Saturday, February 25, 2012

Off to Kentucky....

Tomorrow we are leaving to drive the 600 miles to Lexington, Kentucky for my shoulder surgery. I see Dr Kibler on the monday morning, I have the surgery on the Tuesday - it's a day procedure, so all being well, they send me (and my pain pump) back to the hotel for a couple of day, then I see him again on Thursday morning and if everything is ok he will clear me to travel back here on the Thursday.  It all seems very simple....!

I'm not really sure how I am feeling.  Part of me is just so relieved and excited that I'm going to finally get my shoulder fixed.  The pain I have at the moment is unbearable - not exaggerating or being dramatic, it is just simply unbearable.  I am now taking Percocet plus a muscle relaxant to address the pain and it is giving me a bit of relief from it for a couple of hours at a time.  It doesn't take the pain away, but it does stop me crying with pain and allows me to have a shower or a couple of hours out. So even although I do feel a bit nervous, I just keep telling myself it can't be any worse than what I have right now, and in the long run it is going to fix it, so it's totally worth it.

I have perhaps read too much information in surgical text books though! I know exactly what they are going to do to me - drill holes in my scapula so they can "lace up" the muscle to reattach it to the bone.  When I first read this it was very cool, totally fascinating.  Now that it's not a hypothetical body in a surgical textbook - but my own body! - it makes me feel a little bit queasy!!  But the surgeon I am going to see has an international reputation and he is at the top of his field.  He created the procedure - that is why I am going to Kentucky, he is the only one who can fix me.

As long as the procedure is straighforward, it will be done on the Tuesday and shouldn't take very long.  It is the recovery that is going to be the hard part.  The information I have says 4-6 months for full recovery.  The first month my arm will be completely immobilized in a sling and a brace.  I am not supposed to move it at all. I have no idea how I will get washed or dressed.... or what clothes I will even be able to get on.  After 4 weeks of immobilization I start physio.  This is also very limited at first.  The first 8 weeks at physio have very strict guidelines.  After that I can begin strengthening it again. I think once I get to the physio I know I will be helping myself and I also know that is where the really hard work will start.  I think being immobilized for a month is going to drive me crazy.  BUT it will all be worth it to have the use of my shoulder and my arm back, and to be rid of the horrendous pain that comes with the scapula sitting in the wrong place.

I am also curious about my exact diagnosis as I will get the results of the CT scan with 3D reconstruction this week.  I've also been told it's likely the full extent of the injury won't be clear until the surgeon actually opens me up and has a look.  At the moment they have said "one or more shoulder muscles is detached" so finding out exactly what damage I did will be interesting.

So we are off early in the morning for a (kind of) adventurous week.  Hoping everything goes to plan and I come back with a fully functional shoulder!!

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