it's been a while since surgery and recovery is slowly but surely. in general I feel good, though these past 10 days have been the time slippiest days of my life. the last time I took any vicodin was two or three days ago.
first and forempst, thank you to my wonderful friends, nursemaids, entertainers, and sponge bathers. that said....
I have three arthroscopic incisions and one biggie. the arthroscopic three were, in technical terms straight from the surgeon's mouth, "to tidy up". the big one was open and flappy - to make visible my innards for a bristo procedure (to which I cannot find a decent link. anybody?). that means they sawed off a piece of bony protrusion from the torso side of my shoulder infrascructure and screwed it to the front/inside of my shoulder blade physically block the dislocation path of the arm part of my shoulder. there's another screw in there doing something unclear to me. the result is I should never dislocate my shoulder ever again.
my arm feels foreign.
it's fragile, stiff and stinky (I've only gotten one spongebath).
yesterday, I took it out of the bionic sling for the first time and slowly carefully moved it around a bit. not to worry - I stopped when it hurt (normally, I, like whitney stop at nothing).
there's an official medical term with shoulder dislocation called the apprehension sign. it's the point when you feel, in the back of your head, front of your head and pit of your stomach, like your arm is approaching the wrong range of motion and if you're not careful (which means lower your arm like you're not sure), it's threatening to pop out and suck. the apprehension sign is a viscerally nervous uncomfortable panicy feeling. I can generate it, though in milder form, merely by thinking about moving my arm to this wrong dislocating range of motion. for years, I thought this spider sense was unique to me and I didn't bother asking any doctors about it. but no, everybody with this sort of shoulder deal gets it and it's a medically recognized thing.
the reason I bring this up is my range of motion which generates this apprehenion is now huge. overwhelmingly bigger than prior to surgery. I'm guessing 60 degrees of shoulder abduction bigger. I intend to ask the surgeon about it when I go for the followup visit and start physical therapy. I also expect to eliminate the apprehension thing some day. but I do have 10 years of habitually feeling it, so I don't expect it to go away entirely immediately.
(all the following pictures are mere thumbnails of their real glorious selves. click them to get a bigger better gloriouser version!)
-- you know you're really in a hospital when --
despite never getting sick, I'm no stranger to hopitals. this time was quite different. though I've still never stayed overnight, this was more of a "you're in the hospital" deal than any previous visits. the most notable symptoms were that I was hooked to an IV and had my own bed. but it was some of the subtler things that drove it homer. it didn't smell grandmotherly hospitally, and other than one calm announcement of "code blue on the 3rd floor" the sounds didn't ring my hosiptal bell any more than the smells. but the sight of the IV tree, the red power outlets, the piles of sterile latex gloves and the privacy curtain surrounding my bed were all telltale.
-- just before and just after surgery --
prior to this surgery, I'd never had any real painkillers. I've taken assorted over the counter tylenol/advil/aspirin things a handful of times, I had some novacaine for some rootin tootin gum cleansing recently, but aside from that, nothing. now I've had morphine, vicodin, some knock-your-ass-the-fuck-out general anasthetic and a local nerve blocking anasthetic. being under general anasthesia is surprisingly well conveyed in cinema. the mask goes on, and you wake up what feels like instantly later, only to find that hours have gone by and you're now in the recovery room. quite similar to denis leary's description of nyQuil.
jessica is a good choice to take you to the hospital if you ever need to go. a guy recently took her to peru for a similar outting.
they wanted me to fill out assorted anti schiavo directives. good call, but really disheartening that such things are now required.
pass the I-V on the west si-ide
they wouldn't let me wear my own socks into surgery. so it goes.
more-on the schiavo tip
I'm not praying.
I've been piling up piles and piles of notebooks of similar travelogue-y style writings as grace this journal. some day, I'll have time to go through them and tell all y'all all the stories.
any room called "holding" strikes me as old west.... like where they keep the rowdy drunk (if everybody starts writing rowdy drunk with a link like that, we can googlebomb it so google returns w's bio when you search for rowdy drunk. ok everybody).
-- home postop, and the friends that visit --
how george "the animal" steele am I? either that or like dorothy in the oz beauty parlor - "can you even dye my tongue to match my cloak?"
ahhh chloe. if you ever need a playa coated security blankey cloak after which to name your first daughter, this may be your best bet.
hats. as you will see here and below, hats have been kind of a thing around here.
I would eat them in a box, I would eat them with a fox... stevie and I made green dancakes. but no ham. not even soy.
teaa came over, tara came over with a banjo on her back, scott came over, donny juggled tara.
-- and the medical accouterments --
I have the highest tech bionic sling ever. it had sort of an IV tube thing connected to the big cylinder marked Pain Control.
the other bionic part of the sling is the Tubey Thing which everybody has been helping me hook and unhook. that inner bit is where the cold water goes.
see the blue tube at the bottom of the second picture? that's the same blue tube as the blue tube in the third picture which is connected to the Icey Thing.
here's that IV type pain drip. I was instructed to remove it after a few days. with jonathan's then jessica's help, we dug through bandages and eventually pulled about 3 inches of tube from the interior of my shoulder. felt a bit like the big big needle before the MRI
-- outtings --
have you ever tried tying your shoe with one hand? it's way easier than you'd think. which isn't saying much since I thought it was nearly impossible. but I got it done lickey split.
every gimp needs petty cash.
what do you get when you cross darth vader and a watermelon?
pam was the official photographer of my first postop outting.
don't I look flying or superimposed or something? I'm not - I have witnesses.
jessica was the official bagel mouth stuffer inner of my first postop outting.
this is the most engrishy vending machine I've ever seen.
-- nursemaids and spongebathers --
here's the big section. as has become my way, I made sort of a photo project of my convalescence...
check out how much I can move my arm already in that last picture. I'm not sure if the physical therapy guy is going to say "holy criminey; you rule!" or "hoooold on there... slow down, tex" or that I'm right on schedule or what.