has been done.  It won't get better, it won't get worse."  I told her the tale of the Swedish mother and Christian Science father, that I was used to sucking it up, and she nodded sympathetically while pressing the shoulder surgery brochure into my hand and saying "But you are in pain, right?" Well, yeah. She had a point.

And, yes, she was right. The cortisone shot didn't work, and now my arm really, really hurt.  I was in pain and surgery was looking like an option.

But you just can't decide to have surgery.  Oh, no.  You have to prove that you are worthy. Now I'm not just doing something I don't want to do but now I have to do something I need to prove I am worthy of doing.

First, I had to go to the dentist and have her sign off on my mouth, that it's fit for surgery. What does my mouth have to do with my shoulder?  Well, if your gums are infected, could cause an infection after surgery. Well, here's the story with that.  My dentist has wanted to get my old fillings redone forever. Now my view of that is that my fillings have been just fine for all of these years.  Why get that old drill out now?  But, here we are.  Gee, now that she has to sign off on my mouth to be ready for surgery, guess what has to be done before she will say I am fit for surgery?

Then it's back to my GP to have her sign off, once I have had a chest x-ray, an electrocardiogram and blood work. Then CT scan and an MRI and then if all goes to plan I might be deemed worthy of this surgery, which will put my arm in a sling (my dominant arm, mind you) for three weeks or more, I won't be able to drive, won't be able to dress myself, will have to sleep sitting up (they recommend buying a Lazy Boy!), followed by at least six months of physical therapy while we get that little metal and plastic ball and socket working. And this is a woman who has never spent one night in the hospital except when giving birth. 

Can I just say "Ew" one more time?! 

And for me the worst part is the Lazy Boy. Just the idea of a Lazy Boy in my house throws my sense of aesthetics into a tailspin, not to mention having to sleep in the damn thing. So that ain't gonna happen.

But anyway, I have done my due diligence.

Dentist - Check! 

CT scan - Check!

MRI - Check!

(that MRI thing - what a strange experience.  Felt like I was being reprogrammed on an alien space ship)!

Blood work, EKG and chest x-ray - Check!

Covid test - Check!

Now after all of that I am good to go - FOR SOMETHING I DON'T REALLY WANT TO DO!

So now I'm asking Hubby if he thinks he will be able to help me get dressed, set my hair with the hot rollers, put on my mascara and handle other unmentionables he may have to help me with. 

I am thinking this is the beginning of my becoming an old woman.

But you know what?  As one wise person said to me, well more than one actually, if there is a fix for a problem, why not do it?  So I'm doing it! 

And then I will give the Bionic Woman a run for her money with my very own BIONIC SHOULDER! 

Well, that's what I'm hoping, anyway. See you on the other side.  Gulp.

(And if there is anyone out there who has had this done, I would love to hear from you)!

Thanks for reading!

See you soon!
(I hope)!

And you know there will be a Part 2 - a review!

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