Saturday, February 27, 2010

Joel v2.0 (or is it v3.0?)

My latest attempt to become bionic is now underway. Monday afternoon I had surgery to repair my torn labrum in my right shoulder. 18 months ago the only surgery I had ever had was wisdom teeth removal, and now I've had a ruptured Achilles tendon repaired followed by this torn labrum.

I know what the final blow was to the labrum, the fall off the double teeter totter on my bike, but I'm guessing that it has been damaged a lot through the years with all the impacts and falls I've had. The tough part of this injury was that it happened in November, but I am just now getting it fixed and face a 4 - 6 month recovery period. 6 months means late August. Ouch. I should have gotten it fixed months ago, but after being able to ride/ski/etc on it without too much pain I hoped to will it back to healthy. It became apparent to me that it was never going to be well again without surgery, so in an effort to be able to play catch with Cooper (and believe me all he wants to do is throw) I needed to get this fixed now and get recovered.

So here are some of the pics that still make me a bit light headed to look at. These are shots from the procedure where they smoothed the damage cartilage out then put in a series of pins and anchors to which the damaged labrum is reattached to. You can see the pins / anchors in a couple of these shots. I think I heard them tell me I had 6 of these.

From Shoulder surgery

From Shoulder surgery

From Shoulder surgery

So now a full 5 days removed from surgery things are already starting to get better. After having a complete rupture of the Achilles I got a lot of the "Man I bet that really hurt" comments, and to be honest if I see a movie where someone cuts an Achilles or something like that it about makes me throw up still, but it certainly didn't peg out the pain meter to 10 by any stretch. Yeah it hurt, but I remember waking up from surgery and having pain in the 3 or 4 out of 10 range. Not bad.

The labrum repair on the other hand was a contrast. Didn't hurt that bad when it happened. Was to be an arthroscopic procedure instead of the huge incision for the Achilles repair, and I really thought it would be easy peasy. Not so much. I don't remember it real clearly, but evidently when I came out of surgery I was tossing around and thrashing exclaiming to be in 9.5 out of 10 pain. The nurses loaded me up (and I mean loaded) on pain killers and by the time things started to clear up a bit and Jill and Cooper showed up the pain had subsided.

Things have rapidly gotten better and in the past couple days I've been able to spend time sitting around without the sling on and be comfortable. I still can't raise my arm or move it at the shoulder, but I'm off the pain meds and the swelling is almost completely gone at this point. Diagnosis is to wear the sling for 6 weeks and basically do nothing with it until after 6 weeks at which time we'll start range of motion and then strengthening.

Thanks to all for the kind wishes and special thanks to Jim and Judy for the balloon (Cooper loved it till he popped it) and the flowers.

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