Monday, March 13, 2006

Coming back, a little

Warning: There is a really gross picture at the bottom of this post, so if you cannot stomach really gross pictures, you might not want to scroll down.

Some things they don't tell you before surgery but should:
  • This is one of the most painful surgeries one can have. It also take a very long time to recover from it.
  • You will be under the knife for 2 1/2 hours. During this time your eyes will be taped shut and you will have a breathing tube down your throat. This means that when you wake up, your eyelids will have sticky gunk all over them and stick open and shut, your face will be covered in other sticky gunk that you can't remove, and your throat will be so sore that you cannot swallow, in addition to that horrible pukey waking-up-from-anaesthesia feel that you will have. Also you will have lots of foul-tasting burps from the oxygen tube. You will almost puke with the burps.
  • You'll have to pee like a futhermucker since they will have drained an entire large bag of fluids into you during the surgery. But you will not be able to get up to walk because you are too loopy. When the nurse attempts to assist you to pee while you are lying in the bed, you'll be unable to relax those particular muscles enough to go.
  • When the nerve block wears off ten hours before they say it will wear off, you'll be cursing the God that caused you to exist.
  • Perococet does not do much for pain that ranks a 9 on the 1-10 pain scale. It can handle pain up to about a 7. After that, you're on your own.
  • If you take the maximum dosage of Percocet in a day every day, you will not be able to poop. Your stomach will swell up and become hard. You will stop eating because though there are things going in, there is nothing coming out. You will have to send your man out to the pharmacy to buy you stool softener which you will take and pray. When you finally do poo, it will suck a lot.
  • Showering is agonizing. So is taking a deep breath. Holding still and moving both hurt. A lot.
  • The day after surgery, when they start your PT, you will cry. You will cry like a little girl. Your man, who has been an absolute angel through all of this and who has accompanied you into the PT room, will turn white and sit down fast when you start crying like a little girl. You will feel guilty about this.
  • Anything you drape over yourself to keep warm will get stuck in the stitches that are sticking out of your arm.
  • You really won't be able to move your arm. At all. It will feel weird, painful, and gross.
  • Your ability to sympathize with anyone else's pain will dry up like a salted slug, because their pain cannot possibly outweigh your pain. You wish for the luxury of having only emotional pain instead of this physical agony.
Anyway you probably get the idea. This has been total suck-city. When I went back to the doc on Friday after the surgery, he said, direct quote, "I shit you not, this is one of the worst shoulders I've ever seen. When I laid you down on the table to operate, your arm fell out of the socket." He had intended to do a few simple ligament/tendon repairs, but wound up stitching the shoulder back into the socket, fixing the torn rotator cuff, and shaving bone that had been damaged in the process of my shoulder being fucked up for years before I fell skiing. He also told me that the left one is just about as bad as the right one was.

So. I have been looped on Percocet since the day of the surgery, but the times when I wake up in the night after it wears off have been clear-headed and angry. I am eager for this time in my life to pass. Very eager.

I am going to go lie down now.

I hope you all are better off than I am just now.

Gross picture, taken during the surgery:


At March 13, 2006 10:43 AM, Anonymous Allan said...

Shoulder surgery is one of the worst.

I've known many people who have gone through it. I hope I never have to experience it myself.

It sounds like you have a good surgeon, though.

Be well.

At March 13, 2006 10:48 AM, Anonymous Alison said...

Yes, what Allan said: be well.

At March 13, 2006 2:05 PM, Blogger mg said...

"That which does not kill you, only makes you stronger."

*sending you good energy*

At March 13, 2006 5:11 PM, Blogger Greg said...

Save your strength. Get well. And be glad that it's over!!

At March 13, 2006 6:28 PM, Blogger M said...

holy. snot.

Dude, you are so freakin' hardcore, I can't even handle it. Not for having the surgery, but for writing a long blog afterwards. And commenting on mine. But don't you feel just a little bit vindicated that you had one of the worst ones ever? It makes you the mac.

Those pictures are freakin' sweet. I wish I had pictures when they cut my neck open from my ear to the tendon that runs down the front. I'd have liked to have a picture of my own jugular.

Rest well and remember, you only need one leg and one arm to kick ass and take names.

At March 13, 2006 6:37 PM, Anonymous atpanda said...

Oh my god. I feel so horrible for you! I'm so glad M is there to help out and that he's being so supportive. You are very lucky for that. And dispite the grossness, the picture is really cool!
I hope you have a miraculously fast recovery my friend. I'm thinking about you!

At March 14, 2006 12:55 AM, Blogger Adeline said...

I am sorry you have to deal with this.

It sounds worse than child bearing, which actually was never more painful than the worst cramps I ever had. But then after it was all said and done i had surgery anyway.

I am sorry J. but it will all heal. I hope you dont end up stuck on pain meds.

At March 14, 2006 12:16 PM, Blogger Philip said...

I feel for you and your pain. And man don't worry about being teary or grumpy or a pain in the ass - everyone expects the pain to overwhelm your normal reactions for quite some time, and everyone who knows you, knows who you are and well let the rest slide. I wish I had the ol' magic wand...

I am wishing you a very speedy and successful surgery. Do the other one too. Get yourself fixed so that you can enjoy your normal existence.

At March 14, 2006 6:16 PM, Blogger Sweet. said...

I can pretty much guaran-damn-tee that I'm doing comparably well. Thanks for the concern!

Nice pictures. Not gross at all. You know what is gross? Harlequin syndrome. Gross and sad. Seriously. If someone says, "Here's a picture of Harlequin Syndrome," then don't look.

At March 14, 2006 8:50 PM, Blogger Heather said...

I wish I was there to be your nurse, J.Star! I would give you the good drugs!

At March 14, 2006 11:34 PM, Blogger deputyswife said...

Okay, I had to scroll to post a comment. Shit. I about puked.

Oh wait, I wanted to cheer you up. I would call the doctor and tell him to give you some better drugs. Tell him if he doesn't, you're hitting the street for stuff.

At March 15, 2006 1:11 AM, Blogger Elemmaciltur said...

Hey J! I'm back online in Thailand....Anyway, sorry that you're going through all these...but well, at the least you haven't lost your sense of humour...coz I almost peed myself LMAO reading this entry. *LOL*

At March 15, 2006 4:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

whoa, your 100 things list just expanded exponentially - wish you could be already looking back on this particular trauma, it's bloody awful. (and don't you just feel too young for prune juice?)

I'm also sending you healing energy and wondering HOW did you get those pictures???

At March 15, 2006 5:18 AM, Blogger Sorted Lives said...

I soooo hope you are on the road to recovery. Been thinkin about cha!! Of course, no entry would be complete without a photo series -- only you. Take care and enjoy those drugs...

At March 15, 2006 11:03 PM, Blogger HM said...

My GOODNESS have I missed a lot... but I guess that's to be expected after a month and a half. Sorry to see that you're having such an incredibly cruddy time these days, but it sounds like the worst is over? Minus all the PT, eeeww. :(

Just FYI... haha, I didn't die, I just haven't been in the most, umm, sharing of moods.

I've missed your blog!!

At March 16, 2006 12:56 AM, Blogger Fitèna said...

Am not waiting for the picture to load, from the comments above, it seems like this is a good decision. One thing, save the energy and be well!!

PS: How can you blog with this!!!??

At March 16, 2006 6:16 PM, Blogger Sangroncito said...

Ouch, ouch, ouch!
I'm sending you a hug and a cyper caipirinha to ease the pain....

At March 17, 2006 7:37 PM, Anonymous mary said...

Wishing you speedy healing and strength to handle the slowness of each painful futhermucking moment in between. ♥

Those pics are amazing.


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