On Surgery, a lousy Post-op period, and feeling my age…

Last month I finally had the shoulder I injured 2 years ago repaired, surgically.

Long story short: I fell in a department store while looking for a dress for a wedding. Pain lead me to my PCP who thought I’d simply bruised my arm. Xrays showed nothing so he sent me to Physical Therapy for 6 weeks. It helped…some. Pain continued and I was told a biceps bruise can take up to a year to heal. Didn’t think an MRI was warranted when I asked.

Okay.

A year came and went. Still in pain. Went to an orthopod. More xrays showed nothing wrong. He diagnosed a “frozen shoulder.” Never heard of that before, I gotta tell ya. Treatment was pain meds and exercise. Didn’t get better. In fact, got a worse. Sent me for a cortisone injection. Worked for 3 days. Pain increased. FINALLY, after 20 months of this crap, sent me for an MRI. Diagnosis? Torn Rotator Cuff, biceps tendon and muscle.

Ya think they’d have listened to me from the beginning when I asked for the MRI.

Treatment? Surgery was my only option because the more experimental ones aren’t done at my hospital.

Went for my surgical preop. The doc who did it ( not my PCP) diagnosed a heart murmur. I said I didn’t have a heart murmur. She insisted I did and wouldn’t clear me for surgery unless I had an echocardiogram.

I went for the echocardiogram

$5,000 later, no murmur.

Ya think they’d have listened to me when I said I didn’t have a murmur.

SO, surgery. Went well, according to my orthopod. Yeah…from his perspective it did. Textbook case of a repair.

From my perspective? Not so much. First, I’m allergic to narcotics so the typical stuff they give for the excruciating post-op pain of this surgery, I can’t take. And believe me, Motrin does NOTHING to alleviate bone pain. Once the nerve block wore off I was in agony and I don’t use that word lightly. Coupled with the fact you aren’t/can’t lie down after this surgery, but need to remain propped up, like in a recliner, on your back, and my agony was increased fifty fold because I don’t and can’t sleep on my back. The torture device of the rotator sling that needs to be worn 24/7 for 4 weeks doesn’t help with sleeping, either.

I’d asked my orthopod about my postop time frame. With any other surgery I’ve had over the years, I’m up and at’em and raring to go after about a week of down time.

His response? Well, because of your age now, you’re gonna take much longer to heal. You’re not 25 anymore but knocking at 60’s door. I almost knocked on his door when he said that.

So, I’m old, I take longer to heal, I can’t take anything for the ridiculous pain, I can’t sleep, and since this is my dominant hand I’ve lost all independence with normal things, like getting dressed and performing personal care issues. If you think I’m being dramatic, YOU try putting pants on with one hand and cleaning yourself after going to the toilet with a hand you’ve never used for that purpose before, then tell me I’m still being dramatic!

I can’t do simple things like brush my hair, put on makeup, feed myself without all my food continually dropping back to the plate.

I can’t drive.

The hair in my armpits is long enough to braid because I can’t lift the arms to shave them.

I haven’t slept more than 1.5 hours a night since the surgery. When you only sleep 3 hours a night to begin with, having half of those hours taken away from you will make you cranky, to say the least.

Getting out of the chair is tantamount to giving birth: I grunt, wheeze, sweat, and push myself to a standing position, then need to catch my breath from all the effort.

It’s not pretty, kids. Not at all.

I’m on week 4 of this post-op period now. Still in the torture sling; still trying to sleep ( and failing) in the recliner. Still cranky, still in pain ( although not as much), and still unable to shave my armpits.

Welcome to my life ~ Peg

 

 

 

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24 Comments

Filed under Strong Women

24 responses to “On Surgery, a lousy Post-op period, and feeling my age…

  1. Jackie T

    Hi. OMG. I really emphasize with you. All Drs know is “because of your age”. For that, they don’t need to go for a degree. Feel better. JackieT

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh.my goodness! I feel your pain. I too am allergic to narcotics. Pain after surgery is horrible. Hope you feel better soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel for you, Peggy. Shouldn’t have to have such an ordeal. Feel better soon! What

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Peg I suffer with both my shoulders from previous injuries and last week, co-incidentally, I talked to a guy that had the surgery and he said to me, whatever you do, don’t do it, put up with the pain you’ve got. He said he had it months before, and still couldn’t raise his arm, so the things he could do before (with pain) he cant do at all and worse his surgeon told him it could be up to two years recovery. When asked why the surgeon didn’t tell him that before he thought that if he’d been told that he wouldn’t have had the surgery until he retired.

    I feel your pain, and hope you recover quickly. Good luck to you

    Liked by 1 person

  5. C. Becker

    Hang in there, Peg. Even knocking at 60s door, you are handling all these medical issues like a trooper and with much humor. I hope you start feeling better soon and feeling your young self again. Rest up and speedy convalescence!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. lydiaschoch

    I hope you feel better soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. D.V. Stone

    I’m so sorry. Feel better soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. mrsnnnlight

    Don’t you just love it when doctors throw the “old” phrase around?!? I’m surprised you didn’t knock his block off. *smh*

    I’m so sorry you can’t take anything for the pain. Is there something natural you can take? There’s all kinds of herbs you can take to alleviate pain. Maybe it’s time to try a pot brownie… lol!

    Take care and hang in there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peggy Jaeger

      HAHAH. the way I react to medicines, the pot/CBD would probably react in me like a meth addict and not make me mellow!!! I have the opposite reaction to most med. Sleeping pills act like caffeine, cold medicines make me worse and more congested. I can’t imagine what “drugs” would do to me. Heehee

      Liked by 1 person

      • mrsnnnlight

        I swear, scientists need to study you. You have the most unique body in the world. If what you say is true, then you need to get uppers to stay calm. lol!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. So sorry to hear about your pain. Stay strong, Peggy!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Mrs. N beat me to the pot brownie suggestion! Maybe cannabis oil. People swear by it for joint pain. At least the world around you would appear brighter. LOL! Get better soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m so sorry to hear about the torture you’re going through. Being in a wheelchair, I understand frustration. I’m unable to stand, so my angel of a husband has to take care of things I can’t. Chin up, it will get better.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Donna

    Peggy: I am sososo sorry you’re going through all this. I’ve had back surgery and I know the recovery pain was worse than the pain before so I hear you. I had to continually tell myself, “It’ll be over soon,” almost like childbirth except you had to show for your pain. Praying for a quicker recovery and enduring strength. Maybe you could work with “Dragon Speak?”

    Thinking of you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peggy Jaeger

      Funnily, I do use Dragon. But sometimes it is more effort than what it’s worth because there are so many words that aren’t recognzied becayse if my accent.

      Like

  13. janarichards

    Knowing the kind of drugs my husband was given after his knee replacement surgery (and he was still in pain), I can’t imagine how you were coping with only Motrin. And the doctor who called you old, well phooey on him!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. barbarabettis1

    Oh, sweetie, what a nightmare. I am so sorry. I’m a side sleeper myself, so I can imagine how miserable you must be having to be back-bound for so long==and that’s not even considering the pain! that you can’t take anything for. I still have my left foot in a big hard-plastic boot that I have to sleep in, but at least I can get off my back –provided I can find a place to prop my opposite leg. It’s no good my telling you that eventually you’ll feel better–eventually isn’t now. Sending you hugs — and prayers for more comfort as you tough it out. Wishing you feel better fast. Ummm==Just a thought–do you like Bailey’s??? It may not ease the pain, but…. LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peggy Jaeger

      Barbara – hahah! I know Bailey’s would probably work if I put a wee drop in my tea ( heehee) but since I don’t drink alcohol… I sympathize with your foot issue. My hubby had a neuroma removed from his foot six months ago and trying to get into a comfortable position while sleeping was torture. A full body pillow was the way we went for him, finally, and it did the trick. The pillow goes from thighs to feet and helped dramaticaly. Thanks for the kind words and support.

      Like

  15. So sorry for what you’re going through, Peggy! And allergic to painkillers is awful. Someone mentioned CBD oil, and I know people it’s worked wonders for. It IS a natural substance and might not make you allergic. God bless you for perserverence in trying to keep up a productive life. Do you have people to come in & help? I’ve had doctors who don’t listen, too, and get the ‘age’ thing thrown at me. Screw ’em, I say. Most times we know our bodies better than them. Praying for you to recover soon and keep healing day by day, and one day you will be back to normal, and pain-free. Tons of thoughts & prayers for your healing in every way!! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peggy Jaeger

      Christine – thanks for the words of support and encouragement. Unfortunately, I don’t have anyone to come in help. My husband is a physician and works 13- 14 hour days, so I am alone most of the time. Which, is probably good because I can rest without having to worry about people.

      Like

  16. Peggy Jaeger

    Not a lie, Mrs NN! I drink Diet Mountain dew to fall asleep – the mostly high caffeinated soda on the market! Cold medicine makes me wired and cammomile gets me jittery. I’m a missing link to be sure!

    Like

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