Some of you might want to know how the shoulder surgery went. Here’s an account of my shoulder surgery, and the meeting with the Labor and Welfare Service, which is called NAV here in Norway. Before the surgery, I had to wash my whole body with a disinfectant, which wasn’t easy, as our shower room was under renovation.
I had to shower outside, regardless of the temperature. The first shower was ok; it was in the afternoon, so it wasn’t that cold. But doing the same at 8 am was no picnic. We got there a bit ahead of time, so we had to wait outside the door to the surgery ward. The wait got a bit longer than expected because they were late. About 30 minutes late.
When they let me in, I was taken to a bed and asked to change my shirt to one of theirs. The male nurse, who was supposed to put a line in my hand, said the veins were too hard. Nobody else has ever had any problems with that, but he decided to move it to my elbow instead. I think his problem was that he didn’t tighten the strap enough.
The surgeon came to mark my shoulder and add local sedation to it. I have no problems with needles otherwise, but this one was huge, and he dug around in there, hitting bone more than once. And then he picked up another needle and did it again! I asked him if they were going to check for Osteoarthritis while in there, and he said he’d see everything. He didn’t believe they’d find any Osteoarthritis, since it’s very rare in the shoulders.
I recognize the popping and pain from my knees (and a number of undiagnosed joints), so I knew better. I was wheeled into surgery around 2 pm and moved myself onto the table; well it was more like a chair. They strapped my left am good and gave me a shot of something. The Anesthesiologist told me to say when I started feeling a buzz. As usual, that took longer than they expected as I have a resistance against painkillers and sedation, which was part of why I had to go without proper medication for about 20 years.
When I finally started noticing it, they put the mask on and put me under. The surgery went fine. It was for multi-directional instability and impingement syndrome. There was a positive “drive through sign” (which means the joint is lax). The antero inferior Labrum has some degeneration of the cartilage, and the Glenoid has degenerated cartilage with some Osteoarthritis at the edge (see, I was right!).
The Surgeon removed the Bursa, ground away an Osteophyte under the Acromion and part of the bone at the tendon. He also removed part of the tendon itself. This is to make the tendon run where it’s supposed to, and not get squashed. He also put two stitches through the Labrum and the Inferior Glenohumeral Ligament to keep things in place. He then folded the capsule by adding two stitches, to make it tighter.
It didn’t take long. I was wheeled in at 2 pm and by 3:45 pm I was sitting in bed, eating sandwiches, drinking tea, and tweeting about it 🙂 I’m under pretty strict instructions, because things can go wrong if I move too much. So I have to wear a sling day and night for three weeks. I have one week left now, and it hasn’t been easy. Patience is not one of my virtues. Here’s what they say I’m allowed to do within the limits of pain, when I take the sling off a couple of times a day to exercise the arm (and after I get rid of the sling).
Outward rotation < 30 degrees Flexion < 90 degrees Abduction < 70 degrees I’m not allowed to combine rotation and lifting my arm. No lifting! The flexion is, according to my physical therapist, only forward flexion. She gave me a couple of exercises to do at home. I’m going to her once a week right now.
Outward rotation < 45 degrees Flexion < 130 degrees Abduction < 90 degrees I’m not allowed to combine rotation and lifting my arm. No lifting! I’m not sure if flexion is restricted to forward flexion here.
Maximum movement within the limits of pain. But I have to stay within the normal limits of movement, or it becomes hypermobile again. This means I have to learn what normal movement is. I’ve got a checkup at Aleris hospital on the 8th of November.
I also had a meeting with the Labor and Welfare Service a little while ago. My employer attended via the phone. The result of that meeting was: I’ll have to decide what to do and tell my employer by January 31 at the latest because that’s when the process to end my contract starts. I should check out Hysnes Fort (rehab center), although I have no intention of being away from home for 4 weeks to figure out something I already know.
What I want to do, what I’m able to do, and how much during a day I’m able to work, is something I’m perfectly aware of. My primary physician agrees that I will not be able to return to the same job, and he said it while my employer was listening. It’s nice to have a doctor that agrees with you.
My employer has no possibility to adjust my job further. They’ve done very well and have made numerous efforts to Nothing more is going to happen before spring as far as NAV (L & W service) is concerned. Then they’ll probably have me work with a counselor on what I want and what I’m able to do.
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It’s good to see things moving in a direction that will make you more comfortable and might also end in a job you can do. As someone who always seems to know what’s wrong with me, I know very well the frustration of doctors who won’t listen and later have to admit I was right, so yay for your doctor who agrees with you!
Not being allowed to lift anything must be tough with a little daughter. How’s she coping with the situation?
I hope you’ll make a speedy recovery – I know all about impatience but the worst is over, you’re getting there! 🙂
I’ve had way too many doctors not listen. Some of the have caused, or at least worsened a few of my chronic issues.
She’s dealing with it just fine 🙂 I’m allowed to lift with my other arm 😀
Wow, Linda! So much to go through – I had an incredible painful shoulder injury, so I can’t imagine going through something like this! I hope all ends well for you in the end – any ideas about what jobs you might be able to do? Just curious…
I’ve had a lot happen the last 20 years. Joint pain, muscle pain, herniated disk (x2) and osteoarthritis. I’m used to the pain level, but it keeps me working in short spurts, and there are days whhen I really shouldn’t be working at all. So I need it to be very flexible, maybe allow me to work from home some days. I’ve realized IT (and especially working support) was a mistake, as it’s monotonus and not creative enough. I need to create, to be able to enjoy what I do. And I don’t want to do the same stuff over and over.
I now what my interests are, and how much I can work. but I don’t know how to translate art, crafts, reading, writing, learning into a job. That’s why I have to talk to the counselor. If you’ve got ny ideas that might fit, fire away 🙂
I hope your injury is all healed up.
I’m sitting here shivering at the thought of you having to go outside to take a shower at 8 a.m. Not fun, especially with the prospect of surgery immediately after it. Hope your healing is progressing nicely. You’ve certainly got a lot to think about. Hope the journey clarifies for you in the weeks ahead.
It wasn’t nice, just 12 degrees C (53.6 F). I didn’t spend a second longer out there than absolutely necessary.
From what I’ve heard, it’s progressing as expected. Thanks 🙂
Glad to hear all went well and hope your recovery continues to move forward smoothly. Hope that the rehab and employment issues work themselves out in your favor as well.
Thanks Cena 🙂
Wishing you the best in your recovery. I hope your surgery will now make everything you do a lot easier. Especially the blogging, you have a real talent for it.
Thanks. It won’t get any easier than before the shoulders started giving me trouble, but I hope to get back to where I was 🙂