One Year Post Op, One Week Post Op.

One week after having the metal out and it could not be more different from one week after having the metal put in.

After the operation I was wheeled back onto the ward and greeted by the nurse who took my blood pressure and pulse every fifteen minutes. I was asked if I had any pain, which I didn’t,having had the recommended block as well as the general anaesthetic.A block is the strangest sensation as the arm is completely dead from the shoulder downwards. Of course I had a sling on and a dressing but apart from that I was absolutely fine. The nurse bought me some omelette and a drink which I greedily ate, I was so thirsty and hungry.

Halfway through my meal the lovely Mr F came in. ‘You look remarkably well’ he said, watching me scoff omelette with mild surprise.  He told me the operation went well, that he managed to get good movement out of my shoulder and that if I wanted to I could go home! The benefit of being first on the list.

I had been told to be very careful going home with a block in because as you have no sensation you can hurt yourself, burn yourself for example, and you wouldn’t know you were burning until you smelt the burning flesh. Yes, that is how dead your arm is. Once the lovely Mr F left I jumped out of bed and started getting myself dressed. Trying to put a shirt on was near impossible. My arm was useless, so trying to push it into the sleeve just wasn’t happening. I sat on the edge of the chair with my arm rested on my lap and tried to thread my arm through the sleeve with my left arm. It was a challenge with an added excitement of  wondering who might walk in the room to discover me topless. I did finally manage it and luckily kept some dignity by getting the buttons done up before the next visitor, the pharmacist. She gave me some co-codamol and lactulose. I took it without really thinking but after she went realised that she had given me 8mg codeine tablets whereas last time I had 30mg and Tramadol for when the pain got really bad. An optimistic pharmacist who had obviously not had orthopaedic surgery, I thought.

Once I got home I went straight to bed as with a block I knew I would sleep. Last time, once the block wore off I couldn’t sleep for about 2 months.

The next morning I awoke and the first thing that was apparent was that the block had mostly worn off but I didn’t really have too much pain. So I took the sling off, took the co-codamol for 24 hours and since then have been functioning as normal. I had the op on Wednesday and went back to work the following Monday. To the family’s delight I have been able to cook, clean, do the washing and generally run around as before.I have less pain than before the op despite the fact I still have the staples in. Getting washed is a bit tricky because of the dressing but I actually think getting dressed is easier. I can wash my hair, put make up on, wear earrings, all things I couldn’t do for about two months last time.I find it hard to believe that I had orthopaedic surgery a week ago.

I was told by everyone that the surgery would be much easier than last time so I wasn’t expecting to be quite as bad but I wasn’t expecting to be this good! I thought I would not be able to use my arm for a fortnight and that has not been the case. I do believe that I am pretty used to living with pain in my shoulder which helps but even so this really is unbelievable considering what I have had done.

The crunch comes on Wednesday, dressing off, clips out and x-ray.

I am hopeful.

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