I’ve been out of the sling for a little over a week & it’s pretty much been constant pain. Sleeping is almost impossible because I can’t get comfortable. I’ve tried stacked pillows, a small pillow supporting my arm, practically sitting up…none of it made a huge difference. So I deal with it until I can’t & then I take a sleeping pill to get caught up.
There’s a lot of grinding under my arm along with popping & cracking during the PT exercises. Just walking across the floor last week, with a little natural swinging of my arm caused a massive pop that caused my shoulder to go hot & then ache for hours. My doctor has taken me off PT for a week to see if that helps. So far, it hasn’t.
I spent a few hours at the end of last week trying to get health insurance in place since mine will terminate 6/1, right along with my job. The LTD paperwork has been completed & mailed in. Now I’m just waiting to see if it’s approved. I won’t have any more income until it is. If it isn’t…well, I have no idea what I’ll do. I know I’ll need to pull my 401k money out after my termination date. That will keep me afloat for a month or so. I also plan to find out if Unemployment benefits are available if I can’t apply for jobs.
My fingers started twitching yesterday for no apparent reason. Nerves reconnecting? Nerve damage? I’m hoping it stops on its own. I don’t need hand problems too.
So that’s where I’m at this last week of my current employment. Pain, anxiety & more questions than money.
I’ve had 2 phone calls from my HR department in the last 4 days. Both calls have seemed to be for the purpose of first guilting me into not going onto Long Term Disability and then threatening me with the consequences. At this point, I’m well aware that I’m going to lose my job & my benefits so that I can continue to receive 50% of my normal pay until I’m recovered enough to find another job. I really don’t have any choices, but they still keep asking me if it’s what I want. Of course it’s not what I want. If I could have what I want, none of this would have ever happened or the 1st surgery would have been done correctly & I’d be better by now. Nothing about this situation has been about what I want. It’s a little like tripping & falling into a raging river; being swept along past everything in your life. Piece by piece, just losing stuff and missing out on things.
Here’s a shot of my stitches before I got them out this morning.
As you can see, the incision for repairing my bicep is a lot bigger than any I had last time.
So, as I mentioned, I got the stitches out & had some post op X-rays done. Everything seems to be healing ok at this point. I get to come out of my sling 3 weeks early to fight the stiffening & scar tissue. Hopefully getting my range of motion back will be easier this time.
We discussed some of the surgery photos. Apparently my bicep was severely inflamed & so had to be dealt with. The blue “ribbon” turned out to be an extra long suture that wasn’t attached to an anchor. All the old anchors were taken out with new anchors placed at the rear of my labrum where it was torn.
I’m to start passive PT this week. Return to work won’t be discussed until my followup near the end of June. That puts me past my Supp Sick deadline so I expect that paperwork will be arriving soon.
As usual, sounds like my recovery will be a slow process. I’m stressed about being out past what I’ll get paid for, but I don’t see any alternative at this point. It’s not a choice I can make, so I’m trying to stay calm & positive. I’m going to focus on the great news that I only have 1 more week in this awful sling.
I woke up feeling decent yesterday, but by about 2:00 I was sweating, chilling & feeling nauseous. My fever has been hovering right about 100 since then. My incision areas feel slightly warm. The post surgery instructions say to contact their office if my fever hits 101 or above. So, I’m just trying to ride it out. I have an appointment with my GP tomorrow so maybe she can check things out if I’m no better by then. I do remember that about 4 days after my last surgery I developed a fever that eventually went away. Of course, now I know there was a foreign object in my shoulder that I didn’t know about. So…riding it out. Fun times.
It was a huge relief to have the port out of my neck. Hard to believe that once all that tape was removed, the end of the catheter was so tiny. There was barely even a mark on my neck to show where it had been. The wave of pain to my shoulder & arm hit within the hour. I’m also having a persistent, achy pain down the right side of my neck, which I assume is from the port placement.
I took off my shoulder dressings with my eyes mostly closed, a combination of being afraid to look at the incisions & the pain of all that adhesive. Two days later & im still picking tape residue off myself. I can’t actually see the incision sites since they are covered with tape that has to stay on another 10 days or so. I’ve laughed a bit at my swollen bicep. I wonder if Popeye wants his arm back?!?
Of course, that 1st shower was heaven even if I did only have one hand to wash my hair with.
I’m still limited on doing anything & the pain is still constant. I’m taking pain pills along with muscle relaxers about every 6 hours. I’ve been able to sleep in about 2 hour intervals, waking up to shift position due to being uncomfortable. I don’t like the sling any better this time around. I’ve gotten into the habit of taking a morning dose of Miralax & an afternoon dose is Sendecot. Sounds excessive but I’m determined to at least avoid severe constipation this time.
I’m hoping this upcoming week brings big improvements.
Yesterday was rough. I was short of breath, my right eyelid was swelled almost closed, I lost my voice & couldn’t clear my throat at all. Apparently all part of a side effect from the port into my neck. It’s actually called On-Q Pain Relif System & the anesthesiologist I spoke with yesterday said the symptoms are typical & a form of Horner Syndrome. She assured me I’d feel much better after the first 24 hours.
I did wake up with a big improvement of those symptoms. I’m thankful the pain in my shoulder & bicep has been kept under control as well. Such an improvement from the last surgery. I’m a little scared of what it’s going to feel like tomorrow when the port comes out.
My dressing also comes off tomorrow & I can shower! Thank God.
I’m not heavy on details from the actual surgery, since I didn’t get to talk to my doctor yet, but since I’m wide awake I thought I’d note some things down.
I got a pain block this time along with a port in my neck connected to a ball filled with pain meds. It’s a strange little contraption that’s supposed to slowly dispense meds for the next few days. I’ve been a bit worried about accidentally pulling the tube from my neck while I sleep. Turns out, I didn’t sleep much last night so, I shouldn’t have worried. Speaking of pain, I’m happy to report I haven’t had much so far. We will see what happens when the block wears off.
About all I’ve been told regarding the surgery is that it went well, that piece of bone that showed up on the X-ray was actually connected to something, my bicep had to be worked on, my labrum is repaired & a blue ribbon was removed from the site. Ummm…a blue ribbon? I’m pretty anxious to talk to the doctor myself for more details.
Here are some pics I was sent:
I thought it was pretty neat to have those but I wish there were captions.
I’m off here for now & will post more info soon.