So it is a few days after my surgery, and I believe (and hope) the worst is behind me, pain-wise. The surgery itself was no big deal since I was under general anesthesia, but about 12 hours later when the last of it wore off it was awful. I wanted to kill myself and every other person in the near vicinity. My pain meds didn’t seem to be working, so I doubled the dosage and about 90 minutes later it subsided enough that I was no longer grimacing and moaning. Since then the pain has lessened to the point that I only take one or two pills a day now, and I am not in pain as long as I am not doing anything with my right arm. This whole experience has really made me realize how lucky I am to have the friends I have. The first three days it was absolutely critical to have someone here with me to do things that I could not manage on my own. There is a machine that circulates cold water around the shoulder that had to be hooked up continuously for the first 72 hours after surgery. And this machine needed to be refilled with fresh ice every 2-4 hours and then hooked backed up, an impossible task for someone with just one working arm. In addition, the first couple of days were so rough there was no way I could move around and do things for myself. My wonderful friends came in shifts to cook for me and take care of me, I can’t tell you how grateful I am for that. Special thanks has to be made to Michael and Josh who stayed over those first three nights and missed out on a lot of sleep by taking care of me. What does someone without friends or family do in a similar situation? Do they hire some home health care worker? What if they can’t afford that?
I have little by little been feeling well enough to come back to the computer to type for a bit, although it is a bit awkward and painful. I need to get back into work, I have a lot to get done. It isn’t easy, but I have to make it through or I will be broke. I did some site work today and will be hopefully more productive tomorrow. My doctor’s appointment to remove the stitches isn’t until next Monday, at which time they will also give me instructions for physical therapy. I am hopeful that I can shorten the estimate of 6 months he gave me before surgery. That said, sleeping is still the worst. I have to be pretty much sitting up on my sofa with pillows behind my head and my right arm in the sling resting on my chest. I have to stay pretty still in that pose and sleep that way. I am getting better at it, but it is still pretty uncomfortable and I can’t seem to manage more that 5 hours a night that way. The drugs help to put me out a bit, so I try to take them just before heading to bed (or should I say, “heading to sofa”).
All in all, and although I sure as hell would not want to repeat it, this has been a pretty interesting experience, and one that makes me grateful for the people around me, friends and family who have been here or called from far away to check in on me. It has strengthened my sense of community and connection to the world around me, and made me very grateful. Not that I wasn’t appreciative before, but a health event like this really helps one see the best in people.