The one before the 6 week check up

It’s almost time to see my surgeon again. Almost time for the 6 week post-op check up. So, how is it? Well, I’m averaging 5 hours sleep a night, so that’s better, right? And, I have moved on from trying to sleep on my back. I can sleep on my side/stomach (not the side that was operated on, obviously). But, I still get sore, achy, and stiff after a while and have to move.

And the shoulder? The ROM? I don’t think the ROM has changed since my last physio therapy visit. If anything, it seems slightly less than it was. It’s still crunching and popping and making weird noises. It feels sore quite a bit. Is it normal? I know it’s still healing, so perhaps it is. Perhaps I should still be taking pain relief?

Apparently, because of the lack of sleep, I am hyper sensitive to pain, so maybe it’s not that bad after all?

The one about physio therapy

It’s almost 4 weeks since my shoulder was ‘repaired’. Since I took the sling off (just 48 hours after surgery) I have been doing various exercises every day – 3-4 times a day. I’ve added more exercises, as instructed by my physio, and as promised, they are getting easier. I’m getting more mobility.

Today, I shall have my next physio session at the hospital. I’m dreading it. Not because I haven’t been doing as told. But, because if I’m not as mobile as expected, my therapist will become physio-terrorist and will push me through the pain.

I slept 4 hrs last night in total. I’m sure she’ll tell me I need more sleep – I can only agree!!

It is my plan to do 5k on the cross trainer tonight…so I’m hoping she doesn’t hurt me too much!

The one about sleep

I was warned before surgery that sleep would be an issue. I knew that it would be a problem for about four months. I’ve never been a good sleeper, so this didn’t bother me…I was wrong! Here we are in week four, post surgery, and I’m beginning to value cat naps more and more – just to get through.

Why, you might well be asking. Well, I have always slept on my stomach, until the surgery. Now, sleep is about lying face up, waiting for sweet dreams to arrive. A couple of nights ago, I got brave. I slept on my stomach, with my ‘bad’ shoulder propped up on a pillow. Wow. I slept longer and deeper, until the pain began. Unfortunately, I then spent the rest of the day in pain. And the next night. The position I had put my shoulder in had obviously put pressure onto the raw bone surfaces. So, tonight I am back to lying face up, waiting for sleep to arrive.

If you are considering shoulder surgery, think about how you will be sleeping when it’s done. Pillows, cushions, bolsters, which side of the bed you sleep on and whether you can reach the bedside lamp easily are all things to remember…

I walked nearly 4 miles today so I’m aiming for 4 hrs sleep tonight. Wish me luck.

Personal Training

With physio therapy progressing well and getting much more movement back in my arm, I have tried a little ‘limited’ PT. It was OK apart from two exercises. I can’t do ‘plank’ and I can’t really do anything that involves bearing weight on only one shoulder (as opposed to balanced weight between both shoulders). The PT knew I’d had surgery only recently, so I think he knows what he’s doing when suggesting new exercises.

Today however, I have had to ice my shoulder. Whether that’s as a result of Tuesday’s short PT session, or me really pushing through the pain in my daily physio routines, I don’t know. It could, I guess, be a combination of those and the fact that I’ve tried to reduce pain meds to zero. I did a bit of searching on the internet and found some really interesting and informative videos from this chap. OK, so his injury was different to mine, more severe, but he’s getting the same physio routines and he has an ‘aggressive treatment plan’ from his doctor.

I’m back to the hospital again next week to see the physio lady. Keep your fingers crossed that she’ll be happy with me, rather than want to hurt me by pushing me ‘through the pain’!!

The three small incision scars are healing well. One of them has a bit of a lump in the middle, but I think that is still a little swelling. It should disappear.

Happy Easter

Today is recovery day #10 since the shoulder arthroscopy. I’m doing OK with the recovery. The pain is much less than it was, I’ve gone from 19 painkillers a day (when I first got back from hospital) to just three a day. I feel it’s much more manageable, but I’m now itching to get the stitches out (no pun intended). I’m doing the exercises several times a day – they are much easier too. There’s one that causes me a little bit more discomfort than the others, but I’m getting on with them as best I can.

It’s also Easter Sunday. So, Happy Easter to all you lovely people out there.

Easter has always been family time for me. It’s about having a lovely roast dinner, watching kids find Easter eggs hidden in the garden and having a bit of a giggle at everyone gorging on way too much chocolate! Today’s a bit strange. I’m not able to drive home to Scotland to be with the family (well, technically, I could drive, but I doubt it would be sensible!), nor do I have any kids around for an easter egg hunt, and nor is my family around.

I’m still planning to do a roast dinner, though it feels pretty silly just for me…but, it’s tradition. And I’ll enjoy it.

For my far away family and friends Happy Easter!

Missing Golf

About a year ago I played my last game of golf. I haven’t played since then, though I did have a lesson with a coach. I had developed a horrible swing and didn’t know where it had come from. The coach gave me some drills to do, so get rid of the swing error. I did these, with enthusiasm and energy. And then, I couldn’t more because of the pain in my shoulder. Here we are, one year on and I’ve had an arthroscopy on my shoulder to remove scar tissue and resurface the joint.

Today is day four after surgery. I am still in pain, but I have pain meds to deal with that. I’m already thinking about when I will be able to get on the golf course again. When will I be able to pick up a club? And how long will it take me to recover my handicap? It’s all a little bit premature, as right now I can’t even move the shoulder beyond a slight back and forth motion (exercises from the physio therapist). But, I am looking forward to standing on the first tee at our golf club.

I’ve been looking online for any blogs or information about playing golf again after this type of surgery and so far I have found nothing.

I will recount my experiences here…though it may be some months before there is a conclusion.

The cause of my problems? Unknown. Given the amount of ‘gunk’ that my consultant removed from my shoulder, it could have been quite some time. I had shoulder problems as a kid – lots of pain and lumpy, knotty shoulders. I did lots of distance swimming, played violin, and played an instrument called a bell lyre (standing for hours on end holding it with my left hand), and golf, lots of golf. I think I became aware of an issue when my swing became ‘weird’. It was all downhill from there.

Getting to surgery wasn’t what I expected, though that’s what the first physio therapist told me was a certainty. I went on to have a cortisone injection and more physio, but the pain increased. And so, here we are.

New year, new smile, new me?

Three years ago I had braces fitted as part of a ‘rescue’ package for my teeth. I had broken a number of teeth and braces were the least drastic course of action. Reluctantly, I had clear plastic, self-ligating (ooooh) braces fitted with the expectation that I would be done and dusted within 18-22 months. Well, that timeframe came and went.

To begin with, I was confident that nothing would change because of the braces, but in reality, much changed: diet, confidence, the ability to smile, and me. I lost a bit of me with the construction site that was my mouth. And then, there was pain. I didn’t mention it yet, but I’ve had three years of aches and pains, blisters, ulcers, cuts and more. Not to mention a constant fear that I had awful breath (despite much flossing, cleaning mouth wash use…).

I didn’t go into the whole ‘adult braces’ thing without doing my research. I read the blogs, I watched the YouTube videos, but none of them prepared me for the blow to my confidence or just how un-sexy they made me feel. None of what I read, saw or listened to actually gave details of what it’s really like.

So, New Year, New Smile and New Me. Absolutely! The braces came off on Wednesday 16th Jan and I’m delighted. The result is brilliant. I have a smile again. I feel I am ABLE to smile again and I seem to have some of my old sparkle back. 2013 is going to be a great year for me and my long-suffering BF. Cheers!

Smile