Cripple Jay’s Surgery Diary: The First 2 Weeks

So, surgery went off without a hitch.

I got to the surgical center at 5:45 on that Tuesday morning. After a short wait, I was back in the waiting area changing into a surgical gown; I couldn’t take my book back, so it was a while of just sitting and letting my mind wander. The nurse was eventually over to insert my IV, which was probably the worst part. It wasn’t that it hurt; it was the fact that the nurse couldn’t get the IV in the right spot on the first 2 attempts. A new nurse came over and get it on the 3rd attempt; I still have a few bruises from them.

A short time later, my surgeron came by to mark the shoulder. He was followed by the anesthesiologist, who gave me a nerve block in my shoulder so I wouldn’t feel anything.

They took me back to the operating room and knocked me out. Next thing I know, I’m in recovery with my wife next to me. Once I was coherent enough to know what was going on, I got changed and into my sling. I was home by 11AM.

The rest of the day was sleeping, reading, and watching TV. I didn’t regain feeling in my hand until the middle of the night; I could barely move my fingers during the day. That night was the start of my pain killers since the block was supposed to wear off.

The next few days were a blur. I was taking the maximum pain killers every 6 hours, which put me to sleep for a while. I caught up on some TV (Agents of SHIELD, the Wire, Vice Principles) and knocked out a few movies (Straight Out of Compton – well worth watching). I also started knocking out my backlog of books.

I rarely left the house though; any time I was out, I was exhausted after a few hours.

The next week was more of the same, but I was just starting to kick the pain killers; by the end of the week, I was down to taking them at bed time. Sleeping is a pain. I can’t lay flat because I’m a restless sleeper and continually roll over; I’m propted up with pillows so I don’t move and struggle to fall asleep. I’ve had a few nights on the couch, which is a little better.

I’ve been up trying to move more too; I’ve gone on some walks to try to be active. I had heard that walking was painful, as each step jars the shoulder; that hasn’t been the case though.

Yesterday was my follow up with the surgeron; everything is looking good. The stitches were removed. I’ve got 2 more weeks in the sling, then I’ll start my physical therapy. I’m looking at anywhere from 4-6 weeks of PT to regain movement and build strength. During the middle of PT, I’ll return to the surgeon to check my recovery. I’ve got 2.5 months until I can start cardio training again; I’ll have 3 more months after that before I can start lifting again.

I’ve still got a long way to go, but it hasn’t been as bad as I’ve expected and heard. I’ll check back next week.

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