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Shoulder, Parts 2 - PT

Apparently I’m doing this all out of order.  Oh well.

By the way, that's the actual tear in my shoulder in the userpic.  They gave me pictures.  The hole on the left isn't supposed to be there.

So, after the second dose of pain meds Wednesday morning, I slept in some.  I’ll say that was the last decent night’s sleep I had.  When I woke up again, I moved downstairs to the couch.  I don’t remember much of Wednesday to be honest.  Bob brought me what I needed, and I basically stayed hopped up on pain medication all day.  I wasn’t sure if I needed it or not, but was terrified to guess wrong – they had warned us that if the pain got ahead of me, it wouldn’t be possible to catch up again.  It was difficult to move with the immobilizer – which I suppose is the point.  Take a normal sling.  Now put a pillow between the forearm and torso that’s about four inches square.  THEN add a nice tight strap around your waist.  Fun, eh?  Now try to find a comfortable way to sit or sleep.  Here's what the whole contraption looked like:

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See what I mean about looking like half a linebacker?

Wednesday afternoon mom and dad came and returned Charlotte.  We got a pizza for dinner, and dad headed home.  I also got a very nice plant arrangement from the department at work.  Thursday, Bob took Charlotte to day care and then came back – we were under instructions to remove the dressing, so he and mom did that.  It came off more easily than I had feared, and that left me with anxiety about all my incisions hanging out.  Mom shared my disquiet, and we tucked a nice soft pillowcase over my shoulder.

I felt like a wall must after it's been tagged.

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This is what was under all the little yellow tags:

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Once the dressing was off, Bob went to work, and mom stayed with me.  Mostly I napped.  Mom read, watched TV, and enjoyed the quiet.  I think Thursday was when we got the Edible Arrangement from some of the gals at work – that was a nice pick-me-up.  Friday was a repeat of Thursday, and dad came to take mom home.  I probably could have coped, but it was very reassuring to have her here.  That evening I bagged up my arm with a trash bag, sat in the downstairs shower, and Bob washed as much as we could.  It wasn’t what I wanted, but it helped.  The weekend was a lot of napping, and vynehorn was kind enough to stop by and drop off some meals for us – that lightened Bob’s burden a good bit.

Monday was apprehensive, because it was my first day alone, but I did pretty well.  Bob called to be sure I was okay, and has checked in every day.  He stages breakfast and lunch for me so I don’t have to struggle with it.  I called the office to check in with everyone and chat.  Tuesday and Wednesday were more of the same.  Thursday I got to go out to barony meeting – high point of my week!  It was so nice to have a change of scenery and some conversation – and we were given another crock of dinner from anarra!  I damn near fell apart afterwards.

Friday was another big day – my post-op checkup.  They took a couple of x-rays, and took out my stitches – which actually hurt quite a bit – and modified my sling.  They took the abduction pillow out and took the waist strap off, which turned it from an immobilizer into a sling.  I was really excited until I realized how unsafe it felt by comparison.  Took a couple of days to get used to it again.  What I stayed excited about was the news that I could finally shower – I could literally smell myself at that point.  That was… beyond wonderful.  It ended up being much too exciting though.  The physician’s assistant told me that what I could do is lean forward at the waist and let my arm hang – that creates enough space that you can get to everything with a soapy washcloth.  I took the sling off and straightened my elbow for the first time in ten days, and it hurt so badly I saw stars.  My knees damn near buckled, but it was worth it to get in the shower.  Of course it was almost as bad when I tried to do the lean and hang thing – but soap and hot water in that armpit made it all worthwhile.

See - getting less unsightly all the time:

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Monday Bob changed the sheets for me – that was another slice of heaven.

Wednesday I got to go out – it was the meet and greet at Charlotte’s new school.  Her kindergarten teacher seems like a nice lady, the classroom is large, and the class is small.  There are sixteen – eight boys and eight girls.  We finally found out where we drop her off, which was a relief.  After we dropped her off at daycare Bob took me to the office to say “hi.”  We ended up staying over an hour – and then I folded.  Somewhere in there I realized that the reason why I was so itchy was probably the pain pills, so that evening instead of the oxycodone I took four Advil and a Benadryl.  Didn’t sleep *nearly* as well.  But the itch went away!

Friday, as previously reported, was the first physical therapy appointment.  It’s all passive motion at this point, so there’s not much to discuss.  I didn’t have a lot of rapport with the therapist, but she was nice enough.  She told me a few things – that I need to learn to relax; and that they usually see patients in the first week after their surgery, but it varies depending on the surgeon.  Mine sent me after two weeks, but because they were booked it ended up closer to three.  Given that there’s some research coming out saying that complete immobilization for four to six weeks before starting PT results in a better outcome, I’m not unhappy.  She also said that I did very well for a first appointment, but she might have been blowing sunshine up my ass.  Friday night was a bright spot – my co-worker Kari stopped by with her fiancé and dinner from my favorite Italian place, and had dinner with us and caught me up on the social situations.  After my shower I decided to take the steri-strips off.  The incision in back hurts, and I wanted to get eyeballs on it.  Apparently it’s fine.  And look!

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It was a busy weekend.  School shopping on Saturday, and a picnic on Sunday.  I also discovered that I’ve gotten nimble enough with my left hand that I can put my contacts in with one hand!  Today was very low energy.

I’m doing my exercises as well as I can.

Tomorrow is Charlotte’s first day of kindergarten.  We’ll drop her off, get her settled, and then head for my second PT appointment.  I hate to be doped up at the school, but what else can I do?  This time we should be on time.

I think I'm caught up.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
pippagrey
Sep. 3rd, 2013 11:48 am (UTC)
Glad to hear that it is going as well as it is. Here's hoping that Charlotte enjoys kindergarten. I'm sure the school will understand why you're medicated.

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )