Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Welcome 2015: hopes & dreams (& a little surgery update)

I really wanted to write my little summary of 2014 on here last week because, quite frankly, it wasn't a great year, - I wanted to write it down, get it out, and metaphorically leave it behind me; looking ahead to a new year.  

As I have done for the last couple of years, I'm going to set myself a 'January blog challenge' and write every day.  Today - wishes, hopes & dreams for a wonderful 2015 for everyone reading............

CHEERS  TO  2015 !

~  AND  TO  YOU  ~

I am a little late getting started...I did have my surgery on 31st December and have spent the majority of this year asleep so far!  The reason for the sleeping is definitely copious amounts of strong painkillers which have made it close to impossible to stay conscious for very long  -  this is definitely a good thing for my pain.

Pinterest always has it all - this is my perfect sleepshirt right now!

(well, if we ignore the fact I couldn't get it on...)

First - my surgery:

I will see my surgeon, Dr G, next week for my follow up and to get my stitches removed and will learn more about my surgery then.  So far, all I know about the outcome is what my Dr G told my parents while I was still in recovery.

Surgery Plan:

  • 'mobilisation & manipulation under general anaesthetic; plus arthroscopic release'
    • i.e. knock me out, see how my shoulder moves when I can't feel anything; use the arthroscope to see what might be blocking movement and if it can be 'manipulated' ('gently' yanked; or scarred & dead tissue cut away) to let it move better

What happened:
  • Moving my arm/ shoulder under anaesthetic showed abnormal movement - similar to the movement issues I have when I am awake and can feel things (like pain!!)
    • this indicates there is still a 'mechanical' issue; not purely nerve damage
    • if it had moved normally, it would have indicated it was more likely 'only' a problem with my nerves, such as nerve pain/ nerve compression preventing/ blocking normal movement
    • the fact it showed a likely 'mechanical' issue was a really really good thing - it suggests there is still something that can be 'fixed' (to an extent) before all problems have to be attributed to ongoing nerve issues (we were coming close....... I was not happy!)
  • Main issue is with attempts to try to move my arm above my head; this is the same as when I am awake - (attempted) passive movement by my physios to try to move my arm above my head is incredibly painful and creates a 'stuck' feeling
  • Dr G could see my rotator cuff muscles looked good - this is a positive thing, but it's my understanding that with the kind of dyskinesia I have, these muscles would be expected to show something abnormal....... = further investigation required
  • He searched more and found that some of my ligaments that enable my arm to make that movement were scarred down - explaining (to me, as much as I know just now, anyway) that 'stuck' feeling makes sense
    • He 'released' these ligaments (I'm pretty sure this means I was cut up again - because it felt like it!)
    • Once the ligaments had been 'released' * Dr G was able to passively move my arm above my head (yay! although whether this can be repeated while I am conscious will be kind of important....)
      • * I acknowledge the constant use of inverted commas.  This is because I am pretty sure 'release' is a major euphemism.

Overall - aims of surgery were met & surgery seems to have been successful:
  • Arm mobilised  þ
  • Arm/shoulder manipulated  þ
  • Tissue freed up/ 'released'  þ
  • "junk" cleared out of shoulder capsule  þ
  • My 'suggestion' to Dr G that he "just cut around my ribs, have a look and experiment - maybe you'll discover something new"
    • (I wasn't really expecting to wake up to this one! He wasn't a fan of the 'experiment' suggestion! I just threw it out there a couple of times...... just in case)

Initially, it seems that this surgery has gone well.  Ultimately - and Dr G was very clear about this from the beginning - this is just a small part of a much bigger, complex picture  (I'm beginning to envision it as one of those 3D 'Magic Eye' pictures now, except nobody is quite sure what the hidden picture is yet)........ Actually, even better analogy - a 'Magic Eye 3D Jigsaw Puzzle' (I'm sure those exist); they are fitting the pieces together, they just have to make the whole picture and then they'll see the hidden picture!  Maybe now....

There are various things that will remain unknown until we see how this heals and how much movement the 'release' does give me.   Lots of things to consider......... I'll write about them later this week.

Second - January's blog-a-day:

As I've discussed before, there are lots of little 'anniversaries' in January that hold some negative associations for me.  For the last couple of years, my little January 'blog projects' have helped me focus on something positive to help me keep my mind off the negative feelings.

I'm not really one for new year's resolutions - I don't think you need a new year (or a new month, or a new week......) to decide to do something, or change something.  I think you just do it because you decide you want to.  I very much believe that applies to life in general, as Nike says, "Just do it."  And Nike was the Greek goddess of victory, so it seems like a pretty good philosophy to strive for.

Rather than pick something specific, like a song a day; this year I am going to turn to my bfb (best friend-bot) that is Pinterest, and highlight things that speak to me about the hopes, dreams and values I have in my life and for my future.  This January marks ten years of being 'ill' (and/ injured); so rather than reflecting on what I often feel illness has stolen from me; I'm aiming to focus on the things it has taught me.  And hopefully, as I improve physically, and continue my quest to return to health (yeah, it's definitely a quest!), I can carry those with me and they will help me live a better life, and enjoy every minute of it.

What a wonderful thought that is!

Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen.

   ~ Anon

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