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slick's shoulder surgery blog

  1. The journey begins.....

    by , November 14th, 2012 at 05:50 PM (slick's shoulder surgery blog)
    Day 3 post-surgery and I feel like some documentation is in order. Its easy to type at least, as long as I get my arm and wrist in the right position first. Just gonna let the thoughts unwind....

    Arrived at the hospital at 6am on Monday. After paperwork and a bit of waiting, I was taken back at around 6:30. Got in my gown, peed in a cup, and was quizzed on my name, birth date, and procedure about a million times (left shoulder bankart repair). I have an HMO and was in a fairly new facility, and I must say I was quite impressed with all the technology, lol. Most of the nurses were wearing headsets to communicate and things appeared overwhelmingly coordinated. There was even an electronic 'status' board in the waiting room so my husband was able to stay informed the whole time. It was kinda hectic but at the same time I felt at ease. The anesthesiologist came in and gave me the run-down, followed by my ortho doc. Everyone was ready to go, and I was ready to get the show on the road.

    First up was the IV. You might think this is silly but this is the WORST part for me. I haaaate needles and anything that has to do with acknowledging the fact that I have veins and blood moving around my body. Just typing that alone makes me *shudder*. Doesn't make me pass out or anything, but it sure gives me the heebie jeebies and I just hate it! Anyway, that went smoothly, so up next was setting up the nerve block. I got some anti-anxiety meds pumped into me straight away so this wasn't so bad either, lol. They give a nerve block in the general neck/shoulder/pectoral area so that less narcotic pain meds are needed right after the surgery, and it lasts about 12-14 hours. They used an ultrasound to look for the right spot in my neck area, and some electrical pulses were delivered which sent my muscles twitching. It was a strange feeling....but before I knew it it was over. I know lots of needles were involved in that procedure too...*shudder*...but thank gawd for the anti-anxiety meds!

    Soon enough I was wheeled down the hallway and was in the operating room. Turns out one of the nurses had a kid on the swim team, so we chatted up a bit. She asked what my stroke was and I remember replying "I am a butterflyer, unfortunately" lol. The nerve block is supposed to set in within 15 minutes, but apparently it was taking a while for me. They kept asking me if I could feel/move my arm and I remember waving my arm around to demonstrate, lol. The surgeon came in and I remember hearing introductions and she starting briefing everyone on the procedure. I waved my arm around one last time before they put the mask on me, and that's the last I remember..... I started to come to I could feel the nurses moving my arm around. I still had a mask on and I just remember trying to take deep breaths. When they took the mask off, the first thing I asked for was some chapstick, lol. My shoulder felt cold, and I asked if there was ice on my arm. Sure enough, I had been hooked up to a cryotherapy ice box system which would come home with me. As soon as they sat me up I saw my husband on the other side of the room looking for me. He came over and I immediately asked "how many anchors??" lol. Turns out I only needed three - great news! Doc said the damage was fairly clean and minimal, and that she'd seen much worse from traumatic dislocation injuries. She also said that my shoulder is fairly loose in the first place and that there is a lot of room in my shoulder capsule....which is common for people who do their growing and developing as swimmers

    After two cups of apple juice and a few packets of graham crackers I was ready to go home. Spent a total of 7.5 hours in the hospital, with the surgery taking just over two hours. I'm day 3 into my recovery journey now and I've already felt everything from complete confidence to total despair....but more on that later. Time for a sandwich and then a nap!


    PS/FYI, I actually ended up typing this entry in bits and spurts, as my arm really started to feel the burn after not so long. Started off typing with both hands and am ending typing with one. Had to re-position several times and this entire entry was written over about two hours or so....phew! Was totally worth it though!

    Updated November 20th, 2012 at 02:26 PM by swimslick