Monday, November 2, 2009

It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time - Part 2

Okay, let's recap our 'adventure' thus far .... Grandma goes down a tube slide ... head first! Grandma tears the rotator cuff in her right shoulder (you guessed it ... I'm right-handed, too!) Surgery in April 2008, intractable pain when 'block' wears off ... sling, physical therapy, star patient. Then 'uh-oh' ... shoulder aching, redness, fever. Four weeks to the date after first surgery, second surgery to repair rotator cuff - hospital this time, morphine, IV antibiotics, conservative approach to physical therapy ... 10 weeks post-op, everything looking good!

I started walking each morning, pumping my arms as I listened to my favorite music on my I-pod. I wore the sling, I did my physical therapy, I was so very careful ... and I was under the watchful eye of The Duck ... always reminding me to be careful, "don't use the arm, how does the shoulder feel? you're using your arm too much."

And so one August morning I returned home, after walking two miles in our typical humid and hot summer weather in Texas. I did not have to wear the sling any longer ... so using both of my thumbs, I pulled down the damp exercise pants to take them off. It was then that I heard a sound much like 'fabric ripping' but no real pain in my shoulder, actually it was kinda cold, then it felt like an electrical current ran down my arm.

I saw the surgeon again immediately. He did not think that I had "ruptured" the tendon, but there was inflammation. I was to resume physical therapy and take anti-inflammatory drugs. One week later as I leaned down to find a dish in the bottom of the cabinets, I rested my weight on my right arm. I felt a sharp pain in the upper region of the arm and my arm literally gave way.

When I saw the surgeon again he told me "Short of an earthquake, I will not do surgery on your shoulder again."

I was told another MRI could not differentiate from a tear and the surgical incisions. The therapist took measurements of my range of motion and my strength following the second surgery and again after the 'ripping' incident. I had loss significant degrees of both.

I continued to lose range of motion, the arm/shoulder ached, I continued physical therapy and finally I saw my primary physician who recommended an orthopedic surgeon who only worked on shoulders! "Just for grins" (and insurance purposes) I decided to see the original surgeon again, too. There were no earthquakes, but we'd had a hurricane! That's the only reason I can think of as he was very willing to do surgery again. He told us basically it would be done the same way as the first two times. Hmmmm ... what's wrong with this picture???

There is one more thrilling chapter of this trilogy ... there IS "light at the end of the tunnel" ... and it's not an on-coming freight train!!!


Bz said...

"What's wrong with the picture?" ...having the same guy hack on you again.
You just gotta tell us.... what happened?!? .... did you find the bionic woman's surgeon? ...are you a shot-put thrower now?

Fruitcake Sandy said...

FUNNY ... very funny ... nope, but I am trying out for the Astros baseball team!

Robynn's Ravings said...

Hey, I'm writin' this comment in the wee morning hours. You can't leave me hangin' like that. Now I'm gonna go to bed and wonder what in the heck became of your shoulder. Do they do shoulder replacements like knees and hips?

I hope this has a very happy ending! 0_0

Tatersmama said...

Cheese Louise! AGAIN? Either you're superwoman, or you have no taste in doctors. That's all I can say!
(now on the part 3...)